First Look :: Saucony Triumph ISO
A whole new approach to designing and producing a high end running shoe has resulted in the emergence of Saucony's lastest footwear line, the ISO•SERIES. The first of these to appear will be the all new Triumph ISO, which has been described as "WHOA".
The running shoe is definitely evolving. In the past we have often seen shoe designers attempting to control human movement with so called 'anti-pronation' devicies added to footwear. Runners have been told they are neutral, over pronators or supinators. Yet medically it is more and more believed that so called poor movement is not so much bad, as it is 'normal', in the same way as the colour of your eyes. So instead of trying to create the best cushioning through soft materials that destabalise the foot with every landing which in its self can often cause greater problems, how about if someone was to produce running footwear that did less to destabalise the foot in the first place?
Then how about if that same company strived for maximum impact protection with longer lasting materials and then added a lightweight sock like fitting upper that comfortably wraps the foot to hold it securely into the shoe; without compromising its natural movement?
Kinda makes sense doesn't it?
And that about sums up what the Saucony Triumph ISO shouted at me the first time I saw it out of the box. Yet the story doesn't stop there. As saucony pointed out recently, "Heading into early development phases for the new Triumph ISO, we looked at the modern landscape of running shoes as well as the latest research from our lab, and felt the timing was right to rebuild from the ground up for a truly enhanced running experience." The Blog went on to say that the runner who has previously purchased the triumph, "Often values cushioning and impact protection above all, so we clearly needed to deliver there. We then looked at the research going on at our Human Performance Lab around fit and feel, and realized we could integrate our unique innovations in that space with the latest POWERGRID cushioning to create our most plush running experience to date".
The first thing you notice when you pick the shoe up is that it looks like a real work-horse, yet it weighs very little, a mere 297 grams. Now when you consider the depth of the PWRGRID+ cushioning at 21mm in the forefoot and 29 in the heel, it is quite surprising. Yet, the other advantage to this increased depth of PWRGRID+ is the extra 20% increase in impact protection. With it will, surely, come a midsole that will last longer so more miles for your pound.
Then you just have to pop the shoe onto your foot. Yes, the upper just ouzed quality and great fit. Everyone's initial reaction was 'Wow', sorry I am relaible told it is 'Whoa'. Gone, completely was the bulky upper feeling and inflexibility of shoes of old. Saucony point out that "By combining a plush inner fit sleeve with a flexible external cage, ISOFIT technology provides a system that dynamically adapts to each individual part of the foot. In other words, it moves with the runner’s foot in motion."
As soon as yopu turn the Triumph over and look at the outsole you will immediately notice the old plastic shank has been removed. Replaced? Well, no, not really. The shoe instead of having a cut-out, now has complete contact with the ground. This is what the business about creating a stable platform for the the foot in the first place is all about. As with the Saucony Ride 7 a smoother transition from heel to forefoot should be anticipated.
So there you have it, the first real look at the Saucony Triumph ISO. It isn't going to be cheap, but we reckon it will give the vast majority of runners more pence per miles in value, great fit and superb cushioning. Just the ticket for those about to embark on their long winter and spring training. Oh yes, availability, we reckon it will be around and on the Accelerate shelves the week commencing the 10th November.
Article written by Stu Hale, one of the Shoe and Running Technique Specialists at the Accelerate Store and Accelerate Performance Centre. You can follow Stu on Twitter @RunStu
Saturday 18th of October 2014