Salming has a few different models of running shoes, but for this review we will focus on the A2 Distance shoe. This shoe is classified as their everyday trainer, built on Salming’s “No Nonsense” philosophy. I was introduced to Salming by a training partner back in March after struggling with some running issues. After a few conversations and a little research, I decided to try them. I got a pair of the D1 and S1 shoes, and immediately liked what I felt in their “No Nonsense” approach to running shoes. I was hooked and ran only in these shoes all spring. After a few hundred miles on both, I thought I’d get another pair. This is when I got my first pair of A2 Distance shoes. I realized after running only 3 miles in this shoe that it was a perfect match for me. So much so, that the next time I ran in the shoe was at the Raleigh 70.3 IM race, THAT weekend! I finally found a shoe that would be responsive enough, but not too soft that my stride would become less efficient.
The A2 has 24mm stack height in the heel and 19mm in the forefoot, which gives ample cushioning for a lightweight trainer. The two-layer upper provides a plush feel, while the RunLite midsole adds responsiveness and protection while maintaining a low weight at just 8.2oz. The shoe has a cross section through the middle of the shoe, bringing sturdiness to the shoe by bridging the heel of the foot with the forefoot. Salming refers to this as The Torsion Efficiency Unit. This eliminates the need for traditional stability posting. I like this as it lets your foot pronate naturally, without feeling like it’s restricted by the shoe. I have found the outer sole with its blown rubber compound strategically placed on the shoe provider great traction on all terrain and conditions. This outer sole material is extremely durable which I found allows for an above average shoe life. One of the most interesting design features on this shoe is what they call the TGS 62/75 degree. They have designed the shoe, from the heel to the ball of the foot (62% of the shoe) with extra stability. This stability is provided by The Torsion Efficiency Unit mentioned earlier. This extra stability ends at the so-called “ballet” line at a 75 degree angle. In front of this 75* line the shoe has greater flexibility simulating the foot’s natural movements. According to Salming, the TGS 65/75* feature assures that the shoe bends in exactly the right places, simulating the foot’s lateral and forward movements. I agree with their assessment of this feature. I have found the shoe allows my foot a very natural movement, while still providing the responsiveness needed for a longer run.
The A2 is my go to shoe for all training and racing distances. I have completed several Half Ironman, as well as one Ironman Distance races in this shoe, and find myself choosing this shoe for runs of all distances and speeds. It’s not to say I don’t enjoy running some shorter races and workouts in the Speed S1 shoes I have. But at only .8 ounces heavier while providing a little more cushion, the A2 gets chosen a lot more as the season progresses on my tired legs. The durability of this shoe has also allowed me easily 100+ additional miles of wear over many lightweight trainers I’ve run in before.
If you are looking for light weight, do- it- all natural running shoe, the Salming A2 is certainly one I would recommend trying. However, if you like the super soft large stack height offerings of some current shoe companies, then this may not be the shoe for you.