Saucony Zealot Iso 2

9.7
9.7 score
[Editors rating (9.7)] = (TheGearHunt) score (9.7)/10


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Editor rating: 9.7 / 10
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Saucony Zealot Iso 2 Review Facts

Saucony company was named after the the banks of Saucony Creek in Pennsylvania. The companies first warehouse was built all the way back in 1898, making the company over 120 years old. Hyde Athletic Co. eventually bought Saucony in 1910 and the company moved to Cambridge in the late 1960’s. The company, pronounced sock-a-knee (a phrase at one point printed on the companies shoe boxes), became popular with their line of racing shoes, specifically, track spikes and cross country racers. Saucony now creates runners for three purposes: walking, running and racing. They are a reputable company that is known for making well-crafted and reliable shoes made of quality materials.

This article focusses specifically on the Saucony Zealot Iso 2. The Zealot is a runner intended for training and long-distance runs. It comes in several bright and flashy colours in the ladies line like coral and teal. While the mens line offers a more toned down color line. It is the second in their line of Zealot shoes which makes them a newer design (some Saucony shoe lines are in the double digits currently, making this a newer design). It is neutral in shoe category, pronation and construction type. It also has a high to neutral arch height. We looked through consumer reviews to find out what those who wore the shoe with different feet types and shapes had to say about this product. We looked at what worked and didn’t work in regards to shape, construction, design and materials used. Finally, we created a score based on all the information we collected- both good and bad. Here is our comprehensive review on the Saucony Zealot Iso 2. We hope this helps you in your next running shoe purchase.

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Come in bright, fun colors
  • Attractive design
  • Easy to clean 
  • Supportive 
  • Great impact reduction
Cons
  • Not true to size (run narrow) 
  • Colors in images don't quite match in person color

BREATHABILITY

When opened up, this runner is almost entirely mesh. The overlays of the shoe lay over the mesh in order to provide more support and help with the lacing system. The mesh also runs through to the back and heel of the shoe which would provide better ventilation throughout the shoe when stepping down. Reviewers said that they had no issues running long distances in these runners because their feet stayed cool and dry. Keeping feet cool and dry is important because heat would encourage moisture build up and could cause discomfort due to overheating, blisters and slipping. Slipping could also decrease run times, comfort levels and could also be potentially dangerous. Luckily this shoe does the job and keeps the feet at an optimal temperature for the entire run.

COMFORT

This product has a 4 mm heel-to-toe offset which is supposed to give the shoe a more natural, sock-like fit. They also have seamless uppers that hug tight to the shoe in order to offer better precision with each step. It also says, on the Saucony website, that the model 2 offers 20% more cushioning than the previous model. Reviewers that wore this shoe confirmed that the shoe is quite lightweight and cushioned. Numerous reviewers are marathon runners and the consensus on this shoe is that it is ideal for long distance running due to its enhanced cushioning. One complaint, a very common one, is that this shoe fits quite narrow and needs to be sized up. This can easily be amended and didn't affect our overall rating of the shoe.

WATERPROOFING

This product is not waterproof or water-resistant. With shoes that have a higher surface area on the upper of mesh tend to let more water in if there is no additional layer of waterproofing in the shoe. This model is listed as having 'fewer' layers even which would mean that water gets into the shoe even easier. The benefit to the mesh, though, is that there would be better ventilation within the shoe and therefore with each step, the foot or sock would dry quite a bit faster. Because racing and training shoes aren't typically waterproof, this did not affect our rating but rather would have only added to the rating if offered. These runners should be reserved for urban roads and not trails or hikes.

DURABILITY

This product has a 'flexfirm' material that is melded to the mesh of the shoe in order to offer a more natural feel with fewer layers. The shoe also has a rubber sole that is glued to the upper of the shoe. Those who wore this shoe found the shoe extremely durable even long after the shoe should be replaced (a running shoe should be replaced after 500 miles). The cushioning goes before the actual shoe which is how a runner should break down. This runner is both durable and lightweight. It has strong overlays that support the foot, giving it a tight support and a more natural feel. This added to our overall rating of the shoe.

UPPER

The upper of this product has a lower layer of mesh with Saucony's 'flexfirm' layer melded to it which allows for both thinner layers as well as a better fit to the top of the foot. Its lacing system is blends to the overlay's of the shoe quite seamlessly which would both offer a closer and more customized fit, but also looks really sleek. The upper is also all reflective which seems to be highlight of this shoe. This would mean that they can be worn at night in order to provide a level of protection with passing vehicles. Reviewers said that they found the overlays on the uppers to provide every good support to the sides of their feet. They also confirmed that the shoe does fit very tight to the foot. This, however, did cause some issues as the shoes are so narrow they needed to be sized up.

INSOLE

The insole of this product is listed as being energy creating. It is 20% more cushioned than the previous model. The cushion of the shoe is listed as being plush and is supposed to form-fit to the foot. Those who wore this shoe raved about the comfort of the cushioning. The arch support is high to medium and as mentioned above, the shoe does seem to be a bit more narrow. Those with wider feet and lower arches may have issues with this shoe. On reviewer did say that their feet went numb halfway through their run which would indicate too tight of shoes. Outside of the narrow issue, this product offers good support and cushioning for the heel, arch and ball of the foot without blisters or arch aches which is positive.

MIDSOLE

The midsole on this shoe, like the insole, offers high levels of cushioning and support to the shoe. The shoe has a 4 mm offset which would give the runner a more natural feel to each step. This product is supposed to provide better support and flexibility so that the legs and feet are exclusively doing the work rather than the body attempting to readjust and find stability in each step. Those who wore this shoe did rave about the cushioning in the shoe. Considering the website says that the cushion level is plush, as mentioned above, the shoe seems to live up to its label. Overall, this shoe has proper cushion and support to all aspects of the foot. The midsole also offers better impact reduction in order to take any impact out of the back, bones and joints.

OUTSOLE

The outsole of this product is made of a light and durable rubber. It uses Saucony's 'tri-flex' technology which is supposed to encourage more dispersion of energy throughout the base of the shoe. This is described more below. This products outsole is listed as being extremely flexible for better toe-off when racing. Those who wore this shoe said that the outsole is quite flexible and durable, and that there was no loosening of glue between the upper and outsole (which can be a problem with runners). Using a lighter rubber on the outsole is important because though it can break down easier, it delays foot and leg fatigue and allows the runner go further faster. This is crucial in marathons and marathon training.

TREAD

The tread on this shoe uses the 'tri-flex' technology listed above. This technology is supposed to increase the force dispersion over a larger area while simultaneously offering better flexibility and traction (according to their website). Reviewers said that they wore these shoes in all sorts of conditions including mud and water and had little issue with the traction of these shoes. The force distribution helped runner grip better and require less energy in moving forward. They also found that over time the traction did not wear down. They stay 'sticky' and secure over 500 miles. This is a huge plus and will, again, help with time, distance and overall performance.

STYLE

Based on the other Saucony reviews we've done this shoe is considerably more attractive than others they have released. Unlike popular brands like Nike and Adidas, this brand focuses much more energy into the quality of the shoe than their appearance. Luckily this shoe actually quite nice. It is more narrow in design (hence all the complaints of requiring a size up) and looks more sleek than comparable Saucony shoes. They come in really bright and unique colors, however, a common complaint with this line is that the shoe doesn't quite look like the pictures (specifically the coral color which apparently looks quite orange in person). The lacing system is the highlight for the appearance of this shoe as the overlays transition into the lacing system really nicely and the laces are flat to the foot. The shoe probably still wouldn't be used as a fashion accessory as well but they are definitely getting there with this more narrow and sleek design.

PRICE

These runners are quite inexpensive in price which is surprising considering how high quality they are. They are designed well in both construction and aesthetic. They are extremely durable and lightweight. It is also quite cushioned and can be worn anywhere from a workout shoe to a racing shoe. They are ideal for anyone on a budget or those who put the miles on their shoes and need to replace them often. The biggest complaints about the shoe is how narrow they are and that the colors are a little off between the pictures and in person. Otherwise, this shoe is definitely worth the price.

THE BOTTOM LINE

Overall, this product is an extremely highly rated one. Though they aren't as fashionable as more mod/minimalist shoes, They are still quite sleek in appearance and come in quite a few bright and unique colors. They have a flawless lacing system that easily transitions from the overlays. They are very cushioned, offering more support than the previous model. They have a small but high up toe bumper to protect the shoe and the runners toes from damage. They have a well-fitted insole which supports the heel, arch and ball of the foot. And the traction of the shoe seems to be quite good, being able to travel in several different environmental conditions which is a plus. The outsole helps decrease impact on the joints, knees and bones which is ideal for aging individuals. The biggest issue those who wore this shoe found is that the shoe is quite narrow and they may not be ideal for those with wider feet. Although, before completely skipping over this shoe as a result of wide feet consider trying on a size up first. Overall, this is a high quality shoe that is ideal for beginners to pros and at minimal cost. This is ideal for those on a budget and those looking for a shoe that is going to last a while.