When I think of Salomon, I immediately venture to shoes and gear tailored for serious trail runners. While I hit the trails from time to time, a “serious” trail jetsetter I am not. So, I was very eager to try out the Aero Volt – a road/light trail hybrid from Salomon.
The looks of the Salomon Aero Volt are honestly the thing that got me interested in this shoe. Obviously, we shouldn’t base our running shoes off looks alone, but dang it doesn’t hurt every once in a while. The Aero Volt has a few colorways for men and women (men’s has the orange reviewed colorway and a cool white/lime/navy option as well).
I don’t know if I am making it up, but I get a mountainous terrain visual on the upper. Add in a cool blue addition on the sole and tongue, and its a really fun shoe to look at. My wife – someone has seen me open quite a few pairs of shoes in our lives together – said “oh, those are pretty cool”. That’s all you need to know!
Fit & Construction:
As stated previously, looks don’t make the shoe. A shoe can look amazing, but if it performs like crap – well then what’s the point? Luckily for me, the Salomon Aero Volt feels pretty good as well.
The Aero Volts are true to size and offer a snug, comfortable fit. They are also lightweight and responsive, making them ideal for runners who want to feel connected to the ground. It feels like Salomon kept things relatively simple – and that works in these shoes.
The Salomon Aero Volt features an upper construction made of breathable single-layer mesh and synthetic materials. The upper is designed to be both lightweight and durable, providing a pretty comfortable and secure fit. The shoes also feature SensiFit technology, which cradles the foot from the midsole to the lacing system for a more secure fit.
I didn’t have much to complain about in the upper. I felt it does its job pretty well – security and breathability in one. The tongue is thing and has some small pads to keep it nice up top. The heel isn’t overly padded either. I noticed it right off the bat, as many shoes have some additional support back there, but it didn’t have much effect on the fit or running.
However, one the real odd feature are the seemingly abnormal length of the laces. Maybe its better to offer more than less, but the excessiveness left these flopping around more than I care to. It makes me want to add other laces to them, they are so long.
The midsole of the Salomon Aero Volt is made of energyFOAM, which mashes together EVA and Olefin [OBC] to seemingly deliver cushion and energy return. While the foam construction seems to be highly durable, ensuring that the shoes will last through many miles of running, I didn’t find it as responsive as others on the market. It feels a little firm, in the hands and on the feet, so don’t go in expending a cloud-like experience.
It’s not a rough ride per se, but it seems to be more of a short to medium distance, 2 day/week shoe as opposed to an every day trainer. To be fair to Salomon, they explicitly this amount in the shoe specs. Honestly, going into things with that in mind makes things feel better (though a $150 expenditure for an 8 day/month shoe is a little tough to swallow). I am intrigued to see if this gains flexibility over the next few months.
I have nothing to negative to say about the outsole. Outside of it looking pretty dope, it is made of Contagrip rubber, which provides excellent traction on a variety of surfaces. There are a variety of very small lugs – nothing extravagent – that make this a cool option for those runs where you may be transitioning from paved to casual trail. When I run at Willamette Mission State Park, this is a common occurance and these hold up well there.
It seems like it will be highly durable, so you can expect these shoes to last through many runs. Additionally, the shoes feature a decoupled heel, which helps to absorb shock and reduce fatigue.
This is my first main test of a true Salomon road shoe and I think it performs admirably. However, I do think it falls a little short to their great trail options. That’s not necessarily unexpected, but I think they can make progression on this front.
That being said, the Aero Volts are damn sexy to look at and perform admirably especially as a 2-3 day per week and/or hybrid shoe.