For nearly a decade, a single short has dominated the women’s run apparel industry. The Nike Tempo Track Short is the queen of running shorts; women of all shapes, sizes and abilities adore it, some so faithful that they refuse to wear anything else. Through the years, the Tempo has taken on over 1500 color combos and hundreds of prints, from tie die to stripes, checkers to polka dots. Other running brands have tried to confront the Tempo “craze”, but they have ultimately been unable to draw attention away from the hoards of colors and the incredible following that the short maintains. (There are entire walls of tempo shorts in many retail stores, and even a blog entitled “Confessions of a Tempo Addict”).
In some ways, the success of the Tempo Short is peculiar – it’s very basic in shape, fabric and features. In other ways, it’s no wonder that it has won over the hearts (and purses) of so many female runners: the fit is forgiving and generous, not to mention that it’s reliable and always available, with 20+ colors and prints to choose from during any season. Women need not “shop”, they can simply “buy”.
Priced at $30.00 MSRP, the Tempo is clearly a price-point buy. But Tempo-mania goes far beyond that, and it is likely to continue given that Nike is offering some 50+ versions of the short for the Holiday season alone.
Fascinated by the dominance of such a simple short, we decided to do a comparison between the Tempo and its competitors. Interestingly, when put in a line-up among other 3”–3 ½ ” running shorts of similar price and style, the Tempo didn’t pan out where expected. According to an in-house survey of 5 different shorts, a Saucony short actually out-did the Tempo in all 3 areas of criteria: Fit, Fabric and Aesthetics.
Over the past few seasons Saucony has quietly transformed themselves from the shoe company of your grandparents to the shoe company of their grandchildren largely through improved styling that holds ties to traditional styling cues while improving each new update with consistently fresh and modern cosmetics. Add to this a renewed focus on the types of shoes that younger runners tend to wear such as lightweight trainers, cross country flats and spikes and you have a recipe for growth within the younger generation while still maintaining contact with their more conservative customer base. The newest updates from Saucony for Spring 2010 should help keep the momentum built up the past few seasons rolling forward.
Saucony ProGrid Triumph 7 for Men
Saucony updates for Spring 2010 start with the new Saucony ProGrid Triumph 7. Saucony has always been known for producing shoes that have a soft, plush ride as well as having a snug fit in the arch area. The Triumph is Saucony’s premium neutral cushioning model that has traditionally highlighted these qualities. To this end Saucony has addressed several areas in this newest update that exemplify the soft ride and snug arch Saucony is known for. Saucony has increased the Super Rebound Compound (SRC) in the heel of the ProGrid Triumph 7 for improved cushioning on impact plus they have added more blown rubber in the outsole for a softer road feel. A less bulky Arch Lock improves the fit, while the addition of an eye stay within the Arch Lock improves lockdown of the midfoot. A newly added midfoot support bridge should help support the arch better. The fit and performance of the ProGrid Triumph 6 was pretty spot on, so Saucony took the approach of minimizing the “improvements” in search of a better end product, which was the correct path for this particular model. This new edition will likely please the current fan base of the Triumph series and continues to be an attractive model for runners looking at a new high end neutral trainer to consider switching to.