Salomon Sense Ride 5 Review

An in-depth review of the Salomon Sense Ride 5 trail running shoe.

By on March 14, 2024 | Comments

The Salomon Sense Ride 5 ($140) takes much of what is loved from the previous version of this popular shoe and improves on a few key areas. A great all-arounder shoe, it has reasonably low-profile lugs on the outsole, an improved midsole with 8 millimeters of heel-to-toe drop that provides a lot of cushion for a reasonably low stack height of 29 millimeters at the heel and 21 millimeters at the toe, as well as an engineered mesh upper and padded tongue with just the right amount of support. The Sense Ride 5 weighs a claimed 10.3 ounces (293 grams) for a U.S. men’s 9.

In this video review, iRunFar’s Travis Liles takes a deep dive into this shoe, which may be a great option for people looking for a do-it-all shoe who have higher-volume feet that don’t always fit into Salomon’s narrower models.

Shop the Men's Salomon Sense Ride 5Shop the Women's Salomon Sense Ride 5

Salomon Sense Ride 5 Review Transcript

Hey, and welcome to Trail Trials, the video review section of iRunFar. My name is Travis Liles. In this video we’re looking at the Salomon Sense Ride 5. Let’s check it out.

Let’s start off with the basics. Salomon describes this shoe as a do-it-all shoe, very versatile, ready for anything, from short and fast to ultramarathon distance. It has an 8-millimeter heel-to-toe drop with a stack height of 21 millimeters at the toe and 29 millimeters at the heel. It weighs about 295 grams in a men’s size 9, which equates to 10.3 ounces, so it’s definitely a mid-weight shoe.

The lugs are 3.5 millimeters in depth. It’s got an updated ride, or cushion, from the previous version.

Let’s get up close and personal and talk about what these updates are and how this shoe performs.

Salomon Sense Ride 5

The Salomon Sense Ride 5. All photos: iRunFar/Bryon Powell

Salomon Sense Ride 5 Outsole

From an outsole standpoint, the Salomon Sense Ride 5 has fairly standard low-profile lugs, general terrain I would say. For roads, trails, whatever. It does a little bit of everything, but it’s not focused necessarily at anything specifically. It’s just very well-rounded.

The lug patterning in the back is for braking, so a forward-facing overall lug pattern.

And then as you move toward the middle, you can see there’s a little bit of a gap where there aren’t any lugs, and then it transitions to rearward-facing lugs. These lugs are very much for climbing, and you can even see some very specific lugs here in the middle with this triangle and a little bit of a divot in there. The goal of that is that as you’re climbing, if the terrain is muddy or loose, that this will accumulate a little bit in there and add some extra traction. I don’t know that you can totally feel that specifically as you are moving around in them.

Overall, I think this outsole excels in a lot of things, with the exception of really slick, smooth types of things — think walking across a log over a creek or a rock that’s lightly wet. There’s not a great amount of friction that gets created here, so it’s very slick. I would even say sometimes on the white line on a road if you’re road running, the traction will not be great.

But for everything else, this general-purpose outsole works really well in a variety of conditions.

Salomon Sense Ride 5 - outsole

The outsole of the Salomon Sense Ride 5.

Salomon Sense Ride 5 Midsole

Alright, moving on to the midsole of the Salomon Sense Ride 5. One of the areas where this shoe has been updated from the Salomon Sense Ride 4 is absolutely in the midsole material — see our Salomon Sense Ride 4 review to learn more about that version.

The Salomon Sense Ride 4 had a real vibration to it, almost to the point where anything over about 15 miles for me, my feet were really, really tired. I’m happy to say that’s been updated. This is a softer compound, or at least more energy efficient. It definitely feels like whatever’s been done here to change how it rides makes it much more comfortable.

You can run on the road, you can run on the trail, you can run a lot of different scenarios over a lot of different distances, and that foot fatigue that I experienced in the previous version in the Sense Ride 4 is gone. This is definitely a better, more rounded midsole.

And in terms of what this midsole is, it is considered moderate but not too stiff. And I would say when you compare it to other kinds of midsoles, it’s actually very reminiscent to me of some Hokas. It’s weird to say of a shoe that doesn’t have a big stack, but it’s got a similar foam type of feel that Hokas do. It’s kind of squishy. You can see my thumb here, really able to sink into it. It’s also bouncy and rubbery and has some energy return. You can see that both in tactile feel and also while you’re wearing it on your foot.

It’s single density foam all the way around, so you’re not looking at any type of pronation control or anything like that. The only thing that you may notice is a little bit of the toe coming up, so there is a springy ride to it. You do have a bit of a rocker type of feel.

It’s not super pronounced, but it is an 8-millimeter drop shoe, so it does sit up a little bit higher in the back than maybe the field, if you will, of trail running shoes. But I don’t really notice that 8-millimeter drop in this shoe. It feels fairly controllable with fairly good ground feel despite maybe a higher-than-normal heel-to-toe drop than I’m used to.

Salomon Sense Ride 5 - lateral view

A lateral view of the Salomon Sense Ride 5.

Salomon Sense Ride 5 Upper

From an upper standpoint, the Salomon Sense Ride 5 uses engineered mesh. I will say that in comparison to some engineered mesh that I’ve encountered before, this is a lot stiffer, which is nice. I think some of the engineered mesh that’s in road shoes is very, very stretchy and not very applicable to trail running shoes. I think it’s too stretchy and your foot moves around a lot. None of this for my foot. Again, narrow heel, wide forefoot.

This shoe is able to lock down. I don’t feel any of this mesh giving way, but it’s also not so stiff that it’s cumbersome in that range. I think a nice amount of mesh on here that’s breathable, that lets water get out and lets your foot do its thing. It’s not so stretchy and over-engineered that it’s really only viable in a road shoe where you’re not sharply turning around corners and things like that.

This does have the Sensifit on it. You can see that through here. Basically, it’s very similar to a lot of other shoes where the overlays on the outside have corresponding anchor points to the laces, and then when you pull that all tight, it creates this wrap around your foot. There’s no stitching on these things, it’s laminated onto the upper itself. The laces are the famous Salomon pull-tab lacing system to really lock everything down.

You can see it from the bottom that this is very much a standard fit for a Salomon. Lots of their other shoes are very narrow, specifically through this middle part of the foot and the heel. This is more of a standard fit. If you need a little bit wider fit, this shoe falls into that.

From a tongue standpoint, it’s fairly thin, but it is gusseted, so you get a nice wrap here and enough cushion to keep the laces from feeling like they’re pressing on your foot. The tongue is padded all the way down and it covers the whole foot, so you can crank this down a little bit without feeling too much pressure on the top of your foot.

It has the lace garage, so that once you pull your shoes tight you can kind of tuck that away and keep it all a little bit cleaner.

From a heel cup standpoint, it’s fairly flexible, which is nice. There’s a little bit of rigidity toward the bottom part, but it’s fairly light. You can see I’m pushing down through all of that. But I still felt I was able to get a good heel lock down with this shoe. There’s fairly good padding in the heel collar and sort of a deep cup as it extends back, so it creates a nice little carriage behind my foot.

I have a bit of a narrow heel, and this locked down more than adequately. I actually didn’t even think about it, which is a good sign overall.

The last thing I’ll call out is this shoe was white when I got it. I’m not sure about the viability of white trail running shoes. They look cool the first time. I do like white sometimes, it’s fun to race in, but this one’s a hard one to keep clean. If you like to keep your shoes clean, maybe avoid the white one.

Salomon Sense Ride 5 - medial view

The medial view of the Salomon Sense Ride 5.

Salomon Sense Ride 5 Overall Impressions

I think what you’ve got here is pretty much what Salomon describes on their website. The Salomon Sense Ride 5 is not a specific-job shoe where it’s just meant to go fast, or it’s just meant to go slow, or whatever. This is really a well-rounded shoe.

If you look at some of their other shoes, like the Salomon S/Lab Pulsar or the Salomon S/Lab Ultra models, they can be a little bit narrow — here’s our Salomon S/Lab Pulsar 2 review and Salomon S/Lab Ultra 3 v2 review for a look at the current editions of these shoe models. When you look at the bottom of this shoe, it has a pretty good width to it, so I think it fits more feet. It’s got a more stable platform to it. I think when you’re thinking about a do-it-all shoe, this is the componentry you’d want.

It’s got a pretty well-fitting upper and speed lacing, which is potentially controversial depending on what you like in laces. But it does a pretty good job of making a nice wrap overall around your foot. It’s not too heavy, it’s not too light, it’s not overly protective, and the lugs aren’t overly aggressive. It checks a lot of boxes for being a shoe that covers a lot of ground.

My only gripe, and this is not just for this shoe, but Salomon shoes in general, is I feel like they are a really interesting mix of having these rugged outsoles while not really giving a ton of protection. And the Sense Ride 5 is not any different. If you have a sensitive foot, you’re probably not going to like this shoe over extended periods of time on really technical and pokey terrain.

I feel, like the other shoes in their stable that don’t have the Profeel Film, that when you step on something in the midfoot area, you tend to feel it. That could be a good thing or a bad thing. If you like ground feel, you’re going to get that out of an 8-millimeter drop shoe with a pretty good cushion. I do think that helps with going faster and proprioception and feeling all those things. But once you step into longer ultra distance, I got some fatigue from technical terrain, specifically on really long downhills.

This is a general-purpose shoe. If you’re going to be on really heavy terrain — technical, aggressive, pokey, jagged — this is maybe not exactly the right shoe.

Questions, comments, leave those below this video. Thanks for watching. We’ll catch you next time.

Shop the Men's Salomon Sense Ride 5Shop the Women's Salomon Sense Ride 5

Call for Comments

  • Have you tried the Salomon Sense Ride 5? What were your thoughts?
  • How do you think it compares with previous versions of the shoe?

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Salomon Sense Ride 5 - top view

A top view of the Salomon Sense Ride 5.

Travis Liles

Travis Liles is a gear reviewer at iRunFar. He’s been reviewing trail running and ultrarunning gear (and occasionally penning an article) for over 15 years. He is married to his Junior High sweetheart, has two amazing daughters, and works as a solution architect for a large software company. Originally from the Midwest but now based in Portland, Oregon, Travis is an avid trail runner and ultrarunner. Over the past 18 years, he has competed in many ultra-distance races and has completed 15 100-mile races, including Ozark Trail, Leadville, Big Horn, and HURT 100. He is a recovering RD and enjoys pacing friends, trail work, and volunteering at local events.