I spent most of my first year of trail running sliding around in a pair of New Balance road shoes whilst my podiatrist got my orthotics correctly adjusted. And the finally I got to buy my first pair of Salomons: the Salomon XT Wings 2.
The first thing I noticed when trying the Salomons on was that they are narrower than I am used to. If that is a problem for you, the good news is that they come in half sizes, meaning that a size 10 and a size 10½ are the same length, but the ½ size is slightly wider.
I had heard rumors that there have been problems with the laces snapping, and of course as the lacing system is not standard, you must carry a repair kit / replacement. Possibly there were problems with the old model which had the asymmetric lacing system?
I must say I was a little nervous of the lacing system, but was sold on it after one race . It allows you to lace the shoes up simply and quickly, and the toggle tucks away neatly into its little cover on the tongue of the shoe.
All-in-all, I find the shoes extremely comfortable, with superior grip in almost all conditions on any surface, and good protection from a heavy-duty toe-cap.
I currently have one concern, and that is that they get pretty heavy when wet, and do not dry out quickly at all. I guess this is the downside of having a fairly heavily padded, comfortable shoe.
I was not so sure of the new color (yellow and white), but must admit it has grown on me. I have recently seen that other colors are now available.
UPDATE: I have just purchased my second pair. I managed to find a black pair with red trimming, which I far prefer to the other color. I know rotate my shoes as best possible so that the cushioning has time to decompress, and so that I always have a dry pair without having to dry them artificially.
As testament to how awesome these shoes are, I took my brand new pair out the box, and ran the tough 32km Bushmans Blitz in them, feeling really comfortable in them! I challenge any other shoe manufacturer to produce a shoe that does not require any kind of wearing in and can be raced in out-of-the-box like that!
SportTracks (the software I use to log my Garmin tracks) tells me that my first pair are now on the 5oo kilometers mark. After all this time on demanding terrain in all kinds of weather, both shoes are still in incredibly good shape: the seams are all 100% intact, not a single missing or frayed stitch, no missing pieces from the grip and no major wear on the sole at all. Not even the Salomon logos have worn off!
R1379.00 @ CAPESTORM
R1399.00 @ Cape Union Mart
R1399.00 @ DueSouth
R1399.00 @ Sportsmans Warehouse