Salomon Sense Mantra
New trainer offers affordable performance
$120, 9.2 ounces, www.salomonrunning.com
In 2012, Salomon made a splash with its introduction of the S-Lab Sense, a flashy red-and-white, hyperlight (6.9 ounces), limited-edition trail-racing flat that would set you back 200 bills.
Now, for 2013, the company debuts an everyman’s version of the shoe called the Sense Mantra, which tips the scales at just over 9 ounces and drops 6 millimeters from heel-to-toe (as compared to 4 millimeters for the S-Lab Sense).
While the S-Lab Sense offered cat-like nimbleness with a flexible, minimal midsole, the Sense Mantra is more a workhorse trainer, with a supportive midsole that thwarts pointy rocks and protruding roots and a more substantial outsole suited for varied trail conditions.
The fit features trademark Salomon comfort, compliments of a cushy, stretchy, gusseted tongue/midfoot sleeve and the foot-hugging, pull-tab Quicklace system. The low ride encourages a natural stride and provides a nice trail feel.
A minor complaint is that the top laces can cover the lace pocket, making stuffing them a bit tedious. While the S-Lab Sense broke down fairly the quickly, the Sense Mantra looks to offer much greater durability, i.e. more miles for your buck.