Salomon Speedcross 4 Reviewed and Rated

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Editor rating: 10.0 / 10
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Salomon Speedcross 4 Reviewed and Rated Review Facts

Have you ever seen a shoe that just looks fast? That’s a good way to describe the Speedcross 4, from winter sports equipment maker Salomon. The company began in 1947, in a family-owned shop in the French Alps. The Speedcross 4 is made for tough weather conditions, It is just one of many durable tools Salomon provides, with other products including snowboards, ski boots, distance running apparel, and more. The company’s focus on quality and attention to detail makes their gear recognizable and always in demand.

The Speedcross 4 improves the grip of its 3 predecessors in the product line. Thick lugged soles keep you secure on technical trails. Tree roots and rocks never get a chance to trip you up. But the rubber soles are thin enough that you do not feel locked in. You can feel the ground beneath you, aiding in balance and helping you sense where your body is and where you need to go at all times. Though it’s designed for a back to nature experience, this is not a minimalist shoe. Ample cushioning reduces soreness and fatigue, while the thick textured uppers keep you warm and dry no matter how far from town you wander.

Editor's Pros & Cons

The unique quick lace system

Laces are secure--don't come loose or fray too quickly

Strong traction means you can tackle steep, muddy trails with few issues

Traction and cushioning suit the shoe to any terrain, including dirt trails, gravel, and city streets

Outsole lugs are spread out enough---keeps rocks/pebbles from getting stuck

Lugs are easy to clean

Exceptionally durable--even more so than Speedcross 1 through 3 models

Comfortable--options for wider feet


Standard fit is more narrow than previous models, according to reviewers who have tried them all

Laces can come loose--tightness depends on the lace saddle

The insole isn't as stiff as you'd expect--may fold or crease while running downhill on technical trails

The Rundown

If you wanted to wear the Salomon Speedcross 4 as a gym shoe, urban walking shoe, or errand runner, you could. You'd be comfortable and supported, and Salomon doesn't make anything that's not durable. But making this shoe spend most of its time away from mountain trails and harsh weather would be a disservice. It would be like buying an ATV and only ever using it for grocery store runs. This shoe has weather resistance and slogging through mud in its DNA.

Salomon built-in options to the base model. Those include one with Gore-Tex uppers. Gore-Tex is a versatile fabric that resists abrasion and tearing. It is often used for outdoor jackets. With a Gore-Tex shoe, rain stays out while sweat from your feet is allowed to escape and evaporate. It is a dry and comfy experience, no matter what the weather decides to do.

You also have the option for Climashield technology. This treated fabric is exceptionally breathable, suited to all manner of hot weather. Climashield also has dirt and stain-resistant properties. Besides it and the Gore-Tex add on, you can get a wider Speedcross 4 and also one with lots of reflective surfaces for after dark safety and visibility.

Any Speedcross shoe, with or without Gore-Tex, is going to be water-resistant, with uppers that won't wear and tear easily. The beefed-up outsole on the 4 gives it the best traction in the product family. The toe box is reinforced with PVC. If you've ever managed to wedge your toe under an unseen but powerful tree root, you'll appreciate a toe that doesn't fold up. It protects you and lets you extricate yourself quickly.

So, while the Speedcross 4 is expensive, you are getting enhanced safety and peace of mind. Those of us who go on solo adventures to remote areas will always need a shoe with features like this. Having an unsuitable shoe out on the trail can be just as dangerous as not packing enough food or water. As a company, Salomon is committed to both performance and safety.

Let's take a minute here to get technical and talk about the way shoes are made. The Speedcross 4 uses EVA injection in the deep cushioning and rubber outsole. EVA stands for ethylene-vinyl acetate. It is a plasticine polymer made of other plasticine polymers, created in a lab and subject to rigorous testing. EVA is heat resistant and can be shaped for a wide variety of uses. You can find EVA in soccer cleats, craft adhesives, boxing glove padding, and plenty of athletic shoes. It is injected at a high temperature into the rubber outsole of the Speedcross 4. It gives the sole and shoe foundation its shape. EVA is superior to older or more traditional molding, because of its durability and ability to maintain shape without deteriorating. And it adds to the overall weatherproof quality of the shoes. We highlight it here as another feature that makes the Speedcross 4 safer and more durable.


The inside soles and lining of the Speedcross 4 are textile. The Salomon website does not say what kind of textile, but we would guess part of it is cotton. Cotton is breathable and has some sweat-wicking properties, aided by the synthetic uppers and partial mesh upper composition. The upper is a combination of textile and synthetic hide, aiding with water and weather resistance. Since Salomon wants you to be able to slog through mud, shallow streams, dirt, and wet slush, the Speedcross 4s are easy to clean after a jaunt. You can treat them with Scotchgard or a water repellent finish if you'd like extra protection.

Since this is a cushioned shoe, it is quite comfortable. It will support you and lessen the impact, no matter what terrain you are on or how far you walk or run. Pair it with some soft, dry, merino wool or spandex compression socks, and you'll experience minimal soreness the next day.

Extra Features

The quick lace feature is a nice bonus. Laces thread through vertical saddles, rather than traditional eyelets. If you look at images of the Speedcross 4, the saddle system looks similar to the three stitched stripes you see on a pair of Adidas. On the Speedcross 4, they provide a web of support to tighten down on your feet without excess pressure. To tie the laces, you just pull on them. They are a bungee style, and the connections stay tucked away on pockets. The low profile laces and chunky sole mean you can repurpose the Speedcross 4 as a cycling shoe. It may not fit in toe clip pedals since the PVC toe box has little give. But the outsoles are perfect for gripping and staying close to BMX pedals. Hard pedaling won't cause you to lose your grip.

The tongues of the shoes are padded and gusseted, meaning it is sewn directly to the two sides of the upper where eyelets would be on a traditional shoe. It means the tongue will not move independently of the rest of the shoe, even when you plant your feet at odd angles and pivot a lot on trails. So there's less chance of friction and indentations, which is something that can happen even in a padded tongue sneaker if the tongue is not gusseted. Higher-end work boots often have gusseted tongues for similar reasons--they keep you comfortable and reduce annoying pain when you are on your feet moving around for an extended period.

Who It Is For

We stated earlier that you can, if you choose, use this as a general-purpose gym or everyday shoe. But considering the expense, we think most users will be outdoor enthusiasts who need a low top shoe that will support them and keep them on their feet through all kinds of inclement weather. They are comfortable and supportive enough for long term wear. The soles provide outstanding traction. They are cushioned and supportive, but there is no locked-in feeling and your feet are not immobilized. The whole shoe is roomy enough that you can wear any kind of socks that you like, even thick woolen ones for extra warmth. No shoe is sweatproof, of course, but the Salomon Speedcross 4 does an excellent job of wicking away moisture and cutting down on odor.

The Final Word

Other than the expense and the possible folding of the insole during sharp descents, we could not find much to detract from the overall quality and reliability of the Salomon Speedcross 4. The expense will be money well spent if you do enough remote and cold weather hiking to need extra protection. These shoes will keep you dry and prevent falls, with the lugs on the soles. The outsole lugs also keep any kind of rock or pebbles from collecting, which is imperative with a good trail running shoe. The insole problem is easy to overcome, either by buying an aftermarket insole or using fabric glue to secure the insole to the surface of the footbed.