Our verdict

Our extensive trials with the Salomon Speedcross 6 GTX revealed it as an exceptional iteration of this saga, maintaining the core attributes of agility, durability, cushioning, and superior grip of its predecessor. We discovered that the Gore-Tex membrane's incorporation does add slightly to the shoe's weight and price, yet it offers significant benefits when we're tackling wet terrains, dealing with frequent rain, or encountering moist conditions.

Pros

  • Fully functional Gore-Tex membrane
  • Ample cushioning for long adventures
  • Excels in challenging, technical terrain
  • Rapidly sheds mud
  • Agile and tenacious grip on twisted trails
  • Remarkable durability
  • Ideal for heel strikers

Cons

  • Completely lacks breathability
  • Midsole could feel overly firm for some
  • Exceptionally heavy

Audience verdict

83
Good!

Who should buy

We believe the Salomon Speedcross 6 GTX is an excellent pick for:

  • Trail enthusiasts in search of great grip and reliably dry feet when tackling wet conditions.
  • Devotees of the standard Speedcross model looking for a reliable, waterproof variant.
  • Adventurers tackling technical trails and river crossings, needing a Gore-Tex shoe that endures long distances.

Salomon Speedcross 6 GTX

Who should NOT buy

If your primary activities are walking or hiking rather than running, we suggest considering a GoreTex hiking boot/shoe over the Speedcross 6 GTX. Options like the Hoka Anacapa Mid GTX for a taller boot with fantastic cushioning or the Merrell Moab 3 GTX for a versatile hiking shoe with a Vibram outsole might suit your needs better.

For those who don't frequently encounter cold temperatures or water, the Salomon Speedcross 6 GTX may not be the ideal choice. Its Gore-Tex membrane, while great for waterproofing, offers zero breathability as we found out in the lab.

Salomon Speedcross 6 GTX

In such cases, we think that a fairly priced alternative with excellent grip, such as the Merrell Nova 3, could be a more interesting choice.

Breathability

When we evaluated the non-GTX Salomon Speedcross 6, it only earned a disappointing 1 out of 5 in our breathability tests. So, it's no surprise that the Gore-Tex version follows suit.

Our smoke test confirmed our suspicions—this shoe's breathability is so limited it could almost score a zero. However, we rank from 1 to 5, so it's a 1!

This is a common issue with all Gore-Tex shoes. Despite claims of breathable waterproof membranes, our tests show they allow air to escape at a very minimal rate, which our light test also confirmed.

Salomon Speedcross 6 GTX microscope

Under the microscope, we observed one of the densest engineered mesh uppers to date.

Salomon Speedcross 6 GTX

Finally, when we felt the upper, its lack of stretchiness seemed appropriate for a GTX shoe, focusing on protection and waterproofing over flexibility.

Test results
Speedcross 6 GTX 1
Average 3.3
Compared to 78 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Breathability
5

Durability

Toebox durability

Given the multiple protective layers and thick, waterproof upper of the Speedcross 6 GTX, we anticipated exceptional durability.

Our expectations were met, as evidenced by our first Dremel test, where it earned a remarkable 4 out of 5. This score places it among the most durable shoes on the market, surpassing the majority of its competitors.

Salomon Speedcross 6 GTX Toebox durability
Test results
Speedcross 6 GTX 4
Average 3
Compared to 58 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Toebox durability
5

Heel padding durability

The heel area of the Speedcross 6 GTX showcases significant improvement, a thrilling development especially when considering the non-GTX version's modest 1 out of 5 score.

For those who tend to wear down their shoes in the heel area, the Gore-Tex version excels with a perfect 5 out of 5 score!

Salomon Speedcross 6 GTX Heel padding durability
Test results
Speedcross 6 GTX 5
Average 2.8
Compared to 56 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Heel padding durability
5

Outsole hardness

In our lab tests, Salomon's Contagrip outsoles typically show up as quite hard rubber, and the Speedcross 6 GTX is no exception, clocking in at 87.0 HC on our durometer.

This leaves us wondering—will this impressive hardness equate to real-world durability?

Salomon Speedcross 6 GTX Outsole hardness
Test results
Speedcross 6 GTX 87.0 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

Regrettably, our tests on the Speedcross 6 GTX's Contagrip lugs didn't go as hoped. With a notable 1.4 mm indentation left by our durability test, the outcome falls short of expectations.

Salomon Speedcross 6 GTX Outsole durability
Test results
Speedcross 6 GTX 1.4 mm
Average 0.9 mm
Compared to 51 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
0.0 mm
Outsole wear
2.0 mm

Outsole thickness

Although the outsole is quite thin at 1.5 mm, we don't anticipate premature wear being an issue, thanks to the robust, 5-mm lugs. We'll explore more about these lugs further in this lab review.

Salomon Speedcross 6 GTX Outsole thickness
Test results
Speedcross 6 GTX 1.5 mm
Average 2.4 mm
Compared to 101 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
0.9 mm
Outsole thickness
6.5 mm

Weight

The standard Speedcross 6 already had some heft to it, but slapping on the Gore-Tex membrane tacked on an extra 1.1 oz (29g).

Now, we're looking at a total weight of 11.45 oz (325g), which really tips the scales for a trail running shoe.

Salomon Speedcross 6 GTX Weight
Test results
Speedcross 6 GTX 11.46 oz (325g)
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

We found a stack height of 37.0 mm in the rearfoot area.

Salomon Speedcross 6 GTX heel

This way Salomon ensures that all heel strikers, even the heaviest, have ample cushioning underfoot with the Speedcross 6.

Salomon Speedcross 6 GTX Heel stack
Test results
Speedcross 6 GTX 37.0 mm
Average 32.2 mm
Compared to 101 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
16.1 mm
Heel stack
42.4 mm

Forefoot stack

We conducted another precise measurement in the forefoot with our calliper and discovered a total stack height of 25.8 mm.

This level of cushioning is more than adequate to maintain comfort during even the longest adventures.

Salomon Speedcross 6 GTX Forefoot stack
Test results
Speedcross 6 GTX 25.8 mm
Average 24.4 mm
Compared to 101 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
15.2 mm
Forefoot stack
33.9 mm

Drop

The substantial 11.2-mm heel-to-toe drop clearly positions this shoe as ideal for rearfoot strikers and those who often experience calf or Achilles issues. Its wedge-shaped design effectively unloads stress from these areas.

Salomon Speedcross 6 GTX Drop
Test results
Speedcross 6 GTX 11.2 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, at 6.6 mm, is slightly slimmer than its non-GTX counterpart, likely an effort by Salomon to shave off a bit of weight. And we think that going for an even thinner one would be the right call in this shoe.

Salomon Speedcross 6 GTX Insole thickness
Test results
Speedcross 6 GTX 6.6 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.

If you're a fan of firm midsoles, the EnergyCell foam of the Speedcross 6 will be right up your alley. However, for others, it might feel as hard as concrete.

We noticed its firmness during all of our test runs and confirmed this with a durometer test in the lab. We recorded a 32.4 HA result, indicating that it's indeed designed for those who prefer a traditional, stable feel underfoot.

Salomon Speedcross 6 GTX Midsole softness
Test results
Speedcross 6 GTX 32.4 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 assess the shoe's performance in cold temperatures, we placed it in our freezer for 20 minutes and then retested it with the durometer. After this cold test, the shoe registered at 35.8 HA.

Salomon Speedcross 6 GTX Midsole softness in cold
Test results
Speedcross 6 GTX 35.8 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

The Speedcross 6 GTX boasts a high, sock-like upper, yet the tongue underneath isn't gusseted.

Test results
Speedcross 6 GTX 10.4%
Average 26.8%
Compared to 77 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
0%
Difference in midsole softness in cold
100%

Stability

Lateral stability test

It's a letdown for us that Salomon completely skipped out on adding any reflective elements to the Speedcross 6 GTX. In a shoe like this, some reflective detailing wouldn't just be nice, it's pretty much expected for safety.

Torsional rigidity

One of the key factors behind the shoe's impressive stability, as we found in our tests, is its torsional rigidity. Our manual assessment revealed that it's as rigid—scoring 5/5—as many shoes with carbon plates, even though it doesn't have one.

Test results
Speedcross 6 GTX 5
Average 3.5
Compared to 95 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Torsional rigidity
5

Heel counter stiffness

The heel also ranks high on the stiffness scale, scoring 4/5 in our test. This level of stiffness is essential, especially since the shoe is designed for challenging terrain and fast descents with tight corners.

Test results
Speedcross 6 GTX 4
Average 3.2
Compared to 93 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Heel counter stiffness
5

Midsole width in the forefoot

Salomon is renowned for making narrow trail shoes, and the Speedcross 6 GTX continues this trend.

Measuring 104.6 mm, it's clear this isn't a shoe designed for set-and-forget easy runs. Instead, it's built for action, demanding fast-paced cornering to fully utilise its agility.

Salomon Speedcross 6 GTX Midsole width in the forefoot
Test results
Speedcross 6 GTX 104.6 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

The heel measures 88.8 mm, falling in line with most shoes and landing in the average range.

Those used to wider heels might find this a bit narrow. However, it's important to note that the firm midsole and stiff platform mean a larger landing area isn't necessary for stability.

Salomon Speedcross 6 GTX Midsole width in the heel
Test results
Speedcross 6 GTX 88.8 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

The shoe is incredibly stiff torsionally, but surprisingly, it's much more flexible longitudinally. In our 90-degree bend test, we only needed to exert 24.1N of force to bend the shoe. This is fantastic for those who want the shoe as a walking or hiking companion.

Test results
Speedcross 6 GTX 24.1N
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 conducted the same test under cold temperatures, just as we did with the midsole. In this scenario, the shoe was slightly stiffer, requiring 32.5N to bend.

Test results
Speedcross 6 GTX 32.5N
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 a 35.3% increase, suggesting the shoe will feel stiffer in freezing temperatures, but it's not a major concern.

However, we were hoping for a better performance, especially considering the shoe's impressive results in the previous cold test.

Test results
Speedcross 6 GTX 35.3%
Average 35.3%
Compared to 98 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
0%
Difference in stiffness in cold
102%

Grip / Traction

Lug depth

During our lab review, we've mentioned that the Speedcross 6 GTX is designed for challenging terrain, not smooth trails.

Salomon Speedcross 6 GTX lugs

This is evident in its massive 5.0-mm lugs, most of them chevron-shaped to enhance downhill and uphill traction, even during sharp turns.

Our experience with the shoe's grip was great, consistently delivering on muddy and wet terrains.

Salomon Speedcross 6 GTX Lug depth
Test results
Speedcross 6 GTX 5.0 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

While the shoe isn't particularly wide overall, we were pleasantly surprised by the spacious toebox in the medial zone. At its widest point, we measured a generous 101.0 mm, comfortably exceeding the average shoe's dimensions.

Salomon Speedcross 6 GTX Toebox width at the widest part
Test results
Speedcross 6 GTX 101.0 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

The big toe area narrows more than we expected, with a measurement of 75.2 mm.

Salomon Speedcross 6 GTX

The shoe's shape is quite unique, but it should still accommodate most runners comfortably.

Salomon Speedcross 6 GTX Toebox width at the big toe
Test results
Speedcross 6 GTX 75.2 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 Speedcross 6 GTX boasts a high, sock-like upper, yet the tongue underneath isn't gusseted.

Salomon Speedcross 6 GTX Tongue: gusset type
Test results
Speedcross 6 GTX Sock like

Comfort

Tongue padding

The tongue, featuring a generous 8.1 mm padding, ensures complete comfort in the instep area, regardless of how tightly you pull Salomon's QuickLace system. 

Salomon Speedcross 6 GTX tongue

The tongue also includes a convenient finger-loop pull tab, offering easier adjustment and a better fit before each run.

Salomon Speedcross 6 GTX Tongue padding
Test results
Speedcross 6 GTX 8.1 mm
Average 6.4 mm
Compared to 101 trail running shoes
Number of shoes
1.5 mm
Tongue padding
12.2 mm

Heel tab

There's no heel tab, but we didn't feel the need for one due to the shoe's design and ease of putting it on.

Besides, with the already high weight of this GTX version, adding extra ounces seems unnecessary.

Salomon Speedcross 6 GTX Heel tab
Test results
Speedcross 6 GTX None

Removable insole

The GTX version also allows for insole removal. However, swapping in a different insole won't offer the same experience.

The unique, flared design of the original Ortholite insole, which is unusual in third-party insoles, is a key factor in the shoe's feel and stability in the rearfoot area.

Salomon Speedcross 6 GTX Removable insole
Test results
Speedcross 6 GTX Yes

Misc

Reflective elements

It's a letdown for us that Salomon completely skipped out on adding any reflective elements to the Speedcross 6 GTX. In a shoe like this, some reflective detailing wouldn't just be nice, it's pretty much expected for safety.

Salomon Speedcross 6 GTX Reflective elements
Test results
Speedcross 6 GTX No