Salomon Wings Flyte 2
Salomon Wings Flyte 2 Review Facts
Anyone who lives in a hilly area likely knows that awkward feeling of running downhill on a trail during a run, but they do not want to sacrifice their time goals to slow down for safety. The Salomon Wings Flyte 2 running shoes are a high-drop shoe engineered to safely take you downhill without sacrificing your speed. Likewise, these shoes have plenty of cushioning for your feet, protection for your toes, and quick and easy drawstring style laces to get you ready and out the door quickly as you make your way.
Editor's Pros & Cons
- Downhill stability
- Breathable mesh uppers
- Cord laces for efficiency
- Heel-strike fit
- Not moisture-wick
- Not water-resistant
The typically brightly colored outsole of these shoes is made of a combination of two different kinds of contagrip compounds that are molded into an almost cleat-like sort of serrated design in order to keep your traction under control. The compounds are designed for dry and wet weather, called ‘high abrasion’ and ‘wet traction’ contagrip, respectively, and at their core they are rubber in nature. Sure-footedness is a given no matter where you take them, no matter what time of year. These shoes are designed with a heel strike biomechanical fit in mind, so heel strikers may rejoice in the comfort of a shoe designed for their gait and stride style.
Similar to the midsoles of most running shoes, the midsoles of the Wings Flyte 2 are injected with EVA foam to offer incredible cushioning and effective rebound as you run. They have an 18mm toe height and like the rest of the shoe’s construction, they are designed to dry quickly once made wet by the terrain or weather of your run.
The uppers of this particular shoe are mesh and synthetic combination of overlays that may or may not be waterproof, depending on what you seek and how hard you shop for it. It was mentioned in certain reviews that the non-water-resistant versions of the shoe actually dried faster after getting wet, but the insole needed to be removed during this drying process for fear that it would bond to the interior of the shoe and rip if attempted to be removed afterward. Take care with your cleaning instructions and abide by them to ensure you get the most out of your shoes. The cable (or “cord” to some) style lacing system is made for simplicity: slip your foot into the shoe, pull the cord tight, and lock the toggle in place like any adjustable drawstring. Those who may not have the nimblest of fingers may prefer to swap these out for regular laces, but others may consider that, if wet, this cord is less likely to shift either looser or tighter once saturated with water and will not potentially drag through the mud the same way as longer standard laces. This is solely an aesthetic choice but be aware that changing out of the cable style may require cutting them, rendering them useless if you change your mind.
Most runners want their shoes to be lightweight because after a few miles that shoe is going to feel as though it was cast from concrete if it is heavy in design. The Wings Flyte 2 is designed to only weigh a few pounds – the women style can weigh as little as under one and a half pounds, but this may vary slightly from size to size, and the men equivalent might be slightly more. If you plan to have about two pounds on your feet, you will be slightly overestimating them – that might not hurt, since you will be mentally preparing for more and might find yourself delighted by how much lighter they are than expected.
With partially mesh uppers, it is no wonder that the Wings Flyte 2 running shoe is reportedly so breathable that your feet can feel the breeze as you run. This was not the report of every user, but it certainly adds a lot of weight to the idea. The one thing to consider is that none of this Salomon’s shoe materials are mentioned to be moisture-wicking or specifically water resistant, so that breathability is something of a double-edged sword. They are not boasting an ability to keep your feet dry through muck, wet terrain, or wet weather from above. While it is not always the case with every running shoe, in this instance “breathability” will need to be considered as going hand in hand with “easily wet socks”. Of course, as was mentioned briefly, they also reportedly dry very quickly afterwards, so as long as you let them dry completely there is no mentioned backlash. They even have an antimicrobial treatment to keep odors at bay, so you can hopefully completely avoid that previously-wet mildew smell that can sometimes happen to running shoes.
Being made of breathable mesh uppers and EVA foam injected midsoles, it is no wonder that these shoes are reported time and again as being comfortable. They even offer a wider Sensifit design for a precise, evenly weighted, and comfortable fit from the very beginning. Several users confirmed that these shoes were surprisingly comfortable right out of the box with minimal breaking in. There were also some reports of them running small or having tightness in the toe box area, but those reports were one-offs, and with every runner’s feet being different it is likely not the norm. It is always recommended to try on a pair of running shoes before buying, so if you can find a retailer in your area that offers them, do so. Even if you try them on, like the fit, and then go home and order them in the same size online for a better deal, you will be able to do so with confidence that they will be what you need in a running shoe.
It seems an unspoken rule that running shoes are either the dullest or the most vibrant colors available with little in-between. The Wings Flyte 2 is no exception, coming a wide variety of color combinations for both men and women. While it is unclear what scheme you will be able to find in your size, you can expect to see blues mixed with black and grey, black with a salmon-red and lime, or blue with lime and teal for men. Women can expect eggplant with lilac and black, or grey with turquoise and purple. It can be supposed that running shoes are so often bright for visibility on trails and roads if you happen to run in the wee hours of the morning or as dusk falls in the evening, but it is also amusing to consider that someone just decided running shoes should look like a child’s coloring book at least some of the time. With so many running garments being either bright (for visibility) or black (for sleekness and possibly slimming effect) it is anyone’s guess what the real motivation is, but perhaps it is a chance for adults to have some child-like amusement in their wardrobe.
The durability of a shoe is usually measured at least in part by its longevity. The duration a running shoe lasts before needing to be replaced is always going to vary from runner to runner because some people just run more often than others, or run farther per run, or wear them for more intense outings, or only wear them on a treadmill and therefore the shoe sees less wear and tear than someone running over rocks, logs, dirt, gravel, roots, or even just paved roads. With that in mind, it can at least be said that these shoes are designed with longevity in mind, being made up of EVA foam and multi-compound rubber to keep them together as long as possible. Just remember to care for your shoes according to the recommended instructions for their make, and they will last you as long as they possibly can.
Other than a dual-compound outsole to protect your foot from the impact of the terrain beneath you, and to keep your steps true and avoid slipping, the main protection of the Flyte 2 comes from the protective toe caps. Being on a trail, or even on a paved road in some cases, can mean that debris will be on the route in front of you. Since the front of the foot is the first to reach a new piece of terrain with every stride, it is unsurprising that logic would dictate the toes should be protected. Rocks, twigs, roots, broken bits of gravel, and even garbage or litter can potentially injure the front of the foot as you go, and with the right cover or camouflage of grass, leaves, or semi-darkness you may not see those hazards before they see you. Protecting the toes is a simple, small way of avoiding injury to your feet as they carry you to your finish line.
In a running shoe, as most runners know, ‘responsiveness’ refers to a springy sort of feeling in the shoe that seems to redirect energy to propel you onward, rather than feeling squishy or dead with every footfall. While the Wings Flyte 2 does not have a specified confirmation of a level or responsiveness, it is fair to say that their removable Ortholite footbed’s shock absorption features is designed with at least some redirection of energy in mind. Of course, a runner’s stride or gait, their terrain composition, and even their sock choice can change how responsive a shoe feels, so if it is at all possible to try on the shoe in person before buying, see about walking or jogging up and down an aisle at the store to test it for yourself. You might find that its levels of responsiveness are just what you need, or you may find you have to look for a shoe that boasts a higher level of energy redirection. Only so much can be gleaned from online distinctions and measurements, so try and find this shoe and decide for yourself. No one can tell you what it feels like to wear a shoe on your foot – only you can do that.
This particular running shoe was designed for downhill speed – the ACS chassis was designed with the lug geometry needed for downhill running, making it a whiz at keeping up your pace as you tackle a descent when most times people slow down to avoid losing their footing. That combined with the Ortholite footbeds and generous midsole EVA foam make this a very supportive cushion for your feet as you head out. There were several mentions of a supportive, comfortable arch as well, but whether or not those runners had a classified ‘high arch foot’ is unknown, so if you have abnormal (meaning especially high or low) arches, exercise due caution until you have tried these shoes on for yourself. You may find they are just what you need, but if you need to add something more to support a special case arch, the inserts do come out and can be swapped for something else. You may just have to readjust the tightness of the laces to make the fit comfortable instead of constricting, once you swap them.
The Wings Flyte 2 is a trail running shoe by design, though several users reportedly kept it on a treadmill or on paved roads with no discomfort or backlash. The combination contagrip compounds of the outsole are designed to keep you safely upright and avoid slipping even in mud, slush, and snow. No testimony could be found as to whether or not it had the same level of sure-footed grip on wet pavement as wet ground, so if you intend to use it as a street running shoe, be careful the first time you encounter rain or wet roads, just in case this turns out to be a weak point. You should be fine, but there is always a chance. Exercise due caution at all times and be mindful of where you are and where you are stepping.
No one expecting to purchase a well-designed running shoe thinks they can pay for it with the same affordability as a pair of twenty dollar sneakers. Running shoes sold at running stores or sports equipment facilities are better designed for different strides, different gaits, and different intended running locations and durations. With so much science and engineering in mind for protection and comfort to the wearer, as well as function for intended use, it is no wonder that running shoes cost a pretty penny. The Salomon Wings Flyte 2 are no exception, being available in the realm of approximately $180. You may find them for more or less depending upon your retailer but go in expecting to see somewhere around that number as a ballpark and go from there.
The rubber outsole of these shoes has been mentioned several times, and with good reason – they are the most impacted portion of the shoe and exposed to the most wear and tear by nature of their location. In order to stand up to all of that abuse and maintain a safe and enjoyable run for the wearer, the outsole has to have good traction. Running on a dry, paved road is easier by far than the uneven, potentially unpacked, and multi-surface terrain of a trail run. In order to meet that uneven, multi-composition pathway with confidence, you need a shoe with grip. A flat-bottom shoe that a skateboarder might wear is wholly unsuitable, and their exact opposite would be something almost cleat-like in appearance. As mentioned, that is exactly the kind of design that these shoes bear: a rougher multi-level surface with high and low points for a more profound grip to keep you in place and on your way with every step.
A certain amount of flexibility is expected from a shoe that is designed to run on uneven terrain, but some shoes are qualified as more flexible than others. Sure, you could pick up the shoe, hold the heel in one hand and the toe in the other and hinge it up and down to see how far it gives, but that alone would not be a good indicator of fit or function on your foot, so consider instead trying the shoe on, rising up on your toes, rocking back on your heels, and so on and so forth. No running shoe was crowned the best by its ability to touch its toe to its own heel, and frankly it is not recommended that you try.
An 18mm midsole, a multi-compound rubber outsole, and a lace design that involves a custom tightness are all points in favor of keeping your foot stable as you run. The design for a heel-strike and downhill control are more features designed with keeping you in command of yourself as you make your way through your run. Wear these shoes properly, and they are essentially guaranteed to keep your feet under you.
Being a high or low drop shoe does not immediately render a shoe “good” or “bad”. As with all things, it depends on the runner and their personal needs and comfort. This particular model of running shoe is a 10 millimeter drop. The higher the drop, or ‘ramp angle’ as it is sometimes called, the more it is a heel-striking sort of shoe. Generally speaking, a 10mm drop is on the lower side of the “high drop” area of the spectrum. Simply put, this means that the show is designed for heel striking, but there are other shoes with a higher drop measurement out there.
-EVA injected foam midsole
-Double-compound rubber outsole
-10mm drop heel-strike design
-Downhill lug geometry
-Double-compound rubber outsole
-10mm drop heel-strike design
-Downhill lug geometry
This high-drop running shoe is designed for heel strikers with a lot of downhill path on their route, designed with trails in mind but still functional on roads, according to several user reports. If this sounds like you, then definitely give these shoes a try, and see if they help you chase down the finish lines, and then chase after new goals when you have successfully reached your current ones.