The Sense Ride returns with a third installment and big changes. This version is a lot less race oriented that its predecessors gravitating to a more all around trail runner.
The Ride is still firm underfoot but is slightly softer due to a new Optivibe cushioning system borrowed from Salomon’s road shoes.
Rear Raised midsole sidewalls and a new supportive upper give greater protection and stability.
The Contrarip MA outsole is back with a burlier set of lugs that are smooth on any surface, but aggressive enough to handle technical muddy trails and steep climbs.
At first glance the changes between the Sense Ride 2 and 3 were unmistakable. The midsole is the first thing that jumps out as it’s more generous, but blends nicely into a revamped upper.
Once on I could immediately feel the rear foot hold created by the raised midsole walls. Underfoot feel is firm but with a bit of bounce and not a lot of flex.
The fit was true to size and I really appreciated the rounded toe box that had the just right amount of width and depth.
The weight of the Ride 3 has increased over the 2 which was noticeable just holding the shoe, but once on felt negligible.
Spring in Colorado means a lot of changing weather depending on the day which can really test the capabilities of a trail shoe, and the Ride preformed flawlessly no matter the terrain or conditions.
The smooth and protective ride was excellent but what I really appreciated most was its traction. The aggressive lugs held well in the sloppiest of conditions and climb like a bear.
A lot of the changes to the Ride have really been a benefit in the protection category of the shoe. The biggest benefit has come from the Optivibe midsole.
This newer midsole foam combo uses a Dow Infuse Olefin midsole that shares space with a more dense rubberized EVA heel insert which Salomon calls the JPAD.
JPAD’s primary purpose is to reduce shock and vibration with the hope of lessening fatigue.
Optivibe is more stiff and maybe a little less nimble but the trade for improved protection and dampening seems worth the sacrifice.
A segmented ProFeel rock plate is again placed in the forefoot and extends further forward than in the Ride 2.
The change provides greater forefoot protection without affecting flexibility making this a more attractive shoe for ultra distances.
In terms of durability I don’t think that there is any question about ruggedness. The new debris-resistant mesh is solid and slightly more dense than the 2.
This one piece design paired with the Sensi Fit overlays create not only a supportive and well structured upper, but one that has, to this point, proven to be pretty bombproof.
The Contragrip outsole not only performs well on any terrain but is durable showing no signs of wear after a variety of surfaces, conditions, and 70ish miles.
The Sense Ride 3 may not be the fastest shoe you can get a hold of but is certainly one of the most stable and aggressive.
With the added benefits of the raised midsole and revamped upper these have also added weight.
This weight gain makes the ride 3 not nearly as fast and or quite as nimble as before, but does have some responsiveness when driven a harder pace.
I think that the trade for improved dampening and cushion over speed is as the confidence I have in this shoe is worth it.
The outsole is more aggressive and slightly deeper which improved traction making it really agile and quick while climbing.
while not really designed to race hard and fast in the Sense Ride 3 would be a solid choice for competition at ultra distances.
The Sense Ride 3 fit me true to size. The raised midsole and beefier upper give the shoe an assured hold especially in the rear.
The SensiFit overlays provide great support, structure, and lock down of the midfoot. I love the Endofit booty and the firm yet and non-binding fit it provides.
The shoe has an adequate toe box that, along with the rest of it, isn’t overly generous but would be accommodating to those with wider feet.
Breathability is somewhere in the middle, I found them warm enough on cooler days and not suffocating when the temperature started to climb.
The quicklace system works very well perfectly snugging down the upper fast, easy, and efficiently on the fly. The lacing garage stows the laces away effectively but stuffing them isn’t as easy as it could be.
I really love the consistent and predictable performance the Sense Ride 3 offers. The shock absorption and dampened vibration are just as Salomon describes.
The Ride 3 is clearly tuned for door to trail and longer technical outings.
As stated earlier its not a speedster by any means but its all day comfort, traction, and durability make it a solid all mountain daily runner that has landed a place in the top of my trail lineup.
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