The Salomon Sense Mantra 2 is a lightweight trail running shoe that protects your feet without feeling too bulky.
Like many runners these days, I’ve found my feet hurting from too many hard miles in minimalist shoes but I’m not quite ready to embrace the cartoonish looking maximalist shoes that are gaining popularity in the wake of barefoot-shoe-induced injuries. With that in mind, I decided to give the Salomon Sense Mantra 2 a try.
Part of Salomon’s intriguing “City Trail” line of running shoes, the Sense Mantra 2 is touted as “a lightweight training shoe for forefoot and midfoot strikers looking for a precise combination of feel and protection.” When I read that on Salomon’s website, I felt like they were writing it just for me.
Salomon Sense Mantra 2 Specs
- Stack Height: Heel (16 mm), Forefoot (10 mm)
- Heel To Toe Drop: 6 mm
- Weight: 9.5oz (men’s size 9)
- Sensifit and Endofit technology to keep your foot locked in place
- Quicklace system with lace pocket (one of my favorite Salomon features)
- ProFeel Film to protect your feet
- Protective toe cap
Salomon Sense Mantra 2 Style
I can’t put my finger on what it is about the shoe, but I really like the way they look! While so many running shoes today opt for an eye-popping (some might say gaudy) combination of bright colors, Salomon stuck with a variation of their immediately recognizable upper in a variety of color palettes that look modern but not flashy. I especially like the black and yellow option, but unfortunately those weren’t on sale.
Salomon Sense Mantra 2 Fit/Comfort
I’ll be honest: I was less than impressed at first. When I first put on the shoes, the arch support felt excessively high and the lace pocket was annoying to deal with because the laces tightened down on top of it, making it difficult to use the lace pocket as intended. Add the fact that I got a blister on my pinkie toe during the first run and I was beginning to second guess my decision to buy the shoes.
After a handful of runs, I’m happy to report that I haven’t had any issues with the shoes after that first run. Maybe it just took me awhile to transition from the minimalist New Balance 110, but I no longer notice the arch support being too high. I also haven’t had any more blisters and I figured out that if you pull on the loop of the lace pocket while you tighten the laces, it keeps the lace pocket from getting caught under the laces. I had to tighten the laces down more than I expected to get a secure fit, but once I found the right amount of tension it seems like the Endofit sleeve does the job to keep your foot in place.
Salomon Sense Mantra 2 Performance
The only gripe about the shoes that I still have is that I wish they had a little more traction. I find that I slip on snow packed trails more than I have with other shoes. They perform great in dry conditions, but I found that I had to be fairly conservative with my foot placements on anything muddy or snow packed. I’ve taken the shoes on some pretty challenging terrain, which is probably more than Salomon had in mind for this road/trail hybrid, so I won’t knock the shoes too much. While this certainly isn’t a top-of-the-line flagship shoe, it is an excellent all-around trail shoe. It’s comfortable and competent enough for most trail runs and light hiking, is equally at home on pavement, and even works well riding a bike. The shoe is versatile enough that it is quickly becoming my go to shoe when I head out the door.
Salomon Sense Mantra 2 Quality/Durability
I have no doubt that these shoes will hold up for a very long time. In my experience, Salomon shoes hold up to a ton of abuse. In fact, I have an old pair of the original Salomon XT Wings that I still wear occasionally because the only thing wrong with them is a broken lace. The attention to detail is evident in the Sense Mantra 2 construction and I’m sure that these shoes will last many miles.
I snagged these Salomon Sense Mantra 2 shoes for $52 on Amazon, which is a steal considering they retail for $110. A lot of retailers are starting to offer some deep discounts on these shoes now that the Salomon Sense Mantra 3 is out, so grab a pair while you still can!