There’s no denying that Saucony’s Cortana is a little bit of an oddity. Maximum cushioning, plush features, a 4mm offset and a lightweight design – typically not things you would see in the same description. The fact that the Cortana sits in its own category, though, doesn’t mean that the shoe hasn’t gained traction amongst runners, and Saucony is not looking to slow down anytime soon with this low-profile premium neutral trainer.
The Cortana 4 is probably the best version of this shoe we’ve seen yet. The upper has undergone a significant redesign, utilizing seamless FlexFilm overlays around the mid and forefoot while an updated Support Frame should improve heel fit. The shoe takes on a really sleek appearance – if there’s a single premium trainer that looks like a performance shoe, the Cortana 4 is it.
The midsole and the outsole look to be mostly unchanged from the Cortana 3, though Saucony does say that they’ve given the shoe a bit more heel decoupling and slightly deeper flex grooves to give you a smoother landing and transition through your gait cycle. Otherwise, expect a ride similar to previous versions, with a responsive, yet cushioned feel that lends itself well to both easy runs and more uptempo stuff.
With this update, its clear that the Cortana is here to stay and will only continue to carve its own spot in the running shoe world. If you’re either looking for maximum underfoot cushioning but want to avoid running with a high heel to toe drop, or if you are looking for a shoe that can hold up for high mileage runs yet can keep up for fast paced workouts, the Cortana is a shoe well worthy of your attention.
*Footwear specs provided by Saucony