Putting the shoes to the test.
I chose to test the Salomon Sense Pro Max during the ‘Bakun Trio‘ hike. It’s a popular one among experienced hikers and trail heads – three peaks to bag in one trip. The catch? You need to be fast, to get them all consecutively. Miss a day? No Bakun Trio for you this week, sorry.
The first day is routinely the fastest, and with the featherlight Sense Pro Max, Mt. Lubo was over in under four hours. I was basically coasting down during the descent, and the shoe transitioned to road sections with no problem. The Quicklace system, which I’ve gotten used to, helped make loosening/tightening the shoe effortless during terrain changes.
The second day, the famed “unli-walk” of Mt. Tenglawan, tested the comfort and fit of the shoe. I’ve done this trail before in my XA Pro 3D, and the biggest change I felt was how much cooler the Sense Pro Max was. The uppers seem paper-thin, and my feet were breathing well six hours into the trail. The cloud-like cushioning took some getting used to, but on the tenth hour, I couldn’t have been more grateful for the added bounce. A spacious toe box provided plenty of comfort, too. Again, the lightweight gear helped me post my second-fastest time on this mountain, hours within the 14-hour suggested finish time.
The third and final day was the true test of the Sense Pro Max for me. Mt. Kabunian is notoriously demanding – you’re fatigued, and the trail is far more technical than the previous two. Footwork and foot placement is critical, as sections of the trail are damaged by landslides. One wrong step… well, it’s not going to be pretty. The streamlined profile of the shoe let me stick it into nooks and crannies, and the famed Contagrip soles gave me fast and slip-free descent across dry pine needles, wet rock, scree (which can be dangerous), and even mossy concrete!
Overall, I’m happy with the Salomon Sense Pro Max though I think it’s not going to be for some people.
If, like me, you love lightness and speed, appreciate cushioning, and need elite-level grip, this pair is made for you and you need to get it right now.
On the other hand, if you need more protection, a tighter heel cup, or prefer traditional lacing systems, this shoe might take some getting used to.
Salomon Sense Pro Max Review
I hike with Trail Adventours. Book your first trip with them here.
Salomon Philippines has been kind enough to provide a pair of Sense Pro Max shoes for me, but this has in no shape or form affected my personal experience and conclusion about the shoes.