Hot on the heels (no, these didn’t give me blisters on my heels) of the Peregrine 5 review is the new Saucony Triumph ISO. I have put nearly 50 miles on these shoes, not that these have been ignored it’s just that a lot of my time recently has been on the trails. Runs have varied from 5 to 11 miles on both the road and the treadmill. They have included both recovery runs and tempo runs.
Just some backstory; I have been running on the roads in the Kinvara 5 since they came to market last April, I am now on my fourth pair, the new 6s should be out soon! Before that I ran through three pairs of the Kinvara 4 since June of 2013, typically they last 240-250 miles a pair.
With all that said I was interested to try to the Triumphs. They share some of the characteristics of the Kinvara, they are a neutral shoe and are engineered for neutral pronators and they have both been Runner’s World Editor’s choice shoes. The most significant differences are the volume of cushioning and the increase in drop. The Triumphs have an 8mm drop (vs the 4mm or the Kinvara or the 0mm of the Virrata). Specifically the Heel Stack Height is 29mm and the Forefoot Stack Height: 21mm.
I was particularly interested to try these the day after a long trail when my feet and legs feel pretty beaten up. Saucony describe the ride as plush, in fact it’s the “most cushioned running experience that they have every created”. To create this plushness they have used three main technologies;
- iBR+ Injection blow rubber; a proprietary compound that is 33% lighter than standard blown rubber.
- ISOFIT; an ultrasoft inners sleeve constructed of stretchable air mesh fabric that cradles the foot.
- PWRGRID+; used for the midsole, it is 20% lighter than then other mid soles and allows for a fluid movement during your footstrike.
Out of the box he shoes looked big, but big does not always mean heavy and these shoes are not heavy, weighing 292 grams they are only 74 grams heavier than the Kinvaras. The additional weight is not noticeable. The first few runs were with the standard OEM laces. I had a problem with the eyelet on one shoe that was too high and was rubbing some on my foot, nothing major but just a niggle. The ISOFIT essentially separates the two layers of the shoes upper into to (1) a cocoon for your foot and (2) the overlay. The lace holes are constructed within the overlay and it’s where the collar of the shoe and this met that I was having the problem. It was easily resolved by unlacing by one eyelet in the short term and in the long term with the fitting of Yankz laces, this is something I do to all my road running shoes. Once fitted and adjusted you never have to touch them again! The snugness of the ISOFIT took a few runs to get used to as well as the overall increase in volume of the upper, again this is when compared to my Knivaras. The collar is well padded and despite my opening sentence no blisters or rubbing etc. was experienced.
What you can’t see from the photo is that the black overlay is essentially an exoskeleton for the shoe. It is single piece that wraps around your foot, including the lace eyelets and by default extends to the laces. It also includes the heel cup. At the heel there is supportive clear plastic which reduces the overall look of the shoe.
So as with most things the proof is in the pudding, which in this case is the running! I can say that they did get some getting used to. Both the cushioning and the increase in drop took some adjusting. Overall the shoe is flexible and as mentioned pretty light. You can pick up your pace without feeling like you have anvils at the end of your legs. The cushioning is really nice, when I say really nice I mean REALLY NICE! It is firm enough to be supportive but not in a structured shoe way. As I hoped these are great shoes for that Monday run after you have had a tough Sunday.
Available in 3 different colorways for men and women, these shoes are now one of the flagship shoe offerings from Saucony, with that in mind they have the associated price tag; $150.
In summary, these are a medium weight, highly cushioned (not soft or spongy) shoe. They have no corrective traits and allow your foot and gait to remain neutral. While I remain a big fan of my Kinvaras and I am not expecting to migrate to these shoes full time they are an excellent pair to have in your closet and in rotation.
These shoes were provided free of charge by the good folks at Saucony. See previous gear reviews in the sidebar on the right. If you have a product you’d like reviewed, contact me at email@example.com.