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Posts Tagged ‘saucony virrata’

What’s the Best Running Shoe Under $100?

April 24th, 2013

This is a question we get a lot at the ‘house. We certainly don’t blame you for wanting to look out for your wallet when you’re shopping for new shoes, especially if you’re racking up 70+ mile weeks and needing a new pair every couple of months. Fortunately, there are many solid running shoe options under $100, and the best one for you will depend on what you’re looking for.

Light, Flexible Running Shoes under $100


Asics Gel Lyte33 2 ($90 MSRP)

The Asics Gel Lyte33 2 was the surprise of the year for us so far. It feels completely different than it’s predecessor (in a good way), and offers a soft yet bouncy feel with a quality ride. We credit the combination SpEVA/Solyte midsole, which gives a particularly nice feel for mid/forefoot strikers where the shoe provides full-thickness SpEVA foam.

New Balance 730 v2 ($75 MSRP)

Flexible might be the first word that comes to mind when you think of the New Balance 730 v2. This shoe has many of the points we loved about the original, including a low offset, responsive ride, and upper that runs on the generous side. We also think it’s one of the best looking New Balance shoes for 2013.

Nike Free 4.0 ($95 MSRP)

If you want to get the Nike Free experience on your feet for under a hundo’, then reach for the Nike Free 4.0. This Free model doesn’t get as much attention as the Free 5.0 (nee Free Run) or the minimal Free 3.0 v5, but it still offers all the classic features of a Free running shoe: extreme flexibility, good cushioning, and a breathable, sock-like upper.

Zero-Drop Running Shoes under $100


Saucony Virrata ($90 MSRP)

In spite of its modest price tag, the Saucony Virrata has the power to amaze. It has a performance fit and a sweet spot just behind the ball of the foot – but it seems to feel good no matter how your foot lands. Unlike most zero-drop designs, this shoe has quite a bit of padding underfoot.

Altra Samson/Delilah ($95 MSRP)

Wide-footed “barefoot” runners of the world, rejoice! The Altra Samson (and the Women’s model, the Altra Delilah) has a rectangular toe box that comfortably accommodates wider feet without rubbing or causing blisters. It also has a removable sockliner so you can get extremely close to the ground.

Merrell Vapor Glove ($80 MSRP)

The Merrell Vapor Glove is a great shoe for barefoot runners who want a stowable shoe to take with them in case they hit a rough patch of ground and want a little extra protection. Read more…

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Zero Drop Cushioned Running Shoes Comparison

February 25th, 2013

This spring, zero-drop footwear is getting a boost – in terms of underfoot cushioning and protection. Once the exclusive domain of “minimal” footwear, zero-drop designs are growing up (off the ground, that is) with thicker platforms designed to provide more impact protection.

Three big brands – Brooks, Mizuno and Saucony – have introduced cushioned, zero-drop models this year. We took to the roads in all three, and here’s how they stack up.

Brooks PureDrift



Likes: Excellent ground feel, flexible platform that moves with the foot, wide forefoot allows for natural toe splay

Dislikes: Many runners will want more underfoot protection, midsole pods are noticeable, upper may be too generous for some

Verdict: The Brooks PureDrift delivers a near barefoot experience suited best for experienced minimalist runners

6.1 oz (Men’s 9), $100 MSRP

The PureDrift got a lot of buzz before its January release. Known for its close to the ground feel, this shoe maintains a touch of cushioning underfoot. One of the more minimal releases of the year, the PureDrift is a treat for those looking for an almost barefoot ride.

Not as cushioned as it may appear, the extra firm underfoot feel makes it best reserved for experienced minimalist runners. Removal of the sockliner allows for an even closer to the ground experience, though testers agreed that the difference in cushioning is small.

The PureDrift platform utilizes a pod construction that delivers remarkable flexibility, especially in the forefoot. The pods are noticeable underfoot when transitioning from landing to toe-off, though the effect on the overall ride is small.

The toebox is the widest in this test, and there’s a roomy fit throughout the shoe. Runners with narrower feet may notice scrunching of excess material over the top of the foot.

Read more…

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Elemental Footwear: 2013 Running Trend

January 25th, 2013

Today, running footwear goes well beyond traditional, cushioned daily trainers. The minimalist footwear movement came on with a vengeance in 2010-11, and some minimalist runners continue to swear by stripped-down, bare bones shoes that give them an über close to the ground feel.

For runners who want something a little more streamlined than a traditional trainer without going “barefoot,” elemental footwear is where it’s at for 2013. But what exactly is an elemental shoe? Think lower weight, lower offsets, and a platform that sits closer to the ground compared to a traditional running shoe. Some examples are the Brooks PureFlow 2 (View Men’s / View Women’s) and Saucony Kinvara (View Men’s / View Women’s). These shoes have low heel-to-toe offsets, but still offer a decent amount of cushioning.

This year we expect further growth in the elemental shoe category, along with the introduction of a few new models like the Saucony Virrata (View Men’s / View Women’s). The Virrata is part of the “zero drop with cushion” story that we’re seeing from several manufacturers.

Are you ridin’ in elemental shoes? What do you think of this trend?

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Saucony Virrata Sneak Peek

July 3rd, 2012

Saucony Virrata Men's Running Shoes

The brand-new Virrata’s name may be difficult to say at first (it’s pronounced vur-ah-tah), but here are three things about it that are perfectly clear: (1) zero offset, (2) extremely light, (3) highly flexible. The Virrata is part of the Saucony Natural Series, which includes the award-winning Kinvara 3 and upcoming Mirage 3.

We got a chance to run a few laps in a pre-production model of the Virrata, and let’s just say that this shoe is set to offer the smooth ride and barely there feel that many runners crave.

What to Watch For

  • Zero Offset: The Virrata is dead level, with only 18mm of material underfoot front and rear. Still, the shoe has a pretty cushioned feel.
  • Featherweight: At just 6.5 oz in Men’s 9 and 6.0 oz in Women’s 8, the Virrata is Saucony’s lightest training shoe.
  • Big Flex: The deep tread pattern with springy pods and accentuated flex grooves helps to make the Virrata extremely flexible. (See the outsole view below.)
  • No-Sew Upper: Bootie construction utilizing a breathable mesh means you can go sockless if you’re into that sort of thing.

Saucony Virrata Outsole View

Launch Date
February 2013

MSRP
$90.00

Men’s Colors
Black/Red/Citron Saucony Virrata
Citron/Blue Saucony Virrata
Grey/Orange Saucony Virrata
White/Black/Red Saucony Virrata

Women’s Colors
Black/Citron/Pink Saucony Virrata
Grey/Green/Pink Saucony Virrata
Orange/Red Saucony Virrata
White/Purple Saucony Virrata

Saucony Virrata Women's Running Shoe

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Introducing Saucony Natural Series

June 1st, 2012

Saucony Natural Series (Virrata, Kinvara 3 and Mirage 3 Shown)

Saucony recently unveiled the Saucony Natural Series, a three-shoe collection of lightweight performance running footwear inspired by the company’s award-winning Kinvara. The Natural Series will introduce the revolutionary and much anticipated Virrata, the lightest training shoe that Saucony has ever built. It also comprises the third and most advanced versions of the brand’s Kinvara and Mirage. Hallmarks of the Natural Series include weight reduction, increased flexibility and greater underfoot cushioning.

Virrata: Zero Drop, Light Weight

The all-new Virrata is a featherweight, natural motion running shoe that weighs in at just 6.5 ounces ─ over an ounce lighter than the Kinvara 3. By combining a 0mm heel-to-forefoot offset with an 18mm midsole of high abrasion EVA+ foam, the Virrata will be one of the most cushioned shoes for its weight on the market. Twenty-four ultra-springy pods on the outsole along with accentuated flex groves in the forefoot allow the runner’s foot to move naturally.

Kinvara 3: A Top Choice for Light and Low

At only 7.7 ounces, the Kinvara 3 (shop Men’s Kinvara 3 and Women’s Kinvara 3) is a performance training shoe that strikes a winning balance between weight and durability. Its 4mm heel-to-toe offset appeals to many runners, and its precision-engineered upper is lighter and more flexible thanks to FlexFilm technology, which secures and stabilizes the foot while reducing overlays. Saucony’s high abrasion EVA+ exposed foam sole allows for lightweight protection underfoot. The reengineered outsole includes a beveled heel to better facilitate a natural rolling movement from heel to toe.

Mirage 3: A Touch of Pronation Support

With a 4mm offset, the next generation Mirage will be almost an ounce lighter than its predecessor. The Mirage is a good choice for runners who want the benefits of a natural motion experience in a responsive ride with a touch of guidance. A supportive TPU arc below the arch of the foot provides nominal pronation support while the beveled, decoupled heel allows for a smooth, efficient transition. A reengineered forefoot with deeper, more substantial flex grooves promotes a smooth and nimble ride. FlexFilm technology welded onto the breathable seamless mesh upper secures and stabilizes the foot, simultaneously reducing layers to the shoe while increasing flexibility.

Natural Series Availability

The Kinvara 3 is available now at Running Warehouse, with new colors on the way in November. The Virrata and Mirage 3 launch in February 2013. All three shoes in the Natural Series come in Men’s sizes 7-13 and 14 and Women’s sizes 5-12.

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