REVIEW: Salomon Speedcross 5 vs. Speedcross 4 - What an upgrade!

REVIEW: Salomon Speedcross 5 vs. Speedcross 4 - What an upgrade!

Se Jesper Petersen's profil
 By Jesper Petersen


I tested Salomon Speedcross 5 and, among other things, this article will give you the comparison with Speedcross 4. See the differences and read the article here.


Worldwide, Salomon Speedcross is the best-selling trail shoe of all. It’s so popular that many people even choose to wear it as everyday casual footwear!

However, if you use it correctly, i.e. the way it was designed to be used, you get an excellent trail running shoe for running sessions off the asphalt, able to tackle virtually any surface you encounter along the way.

The Speedcross series is characterised by good protection, good comfort and excellent grip. None of that changes with the launch of the Salomon Speedcross 5. So loyal fans of the series will not be disappointed. On the contrary, in my opinion Salomon Speedcross 5 is easily the best shoe in the legendary Speedcross series. 

In this article, you can read my review of the Salomon Speedcross 5. Along the way, I will compare it to its predecessor, the Salomon Speedcross 4, to clarify the differences.


Buy Salomon Speedcross 5 here 


salomon speedcross 5 vs. speedcross 4 review

Top: Salomon Speedcross 4. Bottom: Salomon Speedcross 5.



A good first impression

As soon as you unpack the Salomon Speedcross 5, there is no doubt: Everything about this shoe just oozes luxury. It’s super stylish to look at, and when you hold it in your hands, you can just sense that this is a product of the absolute highest quality! The choice of materials, the design, the finish. It’s all just right.

I tested the Salomon Speedcross 5 in Salomon's signature red colour. And visually, I think this is a really cool shoe.


salomon speedcross 5 test



Even better grip

Undoubtedly, one of the most important parameters that a trail shoe should be measured on is its ability to ensure a stable footing when you run on soft, rough and challenging terrain, because that’s what primarily distinguishes a trail shoe from a regular running shoe.

Salomon Speedcross 4’s grip is really good, and I personally never felt I needed MORE grip from the shoe. However, the Salomon Speedcross 5 offers just that...


salomon speedcross 5 vs. speedcross 4

Left: Salomon Speedcross 4. Right: Salomon Speedcross 5.


The Speedcross 5’s outsole has been updated in several ways, and is now among the most aggressive you can possibly find on the market. First of all, the studs are broader and a few millimetres longer. The positioning of the individual studs has been optimised for better grip, and there is less of a risk that dirt and mud will “pack up” between the studs. In addition to this extremely aggressive stud structure, the rubber compound itself has become very, very “sticky”. Much more “sticky” than that of the Speedcross 4! So Salomon have really made an effort to ensure that you get a good grip on almost every conceivable type of surface.

I often run on hilly terrain, so I've had plenty of opportunity to test the shoe on both inclines and descents, and with the winter's wet weather, it has not been difficult to find massive puddles of mud to race through!


salomon speedcross 5 test mudder


All in all, I'm insanely impressed with the traction and grip offered by the Speedcross 5. It really bites on to the surface, and it certainly isn’t the shoes' fault that some of the hills can be hard to get over. I have felt in complete control on the descents, and I've trusted the shoes’ grip enough to just give it full throttle.


salomon speedcross 5 trailsko


Although the studs look massive, you can easily use the shoe on harder surfaces. It works brilliantly on regular forest trails/gravel paths, and I ran several shorter stretches on asphalt as well — 1-3 km to and from the forest. There was no problem with that at all. Not that longer trips on asphalt are a problem (although there are better alternatives for that kind of running). The main issue with running on asphalt a lot is that the studs under the sole will probably wear out faster than you would like. 


salomon speedcross 5 test


The midsole, i.e. what is between the outsole (with the studs) and the foot inside the shoe, has become a little softer overall. I find that this helps make the shoe feel more comfortable. Although Speedcross 5 has a pretty thick sole (30 mm under the heel, 20 mm under the front of the foot), do not expect quite the same softness and comfort you get from a daily running shoe for roads. Salomon Speedcross 5 was created to run on softer terrain, which is why you do not need quite as much cushioning as on a hard surface (asphalt). In general, however, the Salomon Speedcross 5 ranks among the most comfortable trail running shoes.


salomon speedcross 5 test jesper



Updated heel

There have also been major changes in the heel area. On the Speedcross 5, the external heel counter, which extends all the way around the heel, goes up markedly higher. This almost creates a “cradle” or a “cup” around the heel, which gives a good and very stable hold on the back of the foot.


salomon speedcross 5 vs. speedcross 4

Left: Salomon Speedcross 4. Right: Salomon Speedcross 5.


As soon as I step into the Speedcross 5, I can feel that my heel is supported from all sides. This is actually a very nice sensation — and it gives me the feeling of standing firmly.

The Speedcross 5 has comfortable padding inside, around the heel and Achilles’ tendon, and it feels a bit softer than the Speedcross 4.


salomon speedcross 5 anmeldelse



A stable trail shoe

With the Speedcross 4, I feel quite a distinct arch support on the inside of the foot. It almost feels as though the foot is “jacked up”. I can also feel the arch support in Speedcross 5, but not quite as distinctly. Salomon seems to have made the arch support slightly softer, or a bit more “smooth”.

According to Salomon, the Speedcross 5 has become MORE stable than Speedcross 4. Personally, I don’t feel that much of a difference in that respect when I run. It’s quite difficult to sense when you shoot along through rough terrain.

However, even if the shoe doesn’t have actual pronation support, there is no doubt that Salomon Speedcross 5 is among the most stable trail shoes on the market. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why it’s so popular. In any case, the good support and good protection mean that the transition from road running to trail running doesn’t feel quite as drastic as if you went straight from the “padded, supportive road running shoes” to a pair of very minimalistic trail shoes. 


salomon speedcross 5 test

Salomon Speedcross 5.


salomon speedcross 4 test

Salomon Speedcross 4.



Superior comfort in the Speedcross 5

What I do feel very clearly, however, is that the Speedcross 5 has become MUCH more comfortable. In terms of pure comfort, the Speedcross 5 is on a totally different level to Speedcross 4. You almost can’t compare the two. The level of comfort all around the foot has really been kicked up a notch in the Speedcross 5. A lot of this can be attributed to what is going on under the foot, but the greatest praise should be reserved for the upper, which has had a huge overhaul.


salomon speedcross 5 test



Excellent upper

The upper part of Salomon Speedcross 5 is simply a masterpiece. In fact, I would go so far as to call it one of the best uppers I have ever seen on a running shoe! That includes running shoes for roads.

It’s amazingly soft, almost padded on the inside, and is significantly more flexible and more dynamic than the upper of the Speedcross 4 – as if it’s better at adapting and following the movements of the foot.


salomon speedcross 5 overdel


At the same time, I find that the fit feels more relaxed – a little more spacious compared to the Speedcross 4.

In addition, the upper is very elegant and appealing to look at. There are virtually no seams. All the supportive SensiFit “overlays” have now been glued/welded on, and it just looks really good. It also feels very good on the foot, where the “triangular” overlays help to give the shoe more side-to-side stability.


salomon speedcross 5 sensifit


The upper is very protective and tightly woven, so that no dirt of any kind can enter. While it isn’t waterproof, a bit of tall wet grass etc. won’t get your toes wet. If you want a completely waterproof shoe, you can get a Gore-Tex version, which you can see here: Salomon Speedcross 5 GTX.

Both the Speedcross 4 and Speedcross 5 have a protective toe cap, and there is not much difference between the two shoes here at the front. Apart from the more elegant finish on the Speedcross 5, which I mentioned previously. 


salomon speedcross 5 vs. speedcross 4

Left: Salomon Speedcross 4. Right: Salomon Speedcross 5.


Both shoes have Salomon’s classic Quicklace lacing system, where the shoe is laced by sliding the locking mechanism towards the shoe while pulling the laces. You can then hide the “lock” and the excess laces in a small pocket to avoid the shoelaces accidentally getting caught on a branch or the like.


salomon speedcross 5 test


The tongue in the Speedcross 5 is slightly longer than the tongue in the Speedcross 4. It simply sticks further out of the shoe, which you can see in the image below. So I think it is now easier to get the laces into the small pocket. Overall, however, the lacing system works impeccably in both shoes, although I know runners who prefer regular laces to Quicklace, as they make it a bit easier to adjust the tightness across the instep. However, this is clearly a matter of taste.

Overall, I absolutely love the changes that Salomon have made to the upper. I find it really impressive how much more comfortable this shoe has become.


salomon speedcross 5 test




Salomon Speedcross 4 was and remains an excellent trail running shoe. But after testing the new Salomon Speedcross 5, I can’t see that there’s any doubt: Salomon Speedcross 5 is just better on ALL parameters. So if you loved the 4, you can’t go wrong by getting the 5.

And for those who never tried a Speedcross from Salomon, I would say that you get a fantastic all-round trail shoe with excellent grip and comfort that you can use for all your running sessions away from the asphalt.

For further information, I wear the same size in Speedcross 5 as I do in Speedcross 4, but I do have to tighten the shoe a bit more due to the more spacious fit.


Buy Salomon Speedcross 5 here 


salomon speedcross 5 test




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