Salomon S/Lab Genesis review: The perfect all round trail shoe?

The S/Lab Genesis appeared on multiple podiums at UTMB this year. It is a popular choice for many trailers. What makes it so good?

S/Lab Genesis – The Lowdown

If you find yourself at the starting line of an ultra, long trail, or marathon trail in 2023, you’ll notice that the Salomon S/Lab Genesis has become the go-to choice for elite athletes and everyday runners alike. This trail shoe is a departure from the classic models from the renowned French brand, but is it a winning bet? In this review, I’ve thoroughly tested these shoes in various conditions. From speed sessions on easy trails to long runs in alpine terrain, dirt, mud, rocks, and even snow at high altitudes (3200 meters).


Weight in Salomon’s sample size: 258g (9.1oz)

Stack height: 33mm heel and 25mm forefoot for a 8mm drop

MSRP: €200/$199.95

A perfect fit with durable Matryx and Quicklace

Salomon has faced criticism in the past regarding the fit of their S/Lab models, with some being considered too thin and difficult to put on. However, with the S/Lab Genesis, the fit is really good (not too tight which is comfortable especially on long distance but also close enough to hold the foot correctly). The foot slips in easily and is well held, a crucial factor for confidently tackling downhill stretches. The Matryx mesh not only ensures durability but also keeps the shoes lightweight. Despite some initial discomfort with the quicklace system (I had some pain on the upper foot), it proved to work effectively after a few runs, and any pain subsided.

S/Lab Genesis
Salomon S/Lab Genesis

Midsole – Reactivity and comfort combined

The S/Lab Genesis is versatile and can be spotted at all types of trail running competitions. Initially, I wasn’t impressed by their reactivity (I do miss this bouncy side I love) in the first 20 kilometres, but they felt incredibly comfortable from the beginning thanks to cushioning. As I pushed them harder, I discovered their excellent responsiveness, particularly on downhill sections. Also, I found them really precise on technical sections. The wider midsole provides additional ankle support, making the shoe both responsive and safe, instilling confidence for faster and longer runs.

S/Lab Genesis outsole – Salomon starts again

Salomon has made significant changes to the outsole of the S/Lab Genesis. It still utilizes their reliable Contagrip material, which held up well even after extensive use. The redesigned geometry of the lugs, with larger and well-spaced patterns, enhances grip and stability on rocky and muddy terrain, especially in wet conditions. This improved traction eliminates any uncertainty about foot placement during downhill descents, even in adverse weather conditions. Compared to the other S/Lab models, it is really day and night.

S/Lab Genesis
S/Lab Genesis

Conclusion – Playful, comfortable and durable

These shoes, according to me, offer basically everything a trail runner needs: they are lightweight, responsive, comfortable and secure. I would just add a bit of bounce there to really enjoy them at 100%.


While their price may be a point of contention, the use of Matryx material ensures the upper’s durability, and the outsole remains impressively resilient.


I wholeheartedly recommend these shoes for all types of trails, particularly for distances ranging from 50 kilometers to ultra trail competitions, whether on technical or non-technical terrains.


For shorter and faster runs in dry conditions, the S Lab Pulsar might be more suitable, but for longer and challenging adventures, the S/Lab Genesis is the perfect choice.


To finish, if we were to make a bold comparison, they would be, according to me, the Mercedes of the 2010s: the best of their era, able to perform on every trail. Nonetheless, with new technologies arriving on the market, it could change rapidly.


30 years old

178cm (5’8″) – 63kg (139lbs)

Midfoot striker – Stride runner

Top4 logo

5% OFF with code META

Get in touch

Want to find out more about how Meta Endurance can help you?  Get in touch with our team today, and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.