Salomon Trailster GTX Review - Headshot

The above video review of the Salomon Trailster GTX was published on the 15th June 2020

I do NOT accept financial compensation from any brand for any product mentions or reviews. All opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own and also an honest appraisal of the shoes. There are no affiliate links in this article.

I bought the Salomon Trailster GTX because my current trail running shoes (2 pairs in rotation) are both almost ready to retire and/or be put in the trash. As is the norm for me I searched online for good ‘deals’ and spotted the Trailster GTX at a knock-down price. The thing that clinched the sale for me over other options was the fact that they have a goretex/waterproof upper. 

I’ve had several pairs of goretex shoes in the past and really liked how they kept my feet warm and dry – especially during the winter months - when running in the rain, sleet and snow.

Review Scoring

For my shoe reviews, I've decided upon a scoring system that has a maximum achievable score of 50. Derived from 10 different factors - each having a maximum score of 5. Those factors are:

  • Looks
  • Build Quality
  • Fit
  • Comfort
  • Breathability
  • Grip
  • Responsiveness
  • Weight
  • Durability
  • Price (Value for money)
Salomon Trailster GTX

Looks

I'm generally more concerned with the function of products rather than what they look like. I'm most definitely not a follower of fashion of any kind. Including running gear. I'll pretty much wear just about anything. Especially if it works really well.

That said, I really like how these shoes look. I think they're quite handsome and I like the colours that have been used too. I bought the two tone blue model. But I believe they also come in black.

I score them at a 4 out of 5 for looks

Obviously aesthetics are very subjective and your own opinion may differ widely from mine.

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Build Quality

The Salomon Trailster GTX seem really well made and are constructed of quality materials.

There are a couple of elements of the design that I'd prefer were different: 

  • They don't have a lace-lock hole. Which means I'm going to have to get a bit more creative with my lacing to ensure a snug fit/keep them secure on my feet in thick mud.
  • I would prefer it if they had a loop at the back to help get them on and off easier. This is very useful when shoes get caked in mud and become slippery.

There were also a coupe of minor points I noticed with regards to the stitching on the inside and some overspill of glue. Which are minor and don't really detract from the functionality of the shoes. But I docked them a point anyway - as I'm a heartless fiend...

I give them 4 out of 5 

Fit

Straight out of the box the trailsters felt snug - but certainly true to size. I would prefer more room in the toe-box. But they're not that bad. 

(I think the real problem is that I have a pair of Altra shoes - which have the most glorious and anatomically correct toe box I've ever seen. Once you put those on your feet - every other shoe just feels wrong. Because they are...)

Overall I give them a 4 out of 5 for fit

Comfort

When I initially walked around the house in the trailtsers - to decide if I was going to keep them or send them back. I did have some concerns that they were very snug across the bridge of the foot and pinched very slightly in the main toe crease. 

But I decided that was probably just because they were new and a bit stiff and just need to be broken-in. I was right after a few runs and experimenting with the lacing - those issue never amounted to anything whilst running.

However - the lack of lace-lock hole, I think did make a difference - especially when I ran down steep hills. As my big toes make contact with the front of the to box. Something I'm fairly sure I could alleviate with the lace-lock method.

So I score them 4 out of 5 for comfort.

Breathability

Being a waterproof shoe - I wasn't expecting the upper to be particularly breathable. And I was right, though there definitely do allow some sweat out and keep water out. I've got much more breathable shoes on my shoe rack.

I score them a 3 out of 5 for breathability

Contagrip Sole

Grip

The sole of the Solomon Trailster has a decent pattern and a reasonable depth to the lugs. The material used is a trademarked rubber compound called contagrip

From my experience the grip on these shoes is second to none that I've worn. I've now run on all sorts of different surfaces - including road, gravel, dirt, mud, grass and rock and these trail shoes just eat it all up with no problems whatsoever.

So I give them a 5 out of 5

I'm keen to know how they perform in snow and ice - but as it's the middle of June as I type this. I guess I'm going to have to wait another 6 months at least to find out. As they're now my go-to-shoe for my trail runs - it's very likely that they won't last that long. So I may just have to get another pair...

Responsiveness

The Trailsters feel quite firm underfoot. Which is a good thing in my book. As I like to feel the trails under my feet. Some of the other trail shoes I've had in the past have had a lot of cushioning in them and that spoils the trail running experience for me. Too much cushioning in a trail shoe cuts off that vital feedback. Or at the very least throttles it back.

Not so with the Salomon Trailster GTX. That firmness of the midsole also provides plenty of bounce and a good responsive running experience.

I give them a 4 out of 5

Weight

I run in a UK size 9.5. I weighed the trailsters when I first got them and they clocked up 348g or 12.27oz. Which considering that they're an off-road shoe and have pretty sturdy toe and heel protection is pretty light. I've certainly had much heavier off-road shoes.

So I give them a 4 out of 5

Durability

The sole/grip in particular seem very durable and after running for over 30+ miles in them now - including a fair bit of road in the mix. They're not showing any real signs of wear at all.

The materials in the upper also seem pretty good quality and robust. I think these shoes are definitely built to last and stand up to some serious punishment in all weather conditions.

So I give them a 5 out of 5

Price

I paid £59.99 for them online - excluding the cost of postage. Which for an off-road running shoe with a goretex upper is a very good price.

So I give them a 5 out of 5

Even at full recommended retail price of £109.99 they'd be a good buy.

Where I bought them

I got my Solomon Trailster GTX from sportsshoes.com at a pretty steep discount.

Summary

I'm definitely not disappointed with the Salomon Trailster GTX.

They’re solidly built, fit reasonably well and are quite comfortable. They also seem very durable and are quite responsive. The grip/traction is also very good. Add in the fact that they’re waterproof and I think they offer great value for money. Especially if you can find them in your size at a steep discount. 

I've no doubt that these trail running shoes will last well and I've very much enjoyed the runs that I've done in them so far. I can see these becoming my new favourite choice when I hit the trails.

About the author 

Coach D

Hi, I'm Dave. I'm a UK Athletics qualified and licensed Coach in Running Fitness (CiRF) and Endurance Event Group Coach. I coach groups and individuals of all abilities both online and in person.I particularly enjoy coaching beginner and improver runners in the 40+ age range.I'm also a regular recreational runner and I've been competing in races from 5k to marathon distance for over 30 years.

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