Salomon Genesis Review

An in-depth review of the Salomon Genesis trail running shoes.

By on April 11, 2024 | Comments
Salomon Genesis

The Salomon Genesis. All photos: iRunFar/Bryon Powell unless noted

My relationship with Salomon has had some high highs and forefoot-pinchy lows, so I approached the Salomon Genesis ($150) with a mix of hope and trepidation, wanting that sticky and stealthy outsole to be attached to my next Cinderella slipper.

Like many of Salomon’s trail shoes, this one is designed for rocky and mountainous terrain. It uses Salomon’s dynamic support chassis and provides plenty of cushioning. The Salomon Genesis has stack heights of 34 millimeters at the heel and 26 millimeters at the toe for an 8-millimeter drop, and it has an actual weight of 9.7 ounces (276 grams) for a U.S. men’s 9.

The Genesis is available in both men’s and women’s fit, and there is also a unisex model called the Salomon S/Lab Genesis ($200). I tried the S/Lab Genesis and the Genesis women’s shoes and found them to have many similarities but very different fits. Salomon regards the S/Lab Genesis and the Genesis women’s shoe as standard width. However, the S/Lab version left me with similar forefoot fit hiccups as described in my Salomon S/Lab Ultra 3 v2 review, while the Genesis women’s shoe felt significantly wider.  That said, I happily take accountability for my less-than-enviable bunioned forefoot. After all, the S/Lab Genesis works for trail legend Courtney Dauwalter … if we all could be like her.

If you are looking for a shoe that provides reliable stability and ample cushion to carry you far on mountainous terrain, the Salomon Genesis may be worth a shot.

Shop the Women's Salomon GenesisShop the Men's Salomon Genesis

Salomon Genesis Upper

Salomon Genesis - lateral

A lateral view of the Salomon Genesis.

The Salomon Genesis has a woven Matryx upper that is breathable and durable. This resilient, high-performance material can emerge unscathed from scree fields and various other trail offenders and protects your foot from any terrain you travel through.

The upper design is more traditional than the sock-like style of the S/Lab model. Despite what felt like a broader toebox compared to the S/Lab version, my fellow testers can echo my sentiment that the upper feels shallow in this region. My ever-articulate testing crony described the upper “like a low hanging roof” that limits toe mobility. Despite the consensus about the toebox, I have yet to suffer any secondary trauma from the phenomenon and have continued trotting along in confidence, albeit erring on the side of thinner socks.

Salomon’s Quicklace system facilitates a swift midfoot lockdown and the mesh stowing pocket at the top of the tongue prevents extra lace from flapping around.

I tested a women’s size 9, my go-to running shoe size. I tend to either run in my standard running shoe size or down by half a size when testing shoes from Salomon, so I wasn’t surprised when my standard size felt a bit roomy. My foot slid inside the shoe enough to create a bit of heat and friction, especially on descents. Once I swapped the original insert out for my custom orthotic, the extra room was absorbed, and the sliding was resolved. However, once the fit was corrected from a volume perspective, the upper did begin to descend a bit on my toes. If they added a little more vertical wiggle room for the toes, there would be increased comfort in every direction.

Salomon Genesis Midsole

Salomon Genesis - medial

A medial view of the Salomon Genesis.

The Salomon Genesis midsole is a combination of comfort and confidence. The brand’s Energy Foam provides ample cushion while the Active Chassis offers reliable support.

After testing some shoes with less medial support and irritating an extensor tendon or two, the Genesis has felt very therapeutic. These certainly have more cushion than previous Salomon models I’ve reviewed. With a bit less than 100 miles into this pair, I cannot yet speak to how the foam does or doesn’t pack down later in its lifespan.

More cushion means a little higher stack. The 26-millimeter forefoot and 34-millimeter heel stack heights, which result in an 8-millimeter drop, can make the shoe feel a bit bulkier than some other Salomon models. From a cushion and stability perspective though, they have felt like a very safe pair of shoes to grab if my feet feel tired or overworked.

Salomon Genesis Outsole

Salomon Genesis - outsole

The Salomon Genesis’s outsole.

With 4.5-millimeter-deep diamond and arrowhead-shaped lugs, the Salomon Genesis Contagrip rubber outsole excels on rocky and rugged terrain and offers great grip on technical trails. There are few shoes I would feel as confident in on my mid-summer escapades up steep shale or rocky summits. And while these shoes perform great in the terrain they were designed for, you may be disappointed once you start dabbling outside of that. I tested these alongside some Inov8 Talon Ultra 260 V2 shoes in classic U.S. Pacific Northwest mud and snow, and the Inov8 shoes won hands down. Take these on a rocky mountain traverse and the outsole will serve you well.

Salomon Genesis Overall Impressions

Salomon Genesis - top

A top view of the Salomon Genesis.

As we emerge here in the Pacific Northwest from our precipitation-filled winter months and anticipate a summer of teetering from every high mountain precipice, I’m glad to have the Salomon Genesis in my shoe quiver. I have a hunch that this shoe will be a crowd-pleaser.

The outsole will have you challenging the mountain goats to achieve the most precarious positions, while the midsole and the upper both support and protect. If you can try on both the standard Genesis reviewed here and the S/Lab Genesis, it may be well worth comparing the fit between the two, as they proved pretty different for me. While I have yet to experience any toe trauma, my only concern taking these out for hours upon hours of mountain running would be the shallowness of the toebox.

For those who like a little stability and cushion and still want Salomon’s famous outsole grip, this could be the shoe for you.

Shop the Women's Salomon GenesisShop the Men's Salomon Genesis

Call for Comments

  • Are you running in the Salomon Genesis? What’s your take on this shoe model?
  • Have you tried the Salomon S/Lab Genesis, too? If so, how do you compare it with the regular Salomon Genesis? Do you note similar fit differences as iRunFar’s testers?

Our Favorite Trail Running Shoes

Check out our Best Trail Running Shoes article to learn about our current favorite trail running shoes!

Salomon Genesis - action

The Salomon Genesis out on the trails. Photo: iRunFar/Annie Behrend

Annie Behrend

Annie Behrend is a gear reviewer for iRunFar. She’s been writing about running gear since 2020. Aside from iRunFar, she’s authored and co-authored nutrition and fueling-related publications in research journals. As a registered dietitian and ultrarunner, she’s worked one-on-one with athletes, primarily runners, since 2013 to optimize performance via fueling and hydration. Based in temperate southern Oregon, Annie has year-round access to marvelous trail systems and public lands that she shares with more wildlife than she does people … the perfect paradise.