First impressions are the rule, but the Salming Race 3, in this case, certainly is the exception. I eagerly anticipated trying out the Salming brand. As a runner who leans towards the natural/ minimal side of the spectrum Salming products offer a happy medium especially when considering a race platform, with their “no nonsense running” approach to building their shoes.
Salming is a Swedish brand named after the legendary professional hockey player Borje Salming.
He was known for his sheer grit and determination, his “no nonsense” approach to sporting products is alluring to say the least.
Before I get too far, I will say that I have held onto this review far longer than appropriate. We are familiar with excuses and what they are synonymous with, and we all know everyone has one. However, there are some positive aspects to my tardiness to churn out a review.
I received my Race3’s from Salming back in July and what my procrastination afforded me was an absolutely brutal and extensive test period. To date I have well over 300 miles on these shoes. This is how they have performed for me.
According to Salming their specs are as follows:
Model: Race 3
Weight: 185 grams (UK size 8)
Color: Navy/Safety yellow
Out of the box
My anticipation was high. Salming sent me US size 12 shoes that weighed in at 219 grams (Right) 213 grams (Left), as compared to their advertised 185 gram UK size 8. Which isn’t the lightest race shoe on the market but it is far lighter than I am used to, and right up there with the best of the feather weights.
Were about on par for what I expected out of a pair of race shoes, nothing really jumped out at me: simple design, simple tread, simple/ standard lacing system.
When I slid these shoes on for the first time I was disappointed to lace them up with a general sense of a mediocre fit. I will say that this is a race shoe designed to be light, which means creature comforts are stripped and replaced with efficiency. They size a bit long and narrow, but that is not much of a problem with my long skinny feet. I wasn’t blown away when I put these shoes on.
With all that said, I decided to go for a run. My devastation was short lived, as my right foot struck the hard ball road. These shoes, quite literally, came alive. I couldn’t believe the paradox between the static feel of these shoes versus the dynamic and working end.
I received these shoes in Oklahoma, but three weeks later I found myself on the move to Wyoming. So, they have seen their share of terrain. By design this is absolutely a race/road shoe, however on easy/mild terrain these shoes still managed to shine. With a simple tread pattern hitchhikers and debris tagging along for a run was never an issue.
For more technical terrain they lacked toe coverage, but considering its racing roots this shoe found heavy use on light trails. The well designed upper seemed to mitigate sand/dirt/gravel from penetrating during longer runs also. It didn’t seem to matter what terrain these shoes found themselves on so long as they were moving, and preferably moving fast.
Their “torsion efficiency unit” seems to provide just enough responsiveness, without fear of feeling too supportive.
At the end of the day Salming’s signature ride is what sells these shoes for me. A stripped down, light weight, no nonsense running shoe whose versatility is as dynamic as its overall resilience. Although I have over 300 miles logged on mine, one would hardly guess they have seen 100 miles.
Whether sprinting towards a 5k personal best, or competing in a marathon, these shoes seem to boast just the right amount of support and weight which make them feel tremendously fast, yet comfortable in the long haul.
My extended abuse of this particular shoe also showcases the legendary Salming Grit: synonymous with their creator/ namesake. These shoes are light, versatile, and durable: all qualities I look for in a running shoe. I strongly recommend trying a pair, I will likely be trying other models myself.
My overall evaluation of these shoes is:
Writer/Athlete/ Bearded Hooligan
Photo credit: RangerSmash.com
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