The Salming Hawk are a revolution in the design of indoor court shoes …
The Hawk is built from the outsole up. They provide exceptional grip and good stability on the court. They also provide excellent cushioning while also providing excellent performance.
This post provides our take on the exciting new Salming Hawk and how they might benefit you, the squash player…
After the review of the Salming Hawk you will also find a section where we review the technologies Salming has incorporated in to the Hawk. We provide Salming’s description of the technology and once again provide our take on them.
Salming Hawk Indoor Court Shoes
Technologies Included in the Hawk:
- T.G.S 62/75
- EXOSKELETON FULLY INTEGRATED
- ERGO HEELCUP
- RECOIL ERF
Here is Salming’ description of the Hawk:
“Dominate the court in these indoor shoes. Hawk features a low to ground profile fueled with energy, stability and an impeccable grip. The ExoSkeleton inner cage is connected to the lacing system and offers excellent support. The HexaGrip outsole featuring two LMSplus 8°areas allows for stability during multidirectional movements. The new midsole Recoil ERF – Energy Rebound Foam – with its added offset cushioning heel area (SoftFOAM) provide energy return and comfort in every step. The upper is a 3 layer construction with air mesh for maximum breathability.”
The Salming Hawk are a terrific blend of comfort and performance …
They are designed for the player that is looking for excellent cushioning but also wants a very high performance pair of indoor court shoes.
Cushioning is important in an indoor court shoes to protect your feet and joints from the hard movements we squash players have to make. As we age, we tend to need more cushioning in our shoes. Too much cushioning though, or the wrong type of cushioning can hurt performance …
The Hawk provides excellent cushioning in the midsole of the shoe in both the heel and the forefoot area of the shoe. The heel is a straight cushioning foam designed to protect against hard heel strike which is very common in squash.
In the forefoot area there is excellent cushioning provided by an Energy Return Foam (ERF), called Recoil ERF, that not only provides great cushioning but also provides energy back to the player. This helps mitigate the loss of energy found in a shoe with too much cushioning or that does not have ERF.
The upper of the shoe is a 3-layer upper. It consists of:
- A soft, comfortable inner mesh layer
- A fully integrated Exoskeleton layer that really locks the foot in place
- A mesh layer on the outside
The inside and outside of the shoes being mesh helps keeps the weight down and really allows the Hawk to breathe well. The fully integrated Exoskeleton layer provides the structure the shoe needs to keep your foot locked in place.
The tongue of the Salming Hawk is quite unique in an indoor court shoes as it is very thin and made of rubber material compared to a traditional thicker tongue. Looking at it I was not sure how it would feel but it is very comfortable. It does not bunch up at all and you virtually don’t even notice it is there. Considering how comfortable the upper of the Hawk is, it is a smart design choice.
Overall the Hawk is a very comfortable pair of indoor court shoes. Other than the exceptional cushioning underneath my feet I hardly noticed I was wearing them which is the mark of a good pair of shoes …
Now on to the performance of the Salming Hawk …
The Salming Hawk perform very well on the squash court. They are not an all out performance shoe like the Salming Viper or Asics GEL-Blade though. The Blade and Viper are very low to the court and have much less cushioning. As such they are a bit harsher on the body. The Hawk provide much better cushioning while still performing quite well. They provide a good balance between comfort and performance.
The Salming Hawk is uniquely constructed from the outsole up rather than the upper down. Salming’sHX120 outsole with Hexagrip wraps up over top of the bottom of the upper rather than the upper coming down to meet the outsole.
This design really gives you incredible grip all around the outsole. No matter what direction you are heading, or where you weight has shifted the outsole of the Salming Hawk is going to provide excellent grip.
Salming’s LMS+ system found in both the heel and forefoot area on the lateral side of the shoes that provides good stability. The LMS+ unit flares out 8° to provider a wide base to help protect your foot from rolling outwards. It works extremely well and the Salming Hawk provide excellent lateral stability.
They are designed for the player that wants their shoe to provide good stability, performance and cushioning all in a light and breathable design. If that sounds like you don’t wait to pick up your pair …
Salming’s description: “An increased radius on the inner side of the outer sole, facilitates rolling the foot inwards and toe push off. Reaching for that stop ball in squash or covering a shot in floorball is made easier with the RollBar™ technology.”
Our take: The key benefit of the Rollbar technology is the aid it provides in pushing off towards the ball. When you dig your foot in to the court to push forwards, Rollbar allows the foot to work inwards towards the toe to provide better push off. Additionally, the shoes are very firm in in the toe area to maximize energy transferred to the court and provide the best possible drive.
Salming’s description: “Torsion Guide System. The distance from heel to the ball of the foot (62% of the shoe) has been designed with extra stability, which ends in the so-called ”ballet” line, a 75° angle. In front of the 75° line, we have equipped the shoe with greater flexibility to stimulate the foot’s natural movements. TGS 62/75 takes all of the gait cycle criteria into consideration. At the same time, it softens the strains caused by friction during lateral movements. The shoe bends in exactly the right places, stimulating the foot’s natural lateral and forward movements.”
Our take: The back portion of the shoe is firmer and designed to improve balance and stability. The forefoot area of the shoe has been designed to allow more freedom of movement to allow your foot to move and perform naturally. The split comes at the ballet line. If you were to drive your heels up off the floor so that your weight is on your forefoot area the “ballet line” is where your foot would leave the floor. It is also where Salming has designed the shoes to flex. The front part of the shoe is more flexible. The back 62% of the shoe is firmer to provide maximum stability.
EXOSKELETON FULLY INTEGRATED
Salming’s description: “The fully integrated ExoSkeleton connects the lacing system for support and stabilizes the midfoot. A thin durable breathable mesh. A gusset tongue construction, where the tongue is integrated with the interior of the shoe making sure that the tongue always is in preferred position”
Our take: This is one of the key components of Salming’s Hawk. The shoes is largely made of mesh. The fully integrated EXOSKELETON provides the necessary support to the shoe. The EXOSKELETON is the little bands that come up from under the foot then around the foot and in to the lacing area of the shoe. They are very light but very solid and keep your foot in place inside the shoe. This is a critical component in lateral support as if you foot starts to slip outwards when planting the foot on a lateral movement your weight will start to transfer outwards and this increases the risk of injury. It also decreases performance.
Salming’s description: “To stabilize and fixate the heel, which is key to providing a great fit and comfort, we have developed a new anatomical Ergo Heel Cup that is slightly longer than the average heel cup.”
Our take: Salming’s description is clear and it is also very accurate. The Ergo Heel Cup helps keep your heel locked in place in the back of the shoe to prevent it from slipping upwards. This keeps the back of your foot from rubbing against the shoe and prevents blisters.
Salming’s description: “A new very durable lightweight rubber compound – HX120 – that features Salmings HexaGrip™ pattern designed for the best possible grip on all indoor surfaces.”
Our take: Hexagrip was first introduced in the Kobra series. It is an update to the rubber that they use on the outsole of the shoe. The rubber is formed in a hexa pattern, a 6 sided pattern to provide the best possible grip to the court. HexaGrip provides incredible traction. To maximize your movement you need your court shoes to have the best grip possible and HexaGrip is exceptional. Good grip on the court is also important from an injury prevention perspective as if you slip on the lunge you risk tearing muscles. Salming XR112 with HexaGrip is their top of the line outsole material.
Salming description: “The SoftFOAM™ – is a cushioning compound featured in the heel impact zone designed to reduce impact forces and increase comfort when lunging. The SoftFOAM™ heel insert area has 70% better shock absorbing properties than standard EVA midsole..”
Our take: Squash is full of very hard movements. Foot impact is almost always a heel strike and due to that indoor court shoes should provide excellent cushioning in the heel. Salming’s SOFTFOAM2 does just that. It absorbs impact very well and provides excellent protection to your feet and joints.
Salming’s description: “The material in the midsole is a newly developed compound named RECOIL™ ERF – Energy Rebound Foam – which is a super lightweight cushioning compound that releases a higher rebound energy effect.”
Our take: Salming’s Recoil ERF is a competitive difference for them compared to most other manufacturers. Not only does Salming’s Recoil ERF provide excellent cushioning, it also returns energy to the player to help mitigate the loss of energy that might otherwise occur. This helps you, the squash player, get around the court as fast as possible without sacrificing comfort.