Monday, September 12, 2016

Review Saucony Triumph ISO 3, Comparison to ISO 2: Slightly- Softer, Bouncier, Heavier, More Flexible, More Comfortable

Saucony Triumph ISO 3
The Saucony Triumph ISO 3 is Saucony's premium neutral trainer. This third iteration of the Triumph ISO increases the Everun TPU heel insert size, fine tunes the ISO strap system by removing one strap, and increases flexibility by deepening the forefoot grooves. The result is a slightly softer under foot ride, noticeably more bounce off the heel, more flexibility, a more comfortable upper, and a minor 0.3 oz/8.5 g increase in weight.  Overall the ride and fit is refined and improved in smoothness but is a touch less responsive especially in the mid and forefoot. The Triumph ISO 3 is a great shoe for long easy miles in great comfort. Review of the Triumph ISO 2, my 2015 heavier duty trainer of the year here.

Men's 9: 10.5 oz /298 g; Women's 8: 9.2oz /26g
30mm/22mm, 8 mm drop
Available November 2017

Saucony Triumph ISO-Left ISO 3 Right ISO 2
The upper moves from a conventional fairly stiff mesh upper with multiple solid overlays to an engineered mesh upper with fewer and more skeletal overlays at mid foot. Instead of three ISO bands there are now have two with the front band eliminated. The ISO 3 is slightly more breathable. The result is more room over the metatarsals and a bit less of a secure snug fit. Saucony sent me a half size up but I would have been fine if a bit better off at true to size.
Saucony Triumph ISO-Left ISO 3 Right ISO 2
Wider higher volume feet will be happier with the elimination of the 3d strap and its related overlays and more foot conforming, softer engineered mesh upper. Lower volume feet will have no problem finding a good fit but it will be a bit more relaxed, less snug fit than ISO 2.
Saucony Triumph ISO-Left ISO 3 Right ISO 2
The tongue is thinner, a good thing as the ISO 2 had a bulbous over padded tongue. The achilles collar is more sculpted and thinner. There is now a huge and welcome reflective band at the heel.
Saucony Triumph ISO-Left ISO 2 Right ISO 3

The biggest change other than the upper is unseen. The Everun TPU heel insert is doubled in size from the ISO 2.  The result is a bouncier heel reminiscent for me of the adidas Energy Boost, with its own flavor or TPU midsole but more subtle here as the TPU in the Triumph is well encapsulated and doesn't rely on plastic piece to stabilize it as adidas does. As with ISO 2 there is also Everun top sole between sock liner and midsole.
Saucony Triumph ISO-Left ISO 2 Right ISO 3
There is different sculpting and design of the midsole side walls. The ISO 3 is not as stiff torsionally as ISO 2 was, again a more relaxed smoother transition being the result but maybe not quite as snappy as the ISO 2.
Saucony Triumph ISO-Left ISO 2 Right ISO 3
The Triumph ISO 3 carries forward Saucony's excellent Tri-Flex design now found on pretty much all their shoes. The ISO 3 has wider forefoot landing rubber strips than ISO 2 with deeper flex grooves. 

The rubber up front is now slightly inset into the midsole and angled forward at the leading edge to assist toe off.  As before in ISO 2 there are 2 densities of rubber with harder rubber from heel to midfoot and at the toe with softer rubber under the forefoot.
Saucony Triumph ISO-Left ISO 2 Right ISO 3
The mid to rear of the foot outsole is narrower more carved out than ISO 2, with a deeper central carve out both contributing to a somewhat smoother if softer transition area. There is plenty of rubber for many miles of use. 

Ride and Recommendations
The Triumph ISO 3 is on the soft side but is plenty stable. The larger Everun heel insert provides a welcome, well tamed heel bounce towards transition and one more noticeable than in the ISO 2. At the transition to toe off things are not quite as snappy as ISO 2 for me, but the difference is subtle and only felt running one of each version on different feet. This slight lag in response could be due to the more substantial Everun as it extends into the mid foot and more the flexible deeper grooved forefoot, maybe in combination. The adidas Boost serious run shoes all feature some Torsion plastic in the mid foot to snap things forward and stabilize the foot. This or a shorter Everun insert might help the transition.
The new ISO Fit configuration is a distinct if a bit more relaxed improvement over the already excellent ISO 2. 
The somewhat softer more relaxed ride distances the ISO 3 from the snappier somewhat firmer Ride 9 (review here) and the firm heeled soft forefoot ride of the Zealot ISO 2 (review here) thus providing clearer choices for Saucony fans. We can't wait to see where the all Everun midsole Freedom ISO fits in (preview here).
The Triumph ISO 3 is one comfortable, capable shoe for long miles and recovery runs at slow to moderate pace. The larger Everun heel insert and upper changes are a distinct improvement over ISO 2 but the transition to toe off could use some snap. It is a great shoe for heel strikers (like me), heavier neutral runners, and anyone wanting a very durable, comfortable, well cushioned ride.

Sam's Score 4.7 out of 5
-0.15 for weight, at this point I notice weights above 10 oz and the ISO 3 gains 0.3 oz to 10.5 oz
-0.15 for somewhat sluggish and soft transition and toe off.

The Triumph ISO 3 was provided at no charge to Road Trail Run. The opinions herein are entirely the author's.

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The Saucony Triumph ISO 3 & 2 are available from Running Warehouse US 
Men's here
Women's here


coggiola said...


Please tell me iso 3 is more cushioned in forefoot are or less?

sam winebaum said...

Coggiola, the Triumph ISO 3 is slightly softer feeling and more flexible in the forefoot than ISO 2. Thanks for reading!