The body of Saltopus has been highly generalized. In part this is because many of the bones were degraded or destroyed in the recovery as much as during the preservation of the dinosaur. All indications of the known body imply that the dinosaur was small, agile, and very basal. In fact, the animal is considered basal to the entire Dinosauriformes clade. This places it at the bottom of the tree branch on which all dinosaurs sit, both saurischian and ornithischian. It has been placed in the past as an advanced theropod and as a sister to herrerasaurs.