Verdict from 4 experts and 55 user reviews

8 reasons to buy

  • Comfort: Unlike most trail shoes, the Sense Ride 4 has a cushy foam that's "not spongy" and does a fantastic job dampening impact.  
  • Grip: It's excellent on almost all surfaces. It bites well on loose and hardpack trails, some snow and mud, wet and dry rock, gravelly and sandy terrains. 
  • Breathability: Trail runners say that they never felt "overly hot" in the shoe. 
  • Stability: The shoe's semi-firm midsole and reliable traction power surefootedness. As runners claim, the ride is very steady and predictable. 
  • Toe box: There is sufficient room for natural toe splay. 
  • Heel hold: Top-notch — this is how experts find the shoe's heel clutch. There's just enough padding in the heel to hold the foot in place. 
  • Fit: Thanks to the socklike upper and welded overlays, the midfoot security of the shoe is the "best in class." It's so dialed-in without having any pressure points. 
  • Gusseted tongue: It allows easy entry, comfort, and enhanced support. 

3 reasons not to buy

  • Poor lace lockdown: It's so hard to get the laces to the desired tightness. One runner even went as far as removing the lacing system and changing it to traditional laces just to get the right lockdown. 
  • Lace bites: Because the tongue is only "moderately padded," it doesn't protect the foot well enough from lace pressure.
  • Loose heel: Narrow-footed runners find the heel fit "a bit large." There are reports of their foot slipping around, especially when making quick movements or when trying to push up to go over some rocks or logs. 

Bottom line

It's quite apparent as to what the focus of the Sense Ride 4 from Salomon really is — to handle long runs with comfort. It's very versatile and when pushed, it easily handles faster paces. It may not be the best option for long-time or technical trail runners, but it's a valuable purchase for beginners who are still testing the waters. 

It's not an aggressive trail shoe, which means it can also handle some sessions on the road. As a matter of fact, it can pass as a road-to-trail shoe or a shoe for multi-terrain park runs. 

Tip: see the best trail running shoes.

Salomon Sense Ride 4: For the trail running newbies

Although not as soft as Hoka shoes, the Sense Ride 4 is also nowhere near rigid. Thanks to its Optivibe cushion, it sports a combination of impact protection, comfort, and responsiveness for a forgiving ride, especially for long-distance runners.

This is also the very reason why it's suitable for trail running beginners — it's not harsh, giving them ample time to adjust. Add in its not-so-aggressive yet versatile lug pattern, it's a shoe that offers unobtrusive stability on both the road and trail. 

Sense Ride 4 vs. 3: 'Sensible' upgrade

There's not much change employed by the Salomon Sense Ride 4 from version 3. The outsole and midsole remain untouched, and the updates are only focused on the upper. These changes, altogether, create not only a sleeker look but also shave some weight off the shoe (note: the shoe is now 0.45 oz/12 g lighter in men's US 10):

  • From having an innerlay/outerlay construction, the shoe now sports welded overlays for better structure and foothold.
  • It has a snugger-fitting upper for a more dialed-in, precise fit. This also the very reason why it looks more streamlined. 
  • The heel counter is narrower-looking, higher, and is much more padded. This is to create a better fit for runners who have skinny ankles. 

Overall, Salomon fans who loved the third version of the Sense Ride series will be happy with the Sense Ride 4. They're virtually the same shoe, only that the 4 is more "performance-oriented" with its lighter weight and better fit.  

The Sense Ride 4 as a cushion-oriented shoe: What is it for? 

It's not a speedster like the S-Lab Pulsar. But again, if you push it, it can handle some tempo paces. With its cushion-centered specs, it's perfect for your high-mileage runs and offers just enough protection and comfort on long descents over hard rock or pavement. 

Rankings

How Salomon Sense Ride 4 ranks compared to all other shoes
Top 21% trail running shoes
All trail running shoes
Top 36% Salomon running shoes
All Salomon running shoes
Top 23% neutral running shoes
All neutral running shoes

Popularity

The current trend of Salomon Sense Ride 4.
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Author
Jens Jakob Andersen
Jens Jakob Andersen

Jens Jakob is a fan of short distances with a 5K PR at 15:58 minutes. Based on 35 million race results, he's among the fastest 0.2% runners. Jens Jakob previously owned a running store, when he was also a competitive runner. His work is regularly featured in The New York Times, Washington Post, BBC and the likes as well as peer-reviewed journals. Finally, he has been a guest on +30 podcasts on running.

jens@runrepeat.com