Thursday, June 20, 2019

2020 Saucony Road Introductions: Triumph 17, Freedom 3, Kinvara 11, Guide 13

Article by Sam Winebaum

Saucony surprised us with a blizzard of new shoes, changes in midsole foams, and upper design. Bottom line Everun and PWRFOAM midsoles go away starting Spring 2020 in both road and trail and are replaced by two new compounds:

  • PWRRUN+ is a TPU bead based material which is said to be 3x more durable and 3x less temperature sensitive than EVA, 2x as flexible (we saw that), and 25% lighter and absorbing 5% more impact than Saucony previous best foam (assume also TPU based Everun). A more plush springy feeling foam, it will be in shoes such as Triumph 17, Hurricane 22, Freedom 3, and Xodus 6
  • PWRRun is a TPU EVA blend. A responsive yet well cushioned feeling foam it will be in shoes such as the Kinvara 11 and  3 new flavors of the Peregrine 10.
Many shoes have a TPU based topsole board similar to the prior Everun flavors but it is not called out as Everun or nearly as highlighted as before.

ISOFit uppers start to go away replaced by a more conventional approach called FormFit.

Shoes are now named and numbered as to their version in a simpler scheme than before.

The road highlights were significant make overs and weight drops for the Freedom and Triumph. Read on for all the details.
Saucony presents Road 2020 at Outdoor Retailer

Triumph 17 ($150)
Update: Our full multi tester review with 14 comparisons is HERE
With its now PWRRun+ midsole and new non ISO upper the Triumph 17 not only drops more than half an ounce (17g)  to 10.7 oz / 303 g and  becomes a more flexible and agile trainer.  The stack height is 33.5mm heel, 25.5mm forefoot with the same 8mm drop as in the current Triumph ISO 5.
It gets a new outsole design combining Crystal Rubber and more conventional black carbon rubber.
I tried a pair on and they felt very luxurious and fast. I also drops a welcome $10 in price. Available November 2019.

Guide 13 ($120)
The support Guide loses the firm medial post and gets a TPU medial guidance plate as in the Liberty ISO 2. Saucony calls the approach Fluid Stability. 
We were impressed how well integrated visually the plate is, hardly noticing the plate over the new PWRRUN midsole which likely also contributes to the support. 
It gets a Crystal Rubber forefoot outsole.
The Guide checks in at 10.2 oz / 289 g for men's and 9.3 oz / 264 g for women so it stays at about the same weight as the 12. It releases 11/1/19.

Freedom 3 ($150)
The Freedom sees significant changes. Lighter, more flexible, and I expect livelier PWRUN+ is substituted for Everun.  Men's will come in a 8.4 oz / 239 g, women's at 7.8 oz / 222 g so a big and welcome drop of 0.7 oz / 20 g over the Freedom ISO 2.
The upper is completely re worked and now we have a real heel counter. I found the Freedom ISO 2 improved over version 1 but still not a particularly supportive fit. I expect the new FormFit upper which also now includes some stitched in mid foot support to be really fine.
The outsole remains mostly crystal rubber with lots of ground contact but now has more prominent decoupling grooves which should help the 4mm Freedom transition better with good road feel.  Freedom 3 releases 2/1/20

Kinvara 11 ($110)
Update: Full mulit tester review here

The K shoe gets a  PWRRUN midsole, a responsive and we expect stable feeling ride as in the prior versions. With so much exposed midsole we will be watching durability compared to the prior EVA+ midsole.
 I think the K shoe will remain a versatile well cushioned light faster trainer racer. The flex felt longer and easier than the prior version. 
Weight remains unchanged at 7.8 oz / 221 g men's, women's 6.9 oz / 196 g. Available 2/1/20 

Our Saucony trail shoe previews will follow soon!
Comments and Questions Welcome Below!


Mark said...

I have three words to say, “Thank you Saucony!”. I’ve been a Saucony fan for years but was ready to leave them due to the ISO fit and the full everun midsole on the Triumph...I absolutely have hated it. It feels like a thick, heavy slab of rubber to me. So glad to hear this good news. Hopefully the new midsole on the Triumph will be much better. Thanks so much for letting us know about this. I really appreciate the free reviews!

Anonymous said...

"The Freedom sees significant changes. Everun is substituted for the lighter, more flexible, and I expect livelier PWRRUN+ foam."

This is backwards, no? PWRRUN+ is substituted for (takes the place of) Everun.
(OR Everun is REPLACED by PWRRUN+)

Anonymous said...

Agreed. The first version Triumph ISO was an amazing shoe that became progressively worse with each iteration. Hopefully this new version feels more like the high cushioned trainer that Saucony markets the shoe as.

Mark said...

Yep. The first iso Triumph had a fantastic ride. Been screwed up ever since.

Sam Winebaum said...

Hi Anonymous,
Yes thanks for the catch on the substitution. Should try to write a 4 AM!
Sam, Editor

Anonymous said...

Agree as well. The first Triumph ISO was magical. I've hated the versions ever since. I fell in love with the Zealot ISO 3, but of course they cancelled that shoe.

Mark said...

Yep. I also like the Zealot 3, but no Zealot 4. It was replaced with the Freedom. Some people really like the Freedom, but for me it is not near as good as the Zealot. I’m hopeful Saucony is getting things turned around, as their strategy the past few years seems to be if we produce a shoe everyone really likes let’s change it, or discontinue it.

Dave W said...

I'm very happy to see the IsoFit going away. I have not been a fan of that lacing system. Looks like they're simplifying, and in the best way possible.

Anonymous said...

I’ve ran in Saucony shoes for years and loved them, but the past few years they have not been to my liking at all. It seems like most of their updates have made their shoes less enjoyable to run in. Some have gotten so much firmer than the previous versions, and the ISO fit system was so hit and miss that it could be irritating at times. I was ready to totally give up on Saucony, but after reading this article I’ll give them another shot. These updates can’t come soon enough for me. Just hope they are really for the better. P.S. Just makes me wonder if there were some changes made at the top in Saucony and that’s why we’re going to see these changes.

Anonymous said...

When I saw Saucony change some of their shoes from their normal numbers to ISO 1,2, etc. I thought, “This is a train wreck waiting to happen.” Apparently it did and we’re getting back to normal now.

Lee said...

I’m interested to see how the outsole on the new Kinvara works out. It seems kind of odd to go with exposed EVA when you have a different midsole compound but they probably know that if they stuff up the Kinvara they will lose a lot of fans

Clem said...

Unlike others, I loved the ISO upper on the Guide. No other shoe made me feel like the upper was at one with my foot, and stayed perfectly in sync with it. I never tried the ISO long-term on any other Sauconys but I could notice the difference between that and my Kinvara 9s (which I love as a fast trainer or for short races, but start to get annoyed by foot slippage once the miles start to get up there). My ideal shoe would be the Guide ISO upper and the Vaporfly mid- and outsole!

Unknown said...

I actually enjoyed the isofit upper and the Everun foam. So much that I bought two pair of freedom iso, one pair freedom iso 2, one pair of triumph iso 4 (first pair of triumph) and a pair of exodus iso trail shoes. All these shoes got good reviews and I really enjoy them. I've put almost 1200 miles between them so far. Time to stock up I guess.

TerryReilly said...

I try and counsel my customers to try and avoid getting too grooved into any one style because when the shoe is changed or discontinued many runners have an extremely difficult time adjusting to change. I think this is most easily avoided by rotating a couple of agreeable different shoes out on a regular basis. Saucony has been a very successful running footwear company for decades. Generally speaking, they have a good handle on what they are doing. If a mistake slips by they adjust quickly. Who remembers that Grid midsole era?

Unknown said...

Do you know the stack heights of the Freedom 3?

Sam Winebaum said...

HI Anonymous,
Freedom 3 stack height is 27.5 mm heel / 23.5 mm forefoot.
Sam, Editor