Monday, September 21, 2015

Saucony Shoe Review

I recently realized that in the last year and a half I've had 7 pairs of Saucony shoes (5 different models total) and that I should write a brief review of the brand in general and a little comparison of the models I've worn.

First off, I'm sure you want to know how the heck you pronounce the name of this brand for real.  Here you go:

Saucony was founded in 1898 in Kutztown, PA.  The word "Saucony" comes from the Lenni Lenape Native American word "saconk," meaning "where two rivers run together."  Inspired by the original location on the Saucony Creek, the logo represents a running fiver marked by three boulders.

My experience with Saucony running shoes has been fantastic!!  I think they make a very high quality shoe and I haven't found one that I don't like yet.  As you will see, I've run the gamut of their neutral line from super light racers to full cushion pillow top trainers.

The Ride (Version 7, 8.5 oz, 8 mm drop)
The Ride was the first Saucony shoe that I tried.  I had been running in Mizuno Wave Elixirs and was devastated that they stopped making them!  I tried on almost every running shoe in TrySports before deciding on the Ride.  I had just signed up for Quintiles Wrightsville Beach marathon at this time and although there was a little more to this shoe than I was used to, I thought extra cushion might be a good thing considering the mega miles I was about to start running.  Turns out I was right - The Ride is a mid-weight, mid-cushioned shoe in which you can log some serious miles!  I wore out two pairs of these between training for Quintiles & some for Savannah.

The Cortana (Version 3, 7.9 oz, 4 mm drop)
I love love love these shoes!!!  As soon as I saw them I loved them and I loved the way they ran just as much as the way they looked!  They are very similar to the Kinvaras, however I think they have just a touch more cushioning and as per the website they have the slightest hint of stability.  To me, they felt like light-weight neutral shoes with just enough cushion for racing long distances.  I bought 2 pairs of these and used the blue ones for a lot of training heading into Savannah and then I saved the orange ones for racing and they ran me all the way to my sub-3 :)  

The Triumph ISO (9 oz, 8 mm drop)
After returning to triathlon and signing up for an Ironman, I decided to try Saucony's premium cushioned shoe to help save my legs from all the running & cycling I was doing.  This is the heaviest shoe I've worn in a while and by FAR the most cushioned.  At first I wasn't sure if I'd be able to keep running in them because they are SO soft.  It's like running on a trampoline and I felt like I wasn't getting the type of road feel and energy return that I usually like in a running shoe.  I was springing along on every run like a bunny.  However, I stuck with them and I didn't get injured while Ironman training so they served their purpose!  Another interesting thing about this shoe is that is has a seamless sock-like upper, which I like and felt very comfortable on my feet. 

The Zealot ISO (7.4 oz, 4 mm drop)
I like to say that the Zealot is the Kinvara on steroids.  What I mean is that like the Kinvara, it has a low drop and is very light!  But with a little bit more added stack height made from a super compressed foam it gives you maximum cushion.  This shoe is made to compete with the Hoka Clifton and it is indeed very comfortable and very cushioned (not quite as cushioned as The Triumph).  I honestly haven't run that much in it (for no particular reason) but I have worn it a lot around town and while traveling.  This shoe has the same comfortable, seamless sock-like upper as The Triumph. 

The Type A (Version 6, 5.2 oz, 4 mm drop)
The Type A is a true racing flat.  There is not, as intended, much to it.  I ordered these because I have been contemplating what shoes to wear at Chattanooga and I read a lot of glowing reviews about them online.  When I received this box of shoes in the mail I lifted it up and my first thought was, "Holy cow, it feels like there's nothing in here!!"  They are that light.  They are the least cushioned Saucony's that I've run in with the least amount of stack.  They do not want for ground feel.  When you put them on you just feel fast.  These shoes are narrower than other Saucony's that I've worn, which I like b/c I have a narrow foot.  It feels like the shoe is perfectly form fitted to my foot and the first day that I wore them I got 3 compliments on them.  I can't help but increase my turnover in these shoes; they make you want to go from jogging to running to racing.  I ran 10 miles today and felt good, but I'm not 100% sure if I should wear them in Chattanooga or not.  They are so minimalistic and such a departure from the Triumphs....are my legs going to want more cushion after 116 miles of biking?  How are they going to feel 18 miles into the run?  I'm leaning towards wearing them and stashing a more cushioned pair of shoes in my special needs bag just in case, but the jury's still out.  Lastly, to be clear, I wouldn't recommend these to anyone that pronates, is carrying a lot of extra weight, or has poor running form.

So I guess that about sums it up.  If you've never worn Sauconys before, I encourage you to give them a try!  Who knows, you just might #findyourstrong...

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