Salomon Sense Pro Max

8.0 score
[Editors rating (8.0)] = (TheGearHunt) score (8.0)/10

Editor rating: 8.0 / 10
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Salomon Sense Pro Max Review Facts

For many years, serious trail runners have chosen Salomon shoes as a great option. The shoes have been used to run ultra-marathons such as the Western States and Leadville 100. The Sense Pro Max is excellent on technical trails.

It is a lighter model than the past one. This shoe is also an excellent option for short distances. A long slog up a 14,000-foot mountain or a short training run are activities suitable for the Sense Pro Max.

Ortholite patented Endofit, and Sensifit technologies are featured on the shoes. They make the shoes fit snuggly much like a glove. Bounce is provided over rocks, and the shoe is made exceptionally comfortable with 17mm of EnergyCell+. A favorite Salomon feature with many runners is the speed laces included on the Sense Pro Max.

Editor's Pros & Cons
  • Cozy
  • Light for a trail shoe
  • A long history of performance and reliability
  • Low drop
  • Snug, glove-like fit
  • Terrific outsole traction
  • Expensive
  • Not water protection


The outsole of the Sense Pro Max is incredible. It is made for extreme conditions such as ice and rocks. The shoes are trusty trail friends. They offer protection without losing the feel of the terrain below the runner’s feet.

TreadTreadTread is a feature Salomon get right every time. Not only does it provide excellent traction, but it also goes through mud nicely. A waffle-like outsole pattern picks up wet gunk and makes muddy conditions difficult.

The shoes become heavy, and runners have to stop and remove dirt from the bottom of the shoe. There are no deep crevices on the Salomon where mud can seep in. This feature makes a considerable difference when racing.

In storefront retail locations, Salomon sets up displays mimicking slick, rocky conditions. The company allows potential customers to see the shoes in action before buying them. It is a testament to the designers’ belief in their product. Wet Traction Contragrip technology is designed from durable material that offers maximum grip on wet, muddy, and dry surfaces. It gives added durability to high-wear areas.


The 17mm of EnergyCell+ provide extra comfort and offer excellent bounce when pushing off. Foam is standard in trail running shoes. Cheaper brands use foam that quickly wears down. Salomon used reliable and durable foam.

Eventually, it will wear down. At that time, the shoes need to be replaced. VIBE technology is present in the midsole. It is designed to provide comfortable cushioning underfoot and high-energy return.

A combination of EnergyCell+ and Opal cushioning compounds is the technology used. The midsole is specifically inserted with Opal cushion for comfortable and soft underfoot cushioning. It encourages a bouncy and well-cushioned running experience.

The compound is durable and lightweight. It performs well when weather conditions are extreme. The EnergyCell+ is made for high-energy return. The 17mm of foam provide added durability and reliable cushioning. The TPU Profeel Film is utilized in the shoe. It enhances the ground feel as it provided underfoot protection. The film provides consistency and stability in the midfoot area.


The Salomon Sense Pro Max upper has a wide toe box and is made with mesh. Breathability is strong. Swelling that occurs on long hikes and runs is manageable. The top is not too tight. It is comfortable across the top.

Salomon understands that laces can be a pain before and during a run. The lace eyelets are large. The Quicklace System means never worrying about shoes coming undone. It is easy for the toes of trail runners to hit the front of the toe box when heading down a mountain due to the dramatic forward motion.

It can be painful and cause aches and blisters. The shoe minimizes the impact. It offers a fit that is snug and keeps feet in place. Endofit and Sensifit technologies are used in the upper to secure the fit and enhance comfort. The foot is wrapped in the Sensifit overlays for a snug and secure fit. Endofit provides a seamless environment. It offers a sock-like comfortable fit.


Trail running shoes are not typically lightweight. They need to protect such things as pointy rocks. Designers attempted to solve the problem. Heavy shoes make the legs heavy. The shoe is still not light.

The version for mean weighs 10.4 ounces, and the model for women weighs 9.5 ounces. Those who think about cushion using protection to weight ratio feel the Sense Pro Max scores high on this metric. The weight is decent for the amount of cushioning provided.


The Salomon Sense Pro Max is made breathable with the mesh construction. It has the Ortholite sock liner that is often used in shoes that help prevent moisture but is not a substitute for a great sock.

The mesh upper drains well. The thick foam collar for the heel dries reasonably well also. 3D Stretch Air Mesh is used on the upper. It provides breathable covering while enhancing comfort. It provides a more personalized fit and hugs the foot comfortably.


The shoes were built to deliver maximum cushioning on the trail. Both Opals and EnergyCell+ provide comfort and stability. Foam forming the heel collar is thick which is comfortable. Vibe technology is responsible for the extremely high level of cushioning that mixes EnergyCell+ cushioning and soft Opal inserts to create vibration dampening properties. The layer of ProFeel film and extra high height stack offer protection from stone bruising without feeling disconnected from the trail.


The style for the Salomon Sense Pro Max is just so so. The few colorways available are generally monochromatic. Some are one color in front and a different one on the heel. There is a yellow style that has a black back.

Salomon has never been known for ‘loud’ shoe colors. More emphasis is placed on comfort and technology than style. Branding requires a powerful business strategy. Salomon has mastered branding. People who wear the brand are automatically thought to be faster and stronger than other runners, even those new to the trails.

That is the effect of a good brand. It gives off cues. The Salomon name does the heavy lifting in the style category. People look at the shoes and think they are great. Style is not the feature of most importance but is a bonus when functional shoes also look good.

Some reviewers do describe the two colors available for men and two for women as ‘loud’ and like that they stand out. The length of the Salomon Sense Pro Max is standard for running shoes. Its semi-curved shape conforms to the foot’s natural shape.


Because the Sense Pro Max is thoughtfully crafted and made with the best materials, the shoes hold up to extreme conditions. No shoe last forever, but the Sense Pro Max does not have to be replaced until used between 300 to 500 miles. A loyal following buys the brand time after time.

One reviewer critiqued the shoes after 75 miles of wear. There was no wear on the upper, and the wear on the upper and the wear on the outsole was extremely minimal. The reviewer predicts durability will permit 400 or more miles of use.


The Opals and EnergyCell+ in the Salomon Sense Pro Max protect from excessive vibration and shock which impacts the bones and muscles. On the front is a solid piece of rubber that prevents toe stubs particularly going downhill.

The shoes are not waterproof and do not protect on wet courses. The runner can end up with soggy, wet shoes and socks. No reflective material is on the shoes. Those who venture out in the dark need to consider wearing some other means of recognition such as a headlamp for precautionary measures.

A pair of gaiters would reduce pesky pebbles that get into the shoes. The ProFeel film and high stack height combination provide plenty of protection. The feel of the ground is somewhat muted which is not unusual for shoes with the cushioning found in the Sense Pro Max.


A vast amount of resources were used to create technologies that prevent excessive vibration and shock. Opals and EnergyCell+ have been the key. The shoes do not have flexibility in the arch. It is not meant to correct gait issues such as pronation.


The Sense Pro Max delivers terrific support over long runs. The 17mm of EnergyCell+ and firm Opal layer reduce vibrations and shock and provide a cushion. It is not a shoe intended for foot striking or pronation corrections.


The shoes are meant to be worn on trails. Running might be done up or down mountains or on flat dirt roads. The shoes work well on icy and slick trails. It features Smartlaces and Sensifit technologies. The shoe is snug on the foot which helps prevent annoying small pebbles from getting in the shoe.

It is not recommended for road work or treadmills. The shoes are too heavy for such activity. It rides well on dirt roads and transitions nicely to nearly all other types of terrain. One reviewer felt a shoe with deeper lugs should be considered for rocky, steep terrain or sloppy days.


Dependability and high-quality come at a hefty price. The Sense Pro Max is not a cheap shoe but is a low price to pay when cheaper brands do not provide the same support, protection, and comfort level. The MSRP is $150. When the cost per mile is calculated, the shoes are a decent value.


Extreme conditions such as ice were considered when manufacturing the shoes. The traction is top-notch. Trails having fine gravel that can cause a runner to slip are not a concern. The rubber outsole has a highly functional pattern.

Mud doesn’t stick in the deep crevices which prevent having to clean the shoes in the middle of a run. Salomon makes an outsole that is among the best in the industry. The Wet Traction ContraGrip is excellent.

It is semi-sticky for use on rocky terrain enough to grip without being a hindrance on smoother trails or roads. ContraGrip outsole provides reliable traction on various trails and under a variety of conditions.

The versatile traction and high amount of cushioning are meant to go any distance on a trail. Most users like the overall performance of the shoes. They provide efficient foot protection, durable cushioning, and reliable grip needed for trail running experiences.


Because the shoes have to be comfortable and supportive during extended trail runs, a thick midsole is required. Little flexibility is provided in the arch. The mesh construction and wide toe box allow the toes to wiggle if desired.


Excellent stability is required of trail shoes for climbing and descending mountains. It is especially important around the ankles. The Sense Pro Max does a solid job of providing stability. There is a little concern about how high the shoe comes up on the ankle. It could become unstable.


A six-mm drop is low in comparison to the average shoe having ten to 12-mm drop. Those who prefer a low heel drop do so because there is less room for the heel to strike the ground which can prevent injury to the knee. Science does not completely defend the supposition. Those who prefer a low heel drop find the Sense Pro Max to be an excellent option.

Key Features

* 17mm of Opals and EnergyCell+
* Excellent traction for rocky and icy terrain
* High-quality materials used
* Lighter than most in the class
* Low drop
* Speedlaces
* Well-crafted
* Wide toe box

Bottom Line

Repeat customers of Salomon find their shoes to be comfortable, durable, and reliable. Craftsmanship and materials are top-notch. The Sense Pro Max is a little different than what Salomon typically produces because it is lighter.

The shoes are still a trusty partner for simple trail runs or mountain conditions. Serious runners find the steep price tag worth it. Lightweight construction, durability, and comfort are additional features that satisfy users. The long-lasting cushioning make the shoe an excellent partner for long distance runs.