Ever since its launch in 2008, the Salomon XT Wings has been heralded as one of the best “all terrain” trail running shoes. Effortlessly taking you from the road to the trail and back again.
I reviewed the SLAB version of the Salomon XT Wings and happily wore them to their death. Hence I was extremely keen to see if Salomon had managed to keep the key ingredients the same but improve on an already impressive trail shoe when they launched the Salomon XT Wings 2 GTX
First up, here are the headline facts about the new Salomon XT Wings 2 GTX.
- 10% lighter than its predecessor
- Offers 15% more midsole cushioning
- Updated toe cap protection
- New triple-density EVA midsole
- Updated Quicklace lacing pattern
OUT OF THE BOX: No one can question the ability of Salomon to create a sexy looking trail shoe. Noticeable differences from the original (apart from the color) are the symmetrical lacing system, more Salomon branding, added protection to the toe box and a thicker midsole.
The initial feet has been improved, although slightly tighter around the ankle there is now more room in the toe box. I didn’t noticed a tremendous difference between the old asysmetrical Quicklacing system and the now symmetrical Quicklacing system but I suspect that is due to the shape of my feet. One added benefit of the new system is that it is far easier to attach gaiters. As before the Quicklacing system works effectively, providing a snug and stable fit.
One previous issue I had with the Salomon XT Wings has that my big toes rubbed on the inside of the Quicklace anchor however this is no longer the case. I’m glad to see that the tongue design has remained the same and that the handy pocket for your excess lace remains.
OUT ON THE TRAIL: Going from the ground up the low profile “Contragrip” outsole is unchanged. This combines a number of directional lugs with toe off and heel in zones. The Contragrip is deceptively grippy and although it struggles to gain traction in the boggy stuff, the lugs do shed mud well. One of the most satisfying attributes is the versatility of the Salomon XT Wings 2 GTX across various terrains and profiles. On test, the shoe coped well with wet rocks, forest try paths, snow and road.
I have always liked the level of trail “feedback” the Salomon XT Wings provide and the Salomon XT Wings 2 GTX are no different. Personally I want to know that I’m running off road, so that I can adjust my footing accordingly.
It’s a fact that the descents are where we feel most of the suffering and its inevitable that we heel strike whilst running down hill. Thankfully the angled rear panel on the Salomon XT Wings 2 lessens the impact and results in a smoother heel strike. The widened toe box also means that your toes are less likely to get scrunched.
I tested the Gore-Tex version of the Salomon XT Wings 2 and although I’m not a fan of GTX on trail running shoes it has been a welcomed addition this Winter. Keeping my feet warm and dry throughout puddles, down pours and the recent snow. As ever, the trick with GTX shoes is to keep the water out because once it’s in, it stays in!
OVERALL: Salomon has not messed with a successful formula. They have taken a considered approach to the design of the Salomon XT Wings 2 GTX and have come up trumps. There is very little to fault. The Salomon XT Wings 2 GTX manage to succeed where so many other trail running shoes fail. They can cope equally well on the road and trail. This is undoubtedly due to Salomon’s AC Muscle 2, Agile Chassis System which provides fantastic control, cushioning and energy return. I know that the Salomon XT Wings 2 GTX are expensive at £105.00. However, my last pair provided a return of over 400 miles and I expect the Salomon XT Wings 2 GTX to do the same.
Ransacker Rated: Salomon XT Wings 2 GTX
Here is your opportunity to review the Salomon XT Wings 2. Just click on the stars below. Hopefully this will help provide other potential customers with valuable feedback. In will also be interesting to see how our review compares.