Salomon XR Mission

9.0 score
[Editors rating (9.0) + Users rating (10.0)] / 2 = (TheGearHunt) score (9.0)/10

Editor rating: 9.0 / 10
User's rating: based on 2 user ratings
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Salomon XR Mission Review Facts

Trail running is different than regular running. It requires different shoes as well. Salomon is known for high-quality trail running shoes. They are a popular choice in the trail running world. The Salomon XR Mission is designed explicitly for trails that are low to mid-distance runs. The shoes can be used on the road as well. At the point, the XR Mission is an older model but still offers a lot to those who are into trail running.

Trail running is more of a challenge than running on roads. Choosing suitable shoes for terrain can be difficult. The short and mid-distance trail running shoe was designed for runners who might not live near a trail but run on to get to it. This versatile shoe has many unique features. It is a responsive, comfortable, lightweight, a dream come true for the real athlete.

The XR Mission is gender specific. Very noticeable is the lack of stability controls, excess aids, etc. They are probably lighter than you would expect. Immediately visible when the shoe is turned over is the Contragrip HA pad. It is a multi-directional chevron tread. The toe-box is roomy and provides space for the toes to splay. The arch support provided is more than some runners are accustomed.

Editor's Pros & Cons
  • Designed to withstand rough trails
  • Excellent durability
  • Gender-specific last
  • Great traction
  • Not extremely heavy for a trail shoe
  • Quicklace system
  • Roomy toe-box

A little on the pricey side


The bottom and outside of the shoe is the outsole. It is the part that helps determine the lifespan and grip of a shoe. Those attributes are of particular importance for trail shoe design. The Salomon Contragrip high-abrasion rubber is resistant to damage and abrasion. It helps improve the outsole's overall durability. The outsole also has Contragrip lugs. They are located on the bottom of the shoe. The lugs were designed to provide better traction, especially on difficult surfaces.

Special OS (Oversize) Tendons are also featured on the outsoles. They are thermoplastic urethane frames designed to provide improved transition with each step and improve the energy return and responsiveness of the shoe. The outsoles have unique features that serve the shoes well and are strong components of the Salomon XR Mission


The midsole is the part between the upper and the outsole. It is designated for energy return facilitation. It is an essential part of any shoe. This midsole is made of a common choice, EVA foam. It is springy and lightweight and retains its original shape. The only other aspect offered in the midsole is a protective toe-box. It is also made of thermoplastic urethane.

The toe-box protects against common occurrences on the trail. It is a bit overwhelming but decent overall. The midsole has no other features that improve the trail running experience. A positive aspect of the midsole is the simplistic design that keeps the shoe lightweight.


The upper secures the foot from the top. Salomon boasts some critical and useful features that protect the foot while staying flexible and breathable. The upper is nylon which is a favorite choice among Salomon shoes.

Nylon is flexible and durable. It does an adequate job of preventing dirt and rock from getting inside. Mesh is included above the nylon as an additional layer of protection. The combination of nylon and mesh also helps keep water out. Laces can be tucked in the tongue of the shoes that feature overlays. The configuration makes loose laces a lesser concern while running. The protective and supportive features of the upper make it reasonably stable.

The Sensiflex system is hexagonal material located at the lateral and medial metatarsals of the foot. The material expands and contracts nicely. It molds to the foot and keeps it held securely in place over the tread.


Regular trainers tend to weigh from nine to ten ounces. The XR Mission weight approximately 11.5 ounces. That weight is on the high end of the spectrum. It is a reasonable weight for trail shoes. The heavier weight is necessary for additional protection and support that trail running terrain often requires. The weight of the shoes should not be a significant concern.


An ever-important factor of trail running shoes is breathability. The Salomon XR Mission has fairly stable breathability. Breathability is typically influenced exclusively by the upper of the shoe. Thanks to the mesh and nylon design, the upper of this shoe allows air to circulate in and out. When compared to traditional trainers, the XR Mission falls a bit short in the breathability category.

Most trail shoes do. They need to prevent rocks and dirt from entering the shoe. Less circulation is the trade-off for the prevention. For a trail shoe, the breathability of the XR Mission can be described as reliable.


Everyone understands the importance of comfort when deciding on a new pair of shoes. Keep in mind that shoes are worn for many miles. Discomfort should be addressed immediately. The Salomon XR Mission is a comfortable shoe that does have some issues. The upper is flexible and lightweight. Stride smoothness is provided by the unique TPU frames of the midsole and outsole.

The biggest complaint stems from the toe-box. It is designed to aid in protection against impact from things such as rocks. It fulfills that purpose well, but users complained of cramped toes that caused the fit to be a little strange. Overall, the shoes do an good job of providing comfort. The toe-box is something of which to be aware.


Durability is considered with any shoe. Shoes that are not durable quickly wear out. The Salomon XR Mission scores well in the durability department. Its use of EVA foam makes the shoe decently durable. Even after repeated duress, the EVA foam keeps the original shape. The characteristic makes it a long-lasting choice. The material of the outsole contributes significantly to the durability of the shoe. Contragrip rubber resists abrasion and is very durable. The solid upper construction adds to the durability. It is resistant to abrasions and tears. A good trail shoe is expected to be durable. The Salomon XR Mission does not disappoint.


The upper of the shoe provides a significant amount of protection. The solid construction of the Salomon XR Mission does an excellent job of preventing debris and dirt from entering the shoe. It stabilizes the foot to help prevent random turns and twists. The midsole offers protection through the toe-box at the front. It is beneficial. Toe injuries are disruptive and painful. The components of the midsole and upper offer overall good protection.


The shoe's midsole typically determines responsiveness. The best have snappy, lively midsoles that are fun to run in. Poor responsiveness is frequently described as marshmallows. The runner sinks into the midsole instead of bounding down the trail.

For the XR Mission, EVA foam is responsive and springy that leads to substantial overall responsiveness. At the bottom of the shoes, TPU frames aid in reactivity that makes every stride feel connected and smooth. Though not groundbreaking, the responsiveness of the Salomon XR Mission is not bad and accomplishes the purpose.


Stiff builds and supportive uppers stabilize feet on unstable surfaces and switchback. A quality pair of running shoes needs adequate support in a variety of places. The XR Mission is a well-supported shoe. The upper is a maine component of support. Its solid design contributes to the support. The construction keeps the foot secure from the top while allowing movement.

Support is also provided by the outsole. Specifically, the TPU frame located on the bottom helps stabilize during strides. The frame provides support with each step. It is a significant proponent of the shoe's overall support.


The shoe is designed for performance on all types of terrain. It is useable on road surfaces such as asphalt and concrete. The bread and butter of the shoes is their performance on off-road trails. They function on dirt or grass also, even in rainy conditions with exercised care.

In terms of terrain, the XR Mission is a well-rounded shoe.
The agility of a shoe is related to how well a variety of technical terrain is handled without losing grip that would cause a runner to slow down. The lug design, depth, and placement have a major role in the shoe's ability to handle the terrain.


The XR Mission price is about average. The shoes are not the cheapest nor the most expensive. They are more expensive than a regular trainer. Trail shoes typically cost more than trainers. The MSRP IS $110. The Salomon XR Mission shoes are available from Amazon for prices ranging from $80 to $100 for women. The median price of a trail running shoe is $100. The price may seem a bit steep, but the shoes provide a lot of value and are worth the investment. The XR Mission is a durable shoe that prevents debris from getting in the shoe. It has an excellent traction.


The flexibility of the XR Mission is not exceptional. Non-mesh uppers are typically less flexible than shoes with full mesh uppers. The upper, in tandem with a midsole made of EVA foam, does give the shoe an overall flexibility.

The shoes are decently flexible but the should not be expected to be as flexible as traditional trainers. Sensiflex is the polygonal shape on the upper of the XR Mission. The material stretches when the foot shifts inside the shoe. The OS Tendon acts like a tendon in the foot. When the shoe flexes to the toe, the foot springs back after the toe is released and executed out.


Stability refers to how well a shoe supports the runner's stride. Thanks to the outsole, midsole, and upper, the XR Mission is quite stable. The upper is made stable by the firm construction. It holds the foot down from above. The outsole and midsole contribute stability to the TPU frames that were designed to stabilize each stride and make smooth overall transitions. When tackling technical trails, stability is an essential characteristic. It decreases the risk of twisting or breaking an ankle. Less stress is put on the feet which also reduces the injury risk.


For trail running shoes, ten-mm is the standard drop and seems to be the correct size for this type of shoe. The drop of the XR Mission is ten-mm. The drop is not an issue for this shoe. The heel-to-toe drop is the difference between the forefoot and heel heights. A low heel drop makes for a stable landing platform and better balance. It also increases muscle engagement that puts the feet under more strain. Advocates of a small heel-to-toe drop feel it allows the feet to move more like unshod feet and distribute more even impact forces.

Key Features

Breathable mesh uppers reduce moisture buildup
Contragrip outsole
Designed for use from road to trail
EVA midsole
Foam footbed reduces friction
Lugs for traction
Nylon/mesh upper
OS Tendon for flexibility
Roomy toe-box
Secure Quicklace system
Sensiflex and Sensifit promote smooth motion
TPU frames for stability

Bottom Line

Even though the XR Mission is an older version, it is a decent shoe for running trails. Useful, trail-specific features offered in the outsole, upper, and midsole are usable on other terrains. The shoes are averaged price. The XR Mission features a Quicklace system that gives each individual a unique snug fit. Outsoles, using Contragrip technology, combine durability and efficiency for a superb grip when it is needed most.

The running shoe also combines stability with a lightweight feel for a comfortable running experience. Salomon's Sensiflex and Sensift technologies are utilized to transition from road to trail. The shoes are ideal for short and middle-distance runs. A tough Contragrip outsole, an oversized tendon, and a breathable upper are features that provide traction on muddy or wet trails.

The categories in which the XR Mission scores best are outsole, upper, protection, durability, responsiveness, support, traction, and stability. Categories that are satisfactory but fall short of excellent are midsole, breathability, comfort, and style.