Previously we reviewed the Salming Distance A2, Salming’s “daily trainer.” Now it is time to buckle up and strap on their short distance race day shoe, the “Race” R21.
Thomas: The first day I received the Salming Race, I tried them on, went out to the street and sprinted a tenth of a mile, jogged back inside and signed up for a 5k. A new race flat will do that to me. The Race looks different, bold with its unusual overlays. Unlike the Distance’s overlays, the welded exoskeleton of the Race looks and feels light and modern. Carbon torsion in the midsole adds to the the snap of the shoe. With a 5mm drop the race felt closer to the ground than the drop would indicate. This is probably due to the low stack height. There is good traction from the Lite Rubber that starts at what Salming calls the “Ballerina Line” and moves forward to the toe. There is also some additional Lite Rubber on the heel to prevent slipping. The Race provides a lot of road feel, and weigh a scant 6.8 oz. for a size 10.5.
Meaghan: This is a sweet looking race flat and it’s comfortable out of the box. The upper is made with a 2-layer construction and what Salming calls an Exo Skeleton. The Exo Skeleton hugs the foot and adds some extra stability and support. The fit of this shoe was perfect for me. I like my race flats to fit snugly, and this shoe did just that. My W7.5 weighed in at 4.75oz – it doesn’t get much lighter than that! There is a nice amount of cushioning around the heel cup, collar and tongue. Like most race flats, the shoes have a firmed ride to keep you quick on your feet.
Thomas: The fit of the Race could have been a little more dialed in. Perhaps a size down would have worked better for this speed shoe. I would have liked the midsole to be a little more flexible and a tad more giving.
Meaghan: I felt like these shoes slapped the ground when I was running. It was difficult for me to find a comfortable stride. That being said, I have been partial to HOKAS recently so the transition to a race flat is never graceful.
Thomas: Wanna go fast? Salming has a shoe for that. I would recommend the Race for track workouts, 5k-10ks, and if you like minimal shoes you can go for even greater distances. I like having a couple race flats in the rotation for mixing it up. There is nothing quite like taking a spin in a sub 7 oz. shoe after wearing heavier trainers. There are a lot of fun shoes in the racing flat category, if you want to try something out of the ordinary give the Salming Race a shot. I would compare it to the Saucony A6, Newton MV3, Brooks T7.
Meaghan: This is clearly a well-made shoe. It was comfortable right out of the box and I never had an issue with hot spots or rubbing. It has the right amount of targeted support, without any unnecessary material. I personally wouldn’t wear this shoe for anything over a 5K, but it could be wicked fast for some short-distance racing
Shoes provided by Salming USA for review.