Salomon S/Lab Ultra 3 Review Analysis (2022)
Last update: August 2022
The Salomon S/Lab Ultra 3 is a very good trail running with an effective grip to run long distances comfortably.
First of all, the configuration remains almost identical in terms of weight and stack height. The grip is still excellent with the Contagrip rubber and its moderately aggressive lugs. The Ultra 3 is comfortable on most terrains, although testers note that deeper lugs would be welcome on steep and muddy routes. Also, as with previous versions, the configuration is robust and wear-resistant.
In terms of cushioning, the stack height is moderate, with 26 mm under the heel and 18 mm under the forefoot. Trailers characterize the cushioning as “fairly firm” while offering good flexibility and shock absorption, which makes the ride enjoyable even over long distances. They also describe the feel of the run as springy, with smooth transitions throughout the run, even at low speeds. Then, the upper is softer with a streamlined, seamless design that gets rid of the “wings” of the previous model.
The foot lockdown is great, resulting in a stable and safe run. Also, the upper is slightly more spacious (especially in the toe area), and its flexibility ensures good freedom of movement for the foot. The only negative point of the upper would be its lack of ventilation. Besides, despite all its great qualities, the shoe is on the expensive side with a base price of $180.
In summary, the Salomon S/Lab Ultra 3 is a very good trail shoe that is comfortable in all conditions and offers great comfort over long distances.
- Great comfort
- Excellent grip
- Protective and responsive cushioning
- Upper more comfortable than on the previous versions
- Sturdy shoe
- High price
- The upper could be a little airier
- First, Contagrip MA equips the outsole of the Salomon S-Lab Ultra 3, which is a blown rubber. This light and flexible material allows the shoe to follow the movement of the foot for more dynamism. It’s especially important during the toe-off phase when the foot pushes the ground to propel the body. You can go with complete peace of mind on technical trail routes thanks to the amazing grip of the outsole.
- The midsole features the EnergyCell+ cushioning technology. This lightweight and responsive foam is composed of compression-molded ethylene vinyl acetate. It protects the foot from the stones and roots on natural terrains. Also, this configuration offers a snappy ride by maximizing the energy return.
- Then, there’s Energy Save, which was created by Salomon to specifically increase responsiveness during toe-off. It also aims to increase foot protection.
- ProFeel Film is a sturdy foam layer that acts as rock guard to provide protection against sharp obstacles while supporting the foot and enabling smooth transitions from heel to toes. The goal is to combine protection and natural feel during trail running. ProFeel is located between the midsole and the outsole.
- Finally, the molded EVA foam insole adapts to the anatomy of the foot and completes the cushioning of the midsole.
- The Salomon S-Lab Ultra 3 upper uses the SkinGuard technology, an abrasion-resistant TPU mesh. It keeps the foot secure and cool throughout the run.
- Besides, Seamless Sensifit is a seamless overlay technology that improves foot lockdown and makes the upper more durable for greater resitance to abrasion. It’s connected to the lacing system for greater comfort.
- Then, Endofit is a soft inner bootie that improves comfort inside the shoe. It perfectly wraps up around the foot, especially at the instep.
- Also, the tongue cover prevents debris such as dirt and stones from entering the shoe.
- Asymmetrical Quicklace is a lacing system that takes the form of thin but durable elastic threads. These threads pass through the fabric eyelets on the upper and connects to a locking system that maintains the fit chosen by the runner. It eliminates the need for a loop. The pressure of the laces can be adjusted with a single movement.
- Finally, the lace pocket allows you to tuck the laces to prevent them from disturbing you while running.
|Heel stack height||26 mm|
|Forefoot stack height||18 mm|
|Features||Rock plate, Toe cap, Unisex|
|Weight (men)||283 g/10 oz|
|Weight (women)||283 g/10 oz|
|Athletes||François d’Haene, Kílian Jornet Burgada|
|Softness (1-5)||2 – Firm|
|Bounce (1-5)||4 – Bouncy|
|Midsole||EnergyCell+, Energy Save, ProFeel Film, molded EVA foam insole|
|Upper||SkinGuard, Seamless Sensifit, Endofit, tongue cover, Asymmetrical Quicklace, lace pocket|
|Speed||Slow, moderate, fast|
|Distance||Mid, long, ultramarathon|
|Workout||Competition, daily runs, speed|
Comparisons – Salomon S/Lab Ultra 3 vs.:
Salomon S/Lab Sense Ultra
Although both models have “ultra” in their name, the Sense Ultra has a lighter profile with less cushioning. It depends primarily on preference, but the S/Lab Ultra 3 seems more suitable for long distances than the Sense Ultra, which, on the other hand, is great for shorter runs with its responsive and light design. In any case, Salomon has discontinued the Sense Ultra series, so it’s not an option anymore.
Salomon Sense Pro 4
The Sense Pro 4 is a lighter shoe with a more responsive and versatile platform that shines on terrains that require agility. Also, it features more aggressive lugs, which makes its grip a little better on muddy and steep surfaces. However, the S/Lab Ultra 3’s cushioning is more comfortable, according to the trailers who tested both models. It’s best to try both because, after all, it’s a matter of preferences and personal experience. Both shoes are very good and durable.
Hoka Torrent 2
These two shoes have quite different profiles. Thus, the T2 is a high-stack shoe with a softer but less protective cushioning as it does not have a rock guard. Its grip is also a bit more effective. However, the S/Lab Ultra 3 has a more comfortable upper with an effective and pleasant foot lockdown. Slight advantage for the Torrent 2 overall.
Salomon Sense Ride 3
The Sense Ride 3 offers slightly more comfortable but less protective cushioning with less responsiveness, according to the testers. It makes the shoe a little bit dull when running faster. Also, it’s heavier, with 300 g/10.6 oz compared to 283 g/10 oz for the S/Lab Ultra 3. However, if the latter seems superior overall, it’s much more expensive (count $50 more).
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
This trail shoe uses a standard sizing system. Trailers who have tried it on confirm that it fits true to size. So you can choose your regular size for trail shoes. However, if this is your first pair of Salomon, a visit to the store is recommended.
Only one scientific research study to date has looked at the relationship between stack height, weight, and risk of injury. According to the conclusions of this study, shoes with very thin soles (minimalist) may increase the risk of injury for runners weighing more than 71 kg/157 lbs. Apart from this, there is no advice for other types of shoes. The S/Lab Ultra 3 has a medium stack height and should therefore be suitable for most athletes regardless of their weight.
Salomon designed this trail shoe, especially for ultramarathon trails, and many athletes in the discipline wear it, such as François d’Haene, who has won the UTMB three times. Thus, if you have an ultramarathon race in mind, the S-Lab Ultra 3 is definitely a model to consider.
This shoe does not offer a waterproof membrane such as Gore-Tex. However, although it is not 100% waterproof, the shoe easily drains small amounts of water, such as fine rain and splashes. It also dries quickly. This configuration has the advantage of making the shoe more breathable and lighter compared to GTX models.