Saucony Triumph Iso 4

6.3
6.3 score
[Editors rating (6.3)] = (TheGearHunt) score (6.3)/10


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Saucony Triumph Iso 4 Review Facts

Saucony is a company started in Pennsylvania. It has always been a shoe company and its box once had the phrase “sock a knee” to aid in the pronunciation of the company’s name. They started in 1910 as Hyde Athletics and changed their name to Saucony the 80’s. The footwear company quickly expanded and added a variety of running and trail gear to their collection of sports gear. Since they’ve created a household name for themselves in reliable running shoes. Their shoes are typically a little bulkier in design, not really following suit with the small, light and sleek design of competing brands. They have a 30-day return policy on all unworn merchandise and based on the website it looks like the warranty is the responsibility of the third-party seller.

This article is a single product review on the Saucony Triumph Iso 4. Previous models of this shoe have won awards in various magazines including Runner’s World. They were credited as having the plushest and most cushioned run experience. The newest model seems to be a bit heavier than previous models which are usually the reverse of what happens with other shoes- they should be getting lighter with all the technology we have today and the importance of having a lighter shoe. An improvement made to the 4 that isn’t seen in previous models is that the shoe itself is a little snugger and therefore has a tighter fit to the foot. This helps with the overall performance and control of the foot when in motion. Below we have created a comprehensive review of this shoe based on the quality of materials used, the shoe construction, as well as real reviews from consumers who have purchased the shoe and expressed their likes and dislikes of it. Here is our review of the Saucony Triumph Iso 4.

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Fits the foot well 
  • Extra cushioning provides great energy
  • Well ventilated
Cons
  • Pressure points make hot spots unbearable
  • Narrow and requires sizing up
  • Not very stylish

BREATHABILITY

The upper on this shoe is partially made of an engineered mesh which not only makes the top of the shoe more flexible but offers better airflow throughout the shoe. The benefit to having a mesh upper as opposed to just a leather one is that as the foot steps down air will be able to better enter the shoe and therefore both cooldown and dry the foot with each step. Heat itself can be uncomfortable and moisture build-up will not only encourage blisters and calluses but also cause slipping and faster deterioration of the shoe. This is why breathability is so important. Those who wore this product did not have any complaints about the breathability of the shoe. They said that their feet stayed cool and dry throughout the run. The issues that were very much present were in other areas of the shoe and that is discussed more below.

COMFORT

This product has, what the website describes as 'the ultimate cushioned neutral running shoe experience'. The biggest difference between this version (this is the fourth model of this shoe) and the earlier versions is that this product has additional cushioning which is supposed to provide more 'energy' while running. Though those who wore this shoe and left reviews on it did agree that the 'energy' was definitely present during their run, those who wore this shoe just couldn't make this shoe work for them. Hot spots were a common complaint with pretty much all those who reviewed it. It seems that not only could reviewers/consumers not able to find a size that worked for them as the newest versions sizes run small, but they also found that there were 'hot spots' (which are like pressure points or areas of higher wear on the foot) that formed over longer runs and made the shoes almost unwearable. The cushioning is good however the weird pressure points made these shoes very hard to wear. The shoes became even more uncomfortable with personal orthotics added in as those who added them in after the fact found the shoe slipping off. This wasn't an issue they found in earlier versions though.

WATERPROOFING

There is nothing listed on the website that mentions any attempt to waterproof these shoes (in fact the website states that they are both NOT waterproof or water resistant). This is fairly standard in running shoes though. They do have proper mesh ventilation however which would encourage positive airflow through the shoes and dry the feet better if they do get wet. They are not trail shoes though and aren't meant to wear 'off-road'. They are meant for city streets and training. The tread alone isn't meant for superior grip on rocks and wet/dry environments. If considering these shoes for climbing or trails it is probably wise to look into more of a hiking boot that is meant for that environment. For those who are just concerned about the possibility of moisture build-up due to water on city streets, these runners should be fine. They should dry relatively easily due to their ventilation system.

INSOLE

The insole of this product is extra cushioned for the purpose of essentially adding more assisted spring to your step. They have something added to them called 'ISOFIT' design which is supposed to fit the foot better. It is supposed to shape the foot correctly in order to add more precision to every step. Precision is important because it will allow the runner to not only focus on other aspects of their run but also decrease foot and leg fatigue, increasing the length of the run as well as potentially cut down time on their run. There were several reviews about the shoe's insole. The biggest issue is that though the shoe itself fits fine (as long as no additional insole is added in like a custom made one or an orthotic) hot spots continued to form on different points of the foot. Though those who ran shorter distances didn't have issues, longer runs (like marathons) made the hot spots worse and inevitably made the shoe useless (due to the amount of pain the runner felt after an extended period of time). These shoes, though comfortable and "energetic", eventually become very hard to wear due to the pressure points on the foot.

UPPER

The upper on this product has mesh which helps shape the foot better and also allows for proper ventilation. It also offers the ISOFIT design mentioned earlier which helps shape the foot better and aids with the lace-up system to better tighten the shoe around the foot. Those who wore this shoe confirmed that the shoe fits okay without any additional support (again, the custom insole or orthotic). The upper seems to also be part of the issue with the formation of the hot spots on runners feet. Though the fit in there, the pressure on certain points of the feet become unbearable on longer runs. This is not something that those who wore earlier versions found and even after being broken in the shoe still caused this pain. They may be more suitable for lighter and shorter runs or for training. They seem to be very unpopular for activities like marathons.

MIDSOLE

The midsole of this product is made with Saucony's "EVERUN" technology. 'EVERUN' is supposed to provide better cushioning and aid in adding energy as mentioned above. The spring is supposed to be increased due to this technology which would allow for longer runs and less leg fatigue. The midsole provides good support to the runner's heel and arch. Those who wore this shoe confirmed that the support and comfort are there. They liked the shoe initially when they put them on. The shoe does fit the foot a bit better than earlier models despite the sizing now being off with the 4th version of the shoe. The shoe fits much closer to the foot and the arch support is good. They didn't need to be broken in and the spring helped the runner go longer. It's unfortunate that the hot spots caused the runners pain because the cushioning is a huge plus and adds an advantage above other comparable models.

TRACTION

The traction on this shoe really isn't advertised too much on their or other websites. The shoe is meant for more city streets and less for rough terrain. They are definitely not trail or hiking shoes. The shoes do have a wider outsole and the website says the increased surface area helps better grip the pavement, however, no reviewers actually mentioned the better traction. Though they don't have poor traction, it seems that they have average traction and there weren't any complaints about the lack or great grip. It seems to be a neutral subject. Traction is more important when having to climb over rocks however a lack of traction would slow down a runner which would affect marathon times. Traction helps grip the sidewalk or pavement and propels a runner forward. It is important to have a runner with good traction especially if trailing for something competitive or as mentioned, doing more rigorous activities in rougher terrains. These shoes, due to their medium traction and lack of waterproofing, would not be ideal of trail runs or anything backcountry and should be designated for city streets.

STYLE

The shoe itself isn't anything special. It looks like a standard running shoe. Despite the fact that those who wore this product found the shoe fits a little tight or narrow, the shoe itself is actually a little bulky looking. It comes in numerous colors but most of them aren't very modern and more so almost utility looking or classic looking in contrast to others comparable in this category. The price is usually an indicator of the stylishness of the shoe, however, this shoe is actually on the higher end in price and yet it doesn't look it. Though the shoe is not unattractive, it isn't stylish. It definitely looks like a training shoe and would probably look a little odd if worn around town. It isn't as versatile as comparable brands. Those who reviewed this shoe confirmed that they wish the shoe came in better colors and patterns. Overall, the shoe isn't fashionable but also not ugly. They just look like a standard running shoe.

PRICE

This product is a little more expensive. If we disregard the runner's complaints about hot spots the shoe itself isn't a bad one. It is comfortable, the enhanced cushioning was successful in that runners did find that the shoe propelled them further and provided more energy to the run. The shoe has proper support around the heel, arch, and ball of the foot. The shoe is comfortable initially and shapes the foot well. The disadvantages of the shoe is both that it isn't a very stylish product overall and that the shoe causes those hot spots due to the pressure points that make the shoe almost unwearable. The shoe also doesn't fit like the earlier models so those who went to buy the shoe in the same size as their earlier models didn't find that the shoe fits well. They had to size up. In fact, one reviewer said they wore one size, sized up and the size up was too big. Those with wider feet will probably find even more issues with both the sizing and the pressure points. It seems like the shoe is overpriced if being bought for anything long term. It is fine for casual runners that typically go on lighter runs and do not plan on wearing these for anything other than that.

THE BOTTOM LINE

The bottom line is we aren't sure if we like this shoe. It seems to have a fair amount of common complaints which are the hot spots forming. You as the buyer want to know that the shoe can be used for whatever run you decide to take. If your training is enhancing and the runs can go further, you want to know you can also go further. The shoe should not dictate that. The shoe isn't overly attractive, it doesn't fit right and the hot spots make longer runs impossible. Though the cushioning is better than earlier models it seems like the majority of the return buyers were not happy with this shoe. As mentioned earlier, this shoe would be fine for beginners or those who do not plan on doing anything but running shorter distances in city streets only with this shoe. Otherwise, proceed with caution. Additionally, with the 30-day unworn return policy, it would be very hard to even get an idea if the shoes worked for you.