Top Local Athletes Test The Salomon S/Lab Pulsar

Posted on February 09 2021

Top Local Athletes Test The Salomon S/Lab Pulsar



The Pulsar is an all new shoe from Salomon and comes in at the incredibly light 170gram and is clearly targeting athletes out to race competitively over distances up to 100km. Up until now, if you wanted to get a stripped down, "Formula 1" racing shoe, your go-to model would be the S/Lab Sense 8. Anybody who has ever run in that shoe will tell you it is a cracking pace shoe but will beat all but the most efficient runners into submission with the modicum of cushioning it has. 

The trend is to more cushioning and while HOKA and others have done a fabulous job of bringing super-lightweight, well cushioned solutions to the market, none have really cracked the combination of softness without a compromise to precision, responsiveness and pace. 

That is why the PULSAR is so interesting. At 170grams it is the lightest shoe in the Salomon arsenal and significantly lower than pretty much anything else on the market that would carry you for 100km.  


We have now had the opportunity to get feedback from a couple of great athletes. read for yourself what they thought,

Gone Running/Joint Dynamics Team Member Mo Devlin is one of the most experienced runners we have in our team and he is also an avid Salomon fan. He is in a great position to give the new Pulsar a road test so we caught up with him after having had the opportunity of doing a few runs in the shoe. 

MDI always wanted to race in the superfast, superlight Salomon S/Lab Sense 8 like Kilian Jornet and Jeff Campbell but they're just not cushioned enough for me so I always had to settle for something heavier and more cushioned. Then came the S/Lab Pulsar which is even lighter than the Sense 8 and has considerably more cushioning. Its just as fast and responsive as the Sense 8 so it may be the perfect solution for anyone like me who who needs a shoe with fast race performance features combined with long distance all day comfort. It already feels like it could be the perfect solution for racing short and long distances alike.

Salomon have hyped up the new technologies in the Pulsar but they do actually make a noticeable difference that I can feel when running. An Energy-Surge midsole gives a slightly softer ride, especially in the midfoot but it also feels like I'm getting a significant energy rebound effect. For sure I have run up to 50 km distance in them and noticed that my legs don't feel quite as beat up afterwards as they sometimes do in other shoes. The Matryx upper is really stretchy and moulds to my foot but it does take a bit of effort to get into them they're tight to pull on but roomy once you've got your feet in them . The 6mm drop is slightly less than I'm used to but it seems to work and I've had no Achilles or calf issues with them. The stack is a bit higher than normally found in a trail shoe and combined with the lightweight, flexible Matryx upper it does make for a slightly less stable feel around the ankle, especially on rough or technical terrain. My only other concern is the fact that the insole is sewn into the shoe so it makes it a bit of a challenge to get my custom orthotic insoles into.
To sum the Pulsar up so far, it's fast and light and very comfortable. Possibly it may be my favourite shoe that Salomon has made so far."


Jeremy's First Impressions 

There are few more accomplished athletes in Hong Kong than Jeremy Ritcey and we heard he was putting the new S/Lab Pulsar through its paces ahead of his up-coming HK100 Flex so we thought we would tap into his knowledge and get the juice on this incredible new shoe from the man himself.

So while it is early days, we were pleased to be able to get some initial impressions from Jeremy in his first couple of runs.

GR: So Jeremy, you have the new PULSAR how have you been getting on with them so far? 

JR: I've done 2 more runs in them.  I have been completely under the weather for both runs, but I still have some takeaways. They are comfortable and cushioned enough that I'm confident running 100k in them won't be a problem (I'm doing so on Thursday - HK100 Flex).  The 6mm drop feels really great still and the rocker feel is still a nice feel.
I was initially worried that running in them with poor form (when tired or run down) would be an issue, as most of the cushioning feels like it's in the midfoot.

Even running while feeling sick on Friday in them, with no energy, the way they rock you forward made it feel like the narrow, under-cushioned heel wouldn't become an issue over a longer distance. I really think it's a winner. There is nothing comparable. The only other Uber light trail shoe is the red/white  S/Lab Sense 8 and I wouldn't dream of running long in them at my age/condition.

GR: How about for heel strikers also manageable you think?

JR: I think so - I definitely heel strike more when I'm tired and they seemed to fare very well. I do wish they had a bit more cushion in the heel to make them feel more balanced, but at 170g it really is incredible how cushioned they are.

GR: They will probably replace the sense 7 or 8 is what we understand

JR: Maybe, they are very different shoes though. I won't run in the sense 8 now - they are definitely a replacement for me.

GR: We wish you well on Thursday Jeremy, hope you have a great run ... all the best!

JR: Thanks, it wont be the shoes fault if I don't, that's for sure! :-)

The Pulsar has been developed together with Killian Jornet and he is seen below in a prototype version during the Sierre-Zinal

A couple of other technical details to note:

The upper material is made from the same Matryx material seen in the Evo Speedgoat which helps with the lightness. Its strength comes through the Kevlar reinforcement. 

The midsole is a new foam they refer to as "Energy-Surge" and this seems to help the rocker that Jeremy refers too AND is a major contribution to the lightness. 

Of course we are well used to the Contagrip outsole and with a lug configuration we know to be a winner for Hong Kong trails. There will be a soft-ground version apparently coming later but this, relatively small lug layout, is ideal for HK's unique conditions. 

One downside we found initially examining the shoe is that the ankle collar "sock" is extremely tight and for anyone needing to insert orthotics this will prove a problem. Its also not the easiest shoe to put on. There is no sockliner, like the Sense 8 but the fit, once on, feels roomy. 

Anyway, we will update the blog as we put more miles into these shoes and I am sure Jeremy will have some more detailed feedback at the end of the week... so watch this space. 




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