Sunday, April 21, 2024

Saucony Triumph 22 Multi Tester Review: Supercritical Foam Cruiser! 9 Comparisons

Article by Sam Winebaum and Jeff Beck

Saucony Triumph 22 ($160)


The Triumph is Saucony’s high cushion, higher drop and plush neutral daily trainer. For its 22nd edition it sees big changes: 

  • New PWRRUN Pb PEBA blend supercritical midsole foam replaces TPU based PWRRUN+

  • Same 37 mm heel / 27 mm forefoot stack height on a wider at the ground platform

  • New more plush and comfort focused upper

So, a lot of changes to a popular shoe. On the surface all are well considered and seek to modernize the shoe without completely changing its character with, clearly, the change to a supercritical foam a bold and timely move.  

Let’s find out how they performed Jeff tested them and as I took them for a solid 8 mile progression run down to below 8 minute miles as well as an A/B run with a Triumph 20 on my other foot. I did not personally run the 21 which was an upper change but had the same underfoot platform. (RTR Review)


  • Very deep vibration absorbing cushioning with quick training focused energy return: Sam/Jeff

  • Less squish, more response while also clearly a more forgiving, smoother and more energetic ride than prior Triumph, which were plenty forgiving: Sam/Jeff

  • Wider more stable platform (+10mm heel and midfoot, +5mm forefoot) relies less on the upper for support: Sam/Jeff

  • Well matched outsole to midsole combination delivers a smooth consistent feel and ride: Sam
  • A high comfort upper that actually also holds the foot well: Sam/Jeff
  • Wider platform also means wider footbed and toebox: Jeff


  • Weight gain of 25g given wider platform and despite PEBA foam: Sam/Jeff

  • Now on a wider midfoot platform and a bit slower to transition: Sam

Most comparable shoes 

Nike Vomero 17

ASICS GEL-Nimbus 25/26

New Balance 1080 v13

Brooks Glycerin 21

Puma Magnify Nitro 2

Topo Atmos


Approx Weight: men's 10.75 oz  / 304g (US9) 

Triumph 21 Weight: men's 9.8oz  / 279g (US9)

Samples: men’s  10.5 oz / 296g US8.5 ,  oz / g US

Stack Height: men’s 37 mm heel / 27 mm forefoot ( 10mm drop spec) 

Measured Platform Widths: 

Triumph 22: 95 mm heel / 75 mm midfoot / 115 mm forefoot

Triumph 21: 85mm heel / 65 mm midfoot / 110mm forefoot

$160 Available now including Fleet Feet HERE

First Impressions, Fit and Upper

Sam: The new upper is a dense engineered mesh of moderate thickness and good pliability. It clearly has more volume front to back than the Triumph 20 and during my A/B test run proved notably more comfortable in all areas.

Most notable in terms of fit and comfort is the new rear achilles and ankle collars. They are very deeply cushioned and plush unlike the more rigid feeling 20’s collars. 

The far rear achilles area hold is particularly well executed with a broader opening and far more gentle hold with the padding taking care of different heel widths as needed. The execution of this area is such that it may be a great shoe for those with achilles pressure issues. While not quite the performance snug hold (and this applies to the entire upper) of prior Triumph, the hold is just fine and far more comfortable out back and a mid foot.

The midfoot is generous in fit, the straps of the 20 are eliminated as now we have a 10mm wider midfoot platform with more rubber coverage. 

The quite thick tongue has an extensive thick but stretchy gusset to hold the foot and there is some knit in gray additional depth to the upper to provide a bit more support.  

I do wonder, and this is related to ride and transitions, if Saucony might have not made the platform as wide and increased the medial support of the upper a touch more to make transitions off the midfoot a touch easier by concentrating more of the support in the upper.

The toe box is broad, unstructured and well held. Super comfortable and effective. The denser mesh clearly plays a role. Wides will be available although those who found the 20 on the edge of too narrow will likely be more than fine with this new fit.

The Triumph 22 is clearly true to size and fits my narrower to medium feet well. 

More “tubular” in shape it has a very consistent uniform fit from back to front. More “comfort” focused than before, it threads the needle between plush comfort and actual hold extremely well. 

Jeff: "Time is a flat circle." It rang true a decade ago in the show True Detective, and it's true with the latest Saucony Triumph. That's not to say that this is the same shoe from last year, only that we've come back to the progression where the Triumph is again one of the biggest shoes on the market. And that's not just in stack height, the width of this shoe is striking. 

Where this shoe treads new ground is that it's absolutely massive, but doesn't feel remotely lumbering. Even without the PWRRUN PB branding on the side of the midsole, it'd be very easy to figure out that this midsole material is much more performance focused than the PWRRUN+ that's been in the Triumph in some fashion since the 17.

We've seen other shoes that have a massive platform, but due to the shape of the footbed it ultimately ends up being narrow around the foot - rest assured that's not the case here. The width is more than ample, and the fact it'll also be released in Wide means that pretty much any Hobbit will be able to wear them. 

It's nice to hear that they aren't too wide for Sam, since the more people that get to wear these, I think the better. The toebox won't give anyone from Altra or Topo anxiety, butWe've seen other shoes that have a massive platform, but due to the shape of the footbed it ultimately ends up being narrow around the foot - rest assured that's not the case here. The width is more than ample, and the fact it'll also be released in Wide means that pretty much any Hobbit will be able to wear them. It's nice to hear that they aren't too wide for Sam, since the more people that get to wear these, I think the better. The toebox won't give anyone from Altra or Topo anxiety, but there is ample width. 

As for the upper, last year's upper update from the 20 to the 21 was nicely executed, and was one of the only uses of an integrated strap that held the foot that really felt like it did what was advertised. If you pulled on the laces, you could feel the upper envelope the foot even tighter. That's not to say the 22 upper is a step back, it just feels a little more plush. The gusseted tongue isn't going anywhere, and the heel collar is pure comfort. There's even a pull tab, though it has a slightly odd shape, but that's par for the course. 

The entire upper is right around what I'd term "plush" and while that's a good thing, it also means it's not really a performance fit that locks the foot down. For easy days runs that's not much of a concern, but when you are pushing pace, that extra lockdown is nice. It's not to say you can't get there, but it takes some fussing with laces to get it to hold onto your foot like the Endorphin Pro/Speed do without any effort.

Platform  & Midsole

The stack height remains as before at 37mm heel / 27mm forefoot but we now sit on a wider platform of 95 mm heel / 75 mm midfoot / 115 mm forefoot which is 10mm wider at the heel and midfoot and 5 mm wider at the forefoot than before. I think Saucony could have considered less of an increase here or less rubber to reduce the weight gain of 25g in my US 8.5 and improve midfoot transitions a bit.

The key change underfoot is of course the new PWRRUN Pb expanded PEBA blend pellets, the same foam in a more “durable” slightly denser formulation than found in the popular Endorphin Speed and Pro. 

This lively foam has a quick energy return and in this more "durable" formulation (in combination with the extensive outsole) has a more consistent deeper cushion feel with excellent vibration reduction than the prior PWRRUN+ foam found in the Triumph. This was super clear during my A/B test run where the 20 felt comparatively thin at the forefoot, not as pulled together somewhat mushier and clearly less quick in energy return. In part this could also be due to the somewhat stiffer profile of the 22 and its new rocker profile. 

Bottom line: a great foam and platform for moderate pace training and big mileage. Lively, easy on the legs, and lighter than the shoe weight would suggest.

Jeff: I've enjoyed PWRRUN+ for more than 5 years in the Triumph, and PWRRUN Pb has been exceptional in the Endorphin Pro/Speed, but this might be my favorite execution of the peba-based midsole from Saucony. Sam is spot on, the previous Triumph do feel very thin under the forefoot in comparison, and while the shoe is still a solid daily trainer, it no longer comes with the caveat "not what I'd choose for any uptempo runs." The responsiveness of the midsole gives it far more performance than the previous iterations, even though the oversized platform resulted in such a weight gain. 

Wearing against the 21, it doesn't feel any heavier on foot once the run gets going, and the extra bounce/spring of the PWRRUN Pb has to be to blame.


Sam: Plenty of rubber coverage with enough profile for good grip on wet and dry surfaces as well the infamous sand over pavement along the coast.

The rubber appears to be all of the same firmer long wear type with no “blown” rubber. It looks like it is slightly thinner than the 20’s rubber but with more coverage especially at the now wider medial midfoot making the shoe somewhat stiffer than before with the new rocker welcome and quite effective.

I do think either less midfoot rubber coverage at the midfoot or a slightly narrower platform and the same rubber would make the 22 more agile in slower pace transitions although at paces around 8 minute miles things were smoother. 

Jeff: Tons of durable rubber, and as a supinator who wears out shoes on the outer edge, I appreciate the solid line of rubber the whole way. Sam's not wrong though, a little less rubber would likely make the shoe more agile, but it's hard to play Monday-morning-quarterback accurately, because that extra rubber also gives the shoe some of it's stability. All in all, no real complaints about the outsole, and I even got one run in right after a pretty epic rain/hail/snow/rain storm that lasted two days, and they were perfectly fine in the wet.

Ride, Conclusions and Recommendations

Sam: For moderate pace training, recovery runs and long runs the Triumph 22 has long been a favorite as a softer forgiving yet move along plush neutral trainer. Here it for sure ups its game with a state of the art supercritical PEBA foam and comfortable modern upper.  

The new foam is more energetic and consistent than the prior, and more forgiving in cushion. The new upper threads the needle between plush soft comfort and actual secure hold well, not always the case with such shoes where step in comfort is great but performance so so. 

During my progression run, I was surprised how quick and easy my run went as the pace picked up to sub 9 minute miles at the end when I could really activate the foam’s magic and rocker with my earlier slower miles pleasant and decently smooth for such a big shoe. As such, it makes for an excellent choice for moderate pace daily training, long and recovery runs.

I do think the weight gain coming from what appears to be the wider platform could have been toned down with a slightly narrower platform (but still wider than before). Such a change in addition to the grams saved might have also improved the agility of the shoe making it a yet better all around daily trainer.

If you seek lots of cushion and the benefits of the energy return from a modern supercritical foam and all around plush run comfort top to sole, or were a fan of prior Triumph, the 22 is an excellent update choice if you seek a plush fit and ride that doesn’t get bogged down and where comfort doesn’t get in the way of performance.

Sam’s Score: 9.3/10

-0.4 for weight and weight gain, and related -0.3 for now broader and not as agile platform as I would prefer for all around daily training.

😊😊😊 1/2

Jeff: The midsole material change is a great one, giving a comfortable shoe even better comfort - and a performance boost as well. The ultra wide platform does add weight and reduces agility, but also lends an overall comfort/cushion as well as stability - at the end of the day this is still a Triumph. Current Triumph fans will likely enjoy the 22nd version, and folks who have written it off as purely a slow day shoe should give it another look. Don't let the number on the scale fool you, it's a ton of shoe and performance for the weight.
Jeff's Score: 9.68/10
Ride (50%): 10 Fit (30%): 9 Value (15%): 10 Style (5%): 9.5

9 Comparisons

Index to all RTR reviews: HERE Roadtrailrun 

Saucony Triumph 20/21 (RTR Review)

More energetically riding with more consistent and forgiving cushion as well as more comfortable fitting, the 22 is a clearly more modern and is a worthy upgrade

Saucony Ride 17  (RTR Review)

The Ride 17 retains the soft PWRRUN+ TPU midsole the Triumph used to have. It is lighter by 23g, slightly lower stack and sits on a 5mm narrower heel and midfoot platform. It is a more agile daily trainer which leans faster paces than the Triumph. Its upper, while comfortable is not quite as plush and all of a piece as the Triumph’s is. While I prefer the new PWRRUN Pb midsole of the Triumph, the Ride is a slightly more versatile daily trainer due to its lower weight and more nimble platform. 

New Balance 1080 v13 (RTR Review)

Overly soft all around with an overly stretchy knit upper, the latest 1080 takes “comfort” too far, affecting performance whereas the Triumph balances comfort and performance far better. Clear preference in the comfort trainer class for the Triumph.


Nike Vomero 17 (RTR Review)

The Vomero has a more performance oriented upper, a combination of supercritical ZoomX foam and a lower EVA midsole construction and a more profiled outsole. 21g lighter with a similar stack height and drop the Vomero is not as plush or as consistently smooth in feel top to bottom but is more stable and responsive.

Brooks Glycerin 21 (RTR Review)

As with the 1080, my regular stretch knit upper version focuses more on comfort than performance. The lighter Stealthfit upper might change my opinion somewhat. The supercritical DNA Loft v3 foam in the Brooks is softer and not as quickly reacting as the PWRRUN Pb. As with the 1080, the Triumph threads the needle between performance and comfort better.

Puma Magnify Nitro 2 (RTR Review)

In the supercritical foam big stack higher drop category, the lighter Puma is 3mm higher stack yet weighs 19g less. Its upper is not quite as plush or as broad fitting but is more secure. The Nitro foam midsole of the Magnify is similar in ride characteristics if a bit mushier and less responsive, with its outsole considerably more profiled and even light trails worthy reducing the foam advantage of the Triumph. I give a slight advantage to the Puma in this match up. 

Hoka Bondi 8 (RTR Review)
Jeff: Even higher stacked and wider platformed, the Hoka is still the biggest beast around - and you can feel it both in presence and on the scale, it's a full ounce heavier than the Triumph. Even though the forefoot is ~10mm wider than the Saucony, there's not nearly the same amount of interior space for the foot. And while Hoka has other midsole materials in their lineup, the Bondi's block of EVA feels pedestrian against the Triumph's PWRRUN PB. Big win for Saucony.

ASICS Nimbus 26 (RTR Review)
Jeff: Another big daily trainer that tries to be comfort and performance but ends up planted on the comfort side. The Nimbus 25 and 26 are both great shoes and really have all day comfort, but they can't match the performance elements of the Triumph 22.

Topo Atmos (RTR Review)

Jeff: One of the bigger surprise shoes of the year, Topo's largest stacked road shoe is ultra comfortable - and Topo-equipped toebox - but similar to the others, doesn't have the uptempo ability of the Triumph 22. 

Triumph 22 Video Review (18:49)

Tester Profile

Sam is the Editor and Founder of Road Trail Run. He is 66 with a 2018 3:40 Boston qualifier. 2023 was Sam’s 51th year of running. He has a decades old 2:28 marathon PR. These days he runs halves in the just sub 1:40 range if he gets very very lucky. Sam trains 30-40 miles per week mostly at moderate paces on the roads and trails of New Hampshire and Utah be it on the run, hiking or on nordic skis. He is 5’9” tall and weighs about 164 lbs, if he is not enjoying too many fine New England IPA’s.

Jeff Beck is the token slow runner of the RTR lineup, and as such his viewpoints on shoe and gear can differ from those who routinely finish marathons in three hours or less. Jeff runs 20 miles per week on roads and trails around Denver, CO (and sometimes on the treadmill when the weather gets too much for a Phoenix native). Jeff only got into running in his 30s, as a result his career PR's are 4:07 for the marathon and 5K at 23:39. Jeff has finished several ultra marathons, from 50K up to 50 miles, and is still debating if he wants to go down that road again.

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Samples were provided at no charge for review purposes. RoadTrail Run has affiliate partnerships and may earn commission on products purchased via shopping links in this article. These partnerships do not influence our editorial content. The opinions herein are entirely the authors'.

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Mike said...

Please could you confirm how flexible the forefoot is? I am looking for a stiff forefoot to protect my big toe joint. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

i hated the 20 and 21. the 10mm drop is just too much for me and i wish they would bring it back down. i want to try this one but it's looking like i will stick with my NB SC Trainer v2

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the great review! Any comparisons the the Brooks Ghost Max? Thanks!

Jeff said...

Mike - do you have a shoe in mind to compare forefoot flexibility? What shoes have worked for you, hoping I've got a couple on hand and could give you an apples to apples comparison since there's not a great objective metric for forefoot flexibility.

Anonymous - I'll chime back in this evening with a Ghost Max comparison.

Jeff said...

Anonymous -

Triumph 22 vs Brooks Ghost Max
Similar overall stack and width/fit, though the Triumph toebox is wider. The Triumph is a little more flexible, and considerably softer and bouncier. The Ghost Max stack is much firmer, especially under the forefoot.

And Mike, let me know what shoes have or have not worked and I can give you a more/less flexible comparison. Otherwise all I can say is that there isn't much flex in the forefoot, but not much isn't easy to quantify.