This Salomon gear review is from Steven Benesi who is a Tahoe-Truckee area mountain athlete. His passions for running, peakbagging, hiking, and snowboarding carry him into and on top of the stunning terrain with which the Tahoe area is blessed. Currently, he is happily suffering through the transcendent vistas of Bob Burd’s OGUL list and running somewhere.
I poked my head out of my bag and looked out over the water as the sun gently crested the ridge behind me and poured its light over the lake. Mist curled from the surface as pelicans called raucously to one another. The previous day had held many miles worth of granite scrambling, manzanita crawling, and trail running; this morning promised more of the same as my car remained at least six miles away from the beach on which I had just risen. I crawled from my bag, embraced the sharp bite of the cold morning air, packed up my gear, and pulled on my pair of Salomon Sonic Pros. With a final glance back to the gathered pelicans, I trotted off across the sand.
The Salomon Sonic Pro has been my go-to shoe for the last 150 miles or so. It’s construction is a fantastic blend of comfort, function, and style that’s treated my feet well over extremely varied terrain. Salomon decided to stick with a good thing and included the quicklace system which makes getting in and out of the shoe a breeze. Salomon’s endoFit technology is also present in this shoe which adds a sense of snugness and grip. The endoFit material is thick enough so you know it’s there, but is by no means conducive to overheating. I have been running these shoes with Darn Tough socks and they continue to feel amazing (no overheat, no chafing).
The shoe’s drop from heel to forefoot is listed at 10.8mm, which I know is high for those who trend towards minimalist, but for me that extra cushioning works wonders on granite slabs and rockier trails. I’ve been battling some plantar fasciitis and the extra padding has been a game changer. The semi-bulkier build doesn’t come at much of an added weight cost either; the Sonic Pro clocks in at 8.4oz. I’ve been on my feet and moving for a few longer days with these shoes (the longest coming in at 8 hours) and my feet still felt great (relatively – let’s be real) at the end of each one.
As stated earlier, I’ve tried these shoes on many different kinds of terrain. On pure snow they gripped well enough (not perfectly, but add Yaktrax and you’re bulletproof) while the snow was hard, but slipped when the temperatures warmed, particularly with any lateral movement. The shoe performed similarly in mud, but as I write this review the spring slop is becoming less and less of an issue out there. As one who loves to peak-bag, a lot of my runs involve bare rock, and in Tahoe that usually means granite. The Sonic Pros grip well when the rock is dry and give me enough traction to get up some nearly vertical pitches (yes, my hands helped too, but my feet didn’t slip!). When conditions were wet, however, a lot of that grip was lost.
The mesh on top of the toe box is pretty fine and doesn’t let a lot of debris in, which is great when the trails are dusty. This same mesh is placed on the sides of the shoe as well, but is interwoven with a tougher material that has yet to tear for me, despite lots of foot jamming and lateral moves. The toecap is also tougher than the mesh and will save you from stubbed toes if you have a moment of carelessness on the trail. Don’t count on the Sonic Pro keeping your foot too dry though; I’ve crossed a few creeks and ran through some deeper puddles that soaked through the shoe pretty quick. The shoe then stayed wet for quite a while, but a lot of the water squeezed out through the mesh. Once you get them in the sun they dry out pretty rapidly. The sides of the sole have started to get eaten away, but that’s after treating them rougher than most probably will. None of the effective tread has fallen off or torn yet and the grip has maintained.
The Salomon Sonic Pro is definitely a shoe that I will be purchasing again in the future. It’s versatility and ability to stay comfortable on long runs (longest to date on this pair is 22 miles) make it a great choice for those who want one shoe that can do it all. While it is a running shoe, I’ve also backpacked in it and everything I’ve said in this review holds true for that scenario as well. The Salomon Sonic Pro will get you down the trail, up the peak, and on to whatever destination piques your fancy next. Enjoy!