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Salomon Sonic RA Max v1 – 50 Mile Review

This review is more for me and to remind me about how these particular running shoes worked for me this summer.

After writing this post back in July, I decided to put the RA Max v1 under the dresser, give them a couple of months off and figured that I would get them out at some point down the road. Well it is down the road time and after wearing them twice for a mile walk, there has been no change from what I initially wrote back in July.

So I guess it is time to let them go to someone who can actually run in them.

This is what I wrote initially

Have you ever had a pair of running shoes that you really, really love, but they just don’t work for you no matter the little tweaks you attempt or how much you want them to work. That is how I feel about the Salomon Sonic RA Max v1.

It is not that I cannot run in them, because I have gotten them to 50 miles. However, to run in them I have to accept a certain amount of discomfort in my right foot, that varies from run to run, without any rhyme or reason to how much discomfort I will have to endure during a run.

The primary cause is that my right foot has a Tailor’s Bunionette that drives me crazy and limits the type/style of running shoes that I can run comfortably in. The Salomon RA Max v1 is one of a long line of great running shoes that are not comfortable for me to run in – at least in my right foot. My left foot loves theses shoes.

This Spring it seemed as though I had gotten beyond the fit issues that I had with the right foot, but for some reason the problems have returned with a vengeance since my injury (??? No idea why) and unfortunately the RA Max v1 are the shoes that it has affected the most in my current rotation.

Enough background noise.

Let’s get back to my thoughts on the Salomon Sonic RA Max v1

First and foremost I love the Vibe technology and do believe that it was a big part of my being able to return so quickly from my most recent injury – a stress fracture/reaction in my left tibia. This technology is supposed to dampen the tibial vibration and in my opinion, it works exactly as advertised. I could tell a difference between the RA Max v1 (and Sense Ride v1) and other running shoes that I walked and ran in during my recovery. It has a feel that I prefer, which is between cushy and firm that is hard to describe, but I know it when I feel it – this shoe has it.

The weight is great for an everyday trainer and easy run shoe:

For as much rubber is on the outsole, I am very quiet when running in the RA Max v1. The grip is great on dirt roads and even wet tar. I even believe they would work quite nicely for light snow, although wet heavy stuff or mud would cake up pretty quickly.

Unfortunately, the outsole also has a tendency to pick up small rocks and pebbles, which is more annoying than an issue. However, I have a feeling that the outsole will wear quicker than some other shoes, since in several places I can see where the nubs are peeling rubber off, but at the same time, I don’t see it becoming an issue for 300-400 miles.

The upper, is where I run into some issues, but only with my right foot. If I was to base running and wearing the RA Max v1 on how they felt on my left foot, I would consider them to be extremely comfortable running shoes.

Unfortunately, I have this weird right foot and it does not like the fit of the RA Max v1 at all in the toe box/sidewall. While they have a fairly wide toe-box, it seems that the angle of the shoe going past the toes to the end of the shoe is just enough to push my little toe into the 4th toe while running.

Also the structured fit while it holds the foot quite well, one of the side stripes sits directly on my Tailor’s Bunionette and pushes against it just enough that during a run or walk I notice it. When I run my finger between the midsole and lace hole, I can feel the raised ridge of the internal support on the under side of the upper, while it is is not a big deal for most people, it is just enough to bother that damned Tailor’s Bunionette.

Which after walking or running in them I feel varying levels of discomfort ranging from –

  • okay I notice it…
  • I gotta stop and take the damn shoe off

Unfortunately, there is not a lot of rhyme or reason on which level of discomfort is going to happen while I am wearing them. I have tried several different lacing patterns, different style/weight socks, different insoles and how tight I snug the laces up without a lot of success on getting the fit – just right.

Which sucks!!!

Because I do like the RA Max v1 a lot, if I could get the fit of the right foot to match how they fit the left, they would be a great running shoe for me, but unfortunately so far they have not.

So for me the Salomon RA Max v1 is not the answer to my daily trainer search. It is a great shoe for someone who doesn’t have issues with a tailor’s bunionette, but I will keep searching for a daily trainer that I can wear without worrying about what level of discomfort I will have to endure during a run.

Tomorrow, they go away.

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