Our verdict

In our lab tests, the Salomon Supercross 4 stood out with its unique design, featuring an enormous 15.2-mm heel-to-toe drop and a narrow heel, tailored for speed in cornering but lacking in forefoot cushioning and stability. We were impressed by its exceptional durability and grip on challenging terrains, yet its heavy weight seemed at odds with the agility suggested by its design. Despite this, we believe it's a good choice for heel strikers seeking a versatile trail shoe capable of handling both hiking and running in the mountains.

Pros

  • Excellent grip on diverse terrains like mud or snow
  • Versatile for walking, hiking, and running
  • Secure and comfortable fit with QuickLace system
  • Compatible with custom insoles or OTC orthotics
  • Tailored for heel strikers
  • Brilliant on steep inclines due to effective lug design
  • Nice durability

Cons

  • Insufficient cushioning in the forefoot
  • Stability issues in the heel area due to narrow design
  • Potentially uncomfortable high drop

Audience verdict

85
Good!

Who should buy

In our opinion, the Salomon Supercross 4 is an excellent choice for:

  • Heel strikers who have a neutral gait and are in search of a trail shoe with a significant heel-to-toe drop.
  • Loyal Salomon fans seeking a trail shoe with a softer midsole than most of their models.
  • Outdoor enthusiasts who often run and sometimes hike in muddy or snowy conditions and need a shoe with reliable traction for these environments.

Salomon Supercross 4

Who should NOT buy

We determined that the Salomon Supercross 4 might not be the ideal pick for heel strikers with stability concerns, mainly due to its extremely narrow heel.

For runners in this category, a trail shoe with a broader heel, like the Hoka Mafate Speed 4, could be a better option, especially since it also does a great job on technical terrain.

Salomon Supercross 4

Furthermore, our analysis revealed that the Supercross 4 is not quite suited for midfoot and forefoot strikers. The shoe's forefoot area is quite thin, and it features a significantly high heel-to-toe drop. For those seeking a more balanced cushioning, we suggest considering the Saucony Peregrine 13.

Breathability

The Supercross 4's upper initially didn't seem promising in terms of breathability due to its lack of visible ventilation holes. This set our expectations quite low as we began our lab testing.

However, the shoe managed to deliver a surprise during our smoke test, scoring a respectable 3 out of 5. This was a notably better result than we had anticipated, hinting at some breathability potential despite the initial impression.

In the next phase of our assessment, we moved to examining the shoe under a strong light. Although the shoe lacks big ventilation holes, we observed some extra-small glimpses of light passing through it.

This indicated that some air could make its way through the upper, which explained the average-at-best breathability score we observed in the smoke test.

Salomon Supercross 4 microscope

To delve deeper into the upper's structure, we turned to the microscope for a closer inspection.

Salomon Supercross 4

Here, we discovered an ultra-thin mesh characterized by tiny gaps. These gaps were the pathways for air to escape, but their minuscule size was so limiting that they were barely visible even under microscopic examination.

Our final step involved a manual check of the mesh for elasticity. This would help us understand if breathability might improve with use as the material stretched. However, we found no elasticity in the mesh, leading to the conclusion that the breathability of the Supercross 4 is unlikely to increase over time.

Test results
Supercross 4 3
Average 3.3
Compared to 78 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Breathability
5

Durability

Toebox durability

With shoes that typically have subpar durability, we often hope for better results, so we eagerly fired up the Dremel for our rigorous test.

Fortunately, the Salomon exceeded our expectations thanks to its protective layer, impressively earning a 4 out of 5 in this challenging test. This remarkable performance places the shoe among the most durable we've ever evaluated in our lab.

Salomon Supercross 4 Toebox durability
Test results
Supercross 4 4
Average 3
Compared to 58 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Toebox durability
5

Heel padding durability

But hold on, because the shoe continues to impress in the durability department. It's not just good in the toebox, but also excels in the heel area.

When we subjected the heel to our back-to-back Dremel test, the results in our lab were unanimous—a perfect 5 out of 5. This performance makes the Supercross 4 a standout choice for those who value long-lasting wear in this area.

Salomon Supercross 4 Heel padding durability
Test results
Supercross 4 5
Average 2.8
Compared to 56 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Heel padding durability
5

Outsole hardness

Shifting our focus to the outsole, we were keen to see if Salomon also mastered durability with its Contagrip rubber.

Our first step was to assess the rubber's hardness. The result was a fairly average 86.0 HC. 

Salomon Supercross 4 Outsole hardness
Test results
Supercross 4 86.0 HC
Average 85.3 HC
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 101 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
72.5 HC
Outsole hardness
95.0 HC

Outsole durability

For the last durability test, we brought out our Dremel for the third round.

The outcome was a mere 0.7-mm indentation on the lug, once again demonstrating exceptional durability!

Salomon Supercross 4 Outsole durability
Test results
Supercross 4 0.7 mm
Average 0.9 mm
Compared to 51 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
0.0 mm
Outsole wear
2.0 mm

Outsole thickness

With an impressive 2.5-mm thickness in the outsole, you can be absolutely assured that if you ever switch from these shoes, it won't be due to wear and tear in this area.

The robust Contagrip rubber guarantees long-lasting performance across all terrains.

Salomon Supercross 4 Outsole thickness
Test results
Supercross 4 2.5 mm
Average 2.4 mm
Compared to 101 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
0.9 mm
Outsole thickness
6.5 mm

Weight

We found that the Salomon Supercross 4 disappointingly tips the scales at a hefty 11.1 oz (315g), making it far from a lightweight option.

Surprisingly, it's even heavier than its big sibling, the Speedcross 6, despite having less foam underfoot. This added weight could be a drawback for those seeking an agile trail running experience.

Salomon Supercross 4 Weight
Test results
Supercross 4 11.11 oz (315g)
Average 10.34 oz (293g)
Compared to 101 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
7.51 oz (213g)
Weight
13.37 oz (379g)

Cushioning

Heel stack

In the heel, we measured a stack height of 35.1 mm, indicating an great amount of cushioning underfoot. This is particularly beneficial for heel strikers, who make up the majority of runners.

The generous cushioning ensures comfort and impact protection even during long runs but only if you strike the ground with the heel.

Salomon Supercross 4 Heel stack
Test results
Supercross 4 35.1 mm
Average 32.2 mm
Compared to 101 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
16.1 mm
Heel stack
42.4 mm

Forefoot stack

However, the forefoot of the shoe is extremely thin. With a meager thickness of only 19.9 mm, it falls short for long-distance running, especially for forefoot or midfoot strikers.

The thick outsole further compounds the issue by leaving very little foam for cushioning, as you can see in the picture below.

Salomon Supercross 4 Forefoot stack
Test results
Supercross 4 19.9 mm
Average 24.4 mm
Compared to 101 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
15.2 mm
Forefoot stack
33.9 mm

Drop

As you might have inferred from our earlier measurements, the heel-to-toe drop in this wedge-shaped shoe is BRUTAL.

With a staggering offset of 15.2 mm, it ranks as one of the most pronounced we've encountered in the lab.

Salomon Supercross 4 Drop
Test results
Supercross 4 15.2 mm
Average 7.8 mm
Compared to 100 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
-0.1 mm
Drop
17.3 mm

Insole thickness

The insole measures a fairly standard 4.0 mm. However, it's worth mentioning that it's an Ortholite insole, which is a notable inclusion for a mid-range Salomon shoe, rather than a top-tier model. 

Salomon Supercross 4 Insole thickness
Test results
Supercross 4 4.0 mm
Average 4.7 mm
Compared to 101 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
2.7 mm
Insole thickness
9.8 mm

Midsole softness

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

Salomon typically caters to fans of firm midsoles, so our durometer reading of 19.3 HA taken directly on the EnergyCell foam was a surprise in the lab.

It indicates a more balanced midsole—neither plush and cloud-like nor overly firm. Expect a ride that strikes a comfortable middle ground.

Salomon Supercross 4 Midsole softness
Test results
Supercross 4 19.3 HA
Average 23.0 HA
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 77 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
9.1 HA
Midsole softness (soft to firm)
39.0 HA

Midsole softness in cold

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

To gauge the shoe's performance in cold temperatures, we placed it in our freezer for 20 minutes, then conducted our standard procedure of four consecutive durometer tests for accuracy.

Post-freezing, the shoe registered at 23.6 HA.

Salomon Supercross 4 Midsole softness in cold
Test results
Supercross 4 23.6 HA
Average 28.7 HA
Compared to 77 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
11.8 HA
Midsole softness in cold (soft to firm)
48.4 HA

Difference in midsole softness in cold

With only a 22.6% increase, it's clear that the shoe maintains its feel, ensuring that winter runs won't pose any significant changes in cushioning.

Test results
Supercross 4 22.6%
Average 26.8%
Compared to 77 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
0%
Difference in midsole softness in cold
100%

Stability

Lateral stability test

The Supercross 4 doesn't primarily focus on stability, so it's best not to anticipate a supportive ride.

That said, we found its performance satisfactory in multiple terrains, particularly in forefoot landings, though it was less impressive in the heel.

Torsional rigidity

Upon testing the torsional rigidity by twisting the shoe, we discovered it was surprisingly flexible!

Scoring just a 2/5 on our scale, this flexibility enhances comfort and proves advantageous when going through tight corners.

Test results
Supercross 4 2
Average 3.5
Compared to 95 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Torsional rigidity
5

Heel counter stiffness

The heel counter also exhibits considerable flexibility, contributing to the shoe's less stable feel in the rearfoot area. We assigned it a similar flexibility rating of 2/5.

Test results
Supercross 4 2
Average 3.2
Compared to 93 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Heel counter stiffness
5

Midsole width in the forefoot

When we first unboxed the shoe in the lab, it was evident that it followed Salomon's classic narrow design. To confirm this, we took ultra-precise measurements in the lab.

The maximum width of the forefoot measured 112.5 mm, aligning with the average width for trail running shoes.

Salomon Supercross 4 Midsole width in the forefoot
Test results
Supercross 4 112.5 mm
Average 111.9 mm
Compared to 101 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
102.1 mm
Midsole width in the forefoot
126.0 mm

Midsole width in the heel

Despite its purpose for blazing-fast cornering, at just 85.7 mm, the heel is very narrow and compromises its stability.

This design choice seems really weird with the substantial heel-to-toe drop of this shoe, which targets heel strikers.

Salomon Supercross 4 Midsole width in the heel
Test results
Supercross 4 85.7 mm
Average 89.6 mm
Compared to 101 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
77.2 mm
Midsole width in the heel
109.3 mm

Flexibility

Stiffness

In our longitudinal flexibility test, which involves bending the shoe to a 90-degree angle, we discovered that just 17.5N of force was required to reach the desired point.

This low score signals the shoe's exceptional flexibility, making it extremely comfortable for both walking and hiking. And its impressive flexibility in all directions can be largely attributed to the absence of a rock plate.

Test results
Supercross 4 17.5N
Average 28.4N
We use an average of four tests. The video shows one of those tests.
Compared to 101 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
10.5N
Stiffness
54.5N

Stiffness in cold

We did the same experiment as with the cushioning—20 minutes at freezing temps and then re-measured the shoe. This time, the stiffness test delivered a 21.5N result.

Test results
Supercross 4 21.5N
Average 38.4N
Compared to 98 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
11.9N
Stiffness in cold
92.1N

Difference in stiffness in cold

That's just a 22.9% increase, an impressive achievement for this midsole ensuring that, regardless of the cold weather out there, the Supercross 4 won't feel like a brick underfoot.

Test results
Supercross 4 22.9%
Average 35.3%
Compared to 98 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
0%
Difference in stiffness in cold
102%

Grip / Traction

Lug depth

Designed for technical trails and steep descents on loose terrain, the 4.2-mm lug depth of the Supercross 4 seems the right choice. While it might struggle slightly in the toughest mud and snow conditions, this outsole works great in most scenarios.

Salomon Supercross 4 lugs

Most of the Contagrip outsole's lugs are chevron-shaped and strategically positioned for enhanced traction, truly make a difference.

Salomon Supercross 4 Lug depth
Test results
Supercross 4 4.2 mm
Average 3.6 mm
Compared to 101 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
1.7 mm
Lug depth
5.8 mm

Size and fit

Toebox width at the widest part

Salomon, famous for its snug-fitting, performance-focused uppers, led us to expect a narrower fit.

Salomon Supercross 4 upper

However, measuring a generous 99.5 mm in the widest part of the toebox, the Supercross 4 pleasantly surprised us with its unexpectedly spacious design.

Salomon Supercross 4 Toebox width at the widest part
Test results
Supercross 4 99.5 mm
Average 98.7 mm
Compared to 101 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
92.0 mm
Toebox width at the widest part
104.9 mm

Toebox width at the big toe

When we checked the big toe area of the shoe, we encountered a disappointment. The measurement came to just 71.2 mm, which means there's not much space for your toes to move freely.

If having plenty of room for toe splay is important to you, we recommend considering other options, such as the New Balance Fresh Foam X Hierro V7.

Salomon Supercross 4 Toebox width at the big toe
Test results
Supercross 4 71.2 mm
Average 79.0 mm
Compared to 63 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
70.5 mm
Toebox width at the big toe
92.1 mm

Tongue: gusset type

The absence of a gusseted tongue in the Supercross 4 is disappointing, especially for a trail running shoe. But it's important to remember, this isn't a high-end model for Salomon, so some premium elements might be missing.

Salomon Supercross 4 Tongue: gusset type
Test results
Supercross 4 None

Comfort

Tongue padding

The tongue of the Supercross 4, measuring 7.0 mm, offers ample padding—perhaps a tad more than necessary given the shoe's weight.

Salomon Supercross 4 tongue

The Supercross 4 features Salomon's QuickLace system, which divides opinion—some users adore it, while others not so much. You have the option to replace it with standard laces.

Nonetheless, this thickness means excellent news for those who often experience discomfort in the instep area, as it ensures added comfort.

Salomon Supercross 4 Tongue padding
Test results
Supercross 4 7.0 mm
Average 6.4 mm
Compared to 101 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
1.5 mm
Tongue padding
12.2 mm

Heel tab

The Supercross 4 features a handy pull tab in the Achilles area, making it a breeze to slip your feet into the shoe.

Salomon Supercross 4 Heel tab
Test results
Supercross 4 Pull tab

Removable insole

The insole in the Supercross 4 is removable, allowing for easy replacement if necessary. Bear in mind that not all Salomon shoes allow for this possibility.

Also, as previously mentioned, the insole it's made by Ortholite, an American brand known for its eco-friendly and moisture-wicking insoles.

Salomon Supercross 4 Removable insole
Test results
Supercross 4 Yes

Misc

Reflective elements

We didn't expected this one. Salomon chose to forgo reflective elements in a shoe designed for adventures.

Salomon Supercross 4 Reflective elements
Test results
Supercross 4 No