Looking for a lighter shoe for trail races, I looked to the racing version of the Salomon XT Wings, the Salomon S-LAB 3 XT Wings. These shoes have been absolutely amazing and I am wearing the same pair almost 2 years later!
Based on the Salomon XT Wings, these shoes are made lighter by some modifications to the construction of the sole. The trade-off is supposedly that you can only expect to get about 300 kilometers out of them; mine are still going almost 2 years later!
I found them to be very comfortable in training, and not noticeably different in any way to my Salomon XT Wings 2. However, I made the mistake of wearing them for the Knysna Forest Marathon, and paid dearly for my it! They are trail shoes, and too hard for tar, paving, or even the hard-packed forest roads of Knysna. I ended up with a huge blister on the ball of my left foot and very sore legs — in fact 2 weeks later and I was still at physio trying to get them back into shape!
I will definitely only be wearing these on trail races in future — they were perfect for the Otter African Trail Run 2011 where I specifically needed a lighter shoe that would dry quicker than the Salomon XT Wings 2 after the river crossings.
After a disastrous experience with my New Balance road shoes where the updated model turned out to have a significantly firmer medial post, I decided to hunt down a pair of the old model of this shoe rather than risk problems with the new models. They were cheaper than the updated models too!
R1499.00 @ Salomon Concept Store