As a part of Salming Running USA ambassador team, I receive free running shoes from Salming USA. For my longer runs and for Hambletonian Marathon. I have been using Salming Distance. Distance is the heaviest of Salming shoe line up (still very light, 8.4oz, size 9). Hambletonian Marathon has a very hilly elevation profile and I wanted to make sure I had enough under my feet for this Marathon. Any of Salming running shoes can actually serve as a fast marathon shoe, depends on your liking. http://www.salmingrunning.com/shoes/distance/mens/distance.aspx
Salming says: "Covering mile after mile calls for a combination of comfort and durability. Accordingly, our shoes designed to function in more rugged environments utilize a 3 layer upper construction. A first layer of mesh material adds comfort, while the middle stabilizes lateral movements and reduces pressure on the foot. The exterior thin net mesh encapsulates and wraps up the front in a neat fashion, adding durability to the shoe."
RunningSwede says: The three layers are making a great job locking down your foot and gives you a secure fit. I have not experienced any kind of chafing. It sounds like it would be overkill to have three layers but nothing is in the way and it actually is pretty minimalistic. In the beginning I felt the layers in the front was to bulky, but it got better as the Distance needed some break in time. Now I feel like the upper material is more molded and shaped after my feet. As the upper snugs very well, I can see how runners with wider feet, might feel that Distance could run on the narrow side. Heel cup and toe box are covered with light plastic material. Its not in the way in the toe box but I feel they could have used something lighter and smooth. Heel cup and collar is cut low and does not chafe, gives you a light feeling. Salming uses the same lacing for Distance and Speed, easy to lace up and to get even pressure. The collar and lacing, is a lighter leather looking material that adds to the way Distance secure the fit. Distance also comes in a A2 version, where they have revised the upper using two over lays (I have not tried this version yet). The upper for Distance uses the same idea as Salming Speed which I reviewed here: http://www.therunningswede.com/2014/09/salming-running-speed1-review.html
"The RunLite™ midsole features a special High Abrasion Injection EVA, designed to create a nice feel for the ground. The midsole is light and responds to the surface in a flexible way from the very first step. The Salming Race natural running shoe has a midsole with special lightweight molded EVA, in order to get a race-like feel and extremely quick characteristics."
" Responsive without being overly supportive - The Torsion Efficiency Unit™ brings sturdiness to the shoe. It is appropriately placed to generate maximal running efficiency. The Distance model features a semi-transparent TPU, while the Race model is powered by a lightweight carbon fiber torsion unit."
"Our standard heel to toe drop of 5 mm sets up a natural running posture, allowing a correct lean throughout the stride. This drop is used in Distance, Speed and Race models."
RunningSwede says: As mentioned in other review, drop in the range 4-5mm is something I prefer but might not be for everyone. Distance has 5mm and that fits my gait well. Distance is built low to the ground but is more of a shoe compare to Salming Speed. You still get a great feeling for the road despite the higher stack height. RunLite offers a great firmer feel, with a great response. Its fast, firm with a great energy return. The Torsion Efficiency Unit offers a touch of extra support in the midfoot, this could be great, in the later stage of a marathon when your gait start to get "tired" and you need that little extra touch of support from your shoes. Although Salming is marketing Distance as a Distance trainer I would put the shoe more in the marathon flat - performance trainer category. Reasons for that is the firmness of the mid sole unit.
Lightweight yet with sticky characteristics, our blown rubber compound is strategically placed to provide you with great grip in all slopes, twist and turns you might encounter.
RunningSwede says: With Speed, Salming had left some of the EVA foam exposed in the forefoot. With Distance this area is covered by rubber, for me this add durability and a more grip. In heel and outer section of the forefoot a more durable rubber is being used. I do feel that some runners might be able to feel the difference of the two different rubber as they add two different firm feeling to the forefoot, but for me this has not been an issue.
I used Distance for my Hambletonian Marathon and it offered me great protection, a fast feeling without being to bulky and heavy. I like to feel the road when I run but at the same time I need the right amount of protection. Distance offered that to me during my Hambletonian Marathon. Yes, Distance is marked as a distance trainer but to me Distance is more of an performance trainer. Distance ride is firm for sure, for runners seeking a well cushioned long distance trainer with a softer feel this might not be for you. But if you are looking for an everyday trainer that will serve well as your marathon race day shoe, Distance is a great choice. As today's every day training running shoes, like Mizuno Sayonara are coming closer to the weight of sub 8oz I feel Distance fits right in to that category.