Salomon S/LAB Phantasm 2 Review: Speed, And Comfort With Only 2 Minor Drawbacks

Here's how the super lightweight Salomon S/LAB Phantasm 2 performs with its carbon fiber plate, breathable upper, and responsive cushioning.

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Hey everyone, I’m Alastair from Trail and Kale, and this is my Salomon S/LAB Phantasm 2 review, where you’ll learn if this running shoe lives up to its hype for race day and speed work. Let’s break down its features and evaluate its value for money.

The Salomon S/LAB Phantasm 2 is a carbon fiber plated running shoe, designed primarily for race days. But don’t think you have to save them just for races—these shoes are perfect for speed work and intervals too. I love using my favorite super shoes for road runs because they’re fun, comfortable, and help me run faster. Plus, given their cost, it makes sense to get as much use out of them as possible in my opinion – so the next time an influencer instructs you to save them for race day only, tell them to zip it 🤐.

For anyone who’s not aware (like I wasn’t) the word ‘Phantasm’ refers to something imagined or unreal, an illusion or ghostly figure. Salomon seems to have aimed for a dream-like racing shoe, something that seems almost impossible—but here they are, in physical form, I know because I’ve been running in them.

Salomon S/LAB Phantasm 2 review
Salomon S/LAB Phantasm 2 review | Trail & Kale Running Co.

Key specifications of the Salomon S/LAB Phantasm 2

  • Price: $250 at Salomon (US) or £191 at Sportsshoes.com (UK)
  • Fit: True to size with a medium width, though the midfoot is very narrow.
  • Type: Neutral running shoe with a wide enough platform for stability
  • Drop: 9mm (37.5mm heel, 28.5mm forefoot)
  • Weight: 7.4 oz (210g) for US men’s size 9 (my pair)
  • Upper: Breathable synthetic mesh
  • Lacing: Traditional system with a snug fit
  • Midsole: Maximal cushioning with a full-length carbon fiber plate
  • Outsole: Contagrip rubber, common in Salomon’s trail shoes

👋🏼 If you’re thinking about getting these shoes, using our links would be a huge help for Trail & Kale Running Co. We may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you, which lets us keep creating awesome content like this. Thanks so much for your support.

Fit and feel

The S/Lab Phantasm 2 fits true to size in length and has a medium width overall, but with a noticeably narrow midfoot, this narrower fit is something I’ve come to expect from Salomon.

Salomon S/LAB Phantasm 2 Review: Speed, And Comfort With Only 2 Minor Drawbacks 1 - Trail and Kale | Trail Running & Adventure

While Salomon running shoes have been improving in terms of width over the years, this shoe still caters best to those with a slimmer foot profile. If you have wide feet, this will not be for you.

Despite being a neutral shoe, it offers a stable run thanks to its broad platform, and the lightweight build makes it ideal for maintaining a quick, efficient cadence.

Salomon S/LAB Phantasm 2 performance review

Before i get stuck into how they perform on the run, here’s a quick reminder that you can also watch my video review to get more insights, by tapping the image below – Don’t forget to give the video a like if you enjoy it (that really helps our channel), and subscribe to our Youtube Channel for more reviews of the latest running shoes :).

Salomon S/LAB Phantasm 2 video review on YouTube

The Salomon S/LAB Phantasm 2 really excels in the speed department – and it will make you run faster. Thanks to its springy midsole and full-length carbon fiber plate, this shoe is a total speed demon.

The plate propels you forward efficiently with every stride, making it easier to maintain a fast pace with less effort – this is the whole point of having a carbon plate. This feature is particularly beneficial on race days when every second counts but I also use super shoes for my interval training.

During my speed work and interval training, there’s a noticeable boost in my pace when running in the S/Lab Phantasm 2 – it’s as if the shoe itself is encouraging you to push harder and go faster.

Comfort is another strong suit of the S/Lab Phantasm 2
Comfort is another strong suit of the S/Lab Phantasm 2

Comfort is another strong suit of the S/Lab Phantasm 2 (for the most part, more on that in a moment) and despite its focus on performance, it doesn’t compromise on comfort. The maximal cushioning in the midsole provides a plush, supportive feel that’s perfect for longer runs.

Although Salomon markets this shoe as a maximal cushioned running shoe, it’s not as cushioned as a Nike or Hoka max cushioned shoe, for example – but still nice and bouncy.

This cushioning strikes a great balance, offering both support and responsiveness. The carbon fiber plate, although primarily designed to enhance speed, contributes to the overall comfort by providing a very flexible platform that reduces the strain on your feet during high-impact activities. In my video, I demonstrate just how flexible this plate is when compared to the Nike Alphafly 3, or Hoka Cielo X1, to name a few examples.

Breathability is so important, especially for those of us running in warmer climates, and the S/Lab Phantasm 2 features a breathable synthetic mesh upper that keeps your feet cool and dry.

S/Lab Phantasm 2 features a breathable synthetic mesh upper
S/Lab Phantasm 2 features a breathable synthetic mesh upper

Running in the California heat, I quickly noticed how well-ventilated these shoes are. The airflow through the upper is excellent, preventing that dreaded overheated foot feeling. This breathability significantly enhances comfort, making long runs more enjoyable.

The traditional lacing system in the Salomon S-Lab Phantasm 2 provides a secure and customizable fit. This system allows you to adjust the snugness of the shoe, ensuring your foot stays locked in place without any uncomfortable pressure points apart from that narrow midfoot area I mentioned earlier (I have average width feet).

You will also need to double knot your laces to ensure they stay done up during your run – the laces do have some nice stretch but they don’t stay done up that well.

The collar and heel counter are well-padded
The collar and heel counter are well-padded

The collar and heel counter are well-padded, which not only provides extra comfort but also helps to lock your heel in place, preventing any slippage. This design feature is particularly beneficial during high-speed runs, where any foot movement within the shoe can lead to overheating, blisters or minor discomfort.

The outsole uses Salomon’s famed (in the trail running space) Contagrip rubber compound for excellent traction in all weather conditions.

The outsole uses Salomon's famed (in the trail running space) Contagrip rubber compound
The outsole uses Salomon’s famed (in the trail running space) Contagrip rubber compound

This has performed very well on my runs in them so far, all of which have been dry, but I know from experience running in countless Salomon trail running shoes, that Contagrip provides excellent traction in wet conditions.

However, no shoe is without its flaws, the narrow midfoot of the Phantasm 2 might be a deal-breaker for some.

If you have wider feet, you will find this shoe a bit too tight in the middle
If you have wider feet, you will find this shoe a bit too tight in the middle

If you have wider feet, you will find this shoe a bit too tight in the middle, and while Salomon has made strides in producing shoes with a more generous fit these last few years, this model still caters to those with slimmer feet.

Another potential downside is the high collar – if you have low-set ankles, you might find the collar presses uncomfortably against your ankle. I don’t notice this while running, however, it is slightly bothersome when walking in them after your run.

If you have low-set ankles, you might find the S/Lab Phantasm 2 collar presses against your ankles
If you have low-set ankles, you might find the collar presses against your ankles

The laces are another area where there’s room for improvement. Despite the generally good lacing system, the laces themselves could be better. They tend not to stay tied as securely as I’d like, which can be frustrating during a run. A notched lace design, like those used by some other brands, could resolve this issue, ensuring the laces stay put once tied.

In terms of performance, the Phantasm 2 is undeniably fast and comfortable. Its lightweight build at 7.4 oz for a US men’s size 9, combined with the cushioned yet responsive cushioning and carbon fiber plate, makes it a joy to run in.

The shoe’s design promotes a natural, efficient running stride, which is key for maintaining speed and reducing fatigue over longer distances. The breathable upper and secure fit further enhance the overall running experience, making this shoe a strong contender in my best super shoes roundup.

Are the Salomon S/LAB Phantasm 2 worth buying?

At $250, the Phantasm 2 isn’t cheap, but I believe it’s worth the investment if you’re looking for a fast, comfortable shoe. It excels in providing speed and comfort, making it suitable for both racing and everyday speed work. However, if you have wide feet or lower-set ankles, you might want to consider these other carbon plate running shoes.

Shopping around? Here are the best alternative super shoes right now

  1. HOKA Cielo X1: Offers a wider fit and platform for extra stability. It’s slightly heavier but provides a great balance of comfort and performance. Read review.
  2. Nike Alphafly 3: Known for its efficiency over long distances, though it’s much stiffer compared to the Phantasm 2. Read review.

For a full breakdown of my favorite super shoes, check out my best carbon fiber plate running shoes roundup. I update it regularly with my latest reviews, so you’ll always get the most up-to-date recommendations there.

I hope you enjoyed this review! If you did, please give it a like, share it with a friend, and subscribe to our Newsletter for more running shoe reviews as they drop. Thanks for reading, and happy running! -Alastair

Alastair
Alastairhttps://www.trailandkale.com
As the founder of Trail & Kale, and seasoned marathoner & ultrarunner, Alastair loves bringing our readers independent running shoe reviews and gear insights to help you run your best. Learn more about Trail & Kale here.

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