Which of Salomon's recent road shoes will be the best fit for your needs?
A tale of 2 shoes
Salomon set out to create a max-cushioned cruiser and a versatile daily shoe. The Aero Glide is the high drop, thick soled entry into the max cushioned arena. The Blaze is its jack-of-all trades little sister. Both are soled with Energy Foam although in very different amounts which gives both shoes a very different on foot feel and ride. Let’s see how they stack up in this Aero Glide vs Aero Blaze battle.
Specs: Max cushion vs slimmed down for speed
Stack: 37mm/27mm (10mm drop)
US size 8.5 = 257g
Stack: 32/24 (8mm drop)
US size 8.5 = 238g
Aero Glide vs Aero Blaze – how do they fit?
I received both shoes in my usual US 8.5 which usually translates to an EU 41 and a UK 7.5. However, for Salomon, this is a UK 8 or an EU 42. Initial step in was a little sloppy with the fit on both shoes but the Blaze is noticeably longer than the Glide which led to more heel slippage. That being said, slightly thicker socks and some tightening of the laces meant that lockdown was fine in both shoes. I would be interested to try half a size down to see what difference it makes to the fit.
On both shoes, the upper is thick and has plenty of padding. This is true especially in the tongue which was good as it enabled me to tighten them down for better lockdown. I’ve run in the shoes temperatures between -3 and 13 degrees. Thankfully, this is definitely an upper which is better for the cooler conditions as it is not a particularly breathable material. In the summer months, I can imagine my feet getting rather overheated in both shoes.
Both shoes use Salomon logos as overlays to add some extra structure to the upper. They also have fairly standard laces and eyelet chains with the extra hole for tying a runner’s knot if required. Each shoe has a fairly stout heel cup which is well padded. This is more pronounced on the AeroBlaze and acts as a pull tab to get the shoe on. Despite the prominence of the protrusion of the heel tab in both, I felt no irritation from them.
Whilst both uppers are incredibly similar, the extra length of the Blaze did impact the fit and made the Glide the more comfortable shoe overall. 1 – 0 in this Aero Glide Vs Aero Blaze battle!
Aero Glide vs Aero Blaze – which rides better?
Never having run in Salomon shoes before, I have the preconceived notion that their midsoles were rather firm and unforgiving, the Energy Foam has gone a way to dissipating that notion. Although, this is an instance where two shoes which have the same foam have remarkably different feels.
A whole lot of shoe
The AeroGlide is a whole lot of shoe. Out of the box it looks huge, even next to the Superblast it looks like a chunky shoe. It has a super wide platform and vast amounts of soft, squishy foam everywhere! To the touch, it feels marshmallowy soft and like it will have a lot of give. On the other hand, the Blaze is a far more restrained looking shoe, reminiscent of a Pegsus with a BBL. The feel of the foam to the touch gives the impression of being far firmer too. Both shoes have a decoupled groove to aid with shock absorption and extra bounce.
1 foam, 2 feels
Step in on both confirms the touch-test. The Glide gives an instant omni-directional squish whilst the Blaze feels firmer. While running, Energy Foam is a dampening rather than exciting foam, it absorbs the shocks and the rocker in the Glide is lovely when mixed with the 10mm drop. For me, with a mid-forefoot strike, it rolls super easily and eats up distance with ease. A shoe I very much look forward to putting on when the day calls for an easy cruise. The Blaze feels firmer underfoot with a lot less midsole volume which changes the characteristic completely, instead of the foam splaying out everywhere, the shoe feels more directed and like it wants to push forward with a lower 8mm drop. This works well with Salomon’s intended purpose for each shoe.
I used both shoes as daily trainers with maximum length runs in each of around 18km. For my usual daily runs (around 9.5km) both were comfortable and pleasant to run in, my cadence and pace were always lower in the Glide, while days in the Blaze tended to be faster with a higher cadence. On longer runs, I found I much preferred the extra cushioning of the Glide, I didn’t find the foam in the Blaze gave me enough back to make the last few km of a longer run that enjoyable. For easy runs, I preferred the soft roll of the rocker on the Glide to the firmer landing of the Blaze. As a whole, Energy Foam is dependable and absorbs the ground strikes rather than giving the bounce and floating feeling of Nike’s Zoom X or New Balance’s FuelCell.
Aero Glide vs Aero Blaze – picking up the pace
I have tried picking up the pace in both shoes with varied results. The Glide is an effort to get pace out of and I would not be reaching for it if a workout was on the cards. This is unsurprising as that is the antithesis of its design. The Blaze, for me, felt at its best around my marathon pace (~3.50/km) and slightly slower, not that I’d be particularly inclined to run a marathon in them. I tried taking it faster for some strides and a bit of tempo work for which it was more than capable. It won’t ever be my workout shoe of choice. I didn’t find the energy return and rebound that I like when pushing harder on runs. It lacks the excitement of something like the Endorphin Speed and gives a lot less back than something like the Rebel v2. These are my go to when I want to mix it up on a run.
Both midsoles were very impacted by temperature with both shoes feeling softer on warmer runs. The EVA based foam definitely feels the cold. Runs when the mercury dropped below 0 were noticeably firmer than when the temperatures were relatively soaring.
Aero Glide vs Aero Blaze – getting grippy
This is another area of great difference between the two shoes. The Glide has the same kind of rubberised foam feel to that of the Hoka Mach 4 whilst the Blaze has a more traditional outsole rubber feel. This is one area where I feel the Blaze wins out clearly over the Glide.
Due to our rather insane weather over the past couple of months, I’ve had a chance to test out both shoes in a whole range of conditions from bone dry, warm pavement to rain soaked streets to frosty footfalls. In almost every instance, the Blaze feels far more sure-footed with a tread pattern which bites into the pavement and holds firm. The Glide, on the other hand, has left me feeling a little less like a mountain goat at times. On frosty mornings and anything less than clear, dry pavements, it has slipped and slid its way around. One downhill on a dewey morning was particularly unpleasant with my feet feeling very slippery all the way down. It also had issues on the occasions when I have had to detour across grass or mud.
After around 100 km in both shoes, I have found that there is far more wear on the outsole of the Glide too. Dimples have worn away and the rubber is noticeably thinner in my high strike areas. The Blaze, on the same roads and conditions, shows far less visible wear.
Aero Glide vs Aero Blaze – which to pick up?
Salomon set out to create a cushioned cruiser and a versatile daily shoe. I think both have been successful to a point.
The Blaze reminds me of the feel of a Pegasus with a better rocker geometry. If you want one shoe which can take you from your easy day recovery pace to a faster session this can work. Although, like any jack of all trades, it suffers from not quite being the best at any and, for me, there are shoes like the Rebel in the same price bracket in which I find the ride and energy return to be far more pleasing.
The Glide is more of a one trick pony and it does that trick well. Shock absorbing cushioning and a very smooth, easy rocker roll mean that recovery runs are a pleasure in the shoe and, whilst it doesn’t have the excitement or bounce of the Invincible, it has far more stability and the ride is a lot more predictable, which I have found much easier when I’ve had a touch of PF in my left foot. It is the shoe out of the two which I find myself reaching for more often and will remain part of my rotation.
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