This fall we’ve been running in the updated Saucony Freedom ISO, arguably the most technologically advanced shoe that Saucony has released and one that has many appealing features to triathletes of all levels.
The stand-out feature is the shoe’s EVERUN midsole. This new technology for the brand provides a good level of cushioning and high level of responsiveness in the shoe that you’ll feel in every step. Combined with the TRI-FLEX outsole (made of crystal rubber), this technology effectively disperses impact over a greater surface area and provides a soft landing on any terrain. EVERUN cushioning made its debut in in spring of 2016 in updated versions of the popular Triumph ISO and Guide models — feedback was overwhelmingly positive for the brand.
We tested this shoe in a variety of conditions including on the pavement and trails for long runs, and on the treadmill or track for speed work. Our tester found that as a heavier runner, the shoe didn’t provide enough support for runs beyond 90 minutes — however for speed work or easy recovery runs, it was perfect. While it has minimal structuring, it’s super comfortable, light and has maintained its spring extremely well in the nearly 300 km we’ve put into it so far. The outsole has enough grip on it to suffice on groomed trail.
The incredible comfort of the shoe is in part thanks to its upper. Lightweight and made from a super-soft mesh material, it comfortably wraps around the foot to adapt to its individual shape and motions. Rather than giving runners a stiff and potentially blister-forming heel counter, the Freedom uses a minimal-support frame which further reduces the overall weight of the shoe.
We found that the shoe fit slightly smaller than other Saucony models we’ve tested (for example, our tester runs in a size 8 men’s Kinvara but was more comfortable in a 9 men’s Freedom ISO.
While aesthetics should never be the make-or-break factor in a running shoe, we must admit that we love the look of the Freedom ISO, especially in the new grey colour scheme we tested (pictured). It’s striking and subtle at the same time and can easily make the transition from running shoe to casual trainer. The shoe is offered in a range of colours equally as appealing.
This shoe is great for the triathlete looking for a versatile, lightweight and comfortable running shoe that can be used for a range of workouts and serve as a great race-day shoe for anything up to the half-marathon. Make no mistake, this is a game-changer for Saucony and for running shoe development in general. At $200, the shoe isn’t cheap, but given the abundance of features both in technology and function, we’d say it’s well worth the investment.
Heel-toe drop: 4mm (19mm heel/15mm forefoot)
Weight: 9.0 oz (men’s size 9); 8.1oz (women’s size 9)
Similar models: Skechers GoMeb Razor, New Balance Zante
You can find the shoe at saucony.com or your local running shoe retailer.