Salomon S/Lab Phantasm Shoes | Review - Outdoors Magic

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Salomon S/Lab Phantasm Shoes | Review

A crazy-light, super-fast trainer for race days and PB attempts

Why We Chose The Salomon S/Lab Phantasm: Exceptionally light, very fast, superb breathability

We just Googled ‘phantasm’ and the Oxford English Dictionary informed us it means an illusion, apparition, or ghost. That makes sense, because this shoe is so crazy-light and gossamer thin it’s almost transparent and non-existent – “the shoe that disappears on your feet” is the slogan in Salomon’s glossy promo videos. The S/Lab Phantasm weighs next to nothing (we couldn’t quite believe it on first inspection), fits comfortably, offers incredible breathability and delivers an all-round impressive and highly technical design. If you can’t get a PB in these, well (sadly), there’s no hope

Who Is The Salomon S/Lab Phantasm For?

This is a shoe for ambitious runners – people who want to go very, very fast. It’s not for a post-work 3km jog, or a lazy morning trot around the park. It’s a highly technical running shoe for setting PBs, smashing goals and competing in organised road races. Salomon describe it as follows: “we developed this dynamic racing flat with some of the world’s top athletes to focus on what really matters – weight, breathability and a fast transition”.

“You feel like you are floating over the ground”

Salomon created the S/Lab Phantasm for Kilian Jornet’s attempt at beating the 24-hour running world record. It’s more suited to road running, up to 10km perhaps, and isn’t a shoe for everyday running really. It’s unapologetically a race day shoe.


The modus operandi of this shoe is to be barely-there. It aims to offer just enough of what you need to get through the miles safely, while mostly staying inconspicuous. The upper is a made from a single layer of mesh, for example, with virtually no seams. It’s partly see-through and is undoubtedly featherlight and thin – which is amazing for keeping weight down and breathability high, but it provides little to no rigidity or lateral support. This certainly won’t suit everyone, but – as Salomon put it – the aim is “a smooth, glove-like, fit and feel” with a “close to the foot” sensation. Similarly, the seamless collar is super-minimalist, with a soft and comfortable fit.

Photos: Chris Johnson

Aside from the upper and collar, the rubber outsole is a road-running Contagrip FA with flat, wide lugs for friction grip on flat, hard surfaces, and a compound that balances durability and adhesion. The insole is a Molded OrthoLite sockliner designed to contour to the foot and add cushioning, and the laces are flat to reduce pressure points over the instep.

Reverse Camber & Cushioning

Inspired by Salomon’s heritage on the slopes of the Alps, the S/Lab Phantasm showcases a “reverse camber” profile that stays out of your way when you’re running fast. Or, in other words, the curved midsole geometry – aka the rocker – helps pop you up onto your toes quicker with a smooth, dynamic roll to each step. “You feel like you are floating over the ground” is how Salomon confidently put it. We’re not too sure it’s that good, but the reverse camber is certainly loved by many speed merchants chasing down PBs.

In terms of cushioning, Salomon have used a lightweight, responsive foam in these shoes called Energy Surge, which combines EVA and Olefin. According to the brand, this delivers “long-lasting cushion and bouncy energy return”.

OK we don’t normally cover road running kit on our pages, but this was such an impressive new product, we couldn’t resist calling it in to try out and ultimately shine a spotlight onto it.

Salomon S/Lab Phantasm

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