The Sense Pro 2 is a perfectly mediocre trail shoe that is acceptable for running in all conditions and terrains but isn’t exceptional in any of them.
A mediocre mudder
On the one hand, the Salomon Sense Pro 2 should be praised for its versatility: it performs perfectly acceptable in a wide range of conditions including mud, grass, dirt, dust, snow, crushed gravel, and even a few miles on pavement. On the other hand, the shoe isn’t amazing in any of these conditions.
Next to competitors that are specialized in one direction or another, it has an average outsole grip, average price, average midsole, average durability, average fit in the upper, and average weight. The Sense Pro 2 in a word, is a solid “meh.”
An average outsole
Going from the ground up, the shoe’s outsole is good, but not exceptional. It is certainly much stickier in a variety of conditions than an average road shoe: I’ve run confidently in the Sense Pro 2 on wet grass and leaves, rocks, snow, sand, mud, dusty trails, and even roads.
Specialist shoes with more aggressive lugs like the Salomon Speedcross may perform better in wet and technical trails than the Sense Pro, but also feel much more awkward in dry conditions and roads.
The shallow lugs on the Sense Pro deliver grip on the trails, while actually feeling fine on the pavement for a couple of miles until the firmness of the shoe starts to feel jarring from the hard surface.
This outsole makes the Sense Pro a good option for runners who spend most of their miles on not-too-technical trails (making a traditional road shoe not ideal) but also need to put down a few miles on the sidewalk to get to and from the trailhead.
An average midsole
Moving on up, the shoe has a decent midsole, but it is too firm for all but a minority of runners—the Kilian Jornets of the world—who like firm responsiveness even in a high mileage trainer.
Most runners will find the Sense Pro to be stiff in a way that prevents a smooth heel-toe transition, and hard in a way that makes feet and joints feel shell shocked after any runs longer than about 10 miles.
I personally use Sense Pro 2 for trail runs less than a six-mile distance, reserving longer runs for softer, higher cushioned shoes like the Hoka One One Speed Instinct 2. Salomon made this update softer than the Sense Pro 1, but most runners will still find it doesn’t have a pleasant midsole; it just feels rigid and unforgiving, even when you run on softer surfaces like dirt trails, mud, or grass.
That said, the midsole does a good job of keeping rocks from jutting up into the foot and keeping debris out. There is also a nice slight curve to the forefoot and a balanced 6mm heel-toe ratio that provides a decent, if not perfect, a heel-toe transition that facilitates a quick turnover when picking up the tempo.
The Sense Pro’s midsole also kept its structure and cushioning for a good 350 miles before beginning to feel worn and loosing whatever springiness it started with, average durability for a running shoe.
An average upper
The upper on the shoe is also perfectly acceptable. It is durable, wraps the midfoot well, and provides good protection around the toe box.
The upper is not waterproof, but it does drain and dry out very quickly. I took the shoe on a hike through a ravine that included four miles of trekking through knee- to waste-high water, and it stayed snug on my feet, never got saturated with water, and dried quickly after getting back on dry land.
The last of the shoe is okay. It feels decent but has a narrow, fairly straight design that will work well for only a minority of foot shapes. The most common foot shape, with a wider forefoot and narrower heel, may find the upper constrictive.
So, while the Sense Pro’s upper is nice, smooth, and seamless and works okay for most runners, it will only feel except for a minority of runners with narrow, straight-shaped foot types.
This issue with the fit is exacerbated by the Quicklaces that come with the Sense Pro 2. Here, I’ll stand in opposition to a lot of reviewers: I don’t like Salomon’s patented Quicklaces.
The two seconds of time they save you tying laces comes at the cost of customizability. Quicklaces tighten as one unit all the way down the shoe and cannot be adjusted to skip or add extra eyelets as needed, like traditional laces.
For those who need a loose forefoot, but more tightness further up toward the ankle won’t be able to adjust Quicklaces effectively. This also means that as the shoes upper stretches out with wear, you cannot easily adapt by tightening the laces specifically in the loosening areas, so the shoe just has to be thrown out. And for people who need a more secure heel lock, loop lacing isn’t an option with Quicklaces.
I’m neither sold on the speed advantages of Quicklaces nor on the Salomon sales pitch that they’re “made of Kevlar material”: no one is shooting at my feet. I know several runners who cut the Quicklaces off of their Salomon’s immediately after pulling them out of the box and replaced them with regular laces from an old pair of shoes.
The weight of the Sense Pro is just okay, especially for a shoe aimed at races, at 9.2oz for a men’s size 9.
Of course, it is significantly lighter than shoes made for high mileage ultra-races like the Salomon S-Lab Ultra, the Altra Olympus, or the Hoka One One Stinson, but it is the same weight or heavier than its more direct competitors like the Inov-8 Trail Talon 250 (8.8oz), and the Brooks Mazama 2 (9.3oz).
All in all, the Sense Pro 2 is a perfectly acceptable shoe for a wide range of running conditions. That said, unless you’re in a minority of runners with narrow, straight-shaped neutral feet who like a very firm midsole, the Sense Pro 2 probably won’t blow you away.
Who the Sense Pro 2 is Not ideal for
For most runners, there are better options on the market.
1. There are lighter weight, softer shoes with grippier outsoles and the same durability as the Inov-8 Trail Talon 250 (8.8oz).
2. There are similar trail shoes with softer, more forgiving midsoles that stay comfortable over long distance runs like the Hoka One One Speed Instinct 2.
3. Those looking for a specialist shoe for wet or muddy conditions will find the Sense Pro 2’s outsole inadequate and may look to more aggressively-lugged shoes like the Salomon Speedcross 4 or S-Lab Speed 2.
4. For overpronating runners who need some arch support, this is not your shoe: it is completely neutral. That said, there are very few stability trail shoes on the market, and the Sense Pro 2 does a good job accommodating inserts because of its removable sock liner, supportive upper in the midfoot, and rigid heel shank.
Good to know
- This Salomon trail shoe wisely addressed past concerns of a very firm sole by raising the stack height just a little bit and making the midsole a tad softer in the Sense Pro 2. The result of the change is a ride that retains the spirit of the original model, but with more comfort.
- The latest model introduces a new foam material in the midsole for added responsiveness. It is bound to make runners run longer, faster, and with more energy.
- A removable and molded EVA footbed gives the shoe more versatility as it can accommodate orthotics for a more personalized comfort. By making the lugs in the outsole more aggressive, runners are guaranteed of a firmer bite on different trail areas.
The fit of the Salomon Sense Pro 2 is a hair different compared to the original model. It is not as snug as it used to be without taking away the racing shoe fit as noted by several fans of the line. Runners who love a fit that completely wraps the foot without being constrictive are tailor-made for this shoe. Salomon offers standard D for the men’s and B for the women’s for the widths. Sizing is true to size as opposed to the past version where runners have to go half a size down.
Same as in the shoe's latest version, the Sense Pro 3, Salomon uses a special rubber compound in the Wet Traction Contagrip outsole for a movie house kind of bite on a multitude of trail surfaces. The lugs, this time around, are slightly more sizeable and aggressive. This offers serious bite on loose and technical trails.
A new technology is incorporated in the latest version of the Sense Pro. Salomon uses a new foam in the EnergyCell + to enhance the responsive features of the shoe. This technology works together with the compressed EVA and the very light LT Muscle foam for better cushioning and shock-absorbing features. Just underneath these layers of midsole foam is the ProFeel Film, which works really well in protecting the foot from sharp objects without removing superior ground feel.
Similar to the well known Salomon Sense Ride 2, a quick-drying and very breathable mesh will keep this shoe running cool and dry. The combination of the Endofit and the Sensifit gives the shoe unbelievable fit. The former is an inner sleeve that wraps the foot in comfort while the latter is the blend of overlays and laces that hugs the foot in security. A quick-lace system for on-the-go adjustments and a lace pocket round up the upper features.