A shoe that works on road and off, the Salomon XR Mission is the company's first foray into the hybrid trail shoe category.
The XR Mission offers a sturdy, high-quality build typical of Salomon shoes. One of the first things you'll notice when slipping on this shoe is the wide, cushioned platform. The mid/outsole gives you confidence that you'll stay stable, and the low lug height makes this shoe more runnable on the road. Note that this shoe has a higher arch that both testers and customers have found to be too obtrusive.
The upper is all about the trail, with a gusseted tongue that does a good job of keeping debris out, overlays that protect and secure the foot, a rubber toe cap, and a convenient lace pocket. All testers liked the fit of the upper, though the quick-pull laces (as seen on other Salomon trail shoes) got mixed reviews for their ease of use and adjustability.
Testers tried several different foot strike patterns in this shoe with mixed results. The XR Mission offers a good transition when heel striking but feels a little clunky for midfoot strikers. To engineer a shoe meant to work well on both road and trail, Salomon had to make a few compromises. Still, this is a nice shoe that offers a cushioned ride for almost any terrain.
The wide base gives you great stability and I felt confident about the outsole's traction.
Perfect volume and fit in the forefoot, but I wasn't able to tighten the cinch laces enough and my heels slipped a bit as I ran.
I wanted so badly to love this shoe. It has Salomon's sturdy build quality and a comfortable upper, but I didn't feel at home in the mid/outsole.