The Salomon S/Lab Cross is a very good lightweight shoe that targets wet terrain and short distances. They are elaborate in their construction and comfortable.
There is a lot to say about this Salomon S/Lab Cross. We have been running in them for the last 6months, and it's been a lot of fun running in these shoes and see what the shoe can do across varied terrain.
This shoe combines certain minimalism and a stylish technicality. Firstly, there are virtually no seams. With the integrated gaiter, the shoe has a very fluid form, offering an extremely snug fitting.
The first surprise comes when you put them on: it's very easy! The Salomon S/Lab Cross slips on like a sock. The quick lace and a minimalist storage pocket for the excess laces are working well.
The most notable feature is the integrated gator which comes up to the mid-ankle and fits like a glove. The gaiter surrounds the ankle and prevents debris from entering the shoes: practical, comfortable, and easy to use. Running them, you don't experience any uncomfortable stitching or pressure points.
The quick lace system garage is woven into the upper part, and a strip of padding runs the length of what would be the tongue to relieve compression. Don't expect strong foot support from the upper. It is very flexible.
As the Salomon S/Lab Cross is designed for soft and wet terrain, it fulfils its function: you can retain solid contact with the terrain, as well as great grip.
Although it is not designed for it, we ran it on technical, mountainous terrain with stony sections. The overall comfort deteriorates over rocks, and you can feel stones underfoot. Also, as there is very little cushioning (because it is designed for soft ground), you will suffer if you heel strike. Running on hard ground, you can feel the lugs under the heel. Nothing really annoying if you don't do long distances. - The Salomon S/Lab Cross is not designed for anyway hard rocky terrain.
The shape and fit
Salomon has done a great job of designing an upper and midsole combination that can fit a wider variety of feet than the narrow silhouette might suggest.
The S/Lab Cross is sculpted with a narrow heel and midfoot. That, paired with the soft sock-like upper, may favour a higher arch. The fabric in the upper wraps the midfoot quite well, but without an insole, there's little rise in the shoe to meet it. Conversely, although relatively narrow in the midfoot and heel, the materials are soft enough to allow a dropped arch to fall into the shoe and upper without a problem.
The lightness of the Salomon S/Lab Cross was very appreciated: we weighed it at 230g in size 43.
It is vital to mention the grip when talking about the Salomon S/Lab Cross. They offer powerful grip even in deep mud, as the sole does not clog with mud. The lug geometry has been revised on this model. It works perfectly in damp areas and on rock slabs. The grip, however, wears out quite quickly, probably a consequence of the soft rubber.
For as minimal a shoe that the S/Lab Cross is, the durability has been outstanding. So far, the outsole rubber is holding up well after 6months, with no noticeable abrasions or tears over technical terrain. These shoes are not waterproof, but the materials are used in the upper are hydrophobic. Whether I ran it through wet grass or full-on creek submersion, the shoe itself felt dry almost immediately. I could tell that my sock was wet, but the shoe itself didn't feel wet at all. In that regard, the S/Lab Cross handles submersion better than any other shoe.
Last but not least, be careful when choosing your socks. With a shoe with this kind of snug fit, it would be a shame to opt for thick socks.
The S-Lab Cross from Salomon is a "Ferrari" that's designed to make you feel like an elite running in mud, rain, snow, and soft surfaces. To put it plainly, it thrives in technical scrambles. If you're looking for an all-around trail runner to handle the best and worst-case scenarios, this is it!
The S-Lab Cross has been revised, retaining the same characteristics, the update mainly focused on the styling of the upper. Find more details at salomon.com