Very clean red trail shoes, on the feet on a runner, standing on a mossy rock in woodland, about to head off for a trail run.
Credit: Michelle Mortimer


What Salomon say: “A shoe built to help everyday competitive runners go faster on the trail.”

“We always aim to create the best products for the best athletes and their success is proving that we continue to be the trail running leaders,” says Marion Barbarit, Salomon’s product line manager for S/LAB Trail Running. “And then we take those products created for people like Courtney, Rémi and Sophia and incorporate these designs into S/LAB products that help competitive everyday runners who want to be their best.”

“In designing the S/LAB Pulsar 3, we aimed to deliver more confidence to trail runners on technical terrain,” said Barbarit. “The shoe is made for people who want to run fast and push the pace in trail races that are marathon distance or less and our goal was to maintain the spirit of a light, fast racing shoe with better stability and precision. To do that, we added a completely new outsole to improve the grip and allow for more aggressive running. We also improved the wrap of the foot by extending the upper all the way under the foot for more precise footing.”

Featuring an innovative upper design and lacing system that intuitively wraps your feet without sacrificing comfort, the Salomon S/LAB PULSAR 3 trail shoe £190 is designed to go fast in short and intense trail races. Lightweight, dynamic and cushioned, it delivers optimal grip and precision at any speed regardless of how technical the trail. The S/LAB Pulsar 3 was designed with Salomon’s lightest midsole compound and a featherweight upper construction for an extra light, dynamic ride. The upper envelops the foot like a second skin with the Matryx® mesh hugging the foot for optimal precision and secure hold. The Matryx® material also serves to add durability to the shoe on those technical trails. An optimized rubber compound on the sole provides dynamic grip and traction, so you can maintain your pace no matter what happens under your feet.

RRP £190

What our reviewer says: “would benefit runners looking for the extra edge in short to middle-distance off-road events”.

Top view of lacing on red trail shoes, they are a pull lace system with a toggle at the end

“I actually shook the box to make sure there was something in it such is the weight of these shoes. At 235g (kitchen scales) per shoe the box felt empty. But you are left in no doubt when you open the box as the vivid red hits your retinas. The S/Lab Pulsar 3 are striking in every sense of the word. Salomon aficionados will be used to the lacing system they have been employing for several generations of shoes and the Pulsar 3 makes good use of this. The “tongue-less” design can make putting these shoes on a more of a hassle than for average shoes but once your foot is inside, a simple pull on the lace toggle closes the lightweight upper section of the shoe around your foot. There is a small pocket to tuck the toggle into which stops the laces bouncing around.

Red shoed foot lands in puddle creating a splash

“It is worth noting that Salomon shoes are a very close fit and most retailers (and indeed users) suggest getting at least half a size bigger than normal. I usually wear a UK9.5 but trialled a UK10 and this felt slightly tight when I first put it on but it was comfortable to run in straight out of the box. The advertising blurb says the shoe is designed to “intuitively wrap your feet without sacrificing comfort” with the Matryx ® material upper “hugging the foot for optimal precision and secure hold” and I can’t argue with the statement. After a few minutes of starting to run I felt at home in the Pulsar 3. The shoe delivers ample grip and comfortably dealt with the muddy trails I enjoy running on in the North West of England. These aren’t waterproof but they also don’t hold water so whilst I was aware my feet were wet after running through puddles the sensation soon passed. The aggressive grip gave me confidence to ascend and descend trails over mixed terrain without a second thought.

“It was pleasing to see the edges of the toe box on the Pulsar 3 have been reinforced as this was the first part to fail on all my previous Salomon shoes when my toes eventually punched their way through the upper material.

Red shoe-d foot runs over a large tree truck on its side

“I thoroughly enjoyed some carefree running in the S/Lab Pulsar 3 and could really appreciate how they would benefit runners looking for the extra edge in short to middle-distance off-road events. The combination of light weight and aggressive grip will be an attractive combination for competitive athletes.”

Reviewed for UKRunChat by Danny Mortimer, 26th March 2024