Sunday, May 25, 2014

Review; Saucony Virrata 2

Following up from the Mirage IV review we now move to the other end of the Saucony’s minimal spectrum, the Virrata 2.

The Look; Well despite being a slave to Black/Red/White. I like the green version of these. They definitely asked to be looked but that’s so much better than white shoes with a splash of color that get dirty after one run.


The Upper; I had a pair of the original Virrata’s and just didn’t get on with them, the uppers were very sloppy and after a few runs I gave up using them, these are much improved and feel much more solid in their construction as a result they hold your foot better. I think this is a function of the material being more robust rather then there being more material. Like the Mirages’ these are not seam free on the inside. They are finished off with a nice toe bumper and heel counter but everything is kept to a minimum.

The Fit; Now with the improved upper the fit while running is better, the toe box is roomy enough and as usual for me I size up to a size US11/UK10/Euro45. I fitted Yankz quick lace which is just for preference and had no issues with them.

IMG_8501  IMG_8496

IMG_8497 IMG_8498  

The Sole; 18mm of sole all around, these are a zero drop shoe. This does take some getting used even the 4mm drop of the Kinvara’s or Mirage’s is noticeable by comparison. I am not going to get into the mid-foot discussion but I would say that these, in my opinion are better suited to someone who is a lighter-on-their-feet runner. The soles are constructed from EVA+ with some rubber on the high wear areas; the heel, toes and strangely under the big toe, anyone who supinates is going to wear there out pretty quickly, given the lack of protection on the sole I estimate that these should last 200-250 miles.

The Ride; These are poles away from the Mirage’s the ride on these is a little soft, not feel the cracks in the pavement soft but these are very different by comparison. Most of my running has been on the local roads and sidewalks with a smattering of treadmill miles for both speed work and steady Zone 2 runs but nothing longer than 8 miles. On the treadmill which has a little flex to the deck there were awesome. Overall I had no issues but I wonder if they would start to have issues at the 10 miles to Half Marathon distance?

Overall; These are a big improvement over the original Virratas’. The improved upper structure makes this a very comfortable shoe to wear and run in, certainly at the shorter distances, only time for longer runs will tell as my mileage increases. As mentioned they are on the minimal side and so expect them to wear out on the sooner rather than later side. Of course, as they say; your mileage may vary!

Available for men in black/orange, flouro yellow/white and white/blue as well the green/red shown here. For the ladies in orange/green, black/pink, blue/white and white/aqua, these retail for $90 which is at the lower end of the today’s price range for shoes and goes someway to offsetting the expecting quicker wear…if you shop around you can find them for $80!

These shoes were provided free of charge by the good folks at Saucony. See previous gear reviews in the menu above. If you have a product you’d like reviewed, contact me at


  1. Happened upon your blog through a link from SportTracks Facebook page. I noticed this review and thought I'd add a few words. I was a Kinvara fan for the first two iterations. When the third came out and as happened to many people, it just didnt work for me - I got lots of calf pain after any long run. Now, this may have been caused by a few other issues - lack of proper stretching, increase in intensity and distance, etc. at the time - but in general, the Kinvara 3 was awful. I was gearing up for my first marathon at the time and chose to go with the Saucony A5 for the race and many of the longer runs instead of continuing with the Kinvara 3.

    I am of slight build - 160, 5'11" - and tend to run on my toes/mid-foot. I rarely if ever hit the ground with my heel. Due to this, I require a lot of bend in my shoes. I felt the Kinvara 1 and 2 were very flexible, however the 3 not so much. I have not tried the Kinvara 4 or 5, despite reviews showing that a lot of the problems with the 3 were fixed. That is where the Virrata comes in. Although the heel to toe drop is less, I feel that the Virrata is a continuation of where the Kinvara 2 left off. And by consequence, I love this shoe. I agree that it is not for everyone, but if you are like me and run on your toes/mid-sole; it is a wonderful shoe with a lot of flexibility and comfort and very little weight. For $90, it also isnt that costly compared to similar shoes on the market.

    I also wanted to add to your review about durability. I used the initial version for 400+ miles with little problem, and now have two pairs of version 2 - one just purchased and another I got when they were released early in the year. I have used this shoe for my last two marathon distance races with quite some success as well. I rotate my shoes regularly, breaking in a new shoe for recovery/easy runs while using an older shoe for the longer runs (as well as a track shoe for intervals/tempos - specifically the Saucony XC series). Even after 250+ miles on my original Virrata 2 pair, I have noticed very little degradation. Of course, this may vary depending on how lightly one steps off during each stride. Overall, I just can't get enough of this shoe and hope Saucony continues to improve and doesn't stumble like they did with the Kinvara.
    (here is my ST profile:

    1. Chad thanks for your comments. I am running in the Kinvara 5s now and love them, much more aligned with the 1s and 2s!


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