REVIEW: Salomon Genesis
Written By: SportsShoes
The Salomon Genesis is a mountain shoe that's as comfortable and confidence-boosting as it is dynamic, agile and primed for adventure. Designed for hard-wearing durability and meticulous precision in tricky terrain. No rugged climb is too steep, no descent too sketchy. With a dynamic support chassis and reliable grip, it's the perfect weapon of choice for technical trails.
|RRP £139.99 (S/LAB Genesis RRP £189.99)
|Men's: 269g, Women's: 242g / (S/LAB Genesis) Unisex: 258g
|8mm (most suitable for heel strikers)
|34mm (Heel) / 26mm (Forefoot) (same for the S/LAB Genesis)
|Fits slightly small (would recommend sizing up by 1/2 to standard)
|Most suitable for:
|Long to ultra-distances on technical trails.
|A Matryx® Mesh upper for rugged and long-term durability, Active Chassis for dynamic support and All-terrain Contagrip® for incredible grip on the trails.
|(out of 5)
The Salomon Genesis is the sister shoe of the unisex S/LAB Genesis, a high-performance trail shoe which is loved and worn by elite athletes such as Courtney Dauwalter. Both models are designed for long to ultra-distances on technical trails, with a key focus on grip and durability. They share most of the same design and technologies, with just a few subtle differences between them.
In this article, I review the standard men's Genesis model which has been designed for the mass market, but I will also highlight the similarities and differences with the S/LAB Genesis, designed for pinnacle racing performance.
FIRST IMPRESSIONS: FIT & FEEL
First impressions? This shoe looks great! I'm a big fan of the colour and the overall design of the Genesis model.
At 269g for men and 242g for women, it's reasonably lightweight but robust, striking a perfect balance for a shoe that's designed to tackle some serious trail miles and is one that's built to last. It's also very versatile in the sense that I would both train and race in this shoe. In comparison, the S/LAB Genesis is a slightly lighter model than the men's Genesis, weighing just 258g.
I wore the Genesis straight out of the box and had no problem heading out for an 10-mile run without first having to break them in. I was immediately impressed with the level of comfort; the padded heel collar, gusseted tongue and Quicklace® system, which all work together to cradle the foot and provide a really secure fit with a locked in feel. Strategically placed overlays further protect the shoes from damage and keep your feet shielded from rocks and debris. A protective toe cap keeps toes shielded and safe from knocks and bumps on the trail.
In terms of size, this shoe is standard width and the length is in keeping with other Salomon models (I always wear 1/2 a size up to most other models - a UK 10.5 as opposed to a UK 10).
The only key difference between the two Genesis models in the upper is that the S/LAB version also features an integrated gaiter, which is a sock-like fit around the ankle to prevent dirt and debris from entering the shoes and provide you with additional protection from the elements.
The Genesis Trail Running Shoes have been constructed using Salomon's unique Matryx® construction, to keep your feet protected, cool and comfortable on the trails. Matryx® is made of individually coated polyamide and Kevlar® yarns. This process increases breathability (up to 200g/m²) by allowing moisture to escape, which means your feet remain dry for maximum comfort and stay cool and cosy on long trail adventures. The materials are highly durable and abrasive-resistant to protect your feet from knocks and bumps and provide you with a long-lasting pair of shoes that you can rely on for every run.
Personally, I'm really pleased to see Matryx® technology featured in the Genesis models. In my opinion it provides the perfect blend of strength, durability, breathability and lightweight performance of any upper material on the market.
Both the standard and S/LAB version of the Genesis are equipped with Matryx® uppers.
ENERGY FOAM MIDSOLE AND ACTIVE CHASSIS
Built on a springy and comfortable midsole compound, this lightweight, responsive foam is designed to deliver long-lasting cushion and bouncy energy return. Additionally, the Genesis has an Active Chassis to provide a great amount of support, helping to prevent injuries from occurring and keeping feet comfortable.
These midsole technologies work together to provide maximum cushioning and protection on extreme and rocky trails. I also felt the benefit when running on sections of tarmac and hard-packed trail surfaces.
Both Genesis models feature Energy Foam and Active Chassis in the midsole. This allows you to enjoy the benefit of having plenty of foam underfoot for cushioning, whilst providing support and stability from the Active Chassis and firm heel counter which work together to hold your feet firmly in place and reduce lateral movement during your run. This shoe is built to tackle technical terrain and I can see why, as it gives you plenty of support, protection and confidence you need in extreme trail environments.
Made from Salomon Contagrip®, the outsole is extremely durable and abrasion-resistant. 4.5mm lugs dig into the ground to provide grip on almost every trail surface, including soft terrain, but with the exception of extreme muddy conditions. I have been suitably impressed with the traction of this shoe, having mostly tested it on rocky and hard-packed trails, two trail environments in which the Genesis is designed to excel.
This version of Contagrip® is the stickiest to date, with both Genesis models sharing the same Contagrip® technology and 4.5mm lug depth. In terms of the outsole, the only key difference between the two models is the lug pattern, with more spacing in between the central lugs on the S/LAB version, which I can only assume is for minimal weight gain and to shed mud and debris more effectively underfoot.
If you're a budding long to ultra-distance runner, perhaps looking to compete in a races like Transgrancanaria or the UTMB®, then this is the perfect shoe for you, as it's specifically designed to cope with those distances and types of terrain. It is extremely durable, supportive and cushioned and will serve you better than any other shoe in the Salomon range on technical trails. And if you're looking for a slightly lighter, race-ready version of this shoe, then the S/LAB Genesis would be the best option, as worn by Courtney Dauwalter - say no more.
And for anyone who prefers more versatile shoe that's both comfortable and lightweight and pitched as a trail running all-rounder, then check out the Salomon Sense Ride 5.
For dynamic performance over shorter distances, look no further than the Salomon Pulsar Trail Pro 2 or the race-ready, pinnacle version of this shoe, the S/LAB Pulsar Trail Pro 2, also available in a soft ground option.
For anyone who prefers more cushioning underfoot, especially for long to ultra-distance running, then check out the Salomon Ultra Glide 2 (also available in a wide fit).
And for soft ground, where grip is a higher priority, it's worth looking at the Salomon Thundercross or Salomon Speedcross 6, as both trail shoes have a more aggressive 5mm lug depth and pattern and are available in GORE-TEX versions.
- Salomon Genesis is the perfect weapon of choice for tough, technical trails.
- A Matryx® Mesh upper for rugged and long-term durability.
- Active Chassis provides dynamic support and stability.
- All-terrain Contagrip® for incredible traction on tough and rocky trails.
- 4.5mm lugs provide excellent grip on almost every off-road surface.
WHAT ARE THE KEY DIFFERENCES BETWEEN GENESIS AND S/LAB GENESIS?
Aside from the price, there are subtle differences in design which help position the S/LAB Genesis as the pinnacle racing model.
- The Genesis is available in both men's and women's styles, the S/LAB version is unisex.
- The Genesis weighs 269g and 242g for men and women respectively. The S/LAB sits in between at 258g.
- The Genesis has a traditional heel collar and the S/LAB version has an integrated gaiter around the ankle to prevent dirt and debris from entering the shoes and provide additional protection.
- All models use Contagrip® technology and have 4.5mm lugs for grip, but they have a slightly different lug pattern on the outsole.