About three weeks ago I picked up a pair of the Salming Viper 2.0 squash shoes and I feel like I am wearing nothing on my feet but with all the good results I expected. They are very light shoes with a lower cut on the ankle, less cushioning on the forefoot for a better closer-to-the-court feel, and increased breathability on the top. Also, you can tell Salming concentrated on lateral support when designing these shoes as there are some technologies and features that work towards that. I feel quicker and more comfortable when I wear them on court which is really nice as shoes are one of the most important squash gear.
It is easier to move on court with the Vipers due to all the different technologies it includes. I will list them, what they do, and how I feel they impacted my movement and comfort on court:
The roll bar is located on the inner side of the outer sole of the shoe. Here, the shoe features an increased radius which facilitates toe push off as well as rolling the foot inwards.
This is great for squash since maximized toe push off saves time when starting your movement towards the ball. The roll bar in the vipers will help you launch quicker from a standing position. I noticed that this, with the reduced weight of the shoe, helped me get to shots faster than with my previous shoes. I was able to concentrate more on my balance and footwork once I already reached the ball, since I had more time to do it.
T.G.S 62/75 (Torsion Guide System)
Salming has designed the distance from the heel to the ball of the foot (62% of the shoe) with extra stability, which ends at a 75 degree angle. In front of the 75 degree line the shoe features extra flexibility to help emulate the natural lateral and forwards movements of the foot. This technology takes all of the gait cycle’s phases into play.
I believe this is what makes me feel like I am wearing nothing on my feet when I play. Providing more stability on the heel and a more natural movement at the front, every step I took felt very comfortable and light. If you have the chance to look at one of these shoes in person, try bending the front of it and notice how easy it is to do it; a good thing since it doesn’t restrict your foot’s natural movement at all.
3 Layer Construction
The first layer of the top of the shoe adds breathability and comfort, the second one is the ‘exoskeleton’ which adds stability on lateral movements as it keeps the foot in place, and the third one surrounds the first two adding durability to the shoe.
From this I just have to say that breathability is really good. I noticed after playing that my feet were cooler than with my previous shoes which is always a nice thing. Also, the extra lateral support is a great bonus as well as you want your feet to stay in place when applying lateral pressure on them.
LMS (Lateral Movement Stabilizer)
A dual torsion unit that supports the foot during fast and irregular lateral movements.
There are two parts of the LMS in the shoe. One is at the middle of the sole on the inner part of the foot, and the other one is at the outer edge of the shoe from the middle to the front of the foot. I noticed the shoes helped me keep my balance whenever I had to attack shots on the middle of the court, i.e. I had to move sideways from the ‘T’ to the side wall. They provided great support as I lunged for the shot, as well as when I needed to quickly come back to the ‘T’. Furthermore, they prevent the foot from rolling on its side which is great since it provides extra protection against ankle injuries.
The Salming Viper 2.0 shoes are excellent for speed, comfort, and lateral stability/support. I have used these for not too long and I already love them. Noticing improved speed and stability on court, I would highly recommend these shoes to any type of player.