From today on, the new Salming Hawk 2 shoe is available in the fluorescent green and white colour. I thought this would be a good moment to share my impression of these popular squash shoes with you. I dedicated quite a few hours for testing them. Personally, I´ve always been a fan of Asics, and perhaps you share my idea that once you find shoes that you really like, there must be a very good reason to change them. However, the beautiful designs and bright colours of Salming sometimes made me doubt and I was in two minds about trying them out, but a voice in my head always said: "never change a winning team". But something changed in me when I saw the impressive design of the Salming Hawk. I started reading the list of the latest technologies used in these shoes and that was it. Soon I found myself, an eternal Asics fan, standing in the hallway, admiring my brand-new white Salming Hawk shoes. I felt as if I had just bought a new car. I usually never prioritize the appearance, on the contrary, I always look for quality in the first place. But when you look at the Salming Hawk for the first time you´ll understand my admiration. The design and the material simply catch your eye and also the material is different and more pliable than that of any other indoor shoe. But now back to my senses. What really matters is how the shoe performs on the court.
First, the top of the Salming Hawk 2 is different than in other shoes. It consists of several overlaid layers of mesh. It looks and feels like a very thin plastic layer. The biggest advantage of this is that the Hawk is extremely light. At first I doubted a bit whether such a thin layer would provide my feet with sufficient stability. But once I got onto the court and started testing the shoes, I immediately noticed that this was not a problem at all. The entire top consists of a single strip of material that is secured on the heel, which makes the shoe very stable. In addition, the material is air permeable which is always an advantage in squash shoes.
When it comes to the wearing comfort, the first thing you notice is how light the Salming Hawk 2 feels. The shoe tongue is extremely thin and soft, which I feel contributes to the mobility. Also, the shoe offers great cushioning. When I tried on the shoe for the first time, I honestly didn´t think that it would have such a good cushioning. You only realize this when you play with it.
Good squash shoes give you the feeling that you have a firm grip on the floor. The Hawk also scores high in that area: when I took the first quick sprint and then suddenly stopped to hit the ball, I felt that the grip these shoes offer was excellent. The sole of the Hawk is low. This helps you feel the floor but makes the shoe a bit stiff at the beginning. If you have a closer look at the sole, you can see that the front part under your midfoot is very flexible while the rear part is stable and strong. This means that you get a good mix of mobility and stability, two important characteristics of an excellent squash shoe. In our sport, you take quick steps and constantly make multidirectional movements, and it´s essential that you can trust that the shoe gives you enough mobility to get to the ball quickly and comfortably and sufficient stability to allow those quick changes of direction. The Salming Hawk guarantees you these both.
Another benefit of the sole of the Salming Hawk 2 is that stabilizers on the outside and on the inside reach much higher, protecting the shoe from excess wear. This is a big plus especially for players like myself who tend to drag the other leg behind me as I take a big step to get to the ball. In this way, I´ve managed to wear out many pairs of shoes far too soon.
If you´re a player who likes to move around the court quickly and are looking for a lightweight shoe that offers a good grip on the floor and a great mix of flexibility and stability, then I can definitely recommend the Salming Hawk 2.
Finally, I can´t help saying one more word about the design of the shoe. Although we squash players are generally tough guys and gals who don´t run to the sport shop every time a new item comes for sale, this shoe is simply really cool and makes you want buy it. I´ve noticed that the Salming Hawk has become a popular topic among players. Did you know that Saurav Ghosal and Joel Makin play with these shoes? There really must be something in them.
You can find a detailed description on the technologies applied in the Salming Hawk on the Squashpoint website. The Salming Hawk 2 in the colour orange will come out in November.