Best Saucony running shoes – 2018


Thanks to the Everun foam, Saucony’s product line is going through a massive transformation. We saw the same thing happen with adidas soon after the introduction of the first Energy Boost.

Both adidas and Saucony use a similar midsole tech supplied by BASF, the German chemical corporation. Tiny pellets of Polyurethane are heat-expanded and then molded into the shape of a shoe midsole.

Though both Everun and Boost look similar, Everun is a bit firmer. This allows Saucony to use full-length Everun midsoles without a stabilizing EVA layer or rim.

The Freedom ISO has a midsole made completely of Everun, and yet it does not feel unstable. Saucony also differentiates its BASF tech by painting over its midsole, as opposed to the all-white adidas Boost.

Saucony is the process of switching most of its shoes to the Everun platform. In some cases, the entire midsole has been (or will be) swapped with Everun. On lower priced models, only an Everun ‘topsole’ has been added over the EVA foam midsole.

So far, Saucony is doing a great job of product and price segmentation. We hope it stays that way; it’s easy to get lost in the excitement of newness. Here’s an example:

While Saucony has maintained the sanctity of their performance running line well, the Freedom Runner should be restricted to the lifestyle section along with the Jazz.

The Freedom runner’s upper is made of thick suede leather – not something you want to be running in. What’s interesting that the Freedom runner shows up in both Saucony’s performance and lifestyle sections of its website. Saucony, you’re double-dipping – aren’t you?

Fall and Holiday is going to be a busy season for Saucony from a model refresh perspective. The new Triumph ISO 4 with its full-length Everun midsole is going to hit retail soon.

Also, a mild-support version of the Freedom ISO – the Liberty ISO – will soon be introduced. And the Guide ISO is most likely a replacement for the Guide 10.

By December, many of Saucony’s new releases will be out in the market. So expect this buyer’s guide to be refreshed by January 2018.

Here’s some pre-reading you need to do before we get to the buyer’s guide. We’ve included the Triumph ISO 3 on this list, but we recommend holding off your purchase until the time the ISO 4 hits retail. As most of you know, the ISO 3’s midsole is based on a partial Everun construction.

In contrast, the Triumph ISO 4’s midsole is made entirely of Everun. We expect that this change is going to make the ISO 4 a very different shoe than the ISO 3. We’re looking forward to the ISO 4 too. A full review should be online before 2017 is out.

You’ll also notice that we’ve not included the Kinvara, and have recommended the Breakthru 3 instead. Why?

Except for its 8 mm heel drop (vs. the Kinvara’s 4mm), the Breakthru 3 reminds us a lot of the earlier (versions 1 – 4) Kinvara models. The Breakthru is lightweight at 8.7 ounces, and has a simplicity of design which is reminiscent of older Kinvaras.

Lastly, you see the Omni 16 on the list instead of the Hurricane because of its better tie-in with the popular Guide 10. However, if the Guide ISO ends up replacing the Guide 10, then we’ll update this list with a Guide ISO-Hurricane ISO pairing instead.

The following is our pick of Saucony’s running shoe catalog. Please note that we’ll update this list as soon as we review the Triumph ISO 4, the Liberty ISO, and the Guide ISO.

CategoryModelCheck price
Cushioned NeutralSaucony Triumph ISO
Cushioned NeutralSaucony Ride
Cushioned NeutralSaucony Freedom
Lightweight NeutralSaucony Breakthru
Budget NeutralSaucony Cohesion
Lightweight RacerSaucony Type
Road-racing FlatSaucony Endorphin Racer
Cushioned SupportSaucony Omni
Cushioned Mild-supportSaucony Guide
Trail RunningSaucony Peregrine

1) Cushioned Neutral: Saucony Triumph ISO 3

The Triumph ISO 3 is a premium neutral cushioned trainer. The midsole combines an Everun foam insert with an outer EVA foam casing to deliver a cushioned and responsive ride.

Like all the past Triumph ISO models, the upper has a sleeved construction with a smooth interior and a decent amount of space. The ISO 4 with a full-length Everun midsole is going to debut soon, so watch this space.

2) Cushioned Neutral: Saucony Ride 10

Most runners want a cushioned ride but without the mushiness which can slow you down. The Ride 10’s EVA foam midsole delivers ample padding, and the combination of the Everun topsole and the removable insole delivers top-layer cushioning.

Like most of the previous Ride versions, the upper has a snug fit character with comfortable interiors.

3) Cushioned Neutral: Saucony Freedom ISO

The Freedom is Saucony’s first shoe to feature a full-length Everun midsole. The 4 mm drop midsole has a cushioned and responsive ride, and the clear rubber outsole is very durable.

The Freedom’s lightweight (9-ounce) build quality makes it suitable for fast training runs, and its cushioned midsole makes it a versatile daily trainer.

The sleeved upper is snug fitting but very comfortable due to the soft lining materials and the engineered mesh.

4) Lightweight Neutral: Saucony Breakthru 3

When the Breakthru first broke cover three years ago, we weren’t sure who or what the shoe was meant for. But the Breakthru 3 has now matured into a lightweight trainer which feels cushioned yet fast. The minimal upper provides a secure and comfortable hold over the foot.

That’s precisely the reason why we recommend this shoe over the Kinvara. The Breakthru reminds us of the original Kinvara in all its goodness.

5) Budget Neutral: Saucony Cohesion 10

We say this with absolute confidence – of all the shoes sold by the top-ten athletic footwear brands, the Cohesion delivers the most value for money.

This budget neutral trainer fits well, and the materials do not feel cheap. The injection-molded EVA midsole keeps the shoe under 10 ounces while delivering a cushioned and supportive ride.

6) Lightweight racer: Saucony Type A8

The Type A8 is one level more cushioned than a full-blown racing flat. At an MSRP of $100, the A8 is excellent value. The lightweight upper fits and feels great, and the resilient midsole provides a fast and cushioned ride.

Combine the minimal upper and the 4 mm drop midsole, and you have the 5.9-ounce Type A8. An absolute must-have if you want a shoe for fast training runs or races from a 5K to a half marathon.

7) Road-racing flat: Saucony Endorphin Racer 2

At a heel-to-toe offset of 0 mm, the Endorphin is a true-racing flat. And it weighs just 4-ounces (115 grams)! A featherweight construction doesn’t mean that you have to compromise on cushioning.

The midsole has an unusual design which is unique even within Saucony. The forefoot is made entirely of Everun (reminds us of the adidas Takumi Sen) while the rearfoot is built using EVA foam. The outsole is also better suited for forefoot strikers. The slim-waisted midsole flares wide under the forefoot covered with super-grippy rubber lugs.

Use the Endorphin racer to your advantage on synthetic tracks and for road races of 5K and 10K.

8) Cushioned support: Saucony Omni 16

The Omni 16 is the perfect Guide 10 upgrade if you liked the latter but wished for extra support on the inner midsole. A lot of the Omni feels like the Guide, only with a little more of everything.

The EVA midsole with an Everun topsole has slightly more cushioning and support over the Guide 10, and ditto for the upper. The similar fitting upper follows the Guide 10 design template with additional bits and pieces over it.

9) Cushioned mild-support: Saucony Guide 10

The Guide is the mild-support version of the Ride 10. It has a firmer ride along with a medial post which makes the inner midsole more supportive. The rest of the shoe will feel familiar if you have experience with a Ride 10.

We also recommend the Guide 10 to anybody who wants a more supportive Ride 10. Despite its medial post, the Guide 10’s ride has a balanced quality. So it works equally well for runners regardless of their neutral or support shoe preference.

10) Trail running: Saucony Peregrine 7

One shoe, many flavors. The Peregrine is available in three variants. The regular Peregrine (pictured here) has a TPU reinforced upper and speed lacing with a super-grippy outsole.

Cushioning comes from the EVA foam midsole and the topsole, while the solid rock plate offers forefoot protection. A sleeved upper keeps the debris out.

This makes the Peregrine a great all-around trail running shoe. There’s enough protection and grip for technical trails, and there’s enough padding of the non-bottoming kind to keep you going. At $120, it’s reasonably priced too.

Paying another $30 gets you the ICE+ version. This Peregrine has Vibram’s Artic Grip outsole for better grip on ice and snow along with a winterized upper made of polyester ripstop. You might remember the ankle-high Saucony Razor ICE+ from last year, the first shoe to feature Vibram’s Artic rubber.

Thirdly, the Runshield version of the Peregrine offers a water repellent upper along with all the benefits of the standard Peregrine.

If you don’t want to pay the Peregrine price for a waterproofing, we’d suggest the Saucony Excursion TR11 GTX. The $100 Excursion is one of the most affordable trail running shoe featuring a waterproof Gore-Tex membrane.

Lastly, if all you need is a dual-purpose (road, trail) shoe with an outdoorsy sole, then the Cohesion TR it is. At an MSRP of $60, it is the perfect budget trail running shoe.