Mike and I had the opportunity to run in Salming sneakers during Runologie’s first Thursday run club. I had never heard of this brand but the new running store, Runologie in Raleigh, tends to carry non-mainstream running brands. It turns out that the North American headquarters for Salming, based in Sweden, is in Raleigh, NC!
Salming is all about running naturally, with minimal cushioning and a low heel-toe drop. Salming offers only four different models – Distance, Speed, Race, XPlore – with differing support and cushioning. For Thursday’s run club, Salming brought men’s and women’s Distance running sneakers in a variety of sizes. Although, Mike and I arrived early, another runner had already snagged a women’s 9.5 so I sized up to 10 and found them to fit well. A Salming representative said they tend to run a bit small.
Wow, did the Salmings feel different on my feet! Although my Saucony Omni sneakers have a fairly low heel-toe drop (8 mm), they are a stability sneaker with a great deal of cushioning and support. The Salmings felt so light, almost like they were formed to my feet. I even noticed a difference in just a 3 mm heel-toe drop distance (Salmings have 5 mm).
It was great to have the opportunity to run a significant distance (we ran 5 miles) in the sneakers. I find it hard to judge a sneaker from just a short jog around a running store and sneakers are a fairly sizable investment (especially these ones at $170).
– My feet look cool. Ok not an incredibly important factor in buying running sneakers, but something that is appealing. I liked the slim fit, simple look and the neon pink color (men’s color is a neon yellow). My feet looked like they’d be fast.
– Weight. These felt very light walking around the store, but especially out on the run. I had never run in really lightweight sneakers before; I loved it!
– Feeling the ground. I immediately noticed the lack of cushioning in these shoes but I actually liked being able to feel the ground under my feet. It wasn’t uncomfortable at all and I wonder if all the cushioning I have in my shoes is even necessary.
– Less stability. I am used to a lot of stability between my Saucony Omni sneakers and my Superfeet insoles. My ankles felt sore during and after running in the Salmings from having to work at stabilization, rather than relying on the shoe to stabilize. But that made me realize that perhaps I should build up strength in my ankles, shins and calves for stabilization and not count on my sneakers to do so. Run naturally.
– Narrow toe box and 3-layer upper construction. Being used to a wide toe box and flexible upper layer on my Sauconys, I found it hard to get used to not being able to move my toes quite as much (don’t think I really need to move my toes though – actually moving my toes has led to extensor tendonitis in the past). The upper part of the Salmings felt a bit stiff, especially in comparison to my flexible Sauconys, due to the 3-layer upper construction that is meant to provide stability and support. I actually did like the fit but it felt very different from my Sauconys.
I did really like running in the Salmings. My hesitation on buying them mainly comes down to the price. If I bought them, since they are so different from what I’m used to running in, I’d likely do short runs in them for awhile using my Sauconys for longer runs, gradually getting used to running naturally in Salmings.