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Salomon S/Lab Phantasm 2 Performance Review

Salomon S/Lab Phantasm 2

The Salomon S/Lab Phantasm 2 is Salomon’s first marathon racing shoe and its first super shoe. I first got a look at it in a secret room inside the Salomon booth at The Running Event, an industry conference held in Austin, Texas in early December each year. That’s a beautiful time to be in Austin by the way. And if you love running footwear, it’s worth the trip.

Anyway, back to the secret room. I got to see the Salomon S/Lab Phantasm 2 in all its glory and hear about it and some other cool stuff Salomon has on the way. Mostly I remember the pride of the Salomon team as they showed it to myself and occasional WearTesters contributor Ashley Mateo. They really liked what they had built and it showed. And whenever a team is that pumped about its own product, I take note. It usually means something fun to test is coming my way.

Salomon S/Lab Phantasm 2

Release Date: October 1, 2023

Price: $275

Weight: 7.4 oz.

Drop: 9mm

Sizing: Fits long, go a half size down

Buy the S/Lab Phantasm 2
  • Rundown: The Salomon S/Lab Phantasm 2 is a throwback super shoe that feels similar to the original Vaporfly while adding awesome traction and tongue padding.
Salomon S/Lab Phantasm 2 Midsole


The Peba foam midsole, along with the full-length spoon-shaped carbon fiber plate, combine to create a ride that falls somewhere in between the Nike Vaporfly 3 and New Balance FuelCell SC Elite v3. It’s a fairly squishy, soft midsole that rolls from heel to toe quickly and bounces off the ground easily. The whole package, when combined with the upper, reminds me of the original Nike Vaporfly most of all. Light, soft, bouncy, and fun.

I ran a lot of speed work, both long-distance marathon pace sessions and track intervals, and two races, a 5K and a 2-miler, in the Salomon S/Lab Phantasm 2. Every time I wanted to pick up the pace, the S/Lab Phantasm 2 made it feel easy.

Like many super shoes, it’s not a great shoe for walking around pre and post-race, but at speed, it feels smooth. And despite the softness, it’s surprisingly stable. Much better than any Nike supershoe ever was in that regard.

Salomon S/Lab Phantasm 2 Upper


The plasticky transparent mesh upper is almost exactly like Nike’s Vaporweave, which was used on the original Vaporfly. It’s not bad, but it’s not great either. On the plus side, it doesn’t absorb water, but any water or sweat that gets to your socks stays there. No moisture gets out.

Even with wet socks, the shoe not taking on water was a godsend while wearing it for hot and humid summer runs. It never felt like I was taking on weight as the run went along.

Even the thin moisture-wicking nylon or polyester tongue, with a fantastic padded strip down the center, didn’t retain much moisture. The synthetic suede heel collar retained some water, but not much, though it did get a little stinky over time.

I didn’t have any hotspots in the upper either. The vinyl overlays, the red and white sections, helped keep my foot from sliding around, even on tight turns. The overlays didn’t have to do the job all by themselves as the foot sits below the top edge of the midsole in the heel and midfoot. The upper’s build matches nicely with the shoe’s purpose.

Salomon S/Lab Phantasm 2 Outsole Traction


The version of the Salomon S/Lab Phantasm 2 I saw last year didn’t have this exact outsole but I’m glad they made the change. The studded Contagrip outsole worked extremely well. For example, in the 2-mile race, there were numerous sections of dewy grass and I never slipped nor felt unsure of my footing.

Even as the studs wore off in my high-wear areas the shoe kept gripping. I was happy to see the rubber itself was the real star of the show, not just the pattern.

Salomon makes A+ trail outsoles so it wasn’t surprising that they figured out how to design a light, efficient super shoe outsole. Alongside the Puma Deviate Nitro Elite 2, it ranks as the best traction available among marathon racing shoes.

Is the Salomon S/Lab Phantasm 2 wide foot friendly?

No, it’s not quite wide foot friendly. The Salomon S/Lab Phantasm 2 is built on a fairly narrow last and the upper isn’t very stretchy. I’d recommend wide footers grab their normal size while all others should size down by a half size because the S/Lab Phantasm 2 fits long.

Is the Salomon S/Lab Phantasm 2 worth $275?

The Salomon S/Lab Phantasm 2’s performance merits a $250 price point alongside the bulk of marathon racing shoes. At this point, the competition at $225, $230, and $250 is very good so it’s difficult to recommend paying $25-$50 more for essentially equal performance.


The first negative I noticed was some irritation from my arch hitting the midsole, which pops above the insole, at the midfoot. This only happened to me on the first run before everything broke in and I stopped feeling the edge of the midsole. It made me wonder if the midfoot would ever be comfortable for some flat and wide footers. The midsole foam is soft so my guess is it will conform to most feet. But it’s something to watch out for if you easily get arch irritation.

The second negative was the drop. The shoe didn’t feel like an 8mm drop bc the heel is so squishy. It felt more like a 4mm drop shoe. The heel likely needs a little more foam overall or some reinforcement so it doesn’t dip so low with each footstep.

Since I already mentioned the price above, the final negative was the unaccommodating upper. The Salomon S/Lab Phantasm 2 upper just isn’t stretchy enough to accommodate a wide range of foot types. The original Vaporfly had a similar issue though many shoved their feet into it to get the super shoe benefit. Nowadays, there are a lot more options for marathon racing shoes and Salmon is limiting their target audience with this upper construction (even though it works well).

Salomon S/Lab Phantasm 2 Side View

Salomon S/Lab Phantasm 2 Summary

The Salomon S/Lab Phantasm 2 is a solid first marathon shoe for the brand. It’s lightweight, has great bounce, fantastic traction, and is way more stable than expected. But it needs to be more accommodating and be priced lower.

While the cost may hurt the wallet a bit, it’s a great performing shoe and Salomon fans will really enjoy finally having a long-distance road racing shoe that delivers Salomon fit and finish. Salomon’s road racing endeavors are off to a solid start.


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