Comments: I just got these shoes and have admittedly only worn them twice. Once on a rock hopping day hike on Billy Goat Trail, and the second time on a very muddy 4 mile run along the C and O canal towpath. I have a broken arm from a combat injury and so while rock hopping may not have been the smartest idea, but the shoes didn't disappoint. I returned for a run along the towpath and because the trail had been frozen and it was now 45* it was quite muddy. I could cut through the muddy middle sections and avoid the highly trafficked sides, with confidence in the traction provided by the shoe. I'd say the sizing is pretty true, if a bit snug. Finally with the nerve damage in my hand, the quick tie laces are amazing, but be prepared to run and not take a shoe tie break!
From: John, Bethesda, Md, USA
Comments: Honestly the best pair of shoes I have ever owned! These things have just enough cushion for longer runs, and are minimal enough to run fast on those shorter outings. I run cross country at my high school, and am currently running 45 miles per week, and steadily increasing. These have lasted through multiple 10+ mile runs without issue, I found mt110s to be just slightly not enough for my long runs, so I opted for these. The mt110s do win over this shoe in breathability, but that is about it! I have to run parts of my runs on pavement, track, gravel, dirt, basically everything and these perform flawlessly on every surface I have run on. I wear a 10 1/2 in the mt110s and ordered a 10 in these and they fit great. I am currently around 160-180 miles in these shoes and they have just improved with their age!
Comments: I tested a pair of these shoes at a Salomon event, did an 8 mile run and they felt good enough for me to order a pair, I ordered a pair on the same size 9.5, I was super excited when I got them but for some reason the pair I got felt completely different than the ones I tested, right foot feels good, left foot feels super uncomfortable, the width of the shoes is wider than advertised, so to get the right fitment i had to pull in the laces which created little folds/creves of the fabric and rubbed on my 4th toe, did a 17miler and it was very uncomfortable. Overall the shoes look great, very decent cushion if that is what you are looking for; I wear peregrine and these shoes felt with more cushion but almost too much, kind of a plush-like feeling. But they were just unconfortable, also these shoes do not allow for the heel loop, i felt my heel was not locked in, especially when doing steep uphills. I wear neutrals and my feet were super sore the next day, kind of the feel when you wear support shoes. I average 72 miles per week since jan 1st '13, currently training for ws100, weekly long run in the 30s, 50 mile pr of high 6hrs.
From: Palopio, Citrus Heights, CA
Comments: If you like the speedcross, but would like a shoe that holds your heel and mid-foot tighter and is more practical on the road; then the mantra is for you. The cushioning in the mantra is perfectly good for mountain type terrain (up, down and rocks) and short pieces of efficient running on roads. I know everyone's feet are different, but I really don't know why anyone would complain about this shoe. You can really tell exactly what it was designed for the second you slip your foot into it. I should mention that I really dislike overly cushioned shoes, as I feel they rob me of energy. So, maybe people that said the mantra is too firm really enjoy overly cushioned shoes.
Comments: I purchased a pair of Mantra's from a different internet site because they were on sale, but I usually buy form RW. I had high hopes for the Mantra. I love my Peregrines and MT110's. My experience is that the MT110's have a durable upper that outlasts the uppers on my peregrines 2 to 1, but they don't offer enough cushion for extended runs. I can wear them for up to 20 miles. The Peregrines have proven to be comfortable for much longer, but the uppers go to pieces quickly. Historically Salomon shoes have been durable, but sported large drops from heel to toe. The Sense seems like a shoe I would love because of its features, but the price is beyond what I'm willing to pay. The Mantra seemed like a great option with a moderate drop of 6mm and a durable upper, I was excited to try them! The build quality is excellent and the material choices all seem durable. The trouble is the execution of the product. I have a low to normal volume foot and I had a problem with the molded toe cap being too low. Wearing a thin smartwool no cuchion sock the toe cap rubbed a toe raw within 6 miles on my first run in them. I took the shoes off and ran home barefoot to alleviate any further damage (road run). I then took them to the trail the next day and ran 7 miles with 1,700 gain and 1,700 loss. I returned the shoes because they are not for me. I am a mid to forefoot striker with a relatively smooth stride. I run mostly trails, but mix in some road (45 miles a week). I can typically wear a new pair of shoes out of the box for moderate distance runs with zero problems. I have never experienced this trouble before. The sole of the shoe has 2 faults for me: 1st it is too firm a ride (each run beat me like I had run twice as far). 2nd the sole is too stiff. As I rock forward toward the toes for push off the heel pulls down. These shoes are much too stiff to be considered a natural running shoe. Weight aside, the shoes run like a pair of bricks. I suggest to anyone who is interested in trying the Manrta to try them at a local store first and run in them before purchasing.
From: Tim, Longmont, Colorado
Comments: Switched to the Mantra from the XR Crossmax 1 and I think I'm in love. They aren't as cushioned as the Crossmax but the lighter weight is very noticeable; much more than I would have expected. They also feel less bulky which makes sense. I wouldn't use these for more than a couple of miles on pavement though...they are too stiff for much road but sufficient to get you to the trail. I am a rear-mid foot striker so I like the idea of transitioning to these and being forced to run more efficiently. I wear a size 10.5, the same in the XR Crossmax 1; I wear a size 11 in just about every other running shoe I've ever owned.
From: Steve, San Ramon, CA
Comments: Based on the RW's shoe fit description, I sized 1/2 size down. This was a mistake since the Mantra actually fits (length-wise) simiarly to Asics, Mizuno, and Brooks. Running steep downhills (up to 45%) was painfull as my toes impacted the front of the toebox, forcing me to cinch down ridiculously tight on the laces. However, this shouldn't be a problem on flatter trails. The forefoot is fairly narrow as well, which is odd since the Mantra is marketed to midfoot strikers and they're a little tight on the roll/impact to the forefoot. The Mantra has a hard ride and not much cushioning. On the plus side, the build quality and materials are excellent.
From: Rick, Dallas, TX
Comments: I was really disappointed with the mantra. I get the shoe and everything about it looks amazing. I try it on and on the inside of your foot just before the big toe where the tongue and the upper meet rub in an awkward way causing the shoe to rub against your foot. This is noticeable just trying on the shoe. Maybe if you wore thick socks it won't be an issue but when it's hot and you're wearing thin socks this would be a really annoying problem. I haven't done any runs in them so I don't know if it would cause blisters or just go away but it was enough to make me send them back. Everything else was great. I love the laces, the midsole had a good spring to it. I seriously hope Salomon corrects the tongue.
From: Corey, Dallas, TX, USA