Amongst hikers and runners, Salomon has earned a reputation for making some of the industries most durable outdoor gear. And their shoes are no different. With a lineup featuring a mix of aggressive trail runners and hiking shoes. Built with deep lugs and added foot protection to handle even the most rocky trail. Salomons have a unique look that is sure to stand out while being ready for any weather condition. And today we’ll look at two of the brand’s most popular hikers, in the Salomon Speedcross vs X Ultra. Breaking down the key differences, specs, videos, images, and more!
Salomon Speedcross vs X Ultra
- The Salomon Speedcross is a neutral hiking / running shoe. Meaning it is going to be a good choice for the majority of people.
- While the Salomon X Ultra is a “support” hiking shoe. Meaning it has built in support to help prevent overpronation.
- The Speedcross is considered a hiking & trail running shoe. The Ultra X is listed as, and is considered more of a hiking shoe.
- Salomon’s Ultra X is the heavier of the two shoes by a good amount. Weighing 12.7 oz, compared to the Speedcross at 10.5 oz.
- While the Speedcross has a slightly higher stack at height. At 32 mm compared to 30 mm on the Ultra X.
- The Ultra X has a larger 11 mm drop. Compared to a 10 mm drop on the Speedcross.
- Both shoes are listed as having a “regular” cushion. And a “high” level of foot protection.
- Neither of the two shoes feature any waterproofing in their base models. And they both feature the Salomon quicklace system.
MSRP Price: $140
Men’s – Click Here
Women’s – Click Here
Weight Men: 298 g / 10.5 oz
Men’s Drop: 10 mm
Men’s Offset: 32 mm / 22 mm
Stack Height: 32 mm
Foot Protection: High
Lug Size: 5mm
Salomon X Ultra
MSRP Price: $120
Men’s Link: Click Here
Women’s Link: Click Here
Weight Men: 360 g / 12.7 oz
Weight Women: 8.2 oz / 234 g
Men’s Drop: 11 mm
Men’s Offset: 30 mm / 19 mm
Stack Height: 30 mm
Foot Protection: High
Founded in 1947 by Georges Salomon in France as a small company making ski edges. The Salomon brand has now been making sports and outdoor gear for over 75 years. Providing a large lineup of shoes. They also make a wide variety of other equipment, everything from vests and packs, to hiking poles. Because of this it is easy to understand why so many people end up looking for shoes from the brand. And end up comparing two of their best selling hiking shoes in the Salomon Speedcross vs X Ultra. One is the brands OG neutral trail shoes. With its roots found in the mountains of France and a design that is both sturdy and quick. While the other is an armored trail monster. Built with added support to prevent overpronation when on the trails. But which one is right for you? Let’s break down in more detail below.
The Speedcross is one of Salomon’s most popular shoes. With a mix of users that includes trail runners, hikers, and OCR racers. So it’s no surprise that when first unboxing the shoes, my first impression is that they look aggressive, but not in a bad way. Like a beefed up trail runner, the larger 10 mm drop sitting on 5 mm lugs gives a very mean stance. And the red color I went with is just enough to be noticed without screaming for attention.
Based on reading a few reviews I decided to go a ½ size up, and I’m glad I made this choice. When I first put them on, the extra space provided by half sizing up was perfect. They fit snug but comfortable on the sides with just enough room in the toes. They are a bit on the heavier side as a trail runner, but are perfect for hiking. And it’s clear the lugs are meant for offroad, so I would be testing them until I could find some trail time.
On the trail the Speedcross feels right at home. The aggressive traction has no issues going over anything that nature can throw at you. And they even grip on wet rocks. With quick draining for anytime you have time you have to battle a creek crossing. My only real complaints about the shoes are that they do feel a bit rigid overall. But I guess some people like this support and added food shielding. I’d also like to see just a bit more cushion. It would be worth just a bit more added weight.
Salomon X Ultra
I have to admit I didn’t know much about the Salomon Ultra X before testing them out. They are one of the brand’s somewhat newer models. And really has found its home as a hiking shoe vs a trail runner. Out of the box, the Ultra X looks the part of a beefed up trail runner crossed with a small hiking boot. With added foot and toe rock protection and the brand’s quicklace system. The bottom also features an aggressive lug. And while the size isn’t listed I believe they are around 5mm.
Putting on the shoes the first thing I notice is the weight of the shoes. Overall I think they would be considered heavy for a “hiking shoe”. But if you are coming from a hiking boot, these will feel really light. Next, I noticed the inner guard rail which does feel a little intrusive to me. Remember these are support shoes and provide added support to prevent overpronation. Fit wise, I’m really glad I went a half size up. They feel like they run narrow. And if I was going to be wearing heavier socks I might think about going a full size up. Standing in them they don’t feel too tall, and I think the 11 mm drop will be helpful for hiking up and down hills.
Hitting the trails in the Salomon Ultra X, they feel pretty good. The cushion is balanced and the height / drop combo feels like it works for going up and down steep terrain. Where the Ultra X really shines is in traction and foot protection. The grip sticks even on wet rocks and the toe protection saved me a few times. A few things that I didn’t like about the Ultra X include the tongue that is not attached and can move freely while moving. And feels like they skimped on the padding around the ankle. Also it should be noted there are a lot of negative reviews in regard to lasting build quality. I only got 40 miles in mine at the time of writing this. And have had no issues so far.
Below is a side by side image comparison of the Salomon Speedcross vs X Ultra.
Salomon Speedcross Profile
Salomon Speedcross vs X Ultra
From the top the two have a very similar shape. But you can see the added toe guard protection on the Ultra X.
Speedcross Top View
X Ultra Top View
While both have aggressive lugs. You can see they have very different sole designs. The Speedcross has less overall lugs allowing for a bit more flexibility.
Salomon Speedcross Sole
Salomon X Ultra Sole
Salomon Speedcross 6 Video
Salomon X Ultra 4 Video
Conclusion – Salomon Speedcross vs X Ultra
Salomon is known for making ger that is meant for conquering the mountains. And both of these models fit right in on even the most rugged of terrain. Which is why a lot of people end up trying to decide between the Salomon Speedcross vs X Ultra. But for me they are two different shoes, meant for two different types of people. So which one is right for you?
Which trail shoe to buy?
To me these two models were designed with two different purposes. The Speedcross is exactly that. A cross between a running shoe and hiking shoe. Allowing for people that want to go fast to beagle to run with a bit of protection around the toes and sides like most hiking shoes. While the Ultra X is more of a cross between hiking shoes and hiking boots. Something for people carrying lighter loads that don’t want the weight of a heavy boot.
So if you’re a trail runner or OCR / Spartan Racer comparing the two, then go with the Speedcross. They are the faster of the two shoes. If you’re planning a thorough hike, then trying the Ultra X would be the better bet.
If you have tried either, let me know your thoughts in the comments below!