Saucony Triumph ISO 2 Review

by solereview
Published: Last Updated on

We must point out that while the new design makes the forefoot fit more comfortable than the 2014 ISO, the speed loop based lacing tends to pucker up the forefoot mesh if cinched tight. This leads to the upper bending inwards over the foot, apart from making the shoe look like a shriveled prune.


The toe-bumper molding is similar to the Triumph ISO, but this time there’s increased medial side toe room.


The 2015 Triumph ISO 2 (right) has a marginally higher toe-bumper molding.


Roomy toe-box, with liberal vertical and lateral margins. Fits true to size.

Sizing fits true, albeit with an upgraded toe-box fit. The toe-bumper molding has changed on the Triumph ISO 2, resulting in a relaxed fit on the medial side of the big toe, and over the small toe too.

The increase in room is just perfect; and this is happily achieved without the shoe ending up sloppy in fit. If you’re getting yourself a pair of the ISO 2’s, do so in the same size as the prior edition.


So they’ve swapped out the jewel-like heel counter with this new ‘Support Frame’. No difference in how the heel grips, regardless.


Identical inner heel as last year. Rundry collar lining and padding to match.

Minor updates are applied to the upper rearfoot. The tongue is slightly longer now, helping insulate the heel-lock lacing pressure.

The external heel counter design is revised to a ‘support frame’ heel clip, though functionally there isn’t any difference. The run-dry lined collar grips the same, and feels the same too.


The reflective elements undergo some trimming. Compared to 2014, this model has its shiny bits thinned down.


Still musters some decent night-light.


Here’s viewing the lateral side reflectivity.

Low light reflective bits are downsized on the Triumph 2. The toe-bumper loses both of its small slivers, and so does the lateral midfoot and under-heel. The strips on the heel has also been reduced in size.

If a firmer and more responsive ride isn’t a deal breaker for you, then the 2015 Saucony Triumph ISO 2 is a sensible shoe suitable for long miles. Some of the 2014 Triumph’s rough spots are polished over, resulting in a product which fits much better. The caveat which applied to the first generation Triumph ISO is also valid on the new Triumph. That you need to rein in your expectations in light of Saucony’s marketing hype.

The 2015 Triumph ISO 2 makes all the right moves, just that the entire ride experience borders on running shoe tedium. It just isn’t the engaging experience the brand makes it out to be.

It’s a shoe which you buy with your head, and not your heart. And where’s the fun in that?

(Disclaimer: For this review, Solereview bought the shoe at full US retail price.)

Looking to upgrade your older Triumph ISO to the latest version, but not sure how the 2015 model compares? We can help here. The following infographic is a ready-reckoner for what changes you might expect in the new model vs. old. To make this more fun, we’ve put in a system of percentage match, which calculates a weighted average for a set of attributes.

A higher or lower match percentage is neither good or bad. The % number just tells you how similar or distanced the new shoe is from the previous version. Total match % is a result of weighted averages.


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Charles January 1, 2016 - 1:13 am

I´m just at page 1 of the review but want to say: “Happy new year :)” to you! I wish you all the best for 2016 and may you be able to continue your great work!

solereview January 1, 2016 - 1:32 am

Thank you so much! Have a wonderful new year!

Bob B January 1, 2016 - 11:44 pm

A lot of people say the ISO 1 was better. If this is firmer then I would tend to agree since it’s basically the same shoe with different tech. Saucony, stick to your guns already. Bring the old school raquet grid back please.

solereview January 2, 2016 - 3:31 am

People who like a softer ride will find the ISO 1 better for sure.

Mark January 2, 2016 - 8:02 am

Having ran a lot in the first Triumph ISO I was looking forward to the release of the ISO 2. As soon as my local running store had them I purchased a new pair only to be disappointed by the firmer ride. While the upper on the ISO 2 is an improvement, the ride for me was a let down. Some are going to like the more responsive ride, especially those who’ve never ran in the original. I think many who were so pleased with the original (myself included) are going to be put off by the change in the ride. I can definitely tell a difference in the ride. To me it’s not near as forgiving. And for some reason my feet go numb while running in these. I’ll never understand running shoe companies. Saucony already had shoes you could buy for responsiveness, why not just let the Triumph be their soft, highly cushioned shoe for those of us who like that feel?

solereview January 4, 2016 - 10:52 pm

Thank you for the feedback, Mark. Runners will be divided on the ISO 2 for sure; softness vs. responsiveness. And agree, the Ride is more softer than the Triumph, an aspect we called out in our Triumph review last year.

ArtVandelay January 4, 2016 - 8:54 am

Why exactly would you get your hands on boost foam and water it down like this? The stuff is amazing when used properly.

solereview January 4, 2016 - 10:56 pm

Beats us. Budget issues? Saucony is part of a smaller parent company.

Paul Lickerman January 4, 2016 - 9:25 am

I enjoyed the Triumph ISO 1 for close to 300 miles, and purchased the ISO 2 as soon as it came out. I enjoy roomy toe boxes, being an almost but not quite wide footed individual. With the ISO 2, it always felt “less roomy” in the toe box than the ISO 1, but figured it was just the new vs. worn down feeling. Got about 10 training runs in the 2’s and used them for a half ironman. First black toenail in 2 years. I don’t want to blame the toenail on the shoe, but it seems the common opinion is that black toe nail equates directly to lack of space up front (?). I have moved up a half size and this seems to provide more adequate room, but now the upper bunches on me when laces are tied :(.

As for the way they feel to me, definitely firmer. I don’t relate firm to bad; however, for the first couple of miles my feet feel “tired”, after a couple of miles I loose that feeling and I’m apparently good for as many miles as I want to put in.

I’m currently battling some tendinitis, apparently from to quick of an increase in miles, but have wondered about finding a bit more stability in otherwise neutral shoes. I have had the chance to try on the Transcend 3, and was pleasantly surprised with what seems like quite a roomy toe box. I think I will give those a try. Any other suggestions with regard to more stability, toe box roominess, and cushioned long mileage shoes are very welcomed. The doctor I’m seeing for the tendinitis has the opinion that I’m on the correct (neutral) type of shoe; the finding a bit more stability is of my own creation.

solereview January 5, 2016 - 3:47 am

Appreciate your detailed insight, Paul. We find it interesting that your comment mentions the ISO 2 to have a smaller toe-box, we thought the reverse to be true! Just shows how feedback varies depending on the individual.

We haven’t tried the Brooks Transcend 3, but your comment about its roomy toe-box has piqued our interest. We found the Transcend 1 and 2 to have a tight upper.

As regards to your requirement for stable shoes with a roomy toe-box, we would recommend the Mizuno Wave Inspire 11 or 12, Mizuno Wave Rider 19 (neutral but stable), the Hoka One One Constant and finally the Nike Air Zoom Odyssey.

urriah January 4, 2016 - 6:52 pm

curious… the everun insole plus some thin insole (the first one that comes to mind is the adiZero insoles)… can that combo replace a traditional insole of a shoe that lacks some ooomphh in the cushioning department?

solereview January 5, 2016 - 3:03 am

As a first layer of cushioning under the foot, the Triumph ISO 2 scores well over traditional insoles.

solereview January 7, 2016 - 3:50 am

The comments/Q&A thread will be closed till January 17, 2016. Any inconvenience is regretted. Premium access members can continue to use their dedicated comment section, which will be open.

Brad Kimber January 31, 2016 - 10:20 am

I recently began running a year ago (28 yrs old). I’ve ran one marathon, and six half marathons. In training for six back to back half marathons, I developed a stress fracture of my inferior pubic ramus. My last half marathon I finished at 1:29 (PR). I have about six-eight weeks of recovery at the moment, and have been trying to do research on whether or not the stress fracture may have been in any way related to the shoes I was training in. Leading up to the stress fracture I jumped from a four day a week running plan to a six day a week plan. Five days consisted of running in the Adidas energy boost. One day a week would be a speed run in the Adidas adios boost 2 or 3 and I was racing in the Adios Boost 2 & 3. Mentally, the stress fracture is challenging. It is hard to know exactly what aided in the cause of the fracture. Could the shoes have been an issue? Upon recovery I was interested in swapping possibly away from Adidas and into something else, but not sure if this would help prevent the issue moving into the future. I think the rapid increase in running and pace caused the fracture, and back to back races…. but is there any recommendation you have as far as the shoes? Are minimalist shoes better at avoiding stress fractures? The research is mixed. Would it be safe or recommended to move to a different shoe? Any suggestions? Thanks.

solereview February 2, 2016 - 7:59 am

It is just our opinion, but we think the likely cause to be the accelerated rate of training/mileage.

The research is mixed because there is no conclusive evidence that a softer (or for that matter a harder) shoe decreases or increases impact forces in isolation.

If you want to feel reassured with regards to your footwear choice, then perhaps a Hoka One One (Clifton, Bondi 4) could be an option. It is unlikely that they will reduce the impact forces, but they might end up feeling more comfortable over greater distance.

Brad Kimber February 2, 2016 - 7:36 pm

Thanks for the reply. I believe my main concern was how legit the research was regarding min vs. Max in relation to impact forces on bone vs. muscle/tendon. From what I’ve been able to find it’s pretty much as you’ve said. When I’m able to get back into the training I may try the Cliftons out. Attempting to break into the 5 minute pace mark for a full marathon, but recurrence of stress factor of course a worry and making sure all bases are covered. I also feel the fx was a result of rapid increase in training and pace and not the shoes. Thanks for the awesome reliable reviews and the reply.

solereview February 4, 2016 - 10:09 pm

All research has a rationale, but there are just too many variables involved to have a consistent set of control conditions. Hence the mixed findings.

Recover soon, and would to hear what eventually worked for you comfort-wise!

Brad Kimber February 29, 2016 - 3:03 pm

Seem to be recovering on time. Hopefully only a week or two to go. Went to try on the Clifton’s per the recommendation. Actually enjoyed the feel of the Clifton 2, but torn between those and the Hoka Vanquish 2. A little heavier, but appear to have great responsiveness (not able to test on treadmill yet). Would love to know if you were planning on reviewing those in the near future, or if you had any early impressions. With the Hoka Tracer coming out soon, I may just make the brand swap to Hoka and hope for the best

solereview February 29, 2016 - 7:05 pm

Thank you for sharing your feedback.

The Vanquish 2? No miles in them, and unfortunately no plans to review them.

Vivek February 16, 2016 - 7:35 am

(its kind of general question) Let me start with obvious thing, your reviews are awesome! :)
My question is, do you consider price while reviewing shoes? Like, $120 Ride 7 is rated a lot higher than $160 Triumph ISO 2, in your opinion, is Ride 7 better shoe than ISO 2 or your rating is relative based on their price?
In other words, if ISO 2 was $120, would you still rate it lower than Ride 7?

solereview February 16, 2016 - 7:40 am

Correct, there is some price weightage, but not significant. Primary considerations are fit, stability and transition quality. The Ride 7 is a better shoe than the ISO.

Vivek February 16, 2016 - 4:49 pm

Great, thanks!
It will be interesting if you review cheaper shoes, like $60 Saucony Cohesion 8, 9. Saw some good reviews for it in other sites.

solereview February 18, 2016 - 8:54 am

Thanks for the suggestion. But it is unlikely we’ll be reviewing them – no budget.

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