Salomon revolutionizes running at Outdoor Retailer 2012 Summer Market
Salomon has long been at the front line of the running battlefield, with world-class athletes designing and testing the gear they make. Their lab in France is ground zero for problem solving and innovation, as evidenced in the gear released to us average humans in stores. At this year’s Outdoor Retailer Summer Market, Salomon is once again revolutionizing running with the Salomon Sense Hydro S-Lab Set.
This ponderously named yet ingenious device is a new type of hydration system that literally puts hydration in the palm of your hand in a small and comfortable package. Sure, hand held running water bottles have been around for years, but what makes the Salomon version unique is that it’s much lighter, and doesn’t require any grip whatsoever to keep the bottle in place. Best of all… no sloshing.
The bottle is a soft flask that ranges from 150-1,000ml, and is secured by stretchable straps. The glove uses Sensifit with soft, ventilated fabric for breathability and cooling. I tried one on and was really impressed at how secure the water stays in the palm, and how snug the glove is. I totally can see this becoming a big hit among the running crowd who don’t normally like to carry water on jogs, but need a little something to keep them from dying before making it back home.
The Salomon Sense Hydro S-Lab Set will be available only at REI this fall, and will be released everywhere Spring 2013.
In the shoe department, there are two pairs of kicks worth mentioning – the Salomon Sense Mantra, and the S-Lab Sense Ultra.
The Salomon Sense Mantra is a transitional shoe for runners who want the benefit of barefoot running, but aren’t yet ready to commit. This shoe isn’t a minimalist runner per se, but it does help runners shift their style to fore foot running. This “high mileage” shoe has a natural motion that makes mid-foot strikers transition to the fore foot, while still having plenty of cushion and protection for the foot. EndoFit construction on the inside lets runners go without socks with an antimicrobial fabric integrated into the fore foot for even more ground feel. Versions for both men and women will be available.
On the higher-performance end, Salomon brings you the S-Lab Sense Ultra, a race shoe designed from ideas by Salomon runner Killian Jornet. The shoe features more traction from the mid sole to the rear of the shoe to accommodate mid-foot and heel strikers, while remaining light and fast. This top-level shoe is a race-day flyer that will go to work when you need to go fast.
I was also happy to see Salomon rocking a new logo at this year’s Summer Outdoor Retailer. This stylized “S” I think has much more impact than the old swooshing circle design, and makes the company look more badass. Look for the new logo on all Salomon products being released soon, from shoes to skis and everything in between.