Trail Runner’s Shoe Review: Salomon Glide Max TR

Trail runner Sarah Barber reviews Salomon’s Glide Max TR. Shoes were provided by ATRA corporate member Salomon at no cost for the review.

According to Merriam-Webster, the word “glide” means “to move continuously, smoothly, and effortlessly.” Knowing this, would it be correct to say that any ultra-runner would be ecstatic if given the opportunity to simply “glide” their way through every mile both in training and in racing? Well, that opportunity is what Salomon aims to offer with the new Glide Max TR trail shoe.

Cushioned, flowy and fluid

For the past decade, Salomon seemed to mostly resist the trend of high-stack height squish, focusing more on techy features like grippy lugs and Gore-Tex uppers. But the plushy mushy movement is here to stay. Salomon has answered, not with a whisper but with a scream—a screaming success, that is. The Glide Max TR is one of their most cushioned trail shoes, boasting 33 mm of stack in the heel and a nicely conservative 6 mm drop to the toe.

They’ve preserved their signature Reverse Camber rocker geometry (found in several of their other well-loved kicks) to propel the runner forward with each foot strike, and they’ve added a bit of a flare to the horizontal plane of the sole for added stability. However, it’s the Energy Foam in the midsole that promises a flowy, fluid ride as the miles tick by.

Lacing for the Salomon Glide Max TR.

Lacing system

Already a committed devotee of all things Salomon, I was eager to step into a pair of yellow (they call it “bleached sand”) Glide Max TRs for the first time. After years of habituation to Salomon’s patented Quicklace system (think draw string pulley, lock, and tuck excess into built-in pocket – often referred to as the lace garage), I was a little taken aback to see traditional shoelaces. Fortunately, I was a Montessori kid, and lessons learned at a young age are skills that never vanish. Turns out I can still tie shoelaces!

However, that 20 seconds of tedium before heading out to the trails had me questioning Salomon’s wisdom. Why the departure from the reliable, tidy closure system that guarantees you won’t be tripping over your shoelaces mid-run? Were double-knots enough, or should I have gone with triples for good measure?

Test run

But within a few steps, I wasn’t thinking about shoelaces anymore. Instead, I was marveling at the shock-absorption and buoyancy that had me floating over rocks and dirt with more grace than a ballerina. Is this what gliding feels like? If so, I’ll take it. I was also delighted by the precise and perfect fit on my long and narrow flippers.

The midfoot felt secure, and my toes still had room to spread out; several hours later, my feet were still happy. Clearly, the Glide Max TR is made to go the distance. While I wouldn’t necessarily think of a well-cushioned shoe when I’m looking for speed, the Glide Max TR is no slouch in the velocity department. It’s hard to make a pillow that doesn’t feel sluggish, but Salomon has accomplished this minor miracle.

Enjoy the ride – enjoy the glide

If “glide” is the overarching theme of Salomon’s latest sneaker, the other word that keeps coming to mind is “safe.” And that’s fine because 98% of the time, “safe” is what I want from my trail shoes. I want my feet to feel protected in a durable encasement that allows them to play all day long. I don’t want to worry about rolling an ankle or stubbing a toe.

The other 2% of the time when I’m going full send, I’ll wear a more edgy and race-specific shoe. “Safe” might not inspire thrill-seekers or adrenaline junkies, but how about you save your dangerous for something other than trail running. I’m not suggesting you take the Glide Max TR on your next sky diving mission; I’m merely suggesting that you don’t let your shoes be the dangerous part of trail running. There’s plenty of risk out there already, so buckle up, and let Salomon help you enjoy the ride—and the glide!