Posts Tagged ‘Saucony Running Shoes’

Saucony Zealot | First Look

November 24th, 2014

Saucony Zealot Men's Shoe (Sample Shown)

Available February 2015 – MSRP $130.00

The Saucony Zealot is a low weight, low offset, premium cushioned running shoe.

Tech Specs

  • Stack Height: 28mm Heel, 24mm Forefoot, 4mm offset
  • Weight: 8.3 oz (Men’s size 9.0), 7.4 oz (Women’s size 8.0)

Competing Shoes

  • HOKA ONE ONE Huaka – MSRP $150
  • New Balance 980 -  MSRP $110

What makes the Saucony Zealot relevant?

When the minimalist movement began to catch on, Saucony introduced the Kinvara, a not-quite-minimal shoe that weighed under 8.0 oz. Adopted by serious runners seeking a more natural foot position without the extreme nature of a true minimal shoe, the Kinvara delivered a rare combination of a lightweight, semi-soft ride with exceptional energy return.  The Kinvara was arguably the first shoe to bring the 4mm offset to the masses, and while it could not be classified as a true minimal shoe, it found a very desirable niche and redefined the current lightweight/performance running shoe category.

More recently, there has been a movement toward maximal cushioning in running shoes. Simply look to the expanding line of Hoka One One (the creators of maximalist shoes), the recent success of the Altra Olympus and Altra Paradigm, and the upcoming 2015 release of the Asics 33-M as evidence to maximalism beginning to take hold. Just as with the Kinvara, where Saucony did not go to the extreme end of minimalism, the Zealot moves in the direction of maximalism without going to the end.

Read more…

Jonathan Running Shoes , , , , , ,

Saucony’s Running Philosophy

June 18th, 2013

Let’s face it, there are a lot of running brands out there. They make shoes that cover your feet and provide cushioning of various levels. Most of them roll out some apparel and a few accessories too. But what gives a brand its unique identity? Why does it exist?

These are some of the tough questions for any brand. Saucony answers with the 6 key philosophies you see above. We’re not here to trumpet marketing speak from corporations, but we think these core ideas genuinely speak to the brand’s dedication to the running community. More importantly, we hope they’ll ensure that Saucony continues to build excellent running product.

What do you think of these core principles for the Saucony brand?

Find Your Strong – If you’ve paid any attention at all to Saucony’s branding over the past year, you know that this is their core message. The brand wants to help runners strengthen their skills, bodies and connections to the running community. Read more…

Matt Running Sport , ,

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 Type A5 – Our Take

March 8th, 2012

Saucony Grid Type A5 Women's Running Shoe

Our Tweet

Saucony Type A5: the 5 A’s are for Agile, Amazing, Airy, Accomplished and Awesome. You want this lightweight shoe for your next race.
(View Men’s Type A5 and Women’s Type A5)

Big Updates

  • Weight Reduction: Saucony shaved about a half ounce of weight from both the Women’s and Men’s A5 compared to the A4.
  • FlexFilm Overlays: For added support in the upper without added weight, Saucony places welded overlays strategically on the upper.

Road Test

Like the Type A4, the Type A5 is one popular shoe, and for good reason according to our testers. We were impressed by the blend of responsiveness and protection from impact shocks that the Type A4 offered, and this smooth ride continues in the Type A5, thanks to a mid/outsole that is unchanged. The A5 remains a great shoe for minimalist training and race distances up to a half marathon.

Another thing we enjoyed about the Type A4 was its highly breathable mesh upper. Saucony completely redesigned the upper of the Type A5 but kept the airy, open feel intact. The added FlexFilm provides some extra structure right where you want it – spanning the heel up through the midfoot. Many testers really liked that the generous forefoot fit gave their feet room to expand.

Midfoot strikers will be happiest in the Type A5, but the shoe is fairly forgiving for heel strikers as well. There’s no cushioning tech beyond the Saucony Super Lite EVA foam. But out on the road, the shoe feels far more protective than the low stack height and low heel-to-toe drop would suggest.

Our list of dislikes is short. Because the Type A5 carries over the Type A4’s mid/outsole, expect the same issues with pebbles and small rocks getting lodged in the tread. And with the series of drainage holes, plan to avoid puddles unless you like your socks on the moist side.

Runners Say

“The Type A5 has one of the smoothest rides I’ve experienced, period. I’d love to do my next half marathon in this shoe.” – Matt

“I like that the upper gives your foot some room without feeling baggy or loose. Almost effortless transition for a midfoot striker.” – Lauren

“Very good build quality, but like most racing flats I wouldn’t expect to get over 250 miles of life out of this shoe.” – Daniel

Matt Running Shoes , ,

Win a Pair of Saucony Mirage 2 Running Shoes!

March 1st, 2012

This contest is now closed, but take a moment to learn more about the Saucony Mirage 2 in the video below!

Matt Running Shoes ,

Saucony Kinvara 3 Sneak Peek

January 24th, 2012

Saucony Kinvara 3 Women's Running Shoes (May '12 Colors)

You’re forgiven if you couldn’t tell much a difference between your original pair of Kinvaras and your latest pair of Kinvara 2′s. And Saucony is forgiven for making minimal changes to their most popular minimal shoe last time around – the shoe rocked it, right out of the gate. But to stay on top, it was time for a closer look at the Kinvara, and Saucony gave the Kinvara 3 a top-to-bottom refresh.

Get ready for a whole new look and improved technology in the Kinvara 3, which releases in May 2012. At the initial launch, there will be four Women’s colors (the two shown above, along with a Blue/White color and Grey/Purple color) and four Men’s colors (the three colors shown below, along with a Grey/Red color). Two more Men’s colors and two more Women’s colors will be available in July.

What to Watch For

  • More Durable Sole: Saucony heard the feedback about the durability of prior Kinvara models and responded by adding XT-900 rubber where it counts. Added rubber on the lateral midfoot and forefoot means you can expect more mileage out of your Kinvara 3′s compared to previous pairs.
  • Same Heel-to-Toe Drop: Though many other Saucony models are lowering their offsets, 4mm is still the name of the game for the Kinvara. You know it, you love it, and Saucony didn’t mess with it.
  • Smoother Transition: Already known for its flexible, light, and comfortable midsole, the Kinvara series is now designed to move with your foot even better thanks to a de-coupled and beveled heel, along with added flex grooves in the heel. While the Kinvara remains geared toward a midfoot strike, these updates make the shoe a little more welcoming for heel strikers as well.
  • Still Lightweight: Official weights from Saucony are 7.7 oz (Men’s size 9) and 6.7 oz (Women’s size 8). That’s a few tenths of an ounce heavier than our measurements for the Kinvara 2, but identical to the official weights for the Kinvara 2, so we’ll have to wait to see whether or not the shoe has really bulked up at all.
  • Redesigned Upper: Look for a streamlined upper with improved fit thanks to the use of FlexFilm™, a thin material bonded to the upper to secure your foot to the sole a little better throughout your gait.
  • Widths Now Available: For those of you with a wider foot, Saucony is producing 2E widths in the Men’s version and D widths in the Women’s version.
  • Pricing Uptick: All these innovations come at a price, specifically: ten bucks. MSRP on the Kinvara 3 rises to $100.00. We still think that the Kinvara is a tremendous value, especially since we expect increased durability in the latest iteration.

Men’s Colors

Women’s Colors

Saucony Kinvara 3 Men's Running Shoes (May '12 Colors)

Matt Running Shoes , , ,

Saucony ProGrid Mirage 2 – First Look

January 9th, 2012

Saucony ProGrid Mirage 2

This popular near-minimal shoe for the runner needing a touch of pronation control carries over with “minimal” changes to its second version. The mid and outsole may ring a few bells for all of you who currently own a pair of Mirage’s, and that’s because it’s identical. Why mess with success, right? The sole of the original Mirage struck an excellent balance of providing a good amount of cushioning, some pronation control and long-term durability on one hand while keeping weight low on the other.

Better Upper
So Saucony spent its development dollars for the Mirage 2 on an improved upper design. Fewer overlays means reduced weight and a more streamlined look. The upper is still designed to provide a bit more support on the medial (inner) side to help overpronators. It also has a HydraMAX collar lining for improved moisture wicking and combines a strobel board and an EVA sockliner for increased cushioning and support.

Reduced Weight
A shoe is pretty much irrelevant today if it doesn’t lose at least a little weight when it is redesigned. The new upper design allows the Mirage 2 to slim down by a few tenths of an ounce. We weighed the original Mirage at 9.4 oz (Men’s size 9), and the new model is estimated to come in at 9.2 oz in the same size.

Sole Recap
The midsole of the Mirage features a single-piece, high-abrasion EVA foam (EVA+). Saucony places a ProGrid cushioning unit in the heel, and also adds a Supportive TPU Arc piece in the arch for pronation control. Saucony’s claimed 4mm heel-to-toe drop remains unchanged (though we measured the original Mirage at 5mm). The outsole includes plenty of XT-900 carbon rubber for durability and improved traction.

MSRP on the Mirage 2 is $105.00. At its launch in mid-February, the Mirage will be available in Grey/Yellow (pictured), Red/Black/Yellow and White/Black/Green for men, and Blue/Pink, Silver/Blue and White/Black/Purple for women. The Mirage 2 looks to remain competitive with the Brooks PureCadence and New Balance 1190, the only other lighter weight daily trainers with a bit of pronation control.

Matt Running Shoes ,

Saucony Grid Type A5 – First Look

January 5th, 2012

Saucony Type A5

The Saucony Type A4 is a favorite racing flat around the office here, so we were excited to find out that Saucony planned to cut even more weight when introducing the Type A5. The midsole and outsole is unchanged from the Type A4, so all the weight reduction happens in the upper, which now uses a lightweight breathable mesh and FlexFilm™ overlays.

Weight is expected to drop from the current 6.3 oz to 5.6 oz (Men’s size 9). That’s over 10% weight loss in an already light shoe. Pretty flippin’ sweet, if you ask us.

The Type A5 is coming soon – the middle of February, to be exact. For men, the first colorways will be the White/Red/Citron shown above and a Slime Green/Black color. Women start out with Blue/Citron/Pink and White/Purple/Black.

View our Men’s Type A5 Sneak Peak video or Women’s Type A5 Sneak Peak video for even more details.

What to Watch For

  • Lighter Upper: How do you go lighter than open mesh? Well, Saucony found a way with its new lightweight breathable mesh upper combined with bonded FlexFilm overlays for structural support. The FlexFilm also anchors the foot more securely to the platform of the shoe.
  • Same Ol’ Sole: The midsole and outsole of the A5 are unchanged from the A4. That’s welcome news for all of you who loved the low heel-to-toe drop, low stack height, and light, responsive ride of the A4.
  • New Pricing: MSRP is up five bucks compared to the A4, which isn’t all that bad considering the A4 came out almost two years ago and a bunch of technological development went into shaving almost three quarters of an ounce from an already lightweight shoe.

Matt Running Shoes , ,

Brooks PureFlow – First Look

September 29th, 2011

Brooks PureFlow Men's Shoe April 2012 Color

The Saucony Kinvara 2 no longer stands alone. Prepared to duel, is the Brooks PureFlow. It is built with a 4mm heel-toe offset, just like the Kinvara 2, but sits an estimated 2mm higher off the ground (stack height: heel-23mm, forefoot-19mm). The extra 2mm mostly comes from the outsole, which should increase durability over the Kinvara 2. But that extra thickness, no matter how slight, does come with a weight increase. The PureFlow comes in an estimated 1.3 ounces heavier than the Kinvara 2 but is still quite light (men’s sample size 9.0=8.6 oz, women’s sample size 8.0=7.6 oz).

Comparisons with the Kinvara 2 do not end with the specifications. The PureFlow is similarly quite soft while standing or walking but more responsive while running.  Whereas some customer feedback indicates the Kinvara 2 may be too soft at a quick pace, initial reports suggest the PureFlow to be more responsive at faster paces. This unique dynamic is the result of Brooks blending their DNA cushioning with their premium BioMoGo midsole foam.

As part of the Brooks PureProject line, the PureFlow comes with a set of standard features geared toward midfoot striking and a less-is-more philosophy. This shoe is for those who want a more “natural” experience but with cushioning not found in the near-barefoot type shoes (Altra Adam/Eve, Inov-8 Bare-X 200, Merrell Trail/Pace Glove, New Balance Minimus Trail, Saucony Hattori).

The PureFlow has an MRSP of $90 with a limited release in October 2011. A broader release with additional colors begins January 2012.

Brooks PureFlow Women's Shoe October 2011 color

Jonathan 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 , , , , , , , , , ,