Salomon Speedcross is quite a broad line. There are several different models available in this line of trail running shoes. In general, Salomon Speedcross shoes are great. They offer great durability and performance. However, choosing the right model that is the most suitable for you is not a straightforward task. In the following article, we will see the comparisons between Salomon Speedcross 4 vs Vario. What is the difference between the two models?
Although these two models still fall in the same category, which is trail running shoes, they are actually designed in different ways for different aims. Salomon Speedcross 4 has indeed been designed for trail running – see our previous comparison of Salomon Speedcross 4 vs Inov 8. The upper is made from mesh textile materials. The upper has been enhanced with an anti-debris technology so that the shoe will not get dirty easily. The upper is supportive, yet comfortable and flexible enough to allow convenient turns and maneuvers. The shoe features the QuickLace system for easy and quick fit adjustment.
On the other hand, Salomon Speedcross Vario is not actually meant for difficult terrains. It is designed for hard and solid surfaces, but is inspired from trail running shoes. The upper is made from fabric and synthetic materials. It is soft and supportive, but not as rugged as that of Salomon Speedcross 4. Salomon Speedcross Vario also features the QuickLace system with friction-free eyelets. Interestingly, Salomon Speedcross Vario is actually heavier than Salomon Speedcross 4.
Salomon Speedcross 4 vs Vario shoes use similar cushioning layers. Both models feature the removable OrthoLite insoles to enhance comfort. However, these insoles can slide around when wet. Because of that, you may want to glue the insoles altogether, especially if you are going to run through wet terrains.
Both models are also enhanced with the EndoFit technology, which greatly improves the ground feel and comfort. The enhanced ground feel enables you to run with more confidence and stability. Their EVA midsole layers do a great job in reducing impacts and cushioning. Both have 10 mm heel-to-toe drop.
Both of these two models also feature the ContaGrip rubber material on their outer soles. However, they do have different outer sole designs. If you observe and compare the two models carefully, you may notice that Salomon Speedcross 4 has a more aggressive tread pattern. It features triangular lugs that are thicker for better grip and traction. The enhanced grip and traction translate into better stability and overall performance when running through mud and unpaved roads. However, on a solid surface, the difference won’t matter much.
On the other hand, the lugs on Salomon Speedcross Vario are not triangular. Instead, on each triangular element, there is another piece to complement. Such design somehow reduces the grip on mud trail terrains, but it can give somewhat better traction when running on a wet road.
For real trail running, Salomon Speedcross 4 is more recommended. The construction is more rugged and durable, and the grip and overall performance are more reliable. However, if you are only running on wet roads and not on heavy trail terrains, Salomon Speedcross Vario can be a slightly more affordable alternative.