The RunningRats recently demoed some of the new Saucony introductions for Winter 2017 and Spring 2018. Here are my brief impressions of the shoes I tested – the Liberty ISO, Ride ISO and Kinvara 9. The Liberty is a new model, whereas the Ride and Kinvara are the latest version of long-running models within the Saucony lineup.
The Pegasus 35 is the latest iteration of Nike’s neutral medium-cushioned trainer. It has a responsive ride and trend-setting design. Substantially changed from prior versions, it is well suited as a daily high-mileage trainer for neutral runners, as well as being a cool off-duty lifestyle shoe.
Skechers Performance Division has a solid 2018 model lineup. I had the fortune of testing the GOrun 6, GOmeb Razor 2, GOrun Ride 7 and GOrun Ultra R. In their respective categories, they are lighter weight, better cushioned and have more outsole coverage for grip and wear resistance.
I had the pleasure of testing a good part of Skechers Performance Division’s (SPD) 2018 line-up at a recent run with the Eastbound Run Crew (EBRC). Here are some brief thoughts on each of the shoes I tried.
The 890v6 is a faster version of the classic neutral trainer. A very versatile shoe which can handle both faster paced and slower, longer mileage runs. The ride is firm and snappy. It has a roomy, stretchy toebox and gets more fitted towards the back of the shoe. Fans of the previous version of the 890 will want to check the fit and ride before proceeding with this update.
The Zealot ISO 3 is a 4mm offset, sub-9oz, full stack shoe. It offers plenty of cushioning and flexibility and has more toebox volume than recent Saucony models. With an exceptional cushion-to-weight ratio, it is an ideal high-mileage option for Kinvara runners looking for more cushioning on longer runs. Those looking for a firmer ride should also consider the Saucony Freedom.
The NB Sonic Fuel Core combines a firm riding and flexible Revlite midsole with a sock upper cinched down by a Boa retention system. It is ideal for those who like quick and fine-tuned adjustability across the top of the foot. The stretchy toebox should accommodate wider feet. It should also appeal to triathletes looking for time savings in their transition. The shoe will be available in July 2017.
The Saucony Razor ICE+ is a winter-focused trail shoe that features Vibram Arctic grip, which provides additional traction on ice. The other notable design element is the high-cut outer shell that zips around the core shoe and functions as a water resistant layer and gaiter. The midsole provides plush cushioning with moderate flexibility. It’s not cheap, but provides a substantial level of technology and features in a unique and specialized winter shoe.
The Saucony Freedom ISO has a full-volume TPU Everun midsole that provides excellent energy return, responsiveness and ground feel. The upper fit is snug but not overly narrow. The combination of low stack, good cushioning and 4mm offset resulting in a fairly unique shoe. The price is high, but justified by a versatile shoe, packed with the latest technologies.
Saucony recently released a totally new model in their lineup – the Freedom ISO. It is the first shoe with a full-volume Everun midsole, Saucony’s TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) material. Similar to Adidas Boost, it promises better energy return and durability than standard EVA (ethylene-vinyl acetate) foam found in most other running shoes. It is also more temperature-stable, retaining more elasticity in colder temps. Previous Saucony models used Everun in the heel pad and as a thin top sole under the sock liner. The Freedom is the first shoe where the entire cushioning system is Everun. The shoe retails at $160 USD / $200 CDN. My shoe weighed in at 265g / 9.5oz for men’s size US 9.0 (one shoe).