Salomon Pulsar Trail Review (2022): Versatile and Fun Shoes!
Published on: 08/16/2022
Very good all-rounder trail running shoes to go fast on most terrains.
Don’t have time to read the full review? Here’s what you need to know.
The Pulsar dynasty was born with a bang: in 2021, Kilian Jornet won and broke a 16-year-old course record at the iconic race Sierre-Zinal, wearing the brand new Salomon S/Lab Pulsar. A ridiculously lightweight shoe with a funky rocker design that propelled the king of the trails to go even faster than ever before. Now that was something!
Salomon has now taken the key learnings from developing the S/Lab Pulsar and brought out a range of new trail running shoes, including the Salomon Pulsar Trail. A do-it-all midrange shoe that can tackle any distance and terrain, the Pulsar Trail features new technology such as the Energy Blade to make it more responsive while staying stable on technical trails. The proprietary Energy Surge foam provides good cushioning and gives an extra bounce, while some other features the brand is famous for complete the offering.
You’ll find Salomon’s excellent foot lockdown guaranteed by the Quicklace system and the EndoFit internal sleeve. But you’ll also find the usual Salomon weakness: the clumsy All Terrain Contagrip outsole that doesn’t cut it on muddier wet trails or rocks.
The Salomon Pulsar Trail is a serious contender for an all-around midrange trail running shoe that can fit most runners, serving them well on many terrains and in most conditions. A great addition to the brand’s roster!
Please read our full review of the Salomon Pulsar Trail for more information.
- Excellent energy return;
- Good cushioning levels for long distances;
- Great foot lockdown;
- Comfortable and protective toe box;
- Very protective and debris resistant upper;
- Durable and sturdy.
- (Almost) no grip on wet rocks;
- Generally not as breathable as competitors’ shoes.
Salomon Pulsar Trail Complete Review Analysis
After making a splash with the original S/Lab Pulsar trail shoe first seen in the summer of 2021 on none other than Kilian Jornet’s feet (the best-known trail runner and winner of iconic trail races for the past 10+ years), it’s no wonder that Salomon has looked to further the Pulsar dynasty. But has their move from the “stupid light” record-breaking first Pulsar been a success?
As of 2022, the French brand has launched four new shoes: Pulsar Trail and Pulsar Trail Pro, as well as the Hypulse and Impulse. All benefit from Salomon’s new technology called Energy Blade – a plate in the shoe’s midsole, partly inspired by the hooves of Alpine chamois (yes, really!), aiming to elevate the responsiveness and energy return of all of the Salomon trail running shoes. So, after taking years of learning from experimenting with the “king of trails,” it looks like Salomon is bringing high-end tech to the regular runner.
Combining the Energy Blade with a bouncier foam and a Reverse Camber construction, the new Pulsar range should delight those looking for comfort and stability on the trails and energy return and responsiveness.
Does the Salomon Pulsar Trail have what it takes to become a go-to trail running shoe for all terrains and distances? Let’s find out!
Salomon has always sworn by the Contagrip technology for their outsole, and it’s their Achilles heel for trail running shoes. The infinitely superior Vibram MegaGrip employed by the likes of Hoka in their signature ultra shoe, Speedgoat 5, would be a much better ally on slippery rocks.
Instead, the Pulsar Trail slips easily despite the 3.5 mm deep lugs. However, there’s no denying that they offer a smooth ride that you can even take to the road on the off chance you haven’t got the more road-to-trail appropriate Sense Ride on you.
Thanks to the Energy Surge foam, the shoes feel light enough while giving excellent energy return. With a stack height of 32.6 mm under the heel and 26.6 mm under the forefoot, the Pulsar Trail protects you from mixed terrain while allowing a decent ground trail feel.
Also, the Energy Blade we’ve been raving about is more than just a fancy name for a rock plate. It gives some rock protection, carries good bounce levels, and makes the shoe feel snappy and fun, with cool forward propulsion and stability.
Foot lockdown (Upper)
The Pulsar Trail’s upper is made of a single layer, thin mesh that is quite resistant and dense compared to other models. Unfortunately, most reviewers find it not so breathable, although it is definitely a durable upper.
As for the foot lockdown, it is superb. The EndoFit internal sleeve hugs the foot and features a soft collar construction that keeps debris away while not being too tight.
Finally, a lovely toe box protector makes you comfortable coming up against loose trail elements and technical rocky passages. In fact, the bumper lets the clumsier of us kick rocks without the fear of an immediate black toenail!
Is this shoe suitable if you have wide feet? Unlike some of the tighter Salomon models (Ultra Glide, in particular, is quite snug fitting), the Pulsar Trail is roomier. It can accommodate wider-footed runners much better than the brand’s other trail shoes.
Thanks to the added propulsion offered by the Energy Blade and the plush, yet responsive Energy Surge foam that the Salomon Pulsar Trail brings to the table, reviewers seem unanimously impressed by the new shoe. In fact, tests point to it easily becoming a “Jack-of-all-trades” type of trail shoe, suitable for all kinds of workouts off-road.
You get more flexibility than the Sense Ride shoes, a roomier, more accommodating feel than the Sense Pro series, and just an overall all-terrain, all-pace ride with the Pulsar Trail. The Energy Blade makes the heel-to-toe transition smooth and pleasant, while the almost max cushion grade stack encourages runners to put these shoes on for longer distances.
In conclusion, you wouldn’t necessarily reach for these shoes for your speed workouts, but they wouldn’t let you down if you did. You can rely on them for pretty much any type of session and definitely for long distances on most types of terrain. And, if you like these, then look at their cousin Salomon Pulsar Trail Pro for a slightly lighter, springier option for those faster days.
As a relatively lightweight long-distance running shoe (280 g men’s, 244 g women’s), you would expect the Salomon Pulsar Trail to be prone to falling apart relatively soon. They haven’t been around for very long, so not many tests have been done on their long-term durability, but we expect that the Contagrip outsole will be pretty sturdy, especially if worn on softer terrain.
The upper is long-lasting, to the detriment of breathability, but to the reassurance of those looking for a good upper fit and protection from trail debris.
Runners looking for a new pair of all-season, all-terrain trail shoes that can accommodate almost any running style should look no further than the Salomon Pulsar Trail. Combining speed-boosting design elements with soft, comfortable cushioning and excellent foot lockdown, this shoe will give beginner runners more confidence on technical trails and satisfy the demands of more experienced athletes.
Reach for the Salomon Pulsar Trail for your everyday training shoe, mid-range to long-distance trail races, and everything in between!
|280 g/9.9 oz
|244 g/8.6 oz
|Recycled materials, Rocker, Toe bumper, Rock plate
|All Terrain Contagrip
|Energy Surge, Energy Blade (plate)
|Mid, Long, Marathon, Ultramarathon
|Daily running, Racing