Saucony

Saucony Neutral Shoe Review/Comparison

I have been lucky enough to be sent several pairs of shoes from Saucony and that has allowed me to essentially run in many variations of a neutral 8mm drop shoe (my preferred type of shoe). I am currently running in 4 different shoes that fit this description; Triumph ISO 2, Ride 8, Echelon 5, and the Breakthru (the new ones are out now).

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I like running in all of the shoes but let me highlight the benefits/use cases (yes, I work in IT) for each shoe.

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The Ride 8’s are the most versatile shoe of the bunch. I have been running in this line for a while but this is my first review of the Rides. What I like about this shoe is that it is an excellent balance between support and and structure. Some times a supportive shoe can have too much structure to it and overpower your foot so it can’t do what it does naturally. This shoe DOESN’T do this! It is the entry level type shoe that I think most runners (who prefer a neutral 8mm drop shoe) would be successful in. It is a durable shoe (the uppers are well constructed and and the soles are great).

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The Breakthrus are a lighter weight version of a neutral 8mm shoe. I have tried to run in the Kinvaras before and tit just wasn’t a durable enough shoe for my running. Now that my running form has improved a bit, I can run in a lighter weight shoe. This shoes has become one of my favorites  for shorter (3-7 mile) runs and runs that are speed or tempo based. It has excellent support in the midfoot thru the heel. It has a nice roomy toe box and the uppers are impressing me with their lightweight construction yet they are still pretty durable. This is an improvement over my experience with Kinvaras in the past. You need t be a fairly strong runner to run in a shoe this light weight, otherwise you may not do well with the lighter support.

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The Echelon 5s are not my normal running shoe. They are designed for runners that need extra support and room custom orthotics or insoles. They are a very roomy shoe with extra support and cushioning but still are not as big and clunky as some of the other cushy shoes out there (think Hokas). This would be a great shoe for someone requiring extra support in a neutral shoe. I use this shoe for longer runs. Even with the roominess of the shoes it runs well for me and I don;t have any issues with rubbing that you might expect in a bigger shoe.

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The Triumph ISO 2s are awesome! I have tried to run in this line twice before and was not successful. The first time was in the Triumph 11s and I just wasn’t running well enough at the time and they made my calves hurt. Then I tried again with the Triumph ISO 1 which was a totally re-engineered shoe from the previous ones. I had a problem with the construction of teh upper. It had two different layers that were made of two different type of materials and they rubbed the top of my feet and gave me blisters. That is when you are very happy to bought your shoes from RoadRunner sports because you can return them after 30 days with no issues! Back to the 2s. THEY ARE AWESOME!! Light weight like the Breakthrus but more supportive. I found the last version to be over constructed and these are the perfect balance! They are one of the more expensive shoes in the bunch but I would pay for another pair for sure!

All of the shoes reviewed in this post were provided to me by Saucony. The opinions are all mine. I was really lucky to get to run in multiple versions of this style of shoe!

 

Saucony Womens Guide 7 Review

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I was very lucky to have a pair of Saucony ProGrid Guide 7’s sent to me from Saucony to try out.  I was very successful in the Guide 6′s so I was excited to try the 7’s.  I had bought the Triumph 11’s and ran in them for a short period of time so this review is a little bit of a comparison.

Like I said in my previous review of the 6’s I was very happy with what the Guide shoe had to offer.  When I went to the local running store to get a new pair of shoes I thought it was an opportunity to try something new.  You never know what magic shoe might be out there.  I tried the Triumph and the Cortana (Saucony shoes work for me so that is where I started).  I felt like the Cortana was a little too minimalist for me.  My foot felt like it was working too hard to land properly.  It was a very fast light shoe but I have found that I do better in a stability shoe.  I liked the Triumph because it felt like a very well constructed shoe that had stability characteristics but was helping me work towards a more natural/less assisted run.  I took home the Triumph and ran in then for about a month.  I had two small issues.  First the height of the shoe on the inside of my ankle felt too low so my ankles got tired easily. Second, the combination of a more flexible upper and the super cool stretchy laces made finding the right tension/tightness difficult.

Guide 7 on left, Triumph 11 on right

Guide 7 on left, Triumph 11 on right

Now, there was nothing wrong with these shoes.  I really like them other than the fact that they weren’t the right shoes for my feet and running style.  Luckily, Saucony sent me the right pair, the Guide 7s.

Once I got into the Guide 7’s I had a better understanding of what my foot need and that is what Saucony calls a guidance shoe.  When I ran I could feel the shoe guiding my foot to the proper placement (more midfoot than heel strike) when it landed and supporting it through the whole motion.  It had just a touch more stability of the Triumph, and I needed that.  It also supported me better in my ankle and immediately I could feel the difference.

Here is the description from the Saucony website,

“The Guide 7 is the ultimate training partner, providing stability with flexibility in a lightweight package. PowerGrid provides responsive cushioning from heel to toe. A fully decoupled SRC crashpad minimizes impact, and the redesigned medial support system creates a smooth transition to midfoot. A flared forefoot design adds support during toe-off allowing the runner to spring forward efficiently and powerfully. Added flex grooves ensure the shoe moves with the runner with comfort and responsiveness. All hail Guide 7! Weight: 8.6oz./244 g (Size 8)”

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In my opinion, the Guide 7 is more of a classic running shoe.  Less frills for simple straight forward running.  The upper is made of a couple different materials  so that  keeps the shoe from being too stretchy.  It maintains it’s form well and encases my foot without being too tight or loosing up as I run.  Like the name implies and I said before, it guides my to a proper midfoot landing and an efficient take off as well. It is the shoe my running and my feet needed.

 

 

Saucony Guide 6 Shoe Review

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High noon running in my Saucony Guide 6

It has been a long time since I have done a running shoe review  because honestly I wasn’t running as much as I would have liked to over the last year.  When my IT band pain started in early 2012 I was barely running.  Now that I finally feel like my running strength is coming back, I would like to resume reviewing the shoes I use.  I know there will be a lot of miles coming my way as I train for Ironman Arizona.

About  a year ago I went in for a proper running shoe fitting from my local running store, Future Track.  They originally put me into an Asics 2000 shoe.  When I first started running I ran in Asics so I was happy to go back and try them again (this after trying to run in Newtons; they didn’t work for me).  No real problems with the new Asics.  They fit great and I had no problems.  When I went back for a new pair after 4 months (I wear out shoes really fast) I wanted to try something different. They put me in a Saucony Guide 6.  I had run in the Kinvara 2’s a long time ago and really enjoyed them but I have come to realize that I need a more supportive shoe.  I am not a neutral or minimal shoe wearer.  I need a stability shoe.  I used to heal strike really bad and even thought that is much better, I just run happier in a shoe with some substance to it. Anyway, I was excited to go back to Saucony.  My husband is very successful with them and I was hoping they would work out.

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Best trade of the day, always!

And work out they did! I was able to move into them with no problems at all.  They fit true to size (I wear a 9 in running shoes, 8.5 in regular shoes)  I was running decent mileage right out of the blocks (well, out of my door).  To me it felt like a very well balanced shoe.  I like a decent amount of room in the toe box.  I don’t like to feel squished in there.  My toes need some room!  I felt like my foot was striking the ground properly and the shoe was supporting my foot well.  The uppers are very durable and they caused me no discomfort.  As time went on the shoes handled the miles well.  No tearing and not a lot of stretching.  I was so happy I got a second pair and ran in this line for a good 8 months!

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200 miles of use

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Wear on soles after 200+ miles

I just got new shoes again.  I went with something a little different this time just for variety sake.  Also the Guide 6 has now been replaced with the Guide 7 so it seemed like a good time to try something different. I got the Saucony Triumph 11.  So far so good!  Full review in 100 miles!  But if you find yourself a pair of Guide 6s you won’t be disappointed!

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Our with the old, in with the new!