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Posts Tagged ‘Saucony Mirage’

Saucony Mirage 2 – Our Take

March 15th, 2012

Saucony ProGrid Mirage 2 Men's Running Shoe

Our Tweet

The Mirage 2 builds on the platform of the original, strapping on a streamlined upper for a little more get up and go.
(View Men’s Mirage 2 and Women’s Mirage 2)

Big Updates

  • Redesigned Upper: By using fewer overlays, Saucony gave the Mirage 2 a sleeker design and enhanced fit.

Road Test

The original Mirage offered a smooth, stable ride that got rave reviews. Saucony didn’t mess with success in this latest version, keeping the mid/outsole unchanged from the original Mirage. Our testers couldn’t tell a difference in the ride of the new Mirage, and they still appreciate the shoe’s near-effortless heel-to-toe transition.

Or should we say midfoot-to-toe transition? While the Mirage will accommodate a heel striker, it’s really designed for the runner who lands with a midfoot or even forefoot strike. Think again if you’re expecting this shoe to be a Kinvara with a little pronation control. The ride of the Mirage is firmer, and it has a couple ounces on the Kinvara (though the Mirage is by no means a beefy shoe).

There were no surprises in the ride of the Mirage 2 – a good thing – but testers had mixed feelings about the new upper design. On the positive side, most testers preferred the overall fit, which is a little more snug than the original Mirage but never constricting. They also liked that the medial side of the upper is more supportive, working in concert with the midsole technology to keep the foot properly aligned. On the flip side, a few testers found the shoe to fit a little too loose in the midfoot, and several wondered if the tighter mesh knit of the new design would be as breathable as the mesh on the original.

Overall, this shoe will continue to appeal to runners who are looking for a daily trainer that will help ease them into more of a midfoot strike, and stick by them on race day as well. It’s almost certain that the Mirage fan base will be getting bigger with this latest update.

Runners Say

“The reduced volume in the shoe fits my foot much better than the original Mirage.” – Lauren

“The Mirage 2 deserves to be considered along with other minimum support shoes including the Mizuno Elixir and Asics Gel DS Trainer.” – Matt

“The low-to-the-ground, responsive feel is what I look for in a shoe that can do mixed duty for training and longer races.” – Daniel

Matt Running Shoes , , ,

Saucony Triumph 9 – First Look

July 13th, 2011

Saucony Triumph 9 Women's Shoe November 2011 Color

Big changes are coming from Saucony. Over the last few seasons, Saucony has introduced new shoe models or updates with a 4mm heel-toe drop (see: Kinvara, Kinvara 2, Mirage, Type A4, Fastwitch 5). The thinking is a 4mm heel-to-toe offset puts the foot in a more natural position and  better enables a midfoot strike compared to the traditional 12mm differential. By providing shoes with a 4mm offset, Saucony has sufficiently answered the call for “natural running” footwear. Taking the movement one step further, Saucony introduced the zero drop Hattori in May 2011. This thin, level shoe provides essentially no cushioning, but protects the skin of the foot to allow for running on man-made surfaces.

While the 4mm and 0mm selection of Saucony shoes has provided solutions for some, many runners still seek a traditional feel or want to move toward a more natural platform, but find a 4mm offset to be too drastic a change. The Saucony solution, as evidenced by several updates for Spring 2012, is to provide runners with shoes built on a platform with an 8mm heel-toe offset. This platform will work for heel-strikers, and at the same time it won’t interfere with a midfoot strike. Another debatable benefit is, as the midfoot-striking runner fatigues the foot-strike will move toward the heel, thus the platform will provide better function at the end of long runs.

Leading the way in the 8mm revolution is the Saucony Triumph 9, and the 8mm heel-toe drop is not the only change with this dramatic update. In addition to the 8mm platform differential, the Triumph 9 swaps out ProGrid cushioning in favor of PowerGrid with PowerFoam, which is being introduced in the new Saucony Cortana (July 2011). The advantages of the technology shift are reduced weight and a softer yet responsive feel. Furthermore, the Triumph 9 moves to an injected molded foam construction that further reduces weight and increase softness. While these changes may alienate some of the current Triumph loyalists, this is not the first time the Triumph has undergone radical changes. Saucony reinvented themselves with a very fresh and polarizing Triumph 4, that was lighter, softer and more colorful than previous models. The change resulted in a hugely popular shoe that changed the look of future Saucony shoes. Over the years, the Triumph has crept up in weight and firmness and thus has had hard time competing in the premium neutral-cushion category. With the Triumph 9, Saucony becomes relevant again.

The Saucony Triumph 9 has an MSRP of $130 and the weight specifications indicate 10.9 ounces for a men’s size 9 and 9.6 ounces for a women’s size 8, which is over an ounce lighter than the Triumph 8. However, and this has happened before with Saucony, the production weight will probably come in a tad lighter. The Triumph 9 has a projected release date of November 2011 and will be available online from Running Warehouse.

Saucony Triumph 9 Men's Shoe November 2011 color

Jonathan Running Shoes , , , , , , , , , ,

Saucony PowerGrid Cortana – First Look

December 23rd, 2010

Saucony PowerGrid Cortana for Men

What happens when Saucony applies principles of minimalism to a shoe that ain’t so minimal? The world is about to find out this Summer with the introduction of the Saucony PowerGrid Cortana. Saucony clearly understands minimalism, when it is defined by the “less is more” concept and small heel-toe drops.  The Saucony Kinvara is a perfect example of this philosophy. With its light weight, simple upper and 4mm heel-toe drop, the Kinvara was the right product at the right time.  Sales have been terrific and the shoe has received rave reviews.  Saucony has decided to strike while the iron is hot and fill in available market niches with other low heel-toe drop shoes as evidenced by the upcoming Mirage (4mm heel-toe drop), which is basically a slightly supportive Kinvara and the Hattori (zero drop), which gets you close to being barefoot.

The new Cortana applies the 4mm heel-toe drop and light weight concept from the Kinvara, to the high-end, max feature, all the bells and whistles category of trainers.  It starts with a new midsole composition and features PowerGrid with PowerFoam, an injected molded, lighter and more responsive midsole than the SSL-EVA and ProGrid package that you’ll find in other Saucony models, such as the Triumph and Hurricane.  The Cortana also differs from the the other Saucony 4mm drop shoes by providing an additional SRC cushioning unit in the landing area of the heel that ties this shoe in with the more traditional shoes in the Saucony line.  Sauc-fit: replaces arch lock and improves midfoot and heel fit of the upper.  The outsole/midsole features a fairly built up area beneath the medial arch that looks to add pronation control to the shoe. However, Saucony labels the Cortana as Supportive Cushioning, which means it is likely to be best suited for neutral runners or slight over-pronators. The jury is still out on this, but we think it will likely be better for mild to moderate over-pronators.

The PowerGrid Cortana has a predicted weight under 11 oz in a men’s size 9.0 and is scheduled to arrive at Running Warehouse in July 2011 with a full retail price of $135.  Although not first to market, the Zoot Kane and Kalani are maximum featured shoes under 11. oz, the Cortana does add a new twist to the premium class of shoes by not only being light weight, but also having a low heel-toe drop. Will it be a success? Only time will tell, but if it feels anything like the Kinvara then Saucony is about to turn the industry on its ear.

Joe Running Shoes , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Saucony Hattori – First Look

December 20th, 2010

Saucony Hattori Men's Shoe

For Fall 2011 Saucony looks to build on the success of their minimal lineup of shoes, lead by the Kinvara, with the introduction of the Hattori.  The Hattori will be the most minimal shoe in the Saucony line and one that has its target squarely set on grabbing market share from various smaller shoe brands that have their own ideas on what constitutes a minimal shoe.

The new Hattori is a zero drop running shoe that sports a reported midsole height of 10 mm and weighs in at a reported 4.5 oz for a men’s size 9.0.  The upper features ultralite mesh with synthetic exoskeleton lockdowns and soft suede overlays.  A velcro closure replaces traditional laces and another velcro strap around the heel offers additional customized fit options.  The midsole is made up of compression molded EVA that features XT-900 outsole compounds in key wear areas.

Being very light, extremely flexible and while 10mm may sound thick, the shoe is indeed quite thin, and is thus a viable option to runners seeking a more “barefoot” running experience. Additionally, the Hattori should prove a compelling offer to runners looking to transition from the 4mm heel-toe drop of the Kinvara, Mirage and new Cortana or as a different option for fans of minimalist shoes that are currently in the market.  The release date for the Hattori has the shoes tentatively slated to be available at Running Warehouse on  May 1, 2011.  The new Hattori will have a list price of $80.

Joe Running Shoes , , , , , , , , , ,

The 2010 Running Event

November 23rd, 2010

The RW Team just returned from a few days in Austin, Texas attending The Running Event, an annual trade show open to running specialty retailers from around the country. It features all of the top brands displaying many of their newest products and concepts.  Here’s an overview of some of the new products we found of particular interest.

Read more…

Joe Sneak Peeks , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,