Salomon's new Sense Ride 2 trail runners aim to be an entry-level shoe that's just as at home on the pavement, trail or even at the crag! Aidan's been jogging up a storm to see if they live up to the hype. Wearing the Salomon Sense Ride 2’s over the last month has been a right treat for my feet. Having spent too many misguided years running trails in shoes with barely enough arch support for a trip to Westfield, the comfort and protection from the Sense Ride 2’s stood out immediately. Combined with their lightweight composition and snazzy design, they seem like a real ‘shoe-in’ for top runners in my collection – not sorry. Look & Feel Salomon have carved out a name for themselves as the makers of some very spiffy looking shoes, and these are no exception. The majority of the shoe is a light and stretchy mesh material, reinforced with smooth synthetic overlays. The internal ‘EndoFit’ sleeve makes for a snug and secure fit, keeping your feet from tumbling around too much over rocky terrain. Its use of light material also means each shoe weighs in at just over 270g grams (by comparison, your average Vans shoe is around 550g). In turn, this helps with managing water retention and promotes quick drying, so you can charge through puddles to your heart’s content. I was testing a lower-key, dark-grey version of the Sense Ride 2’s, but the broader range includes fluoro orange and bright blue models that’ll keep the more ‘adventurous’ runners happy. Laces The Sense Ride 2’s feature Salomon’s patented Quick Laces, made from tough-as-nails kevlar drawstring. Its easy tightening and locking system saves a bit of time, but more importantly means you’ll never need to stop to retie - or trip over an undone lace, speaking from bitter bruise-inducing experience. The excess tucks away in a neatly designed pouch on top of the tongue, keeping it out of harm’s way. Heel & Soles Beneath the hood, the Sense Ride 2’s sport the right mix of cushioning and rigidity to see you through most terrains. The midsole uses something called EVA foam to mitigate impact and buffer your tootsies from vibrations travelling up the shoe. Much of this design was inspired by road-running shoes, which was reflected in how darn comfortable they were on hard surfaces before I reached the trail. On uneven bush terrain, the outsole (Contragrip) then gave me a solid feeling of confidence, even on the sketchier portions of my run. There’s 27mm of sole beneath your heel, which I thought provided ample support and shock dampening. The Sense Ride 2’s got a runaround in a good variety of weather conditions – both during a stubborn Sydney dry-spell, then on a couple of slippery expeditions once the heavens opened up. During the latter, they held up impressively well, and never seemed to lose traction on slick terrain. This owes to the sole featuring a pattern of diamond-shaped ‘gripping lugs’, which effectively clamp the shoe into the surface beneath it. After a couple of runs I did notice a few of these starting to show a little wear, although reviews from people who’ve had them way longer call out their durability, so I should have plenty more kilometres to come. Salomon Sense Ride 2’s – Worth The Upgrade From Sneakers? As my first pair of trail runners, I’m chuffed with the Sense Ride 2’s. They’re versatile enough to support either shorter road runs or longer jaunts into the bush (and to be honest, I’d pretty happily hike in these). The supremely-grippy outsole also ticks a lot of boxes as a sturdy approach shoe for walking into climbing crags. Bottom line is that I’ll be getting a lot of use out of these boys. The price tag is reasonable for what you’re getting, particularly if they deliver upon the long life I’m expecting from them.