Our verdict

Overall, with the perfect combination of features and technologies incorporated into the Salomon Sonic 3 Balance, I was appreciative, proud, and satisfied. The right blend of cushioning, wide toe box, and excellent fit really made my running sessions more enjoyable. Not to mention the shoe's lightweight structure and excellent durability.

Pros

  • Cushioned
  • Breathable
  • Secure fit
  • Flexible upper
  • Blister-free
  • Protective
  • Durable
  • Responsive

Cons

  • Slightly expensive

Audience verdict

91
Superb!

What is the Salomon Sonic 3 Balance

The new Sonic 3 lineup from Salomon features three new shoes. These are Accelerate, Confidence, and Balance.

Accelerate is both a lightweight racer and speed work shoe. The Confidence is intended to be a max cushion daily trainer. Lastly, the Balance is a multipurpose shoe.

All three shoes look extremely similar and have minor tweaks to achieve their intended purposes. I chose the Balance because I was looking for a shoe to serve multiple purposes in my rotation.

Efficient heel-to-toe transition

The Sonic 3 Balance has an 8mm heel-to-toe drop and comes in at 8.8oz or 252 grams. The main features of the shoe are Geometric Decoupling, which provides a more efficient heel-to-toe transition.

Another main feature is the Optivibe, which is a combination of two different foams to help propel while reducing vibration.

The Balance from Salomon also features an engineered mesh upper, a flat OrthoLite Impressions tongue, and an OrthoLite insole to provide extra cushioning.

Secure, nice fit

I find the fit to be pretty close to perfect for my feet. I have an average size foot.

I typically do not like Nikes and some Hokas because they are too narrow and/or do not have enough room in the toe box. However, I do not need to purchase any shoes in a wide variant either.

The Sonic 3 Balance from Salomon provides enough space in the toe box and does not pinch down on the sides of my midfoot.

The Sensifit upper is lightly structured without a bunch of unnecessary overlays, which allows it to contour to your foot and secure it in place.

Flexible, comfy upper

The engineered mesh upper is very flexible and does not add a bunch of weight. The tongue is flat and lays perfectly across the top of the midfoot, allowing the lacing system to secure your foot very well.

The heel collar is padded enough to be comfortable and fit snuggly around the Achilles without being too padded and sloppy.

I have put about 70 miles on these shoes in the past two weeks, and I have not experienced any hot spots, blisters, or any other adverse effects from running in them every day.

Durable outsole of the Sonic 3 Balance

The engineered mesh upper has been very supportive but also very flexible and breathable. In my experience, uppers can often sacrifice breathability for support and vice versa.

Salomon has found a pretty good balance between the two. The outsole of the shoe is pretty balanced as well but slightly leans towards the side of heavy.

The Sonic 3 Balance features a durable rubber outsole, which seems to be providing a really good amount of protection, but with that protection comes added weight.

However, the rubber outsole covers almost the entire bottom, but the shoe somehow stays under 9oz. The two foams used in the Optivibe heel are my favorite feature of this shoe. They combined really well to make an excellent ride.

Responsive, cushioned midsole

The midsole is responsive, yet cushioned and you can actually feel the vibration reduction if you are a heel or midfoot striker.

Salomon has put a lot of quality materials into the new Sonic 3 lineup, and it feels like a premium shoe right out of the box.

Conclusion

So far, I have been using these shoes for progression runs, hill repeats, middle distance and long runs. I have other shoes that can do better speed work, but the Sonic 3 Balance has fit really nicely into my rotation.

These shoes work really well as a pair to keep in the trunk of your car because they serve so many purposes. I have used them on the roads, greenways, gravel, and even dirt paths.

They are extremely comfortable and really help reduce the fatigue on my feet and legs.

I’ve never had a pair of Salomon road shoes before these, so I cannot compare them to previous versions, but they feel like a lightweight Brooks Ghost with a more responsive midsole.

I typically like to wait until 100 miles to do a full review so I can comment on the durability expectations, but everything about the Sonic 3 Balance seems really solid.

In my opinion, this is the type of shoe that I can see myself getting multiple pairs in different colorways.