2023 has seen several brands launch their best racing shoe yet, with Hoka, On and Under Armour all releasing their first competitive super-shoes. You can add Salomon to that list, with the S/Lab Phantasm 2 being one of the best carbon plate racing shoes launched in 2023. Nick has been putting the Salomon S/Lab Phantasm 2 through its paces of late, here’s his review of the shoe.

00:00​​​​ – Intro
00:13 – Design & Key Stats
02:15 – How’s The Fit?
03:22 – The Run Test
09:01 – Verdict & Alternatives

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Hello and welcome to run testers my name Is Nick and this is our full review of The Salamon slab fantasm [Music] 2 so the slab fantasm 2 is salamon's top Carbon plate racing shoe it's their best Super shoe ever with an all new midsole Compared to the Salamon fantasm CF as Well as a higher stack and a lighter Weight all around it's a little bit Confusing in salamon's range there's Also the fantasm 2 which doesn't have Slab in front of it and that's the more The training part in the shoe this the Slab fantasm 2 is the top of the range Car racing shoe which you'll know from Its price cuz it's $275 in the US £240 In the UK which is expensive even for a Carbon plate shoe that puts it well up Towards the upper end of prices for Carbon shoes it's a light shoe it's 226 G or 8 O in a UK 9.5 and it's got a 9mm Drop from Heel To Toe with a stack Height of 37.5 mm at the heel 28.5 at The 4ot so 202 3 in general we've seen a Few Brands really get in the game with Their carbon plate racing shoes people Like hoker and on have released their Best sh shoes ever and in general they Followed the similar template which is What Salamon has done here to launch Their best racing shoe ever they put an All new PE foam midsole there increased The stack full length carbon plate bit

Of a rocker all the classic elements of A modern Su shoe so the foam is energy Foam plus it's a dual density mid soole And to the touch actually this bottom Layer is the softer foam of the two Which is interesting and not how it's Usually done with dual density midols Then you've got a full length carbon Plate running through the midsole which Is salamon's energy blade and then a bit Of a rocker going on the rocker is still There it's not quite as noticeable as Actually on the fantasm CF and I think Because that had a ferm ofoam you had a More of a rocker Fu because of the ferma Shoe with the fantasm 2 it's a much Softer springier ride because of the Peber Midol you have a single layer mesh Upper which is very strip back as you'd Expect really lightweight bit See-through at the front there a little Bit of padding at the heel there you Know just ringing around the Achilles But overall the hole upper is designed To keep the weight nice and low then You've got a conter grip rubber outsole Of little B bubles on it good 4ot Coverage two strips at the back and a Cutout in the middle there to reduce a Bit of weight again as with all these Cutouts it will grab the Odd Stone If You go on gry tracks but this is very Much built to be a road racer so you Shouldn't be going on those

[Music] Anyway so I'm testing a half size up on My normal UK size here I've got a UK a 9.5 I'm normally a uk9 but this is a US 10 and an eu44 which is often the size I Am in other shoes as well if you look at The way they convert overall the fit's Actually been fine like the probably is Slightly too much length in the front There and I could go down to my normal UK size but I don't think it's an Excessively long shoe at all fit's Actually been really comfortable for me I've had a good hold around the midfoot There from the lightweight upper even When rounding Corners at speed I found I've had a good midfoot hold from this Shoe and then at the back I've really Got on very well with this padding Around the back I've had some minor Achilles niggles most throughout this Year and I think recently I started to Realize it's down to shoes like certain Shoes have things at the back that annoy Them actually had a bit of a problem With the Nike Racing shoes irritating by Rubbing on the in a certain way and this Doesn't happen at all with the slab Fantasm like it's been perfectly time For me to clear up these issues by using It for all my speed sessions lately see Really well-designed heel you know good Hold and nice and comfortable and Overall I'd say probably stick with your

Normal running shoe size even though I Haven't here and it's worked okay I Think I would prefer to have had my Normal size and had that slightly racier Fit in the toes uh without it being at All uncomfortable I'd [Music] Say so I've done about 80k in the Fantasm 2 and I've been using it for all My speed work lately as well as a 5K Race like it's the only speedu I have in For testing at the moment so over the Last 2 3 weeks my training has been Stepping up and not and I've been using It two or three times a week for some Hard speed sessions on the track and on The road like I've done long reps of 5K And 3K at Tempo Pace a hard progression 10K shorter reps of 200 M 400 m on the Track as well as well as the 5K race so Got a good range of speed some of those Runs have ended up being fairly long as Well so I feel like I've got to S the Shoe really well and I absolutely love It I think this is an absolutely Excellent racing shoe and way better Better than you've seen from Salamon in The past even though I quite like the Fantasm CF it was a really nice shoe That I think would work as a great Training partner plated shoe but was Priced a little too high to uh be that I Thought it was a really good shoe all Around I do think the fantasm 2 is a

Shoe that goes right up against the best Carb shoes on the market you know we're Ending up with this bigger and bigger Top tier of carbon shoes where I think The performance level across them is Broadly equivalent and it does come down To ride field and this has a really nice Ride feel it's got that Tippy forward Feeling you expect from Racing shoes It's probably firmer a little bit more Rounded than lots of the other shoes on The market but it's not at all Uncomfortable get a really fast Transition it feels very light on the Foot very easy to pick up on your tired And maintain a high Cadence and then the Nice amount of propulsion from the for Foot I think it's not as explosively Bouncy as some of the shoes out there Especially if you look at the really big Guns the big shoes things like the Ally 2 or the adios Pro 3 with those big Slabs of foam and the much heavier than The fantasm as well but you get that Extra Bounce from the shoes and that's Really how they deliver their pace Through a big bouncy ride whereas the Fantasm 2 feels more akin to the Vaporfly in particular the VAP Play 2 it Feels like to me and that it just tips You forward punches you on then really It's about you helping you to maintain a Nice high turnover with a nice amount of Bounce Under Foot as well one thing that

Was definitely clear to me across the Range of reps I've done so I did that Progression 10K talked about in the First run it's about 35 minute 10K Moving from I think it was 345 a k down To kicking the last K in sub 320 and um Just feels like sure you can keep Turning your feet over quite well so Whatever you're able to do that day You'll be able to keep hitting it so Throughout the runs same in the 5K race Where I ran a 1635 in Hy park at the Last Friday of the month 5K like started Off fairly fast in that race then Started to really suffer in the shoe I Find I could drop my Pace to around 320 And hold it there and just keep turning Over even as I was feeling really rough Just because it is such a lightweight Shoe and it encourages that high Turnover exactly the same way I have With the Vapor Flies when you are Struggling you start to lose maybe some Of your efficient form in terms of Bounding along and really making the Most of some of those really bouncy Shoes out there like the metas speed Sky Plus or even the alpha flly and really You know sinking into that foam and Getting that explosive feel feeling like When I start to Tire I don't do that so Much I don't get so much force into the Shoe so I like the lightweight feel of a Shoe like this where helps you maintain

Your Cadence your turnover and just Means even as you start to slow you Start feeling like you're really slow And you're not really engaging the shoe That well you are still running quite Quick and that's what I've liked about The VAP fly 3 the whole time what I love About the VAP fly 3 as well but with the Vly 3 you probably get a tad More Bounce From it but the Salamon all around Delivers that feeling of tipping you on Helping you run well when you're tired As well as helping you run well when You're not tired and you feel great in The shoe at the start of r the ride is Fairly natural for a super shoe it's not Really weird or very bouncy there's no Really high arch in there dinging under You to force your foot into a certain Position it feels really nice like an Extension of the foot but very fast for Sure I did one run when I took it to the Track and also used the vfly 3 and the Session was three sets of one mile in 520 I think and then three 400 met reps In 75 seconds so I used the Salamon for The first two sets and then the vapefly For the third and actually I expected to Pull on the vly and you know really feel The increase in performance there Because I do love the vfly through it's Been my favorite shoe but actually I Didn't get that I actually slightly Preferred the Salamon during that

Session for a couple of reasons well I Used the bfly for the third set which is Always the hardest set for one but I did Notice actually the that was when I Started to notice the vfly 3 was robbing My achilles a bit and being a bit Uncomfortable there but did actually Feel like I was turning over a bit more Smoothly and naturally in the salon over The shorter reps I think you do get Slightly More Bounce from the VAP fly But certainly this is a shoe that felt Just as good if not better during that Session for those kind of Mile and 400 Met reps and this is certainly a shoe I Think that translates well to lots of Different distances I think it'll be Very good Marathon racing shoe a bit Firmer and more grounded than some of The options out there but still Comfortable enough I'd say and then very Nimble light pretty stable for short Distances like the 5K I did was like a Square course you kind of went around Twice so sharp sharp Corners done out Speed on you know not the best tarmac Out there just running around High Park And yeah it coached really well I will Say I do have some concerns about the Grip though which I brought up in the First run in the shoe where it's just a Bit slippery it was very wet the first Round I did in the shoe it was really Slick on the foot and there was certain

Types of um tarmac where the shoe Struggled a bit I think basically the Smoother the tarmac you're on the better The grip doesn't matter how wet it is if It's good smooth asphalt you're going to Get really good grip but slightly bubbly Bits it's not like it's pot Hool or Anything I just mean that slightly Bubbly style of asphal you get doesn't Grip so well and I did have to like Noticeably slow down at certain points On that like since then I have run in The shoe many times on the wet track and Different kinds of wet roads and I Haven't had that problem again but that Exact type of tat could be a problem Like if you end up in a race and it's Just not the most wellmaintained Road I Think the grip might be a little bit Noticeable in a bad way but for the most Part it is has been nice and secure for Me on smoother smoother tarmac all Around yeah overall definitely a very Positive run test like thrown a load of Different types of speed sessions at it And every single time I felt like the Shoe just wasn't necessarily being Noticeably assistive in the way that Some shoes are things like the Adidas Prime X really feels like you're getting A huge amount of bounc from it's really Noticeable all the time doesn't feel Like that but it certainly is helping And feels good and delivers the

Performance you expect from a carbon Shoe but in a slightly less intrusive And more natural way than some of the Other shoes out [Music] There so verdict on the slab fantasm 2 Is this is a great shoe I think this Goes straight in amongst my top tier of Carbon plate racing shoes there's a lot Of shoes in there now though they are All great shoes and but this does Deliver the performance I think that Will match up to them well you head to a Race wearing the SLB fantasm 2 I think You can be pretty confident you're not Losing anything because of your Footwear Whereas in the ca whereas in the past That wasn't really the case with Salomon This is now a top tier carb ration sh I'd say great midsole really nice Geometry really nice feel to it good Well-designed upper slightly squiffy Outsole at times but for the most part a Really good shoe all around price is Certainly a problem Salomon seem to love High prices and in an area where they Haven't got a big reputation obviously Theyve got huge reputation in trail Running scene and they can maybe dictate Prices a bit more there but when they're Coming into the road Market which is so Dominated by shoes that have been around For a long time with a proven level of Performance to price this above those

Shoes it's a statement and I'm not sure It's a very wise statement like to come In more expensive than the VAP I always Think it's just a bit you know silly Because if it comes to it a lot of Runners will just pick the VAP fly it's A proven performer and it's got the Pedigree and I do still slightly prefer It to the Sev I was lining up a marathon I probably would still grab the vaporfly 3 myself as the preferred option if I Could sort out the Achilles rubbing Thing a bit by cutting out some foam Maybe now I do think this delivers the Performance but I just think it's hard To recommend it when there are more Established shoes out there available For a lot less especially looking in Sales you can pick up the metas speed Sky Plus from AIC the Sak endorphin Pro 3 you know for a lot less or even the VAP 2 and those are all Amazing shoes I Can't say this is a better shoe and it's Certainly a shoe that hasn't got the Pedigree behind it in terms of a road Running background or in particular a Carbon racing shoe background so it's Hard to say going by the fantasm it's Hard to say that anyway because if you Say that it's very confusing as to what Shoe you mean because there are so many Fantasm shoes in salomon's range but It's hard to say go and buy the SL Fantasm 2 despite how much I've enjoyed

Running in it because you can get better Value elsewhere certainly by getting the VAP fly or you many other shoes I've Listed already but I do think if you get It you're going to be very happy with The performance of the shoe this is a Great racing shoe I've Loved using it I'm going to keep using it and I look Forward to trying to do some longer Races in it as well I think it's a Massive upgrade from Salomon but there's Also the case that maybe wait to see how It develops from here cuz this is Essentially the first generation of the Fantasm as a proper carbon racing shoe Going up against the rest so we'll see Where they go next year I imagine They'll do things that are common AC Cross Racing shoes like increasing the Stack height a little bit and that kind Of thing and then you might have an even Better shoe that maybe starts to live up To the high price that salamin is Putting on it for now though really good Shoe but better value still are found Elsewhere the the classic problem of Carbon plate running shoes coming into The market at the moment where there are Loads of great shoes available from the Previous generation or even the current Generation uh for a lot less than a Ticket price and then the ticket price On this is very ticket price start Saying ticket price the RP on this is uh

Is is so high and that's hard to do when You are Salon as opposed to someone like Nike because people haven't been using Your shoes to set PBS in road races for [Music] Years Okie doie that's our review of the Salamon slab fantasm 2 let us know what You think in the comments below please Do like subscribe bring the little bell And we'll see you next time ticket price Where's that come From