Salming is a Swedish brand that is starting to make inroads in the United States. They have a complete philosophy on running, and what should be strived for from all those who take up the sport.
The brand promotes proper running form and posture, and designs their shoes to help support this belief.
In the Speed 3, Salming offers a low stack option that delivers on the name by giving the runner a lightweight speed trainer that feels much like a well cushioned racing flat.
Salming Speed 3 General Info
The Salming Speed 3 is an update to the Salming Speed line that has become fairly popular in Europe.
However, the brand is just starting to hit the market and gain traction in the U.S. Because of the lack of popularity stateside, I have not been able to experience the previous models and can only describe what Salming says they have updated — which after much research does not seem like much.
That said, it doesn’t really seem like there is all that much to update. The Speed 3 is made to be fast, with the low profile and flatter heel-toe drop.
Upon unboxing the shoe, I was presented with a very bright, eye-catching shoe.
But once I put the shoe on my feet and felt the way they conformed and offered a solid platform underfoot, I liked what was presented to me.
The first time I wore them around to start breaking them in, I almost forgot they were on my feet because of the light feel, and I love when that is the case for a running shoe.
So I thought the first run would be great. However, the first few runs took some getting used to — I didn’t feel truly comfortable on regular runs until I had amassed about 30 miles on them.
Where they truly shined was gliding around the track or during fartleks on flatter surfaces.
Salming Speed 3 Sole Unit
The sole unit of the Speed 3 is that of a well cushioned racing flat, in that it offers some cushioning while not going plush and has good ground feel.
The sole uses a signature midsole called RunLite — a high abrasion injection EVA foam that adds good cushion with minimal weight.
To add traction and some durability to the foam, Salming uses a blown rubber compound on the forefoot and the outside heel. This rubber was a great addition to the forefoot when tackling hills or crushed gravel trails.
Although it was great on the pavement, track and crushed gravel, you should keep your running environment in mind as you try to run in them.
The foam is soft enough and lets enough ground feel come through that the shoe is uncomfortable to wear on gravel roads or on trails.
The nicest feature of the sole, and maybe the whole shoe, is Salming’s TGS 62/75° principle.
This is something Salming puts on each of their shoes, where they have designed the sole so that the first 62% of the shoe (heel to midfoot) to offer extra stability before a “ballet” line — a 75° angled line — before the rubberized forefoot which is much more flexible.
The added flexibility in the forefoot makes for a much better toe off and quicker turnover.
The other main point to keep in mind with this sole unit is that there is only a 5mm heel-toe drop, which is much more minimal a drop than the typical trainer (10-12mm).
This make this shoe a particular transition from your prior shoe if you are used to a larger drop, because it puts more strain on the calves as you are forced to land and push off your midfoot.
If you are used to the larger drop, then you should slowly work your way onto this shoe until you are used to it.
Salming Speed 3 Upper Info
The upper is mostly seamless, with seams only appearing on the heel cup and the leather surrounding the shoe lace eyelets.
Because of this, the upper feels quite pleasant and soft enough for those who enjoy running without socks — which I did for one run.
I prefer socks, and stuck with that from there on out, but the inside layer is supremely soft and comfortable.
The construction of the upper uses three layers to increase durability and support. The lowest layer is the afore mentioned soft mesh which feels light and breathable.
Above that layer is what Salming calls the Exo Skeleton, where they added more structured materials to help stabilize the foot in lateral movements.
The company claims that this layer also relieves pressure of the Metatarsophalangeal (MTC) joints. This layer did its job and stabilized on lateral movements, however I don’t know that I ever felt any pressure benefits from the layer.
Then the top layer is an exterior net mesh that wraps almost the entire foot. This layer is way more durable than I was originally expecting, and incredibly breathable.
Keep in mind, however, that with breathability that means water will come in as well.
I used these shoes during a rain storm and also through standing snow (more slush than snow), and in both situations my feet were soaked at the end of the run.
Salming Speed 3 Conclusions
The Salming Speed 3 is a great option for speedwork and fartleks. I have used these shoes in a variety of runs to make sure they held up well in all factions.
Before I get too far into my description, you should know that I am a larger runner 6’3″ and 225lbs, and so some of my conclusions may not be 100% applicable for smaller massed runners.
During my testing, I absolutely fell in love with using these shoes to run 3-6 miles on the pavement. The quick turnover that was created and amount of cushion underfoot was just perfect for this distance.
I used these for a 5k time trial and came within 15 seconds of a PR — despite not being in as good of shape as when I set my PR.
These shoes were great on the track, as I mentioned before, and did quite well during fartleks as well. However, maybe the best place where it performed was on the treadmill.
I know these shoes are not designed for the treadmill — living where I do, you need to use one every once in a while — but these shoes were spectacular on the treadmill.
I frankly haven’t had a better treadmill experience on my feet than I did with the Speed 3, and now whenever I’m heading to the gym, this is the shoe that is in my bag.
Where the shoe failed me was in long runs. I tried these on runs of 8, 10 and 13 miles, and each one of those runs ended with me feeling pain in my feet.
Each time I went more than 10k in these shoes, my feet felt tired and in pain because of my running style and the lack of cushioning for longer runs.
With that said, people who are smaller and more economical with their running style could find these shoes as a great option for longer runs while being light and fast.
Overall, this is a pair of shoes that I will be keeping in my rotation for now. Over the past month or so, I have made these my 6-or-less miles go-to-shoe.
At $140, they may be cost prohibitive for the manner of running that I plan to use them. However, I believe they are worth a look.
We thank the nice people at Salming for sending us a pair of Speed 3 to test. This did not influence the outcome of the review, written after running more than 50 miles in them.