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With a name like “Triple Crown Magic” and tie-dyed color scheme, Salomon’s updated Odyssey hiking shoe is clearly marketed toward the thru-hiking community. Could they unseat the Altra Lone Peaks as the most popular shoe on the long trails? That was the main question on our minds when Paul got a pair of these trail runners to test out.
We took them through as much rough and rugged terrain as possible, backpacking on rocky and snow-covered trails, even using microspikes a few times. In addition to frequent hiking, Paul used these shoes as his daily shoe for several months to determine how well the foam would hold up.
Salomon Odyssey Triple Crown Magic Overview
Drop: 10 mm
Lacing: Regular Laces
Weight: 344 grams
While not as wide as Altras, the Salomons have a generous toe box that most hikers and especially long-distance hikers will appreciate. They actually allow your pinky toe to exist, and even move around a little! Paul really enjoyed these shoes, and raved about how comfortable they were each time we took them out for a hike. With his wide feet and picky disposition, that is saying a lot.
One of my biggest complaints about the Altra Lone Peaks is how much the EVA foam gets crushed over the course of 500+ miles. The Salomons have a PU (polyurethane) foam midsole that is remarkably durable. The cushioning is a little more firm and less springy than EVA, but the foam holds up better over time and miles with much less compression.
Say goodbye to boring when you sport these shoes – you’ll be the belle of the trail! The colors are fun and attract many comments from fellow hikers who want to get a pair for themselves. Why can’t all hiking gear have fun colors like these?
While generally acceptable for most conditions, the tread on these shoes is not as rugged as some other trail runners. Because Paul wore these shoes on hikes where I wore my Altra Lone Peaks, we were able to have a direct comparison between how each shoe performed on trails with difficult traction, and we found Paul’s feet slipped a lot more than mine did. I’d love to see more aggressive lugs on future versions of this shoe.
Paul found the provided rigid laces to be uncomfortable, and swapped them out for a stretchy pair of laces, which he found much more comfortable.
Upper Mesh Durability
The single biggest drawback of the shoe was the durability of the uppers. After a couple hundred miles of hiking and near-daily use, tears and holes started appearing, particularly along the sides near the ball of the foot where the shoes sees the most bending action. Although the upper was becoming quite worn down, the foam was still holding up well. We used some shoe goo to stretch the life of the shoes, but eventually new tears and holes began forming. As a thru-hiker, I prefer that a shoe can make 500 miles before showing this type of wear-and-tear. Hopefully, as new models of the Odyssey Triple Crown Magic are released, Salomon will make the necessary improvements to the upper so that the shoes last longer on the trail.
All-in-all, the Salomon Odyssey Triple Crown Magic Trail shoes are a pleasure to hike in and show a lot of promise, but they do need a few improvements in the durability department to make them a cost-effective shoe to use on a long thru-hike. At an MSRP of $150, the cost is priced a bit high for the average thru-hiker budget, especially considering it is unlikely they will last more than 500 miles. If it takes 6 pairs to complete, say, the PCT, that’s $900 just on shoes! My recommendation is to get these on sale when you can, or wait for the next version to be released, which will likely have some upgrades to improve durability. I look forward to seeing the next version of this cool shoe.