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Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Review: Salomon S-Lab Sense Shorts: Are the World's Most Expensive Running Shorts Worth It?

Runners often spend a lot on their shoes, many shoes are well over $100 retail but $150 running shorts? And super minimal non compression ones at that. Well, Salomon has hit that barrier with their S-Lab Sense Shorts, $150 MSRP. I got mine on sale for less...but still over $100. Developed in collaboration with Salomon's elite mountain runners including Kilian Jornet for their particular needs, S-Lab apparel and shoes are often somewhat out there,  experiments- made in small batches. Sometimes a useful hit for the rest of us, sometimes Formula 1 car racing material.  The S-Lab shorts are a very useful hit, price aside...
Salomon S-Lab Sense Shorts

I look for 2 things in running shorts:

  • Capacity to carry stuff: pockets for iPhone( run app and camera), some gel capacity
  • Comfort, as I tend to sweat a lot.
The Salomon S-Lab Sense Short is my new favorite run short. Earlier this year I gave the Patagonia Strider Pro 5" a glowing review for its subtle 5 pocket huge carrying capacity and comfort. While giving up a bit in carrying capacity the Sense Short is far more comfortable and lighter. Often I am able to explain how and why a run shoe works.  With these shorts I am unable to explain how this ultra minimal construction pulls it off but will try.

  • the short material is a super light and airy Actilite Bi-Stretch Nylon, super comfortable no sense, pun intended, you are even wearing a short.
  • the brief has Cocona fabric derived from coconut husks for odor and moisture control. Zero clammy feel from brief or short even when soaked with sweat, a first.
  • the waist and rear back have very light horizontal mesh panels front and back with a stretchy fabric behind the mesh. This combination forms incredible pockets. I put my iPhone in a baggie in the space between the front and rear fabric, pull the mesh over the top of the phone and it is securely held with no bounce. Phone in the rear pocket is a bit bouncier. The rear mesh pocket, a place for a very light jacket or more nutrition, maybe a 250ml flask.
  • the hips have short sections of what would consider a normal waist band with elastic.
  • behind these hip sections are gel mesh pockets, 2 gels per pocket fit fine, same construction as the front and rear pockets.
  • laser cut ventilation holes on hips and at rear. 
  • inseam is 4" so a bit shorter than the Strider Pro at 5". I like the shorter length but this is not a short short.
  • they dry incredibly quickly. 
Update: I have now done multiple runs and races in the Sense Shorts including in hot, humid conditions. They are supremely comfortable and easy and quick to rinse, dry, and wear again.

Despite the price I highly recommend the S-Lab Sense Shorts.
Backcountry.com currently has them on sale. Purchase through the link below and you support my blog. Thanks!

2 comments:

vegang said...

Jeez. I'd love to try some of those shorts. But that price point. OY!

Anonymous said...

I'll never understand why companies go through the trouble to use light weight high tech materials and mesh, etc. to keep you cool then only offer them in black, the color that absorbs the most heat.