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Preview: Salomon S/Lab Sense Ultra 2 || Tweaks to a best-seller

The Salomon Sense Ultra 2 will be released in March 2018. The shoe generally remains the same. Two of the most notable changes are visible in this photo: a more robust TPU exoskeleton, and four external “wings” (two on each side) to decouple the lacing system.

If I was forced to choose just one shoe for all of my runs, I would pick the current Salomon S/Lab Sense Ultra (read my review). Most importantly, it fits my small-volume feet. Beyond that, it excels on most surfaces and for most distances: from cruiser pea gravel to washed-out peak trails; and from 3-minute VO2 intervals to ultras. I wore it for the Bighorn 100, and will probably beg Salomon for a fresh pair for UTMB next month.

Apparently these sentiments are widely shared: the S/Lab Sense Ultra has become Salomon’s top-selling S/Lab product of all time.

Some might say that, “If it’s not broken…” Yet at Outdoor Retailer last month, Salomon was showcasing the second generation, the S/Lab Sense Ultra 2. Thankfully, the changes are mostly tweaks, not wholesale changes.

Not changing

The next iteration of the Sense Ultra — which will be released in March 2018 — makes no changes to:

  • Stack Height: 26mm/18mm
  • Drop: 8mm drop
  • Outsole: Premium Wet Traction Contagrip
  • Last and volume
  • Endofit internal wrap
  • MSRP: $180

The Sense Ultra’s excellent outsole, made with Premium Wet Traction Contragrip, will remain the same for the second generation.

Changes

Without wear-testing the shoe, I can only speculate about the impact of changes to the second-gen Sense Ultra.

A PU insert (“EnergySave”) has been added under the forefoot, instead of the midsole simply being dual-density EVA. This more resilient material should provide longer-lasting cushion, during both singular efforts and throughout the shoe’s lifespan — it shouldn’t feel “thin” underfoot as quickly. The firmness of the PU is apparently about the same as the old EVA, and therefore should not change the shoe’s ride.

Four external “wings” now wrap the midfoot, two on each side. This decouples the lacing eyelets, so that the tension is more dispersed and the fit becomes more dynamic.

Finally, the upper is beefier, with a thicker and more extensive TPU exoskeleton. Durability, lateral control, and “wet weight” should all improve.

The Sense Ultra 2 upper has four external midfoot wings and has a more extensive TPU exoskeleton.

Because of these three changes, and perhaps several less obvious ones, too, the second-generation Sense Ultra has put on weight. It’s now 300 g (10.6 oz) in Men’s size 9, versus 275 g (9.7 oz) for the current version. Per Jack Daniels, this adds 2 minutes 40 seconds to a 100-mile time, although it’s very difficult to look at this weight increase in a vacuum.

Have questions about the Sense Ultra 2? Leave a comment. If I don’t know the answer, I can get it.

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5 Responses to Preview: Salomon S/Lab Sense Ultra 2 || Tweaks to a best-seller

  1. Jacob D August 7, 2017 at 12:29 pm #

    Thanks for the quick update. The 2017 Sense Ultra is a really nice shoe, I’m excited for these updates. March 2018 feels like a long time from now though!

  2. Jeff Valliere August 7, 2017 at 2:19 pm #

    Bummed the weight went up, but still very eager to get a review pair. I have to say the current version is co-favorite shoe of the year so far, sharing top spot with the Hoka Speedgoat 2 (different applications, but both amazing).

  3. david August 24, 2017 at 11:36 am #

    i have been running with salomon s-lab shoes for few years and love them. however, sense ultra and sense 6 sg, both shoe had the same problem where the nylon lace eyelet started tearing and eventually cut most of the way with just 2 mm left. previous generations did not have the nylon eyelets and did not have this problem. do you know if salomon folks know this to be a common problem, and if so, have they addressed it for 2018

    • Andrew Skurka August 24, 2017 at 2:51 pm #

      Don’t know. My Sense Ultras have 350+ miles on them, and I haven’t noticed this problem, though I can definitely understand why it’s happening — nylon-sheathed laces will cut nylon lace loops over time.

  4. Jeff Valliere August 24, 2017 at 3:05 pm #

    I have not had this issue either with my Sense Ultras, but everyone works their shoes over a bit different depending on the individual foot, gait/running style, terrain, etc…. Looking forward to version 2.

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