Our verdict

Since its debut in 2006, the Speedcross has become a trail-running staple for Salomon, almost reaching legendary status. In our lab, we found the sixth version to be lighter yet still rugged and durable, making it perfect for our fast-paced training and racing on challenging, early-season trails. Equipped with big lugs and a robust, closed upper, it also excels in muddy conditions. However, we found the shoe's extremely limited breathability makes it primarily suitable for cooler weather, and less ideal for warm or humid conditions.

Pros

  • Superior traction on wet, technical trails
  • Ideal for heel strikers
  • Impressive durability
  • Quick mud shedding ability
  • Lightest Speedcross yet
  • Secure lockdown with QuickLace system
  • Enhanced ground feel in the forefoot
  • Agile and responsive in fast corners

Cons

  • Midsole feels like concrete
  • Extremely poor breathability
  • Not suitable for midfoot and forefoot strikers

Audience verdict

88
Great!

Who should buy

We consider the Salomon Speedcross 6 a great choice for:

  • Enthusiasts of firm midsoles and Salomon's QuickLace system looking for a speedy, agile trail running shoe.
  • Those seeking a rugged trail shoe optimized for winter running and early-season trails.
  • Trail runners with wide feet who prioritize speed and agility on technical terrain over long-distance adventures.

Salomon Speedcross 6

Who should NOT buy

The Salomon Speedcross 6 offers a firm midsole providing ground feel, but it might not appeal to those who prefer squishy cushioning. If you fall into that category, we favor alternatives like the Hoka Speedgoat 5 or the New Balance Fresh Foam X Hierro v7, which offer a softer ride.

Additionally, this shoe can get incredibly warm during summer runs. For mountain adventures in warmer months, we believe you'd be better off with a shoe featuring exceptional breathability, such as the Brooks Cascadia 17.

Salomon Speedcross 6 parts

Breathability

The Salomon Speedcross 6 ranks as one of the least breathable shoes we've tested in the lab, matching even Gore-Tex models like the Nike Pegasus Trail 3 GTX with a score of 1/5 in our tests.

When we examined the shoe under a powerful light, it only reinforced our findings of poor breathability.

Further scrutiny under the microscope revealed a lack of ventilation holes, confirming the shoe's limited breathability.

Salomon Speedcross 6 microscope

The thick, solid mesh upper traps heat inside the shoe.

Salomon Speedcross 6

In summary, the poor airflow and limited flexibility raise concerns about potential discomfort during long runs. But it shouldn't be a problem in short or medium training sessions.

In summary, the Speedcross 6 will excel in harsh, extremely cold winter conditions, but it is not advisable for warm weather runs, as it could become uncomfortably hot and lead to blisters.

Test results
Speedcross 6 1
Average 3.3
Compared to 63 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Breathability
5

Durability

Toebox durability

On the bright side, equipped with a thick mesh and tons of protective layers, we expected robust durability, and the Speedcross 6 certainly delivered during our Dremel test.

We were thrilled to give it an impressive 4/5 rating!

Salomon Speedcross 6 Toebox durability
Test results
Speedcross 6 4
Average 2.9
Compared to 43 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Toebox durability
5

Heel padding durability

Unfortunately, the heel padding durability test didn't measure up, falling short compared to other trail running shoes.

However, this should only be a concern for those who typically experience wear in this area of every shoe they use.

Salomon Speedcross 6 Heel padding durability
Test results
Speedcross 6 2
Average 2.8
Compared to 41 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Heel padding durability
5

Outsole hardness

The outsole of the Speedcross 6 is made with Contagrip rubber, a widely used and trusted compound by Salomon.

Salomon Speedcross 6 outsole

It registered 93.9 HC on our durometer, one of the highest readings we've ever recorded. This clearly indicates that Salomon is prioritizing durability in this model, putting less emphasis on other aspects.

Salomon Speedcross 6 Outsole hardness
Test results
Speedcross 6 93.9 HC
Average 85.1 HC
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 86 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
72.5 HC
Outsole hardness
95.0 HC

Outsole durability

However, we were surprised to find a 1.2-mm indentation in the outsole after our third Dremel test.

This wasn't the outcome we anticipated from a 93.9 HC rubber. It's important to note, though, that the huge lugs on this shoe—which we'll discuss later—do offer the benefit of being almost indestructible because of its size.

Salomon Speedcross 6 Outsole durability
Test results
Speedcross 6 1.2 mm
Average 0.9 mm
Compared to 36 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
0.0 mm
Outsole wear
2.0 mm

Outsole thickness

The outsole measures 1.9 mm, which is below average, but there's no cause for concern. As we mentioned earlier, the lugs on this shoe are really large and makes sense to use a thinner outsole.

Salomon Speedcross 6 Outsole thickness
Test results
Speedcross 6 1.9 mm
Average 2.5 mm
Compared to 86 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
1.0 mm
Outsole thickness
6.5 mm

Weight

Just by glancing at the Speedcross 6, it's clear it won't be the epitome of lightness, but it's actually lighter than we anticipated!

Weighing in at 10.4 oz (296g), Salomon has done an excellent job in keeping the weight surprisingly manageable for this type of shoe, especially considering the robust upper it boasts.

Salomon Speedcross 6 Weight
Test results
Speedcross 6 10.44 oz (296g)
Average 10.37 oz (294g)
Compared to 86 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
7.51 oz (213g)
Weight
13.37 oz (379g)

Cushioning

Heel stack

We measured a stack height of 36.5 mm in the Speedcross 6, categorizing it as a maximal shoe numerically, but there's a caveat.

Due to its large lugs and thick insole, there isn't much space left for the midsole. So, don't expect the extreme cushioning found in shoes like the Nike Ultrafly, and it's definitely not suited for ultra-long distances.

Salomon Speedcross 6

Additionally, it's worth mentioning that the Speedcross 6 does not include a rock plate. However, considering the thick layer of rubber that separates the midsole from the ground, we believe omitting the rock plate was a smart decision.

Salomon Speedcross 6 Heel stack
Test results
Speedcross 6 36.5 mm
Average 32.2 mm
Compared to 86 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
16.1 mm
Heel stack
40.4 mm

Forefoot stack

With a mere 22.4 mm thickness in the forefoot, the foam here is minimal. This makes it a less-than-ideal option for forefoot strikers who typically seek more cushioning.

Salomon Speedcross 6 Forefoot stack
Test results
Speedcross 6 22.4 mm
Average 24.3 mm
Compared to 86 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
15.2 mm
Forefoot stack
33.8 mm

Drop

The drop on this shoe is quite remarkable. We measured a 14.1 mm drop following the official World Athletics procedure.

However, due to the shoe's unique geometry, it feels more akin to an 8-to-10-mm shoe. Regardless, it's definitely designed with heel strikers in mind.

Salomon Speedcross 6 Drop
Test results
Speedcross 6 14.1 mm
Average 8.1 mm
Compared to 85 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
0.1 mm
Drop
15.2 mm

Insole thickness

We previously noted that the insole was thick, and indeed it is. Measuring 7.3 mm, it's nearly double what we typically find. Frankly, we would have preferred more foam and less insole underfoot, but that's how it is.

Salomon Speedcross 6 Insole thickness
Test results
Speedcross 6 7.3 mm
Average 4.7 mm
Compared to 86 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
2.7 mm
Insole thickness
7.3 mm

Midsole softness

Note: a low durometer measurement equals a soft material, whereas a high measurement means it's firm.

Based on our test runs, we anticipated a high reading on our durometer since the shoe definitely feels firm. 

With a measurement of 34.4 HA, it's mainly appealing to those who prefer a firm, almost stone-hard running experience.

Salomon Speedcross 6 Midsole softness
Test results
Speedcross 6 34.4 HA
Average 26.3 HA
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 86 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
9.4 HA
Midsole softness (soft to firm)
50.3 HA

Midsole softness in cold

Note: a low durometer measurement equals a soft material, whereas a high measurement means it's firm.

In cold temperatures, the midsole retains a similar feel, and to quantify this, we remeasured it after 20 minutes in the freezer. The outcome was a slightly increased stiffness, registering at 37.8 HA.

Salomon Speedcross 6 Midsole softness in cold
Test results
Speedcross 6 37.8 HA
Average 32.4 HA
Compared to 82 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
11.8 HA
Midsole softness in cold (soft to firm)
55.0 HA

Difference in midsole softness in cold

The Energy Cell+ is an EVA-based midsole, typically expected to underperform in cold temperatures. However, we were pleasantly surprised to find only a 9.7% difference in stiffness.

Salomon Speedcross 6 Energy Cell

It's important to note, though, that being a notably firm midsole in mild temperatures means it becomes proportionally less hard than a softer foam in colder conditions.

Test results
Speedcross 6 9.7%
Average 27.1%
Compared to 82 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
0%
Difference in midsole softness in cold
100%

Stability

Lateral stability test

Employing a hard foam works wonders for stability, and the Speedcross 6 capitalizes on this.

The midsole slightly flares out at the heel for added support, while the insole is curved, creating a bathtub-like embrace for your feet. Overall, it offers a remarkably stable ride!

Torsional rigidity

The stiff sensation of the Speedcross 6 extends beyond just the upper to encompass the entire shoe. In our torsional rigidity assessment, it scored a 4 out of 5.

Test results
Speedcross 6 4
Average 3.5
Compared to 80 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Torsional rigidity
5

Heel counter stiffness

Similarly, the heel counter contributes to the overall experience by adding a stiff feel, enhancing stability.

This could potentially trade off some comfort, but it's a key factor in the shoe's support. We also rated it at a 4 out of 5.

Test results
Speedcross 6 4
Average 3.2
Compared to 78 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Heel counter stiffness
5

Midsole width in the forefoot

We were quite surprised to find that the shoe weighed less than 11 oz, considering its tank-like construction. But the reason became clear when we measured the midsole dimensions.

Salomon Speedcross 6 narrow

Measuring just 104.9 mm, Salomon has designed a narrow platform. This design choice aims for agility in corners and a nimble feel, while also keeping the weight down.

Salomon Speedcross 6 Midsole width in the forefoot
Test results
Speedcross 6 104.9 mm
Average 111.7 mm
Compared to 86 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
102.1 mm
Midsole width in the forefoot
126.0 mm

Midsole width in the heel

The heel, measuring 87.3 mm, is more on par with what's typical for the average trail shoe. This design makes sense as the shoe is specifically tailored for heel strikers.

Salomon Speedcross 6 Midsole width in the heel
Test results
Speedcross 6 87.3 mm
Average 89.7 mm
Compared to 86 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
77.2 mm
Midsole width in the heel
109.3 mm

Flexibility

Stiffness

Although the Speedcross 6 is quite stiff torsionally, it's surprisingly flexible longitudinally. In our 90-degree bend test, we only needed to apply 18.2N of force to bend the shoe to the required angle.

This is great news for those who need the shoe to double up for long walks or hikes, offering the right blend of flexibility and support.

Test results
Speedcross 6 18.2N
Average 29.3N
We use an average of four tests. The video shows one of those tests.
Compared to 86 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
10.5N
Stiffness
54.5N

Stiffness in cold

After placing the shoe in the freezer a second time to simulate cold conditions, we repeated the test. This time, the result was a slightly higher 23.4N of force required.

Test results
Speedcross 6 23.4N
Average 40.3N
Compared to 83 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
11.9N
Stiffness in cold
92.1N

Difference in stiffness in cold

This shows just a 28.8% difference from milder temperatures, once again surpassing the average shoe's performance. Kudos to Salomon for achieving such impressive results with an EVA compound.

Test results
Speedcross 6 28.8%
Average 38.2%
Compared to 83 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
0%
Difference in stiffness in cold
102%

Grip / Traction

Lug depth

As we mentioned earlier, the lugs on this shoe are gigantic. Measuring 5.8 mm, they are almost twice the average depth.

Salomon Speedcross 6 lugs

This design has a few implications. First and foremost, this shoe isn't made for easy, blazing-fast flat trails. Instead, with almost 6 mm of depth, these lugs are clearly designed for muddy, challenging terrains. The large gaps between them help clear mud, and their shape is also crafted to aid in this process.

Salomon Speedcross 6 Lug depth
Test results
Speedcross 6 5.8 mm
Average 3.5 mm
Compared to 86 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
1.7 mm
Lug depth
5.8 mm

Size and fit

Toebox width at the widest part

Given its narrow platform, we initially expected a tight upper, but we were pleasantly surprised.

Salomon Speedcross 6 upper

Measuring 103.4 mm, the upper is impressively wide, featuring a unique shape that excellently accommodates those with wide feet. Plus, there's an additional perk: Salomon also offers this shoe in a wide size option.

Salomon Speedcross 6 Toebox width at the widest part
Test results
Speedcross 6 103.4 mm
Average 98.8 mm
Compared to 86 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
92.0 mm
Toebox width at the widest part
104.9 mm

Toebox width at the big toe

The big toe area is exceptionally roomy, providing ample space for your toes to splay and move freely. We precisely measured it to be 79.5 mm, ensuring a comfortable and spacious fit.

Salomon Speedcross 6 Toebox width at the big toe
Test results
Speedcross 6 79.5 mm
Average 78.1 mm
Compared to 48 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
70.5 mm
Toebox width at the big toe
89.5 mm

Tongue: gusset type

Although the tongue isn't gusseted, it's not a significant issue in this shoe, thanks to its unique, closed design.

Salomon Speedcross 6 Tongue: gusset type
Test results
Speedcross 6 None

Comfort

Tongue padding

With a generous 8.6 mm of padding in the tongue, you can look forward to total comfort on your instep.

Salomon Speedcross 6 QuickLace

The Speedcross 6 comes with the famous Salomon QuickLace system, a feature many users really appreciate for saving precious seconds every time they gear up for a run.

Salomon Speedcross 6 Tongue padding
Test results
Speedcross 6 8.6 mm
Average 6.3 mm
Compared to 86 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
1.5 mm
Tongue padding
12.2 mm

Heel tab

Salomon opted out of adding a heel tab to the Speedcross 6. However, it's not essential for slipping your feet into the shoe, so its absence really boils down to aesthetic preferences.

Salomon Speedcross 6 Heel tab
Test results
Speedcross 6 None

Removable insole

The insole is removable, but there's a catch—third-party insoles won't feel the same as the Ortholite insole included with the shoe.

This is because the standard insole has a rare, flared shape that enhances comfort and stability.

Salomon Speedcross 6 Removable insole
Test results
Speedcross 6 Yes

Misc

Reflective elements

For a shoe designed for wild adventures where weight isn't a major constraint, it's disappointing that Salomon didn't incorporate any reflective elements.

Salomon Speedcross 6 Reflective elements
Test results
Speedcross 6 No