Salomon Ultra Glide 2 Review: Come Glide With Me
We independently review everything we recommend. When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission.
10.2 oz. (289 g) for a US M9,
9.9 oz. (282 g) for a US W8
32.5 mm in heel, 26.5 mm in forefoot (6 mm drop)
Long, comfortable trail days in dry conditions
Thick Energy Surge midsole and reverse camber geometry, easy Quicklace system, Contagrip outsole
🟢A smooth rock & roll ride
🟢Salomon’s Quicklace is second to none
🔴Contagrip might not have quite enough grip
MATT: I had to sit on the sidelines last year, reading my teammates’ review of the Salomon Ultra Glide, as I never got the chance to test it myself. What did I do to anger the powers that be? Was it payback for not tipping Robbe off about dumpster day in my neighborhood, costing him access to precious Baltimore County trash? I’ll never know, but I must have atoned for my wrongs because version two of Salomon’s max cushion trail crusher arrived at my doorstep this year.
Following the well-established trend on the roads, we’re all riding the “more is better” wave on the trails, searching for that perfect balance of comfort and performance. Salomon’s Ultra Glide 2 is definitely well cushioned, yet it remains light enough to feel snappy on the trails.
Our team raved about the original Ultra Glide, as it was Salomon’s first real venture that seemed to deviate from the traditional tight and narrow designs. The OG Ultra Glide was a real all-rounder to meet the masses. Hopefully, with just a few lessons from that shoe, Salomon would be able to retain the goodness and improve on the few picks we had.
Let’s get into it.
MELISSA: Salomon’s second iteration of the Ultra Glide is a max cushion trail shoe and one that feels ready for any surface or distance. I noticed the ultra-plush level of cushion right out of the box, especially in the upper. Plus, Salomon left plenty of padding in the midsole, too. It’s still early going, but I could see the Ultra Glide as a perfect daily trainer or even one for ultra-distance races.
I’ll dip into the shoe’s versatility on different surfaces in my review — I raced a timed event that crossed pavement, concrete, grass, sand, and dirt, so I’ve pretty much touched it all. My race was a perfect chance to let the Ultra Glide 2 shine, so let’s see how bright the star is. Of course, we’ll touch on the bad, too, but there’s definitely more good to get to.
MATT: I had a lot of catching up to do with the Ultra Glide 2 after sitting out on the original last year. Having only experienced Salomon’s S Lab racing models in the past, it was immediately obvious that the Ultra Glide’s design is much more traditional. The extra room through the footbed and toe box lend to an overall plusher, more cushioned fit.
Almost immediately after lacing up the Ultra Glide 2, I began drawing comparisons to shoes like the Hoka Speedgoat 5 and Saucony Xodus Ultra 2. Those are two great shoes, so this is obviously high praise. Of course, I can’t mention Salomon’s fit without a little praise for the Quicklace system. I’m a big fan. It’s minimal, yet easy to adjust, and even tucks away in the tongue. Most importantly, it works and contributes to the Ultra Glide’s great lockdown.
What I found really interesting is that brands have started to copy the Quicklace system. I tested a few Kailas models earlier this year, and their design, right down to the laces, felt like a Salomon clone. However, they don’t have quite as much Quicklace experience, as the Kailas laces loosened and slipped over the course of my runs — something that didn’t happen with the Ultra Glide 2. As they say, often imitated, never replicated.
Honestly, what brings the Ultra Glide 2 together for me is how well the upper combines with the midsole to create one complete shoe. The ride just makes me want to roll through the miles. Salomon packed 32.5 mm of Energy Surge foam in the heel and 26.5 mm in the forefoot for a 6 mm drop, and it lands just right. The midsole has a reverse camber geometry, which makes the roll even smoother.
I should also mention that while I love how the Ultra Glide 2 performs, I’m equally impressed with Salomon’s 2023 colorways. The version I received came in a “Rainy Day, Freesia, Hot Sauce” colorway, and honestly, I would have been sold on the description alone.
MELISSA: My longer efforts in the Ultra Glide 2 were very comfortable. It had plenty of cushion and I had no problems adapting to different surfaces. The Ultra Glide 2 is relatively lightweight, making it a great long-distance option that won’t wear you down over long hours.
Salomon’s upper is roomy yet maintains great lockdown thanks to plenty of cushion and the Quicklace system that Matt praised. I consider myself pretty old school when it comes to my running gear, but I’m starting to warm up to the idea of speed laces. I love that they’re built into some shoe designs now.
The Energy Surge midsole provides a nice bounce and just enough responsiveness to keep you moving forward. Salomon’s outsole adds to the versatility, too — it’s aggressive without being too toothy, so it handles most technical terrain outside of a few slips on wet surfaces. Of course, that’s one for the next section…Shop Salomon Ultra Glide - Men Shop Salomon Ultra Glide - Women
MATT: There’s way more good than bad in the Salomon Ultra Glide 2, but we can’t just gloss over the flaws. Otherwise, all those designers at Salomon will have nothing to keep them busy for version three.
So, we know that I didn’t test version one, but one of Salomon’s design changes for this shoe was an improved upper. It’s supposed to be lighter and more breathable, but I’m not sure I’d label it as such. Melissa has the same complaint, so it’s not just Baltimore weather at play. Maybe this is an improvement from the original, but I wouldn’t expect to put on some SmartWool socks and spend hours on the trails without feeling the heat. This is probably a result of the upper’s ample cushion, but I just wouldn’t put it up there with the Altra Month Blanc or Topo Pursuit.
The only other factor that could be a limiter is that the proprietary Contagrip outsole isn’t on the same level as Vibram Megagrip Litebase, which, oddly enough, is what Kailas uses on its models. Yes, the Contagrip rubber works, we’re not talking Nike death trap rubber here, but it’s not going to be the best if you’re hitting really soft ground or muddy, technical terrain. It can handle pretty much anything else you throw at it without issue.
MELISSA: Although Salomon advertises the Ultra Glide 2 as lightweight, I found the upper to be too bulky. Also, the material used to cushion the upper just isn’t very breathable, nor did it drain well in wet conditions.
Speaking of wet conditions, Matt is right. The Contagrip rubber just doesn’t grip it well enough. It’s fine on most surfaces with its not-so-aggressive teeth, but I wouldn’t get too technical.Shop Salomon Ultra Glide - Men Shop Salomon Ultra Glide - Women
MATT: I really, really like what Salomon has going on in the Ultra Glide 2. This is an admirable entry to the well-cushioned trail market, and it lands in the same conversation as Hoka’s Mafate Speed 4 and Speedgoat 5 or Saucony’s Xodus Ultra 2.
The reverse camber rocker generates a sweet rolling sensation and combines really well with the Energy Surge foam. This is simply a shoe that wants to get you into a flow state.
I’ll definitely be keeping the Salomon Ultra Glide 2 in rotation for longer training runs, and I’d think long and hard about taking it out on race day for 50k or more — at least if the conditions are dry.
MELISSA: Overall, I enjoyed this chameleon of a trail shoe. With exception of wet conditions, the Salomon Ultra Glide 2 is quite adaptable and a great choice if your runs include varied surfaces. It’s a solid shoe for long distances, providing ample cushioning to keep you protected. I could see myself wearing Ultra Glide 2 for a long training run or for a 50-miler that’s dry and covers less technical terrain.
You can pick up the Salomon Ultra Glide 2 for $149 at Running Warehouse (featuring free 2-day shipping and 90-day returns) using the buttons below.
Have something to say? Leave a Comment
Matt is a recovering triathlete who fell in love with running and left the dark side behind. Trail and ultra running are where he is most in his element, but he can still be found routinely running the streets in and around Baltimore with the Faster Bastards. Aside from running, he is a lover of coffee, mezcal, beer, and 90s country music.
All-time favorite shoes: Nike Epic React, Atreyu The Artist, Speedland SL:PDXMore from Matt
East Coast raised and West Coast trained, Melissa truly enjoys running, especially ultra distances. She currently lives on the Southern California coast and can be found exploring Santa Barbara front country on the weekends.
All-time favorite shoes: HOKA Clifton, Nike Vaporfly NEXT %, Altra Lone PeakMore from Melissa
Hi, reading the review I’m wondering if it’s worth the buy compared to version 1?
If you can get version one for less, just get that one