Thursday, July 04, 2024

Saucony Xodus Ultra 3 Multi Tester Review: 8 Comparisons

Article by Sam Winebaum, Mike Postaski and Jeff Valliere

Saucony Xodus Ultra 3 ($160)


Increased stack height and broader platform truly makes Xodus ultra worthy: Sam, Mike P, Jeff V

Highly cushioned and protective forefoot with a touch of easy going flexible rock plate impulse Sam, Mike P, Jeff V

Versatile from trail running to trekking  with a pack to door to trall: Sam, Jeff V

Light, breathable, very quick drying, comfortable upper with plenty of well held space: Sam, Jeff V


With more stack height comes a gain in weight to 10.5 oz /298g US9: Sam, Mike P, Jeff V

Due to increased stack height, platform width and weight somewhat less agile than prior: Sam

Somewhat firm at the lower interior heel Mike P

Still a bit too tapered up front for me Mike P

Upper somehow lets dry dust and dirt filter through Mike P


Sam: With “Ultra” in the name the first two editions of the Xodus Ultra were ultra trail capable. With the 3d edition we are certainly ultra capable as we see 3.5mm more  stack height to arrive at 36mm heel /30 mm forefoot along with an increase in platform width. The increase in stack height and platform width does lead to an increase in weight of 36g / 1.27 oz which does give pause.

The Ultra retains the prior construction of a core of supercritical PWRRUN PB foam in a carrier of denser, more stable PWRRUN EVA blend as well as the woven rock plate.

The outsole remains Saucony’s PWRTRAC with a new lug design and more continuous heel coverage. 

The debris mesh upper is light and pliable. I initially questioned its hold but 3 days of very rugged trekking in the Queyras region of France with a 15 lb / 7kg plus pack proved it was more than up to the task and I much appreciated its great breathability and quick drying. 

Most comparable shoes 

Salomon Genesis


NNormal Tomir 2

La Sportiva Prodigo

Topo Mountain Racer 3


Approx. Weight: men's 10.5 oz / 298g (US9)

Prior Version Weight:  men’s 9.25 oz  / 262g (US9)

  Sample Weight: men’s 10.32  oz / 291g US8.5 ,  11.2 oz / 318g US 10.0

Stack Height: men’s  36 mm heel /  30 mm forefoot ( 6mm drop spec) 

Prior Stack Height: men’s  32.5 mm heel /  26.5 mm forefoot (  6mm drop spec)

V3 Platform Width: 90 mm heel / 75 mm midfoot / 115 mm forefoot US8.5

V2 Platform Width  85mm heel /  65mm midfoot /  110mm forefoot US9

$160 Available now including at Saucony HERE

First Impressions, Fit and Upper

Sam: The upper is a debris proof type mesh. The mesh is slightly thicker and more 3D than the smooth mesh of v2 with the midfoot overlays now on the outside instead of inside as they were in v3.

The upper  is light and pliable and proved extremely quick drying and breathable. After complete over the top torrent traverses it drained quickly and was mostly dry in the matter of an hour or so in warmish conditions.

An array of pliable overlays and a rigid heel counter and the fact that the foot sits quite far down into the midsole at midfoot along with a stout not super stretchy tongue gusset really lock the foot to the platform. 

Quite frankly, I was surprised how good the lock down is given the pliable front of the shoe mesh and toe bumper. That said my “runs”  to date have been on very mellow park type gravel and pavement while the trekking was on often very rugged mountain trails

The fit is true to size and quite generous upfront. I suppose for long ultras in heat one might size up half a size as Mike has for his wider forefoot but as far as I am concerned during all day hikes on rough terrain with a pack the toe box room and fit were fine at true to size.

The  laces and tongue work very well together with a smooth tie up and great no stretch hold even when wet. We retain a front gaiter hook.

Compared to v2 the tongue is more padded with the rear collars less so and higher. I had no issues with blisters or irritation whatsoever although the achilles collars do need a run or two to break in. 

Mike P: Based on the previously tested Xodus Ultra 2, I knew I would need to size up to a US 10.0 based on Saucony significantly narrowing the toebox from V1 to V2. Unfortunately I initially received a US 9.5 which was a really tight squeeze for me. (9.5 is my typical true-to-size) Saucony does maintain the same last and toebox shape from V2 to V3 - nice and secure from the rear through the midfoot, but tapering from the forefoot through the toebox. It has somewhat of a “torpedo” shape up front, reminiscent of some Speedgoat toeboxes. 

[I would love to see a bit more width here and less taper at the front]

I was able to passably run in the US 9.5, using my thinnest socks and completely relaxing the lower lacing - no tension at all, which is not ideal. Luckily Saucony was able to send me a US 10.0 to continue my testing. It’s a night-and-day difference for me. Having both shoes, I can 100% recommend going up ½ size, unless you have narrow feet, in which case you can probably go true-to-size with a secure fit.

I agree with Sam’s assessment that the upper is definitely pliable, breathable, and quick drying. There’s no rigidity at all with the material around the foot, and it holds quite well. With my now well-fitting US 10.0, I’m able to tension the lacing and get a solid fit. I didn’t notice any issue with the rear collars, but I did detect some stiffness on the interior at the lower heel area. I do feel some pressure on my outer heel bone. The interior of the heel in that area does feel a bit hard, with little padding.

We’ve had quite a run of hot, dry weather while testing the Xodus Ultra 3. One thing I noticed was that the upper allows dry dust and dirt to gradually filter through. I took them for a few long, mountainous runs in Sun Valley and a few times afterwards, I was surprised by how dusty and dirty my feet were after taking off my shoes and socks.

Jeff V:  I reviewed version 1 of the Xodus Ultra and I found it to be an exceptionally fast, dynamic and light feeling shoe, although its upper just could not keep up.  I missed out on version 2, but was excited to see what changes the Xodus Ultra 3 presented.  Out of the box they look sharp, though it is evident that they have gained a bit of weight.

Sam and Mike describe the upper well, so I will focus on fit and performance.  Fit for me is true to size, with a well held heel, midfoot and toe box. I find the room in the toe box to be adequate for my thin, low volume foot, with just enough room for long day comfort, yet holds very well when running in technical terrain, a huge improvement over the first version.  I do recognize however that if you have a wider foot or prefer extra room for those really long, hot runs, then the taper of the toe box might not be ideal for you.

I have pushed the Xodus 3 pretty hard on some technical trail runs and find that my foot is very well held with no issues or any movement.  Overall the upper is well padded, breathable and very comfortable.

Midsole & Platform

Sam The platform rises 3.5 mm to 36mm heel / 30mm forefoot with 5mm more platform width at the heel, 10mm at the midfoot and 5mm more at the forefoot.  

We see a dual foam construction with Saucony’s PWRRUN PB foam as the central core with PWRRUN EVA blend foam as the outer stabilizing carrier. Adding to the substantial cushion is a FormFit sockliner which appears to be PWR RUN+.foam, a bouncy expanded bead TPU.

Between the PWRTRAC outsole and midsole we have Saucony customary woven textile rock protection which does not, as rigid plates do, impede ground feel and contouring while also providing a tiny touch of propulsion.

On the rocks with my 15 lb pack I was particularly impressed with the shoe's stability, amount of forefoot cushion and protection while the PB core gave some nice rebound. That said the front of the shoe, as intended, is designed for easy rolling over many hours and not fast and furious trail running in a bit of departure from the lower stack more agile prior versions. While the 36mm heel did feel high, it never felt unstable as the heel and midfoot platforms are now wider.  I think the substantial 10mm increase in midfoot platform width helped improve stability but may reduce agility. On hard packed smooth surfaces there was plenty of deep cushion, again with the forefoot cushion most noted

Overall this is a very forgiving platform suitable for long miles on any trail

Mike P: Yes, Saucony has added 3.5mm of stack, front and back, so specs-wise that definitely puts the shoe solidly in ultra-distance territory. But I don’t notice much difference from V2 in terms of volume of foam underfoot. When I tested V2, I noticed that it did seem to be “taller” than V1. I even measured manually and confirmed that. I no longer have my V2’s, but it does seem like V3 is similar in feel to V2.

There is a noticeable difference in stability - I’ll get to that in more detail in the Ride section. The midsole appears to wrap upwards along the side of the foot in the midfoot area. It does feel like the foot is seated more in the midsole as opposed to sitting on top of the foam, which is what I found in V2.

In terms of cushion and protection, the PWRRUN PB core / EVA carrier mix is a good set up here. It feels nice and soft underfoot, but not overly so. The outer EVA carrier seems to work well with the sidewalls to give a stable feel. As usual, Saucony’s woven rock plate is one of the best - it blunts impact while being hardly noticeable.

Jeff V:  On my first run, I found the midsole to be a bit on the firm side, or perhaps the shoe overall felt a bit stiff and firm, but after a few runs, the shoe softened up some and really start to come to life.  While the midsole foam is a touch on the firm side, the TPU beaded footbed helps to soften the feel.  

I find the Ultra 3 to be reasonably responsive and lively when I am feeling similar, such that it can respond to fast running when I am feeling good and push it, but I think the overall weight of the shoe slows it a bit and does not necessarily beg to go fast.  I find them to be very supportive, predictable and protective no matter how rocky or technical. On long, hard surfaced downhills, I wish for a little more plushness, but I do not feel beat up necessarily and cushioning overall is more than adequate.


The outsole features Saucony’s customary PWRTRAC rubber with a somewhat different arrangement and lug shape when compared to v2.

Xodus Ultra Outsole Comparison: Top V3, Bottom V2

The lugs are clearly more sculpted with a step up profile and a sharper front edge. The heel area now features full coverage whereas before the outsole there was split into 2 sections. 

The windows exposing the black/gray woven rock plate are now small triangles as opposed to longitudinal.

My trek test demonstrated very good traction on a very wide variety of terrain from loose shale, to dry rock,to many rocky stream crossings with the shoe fully wet, to dirt paths, to wet grass and even snow overall inspiring confidence and there were several places where a slip was not an option. 

Only once in 3 days and much vertical did I notice a slight slip on a submerged very smooth rock. The rubber is not as sticky to the touch or in practice as Megagrip relying more on the outsole lugs now stepped profile and ithe rubber relative softness which contours well to terrain.

 On the run on smooth gravel road base, pavement the traction was outstanding inspiring confidence and as the rubber is not firm delivers a smooth if a bit slappy noisy ride. At a solid 30 miles of use  I notice very little wear. 

In terms of flexibility the Ultra has some snappy flex in hand but is not particularly dynamic at toe off as say shoes such as Terrex Agravic Speed Ultra, Tecton X, or Saucony Endorphin Edge are and that is OK as quite frankly at long ultra distances relatively few can maintain the power to drive the plates and not me but certainly Mike can!

Mike P: The outsole is an area that feels like a step back for me. The lugs themselves now feature a stepped-design - perhaps a reaction to Vibram’s Traction lugs, which feature both steps and little “nubs”. The lugs are listed at 4mm, but they don’t seem to have the “bite” that you would expect from 4mm. Perhaps the stepped-design takes away some “sharpness” from the edges. 

Overall, they performed just ok for me. I wouldn’t call it a great trail outsole by any means. It does the job in most terrain, but I outsole-wise, I would peg them as geared more towards moderate terrain. I tested them through some steep, wet & muddy descents and I felt a lack of confidence most of the way. I think Saucony leaned a little bit too much towards all-around performance here as opposed to rugged mountain performance.

Jeff V:  I find the outsole to be versatile and overall good for running on mellow to moderate surfaces and on rocky, technical trails, though if the terrain is steep and loose, or conditions are wet, the Ultra 3 is less than ideal and could use a bit more lug depth and a more sticky compound.  Durability thus far very good.

Ride, Conclusions and Recommendations

Sam: The Xodus Ultra is a very versatile trail shoe. While no longer as “speedy” due to its increased stack height and weight, it gains in long run and hiking comfort and versatility. 

I never had tired legs after long days during our trek with plenty of vertical and terrain challenges. Credit goes to the plush inner core of PB foam well stabilized by the outer firmer PWRRUN EVA. Its smooth terrain and road manners were friendly if a bit on the mellow side due to the large amount of front cushion and relatively relaxed combination of rocker and flex.

The upper surprised me.  Such a pliable, light upper might give pause in terms of support at first glance but it worked very well with notable comfort (no blisters or irritations), superior breathability and truly outstanding rapid drying from full wet. There for sure is something to be said for non Gore-Tex uppers as waterproof breathable construction  tend to absorb more water and dry much slower. A pair of boots,  also along for the trek took 2 days to dry in damp conditions, and even then were sort of damp whereas here dry in a few hours  from fully wet.

What would I like to see changed? The weight has increased to about 10.5 oz / 298g (US9)

due to the increase in stack height and platform width. I wish it weighed  less to increase agility and place the shoe more squarely as a faster racing option and option to lighter shoes such as Terrex Speed Ultra and Tecton X, noting these are plated and not for every run or runner. We don’t yet have the new Tecton X 2.5 and 3 but they are said to have PEBA midsoles  Not sure how Saucony could decrease the weight unless they went with all supercritical foam and made the outsole more skeletal which might lead to durability issues (delaminations and such).

I recommend it as an all around trail trainer, fast hiking shoe, and ultra shoe.

Sam’s Score: 9.3 /10

High scores for versatility and comfort deductions for weight and a bit lacking in ride pizzaz

Smiles 😊😊😊1/2

Mike P: In comparing the 3 versions of the Xodus Ultra so far - the main differentiating factor for V3 is stability. V1 was the widest and most comfortable, but its upper lacked foothold and perhaps it was a bit too flexy on the run. V2 addressed the looseness of the upper - perhaps going too far by squeezing the toe box too much, which now carries into V3. V2’s cushion felt deeper to me, and more stable, yet I had the sense that I was riding a bit too high in them, giving the feeling of lateral instability.

I mentioned earlier that V3’s midsole now seems to wrap along the sides of the foot - giving a more stable, cradle-type feel. Right away I noticed a big improvement in stability and confidence compared to V2. I covered some pretty steep ups and downs in varied mountain terrain over the course of a long weekend in Sun Valley, Idaho.

[Pioneer Mountains - Idaho]

I was quite surprised by how stable the shoe felt - I was expecting a similar feel to V2, but I have to say the stability of the ride has been noticeably improved. Through many rocky and uneven sections, I found myself not even thinking about stability. I was mostly able to plow through rocky sections without apprehension. The stack is still high of course, so I wouldn’t go too far in the extreme technical direction. But if the shoe is oriented towards mid-long distance outings, it’s plenty stable for the speeds you’d be doing. 

The general ride is smooth and controlled, with less flex than V1, but a similar level of cushion and comfort as V2. The shoe feels very balanced, and I felt quite comfortable keeping a good rhythm of turning the legs over. While not a “fast” shoe, the Xodus Ultra 3 is surely a great pick as a training workhorse and possibly an ultra racing option if the fit and feel works for you.

Personally, I find the tight/tapered toebox to be a limiting factor as far as taking them really long distances. If you have a narrow foot, this could be a non-issue. Also, the weight is a bit of a factor if you’re thinking about racing them. My 9.5’s came in at 10.6oz/300g, which is decent. But the 10.0’s that fit came in at 11.2oz/318g.  For me that’s definitely high for a racing shoe - there are options in my size which come in around the 9.5 oz range that offer the same amount of cushion and protection. 

Ultimately, this is a solid, versatile, mid-long distance option from Saucony. The cushion, protection, stability, and smooth no-fuss ride should be appealing to a wide swath of runners.

Mike P’s Score:  8.65 / 10

Ride: 9 - Smooth, solid, stable - all-around long-distance shoe

Fit: 8 - Toebox needs some more space, lower heel cup a bit rigid

Value: 9 - Versatility should bring value

Style: 10 - Really like the dark navy with the red/orange pop of the midsole

Traction: 8 - Lugs feel shallower than specs would suggest

Rock Protection: 9.5 - PWWRUN insole + big stack + woven rock plate 

Smiles 😊😊😊😊

Jeff V:  I find the Xodus Ultra 3 to be a versatile daily trainer for just about any distance.  They are comfortable, well protected, have firm, but stable and predictable cushioning and roll along well at a variety of paces with a smooth transition.  While not a dedicated speedster, they can certainly rise to the challenge when you are feeling good and can handle just about any level of trail difficulty (though with the 4 mm lugs, might be a bit under treaded for the most loose, off trail conditions.  I would love to see the next version drop a little weight and perhaps improve the outsole a bit with a bit more lug and stickier rubber.  

Jeff V’s Score:  9.1/10

Ride: 9, Fit: 9, Value: 9, Style: 9.5, Traction: 9, Rock Protection: 10


8 Comparisons

Index to all RTR reviews: HERE

Saucony Xodus Ultra 2 (RTR Review)

Mike P (10.0): Detailed throughout the review - I don’t find the increase in cushion to be that noticeable in comparison to V2, but the better stability of V3 is noticeable. Foothold and toebox size is the same - somewhat narrow up front for me. V3’s upper is more breathable and seems to let in more dry dust/dirt. Overall V3 is an improvement.

Saucony Peregrine 14  (RTR Review)

Jeff V: The Peregrine is lighter, more responsive, has deeper lugs and has overall better traction along with a more stable feel and greater agility.  While the Peregrine has less stack height, they still feel very well cushioned and protected.  Foothold and fit is overall comparable.

Salomon Genesis (RTR Review)

Mike P (9.5): These shoes are very close competitors, but I feel like the Genesis edges out the Xodus in most categories. Cushion and protection are similar, but the Genesis ride feels a bit more energetic - perhaps the foam is lighter since the shoe as a whole is lighter. The Salomon has a bit more flex which makes it also feel a bit more agile. Salomon’s Matryx upper is a touch better, and does a better job of keeping out grit. I did detect a bit of pinky toe pressure in the Genesis, but it does still have more forefoot space.

Sam: I agree with Mike the Genesis ride edges out Xodus but in terms of upper while not quite as secure the Xodus upper is more comfortable and fits me better.

Jeff V: Agreed with Mike and will add that the Genesis has better traction overall.

VJ MAXx2 (RTR Review)

Mike P (9.0): Note the odd sizing for the VJ. The MAXx2 is an especially noteworthy new model - slightly less stack at 31/26mm, but massively lighter at 8.6 oz. It’s not built for super long distances, but it runs laps around the Xodus Ultra for short-mid distance running. The VJ foam is much more bouncy and energetic, making it a little less stable, but that’s an ok tradeoff for the speed and fun it brings. The VJ’s grip and traction is far superior. The MAXx2’s upper is one of VJ’s best - it offers a solid foothold, but it’s perhaps a bit too thick. The Xodus is a lot more breathable. I’d go with the VJ since its much more fun to run in. 

Sam: Clear advantage to MAXx2 for faster shorter trail runs from traction, to agility, to more energetic foam and more fun. As  distances increase and paces are slower the added cushion and upper comfort of the Xodus will have it pulling ahead.

Jeff V (9.5): Agreed with Mike and Sam

NNormal Tomir 2 (RTR Review)

Sam Very similar shoes the Tomir weighs a bit less and has a lower stack height. More agile and flexible, Tomir all super critical foam ride is more energetic. Traction is superior for the Tomir due to its Megagrip outsole. The Xodus upper is while not quite as roomy in the toe box more secure overall and especially at the heel where I required a lace lock at my true to size in the Tomir whereas none required in the Xodus. Tough choice.. while the Xodus fits me better the Tomir is more fun to run if a bit less stable than Xodus.

Hoka Tecton X 2 (RTR Review)

Mike P (10.0): This is a shoe I have in mind if you were thinking about racing the Xodus Ultra 2. The Hoka gives all the cushion and protection that you get with the Saucony, plus the plates make it a faster shoe. All that at 1.7 oz lighter in my size. The Hoka upper is also better-shaped up front, and its Matryx material is also superior. Perhaps the only edge in the upper for the Xodus is its well-padded tongue. Unless the difference in price is an issue, I’d clearly go with the Tecton X 2 for racing.

Merrell Agility Peak 5 (RTR Review)

Mike P (9.5): These shoes are also in the same range, but again, the Agility Peak 5 comes in a full ounce lighter in my size. Its ride is more rocker-oriented and not as agile as the Xodus Ultra. The Saucony definitely gets the edge in comfort and somewhat plush feel underfoot. Both shoes run similarly narrow. I have slight issues with the heel in both shoes - the Merrell is somewhat loose, while the Saucony is somewhat firm. The Merrell outsole is clearly better.

Jeff V: Agreed with Mike mostly, but I find the Peak 5 to feel overall softer and more cushioned underfoot and is more dynamic.  I find the upper of the Xodus to be a bit more secure and well refined.

Topo MTN Racer 3 (RTR Review)

Mike P (9.5): The Topo is softer and more flexible underfoot  and is clearly wider in the toebox as well. The Topo also doesn’t have deep lugs, but it is Megagrip - and seems to perform better. The softness of the Topo can make the ride feel a bit sluggish at times - it seems to be better suited to picking your way through more varied terrain. The Xodus Ultra 3 cruises better and more easily. It’s likely a better pick for longer distances unless you prefer the ground feel of the Topo.

Jeff V:  The Topo has better ground feel and flexibility, with a much more relaxed, but still well held upper and better traction (if that is what you are looking for).

Nike Zegama 2 (RTR Review)

Mike P (9.5): These shoes come in at nearly identical weight, therefore making them obvious competitors. The Nike is massively cushioned underfoot - super soft and plush ZoomX, mostly oriented towards the rear of the shoe. The Xodus Ultra is more mid-range in terms of softness, but there’s just as much foam underfoot. The Saucony feels more stable and under control, while you have to be much more careful in the Zegama with all that unstable ZoomX underfoot. The Saucony is more balanced, while the Zegama feels quite back-weighted. Nike’s Vibram Megagrip gets the clear advantage. Despite that, I prefer the Saucony with its more balanced feel and ride.

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Tester Profiles

Mike Postaski currently focuses on long mountainous ultras - anywhere from 50K up to his favorite - 100M. 5'10", 138 lbs, midfoot/forefoot striker - he typically averages 70 mpw (mostly on trails), ramping up to 100+ mpw during race buildups. A recent 2:39 road marathoner, his easy running pace ranges from 7:30 - 9:00/mi. From 2022-23 Mike has won the Standhope 100M, IMTUF 100M, and Scout Mountain 100M trail ultras, winning the Scout 50M in 2024. He also set a CR of 123.74M at the Pulse Endurance Runs 24H and completed the Boise Trails Challenge on foot in 3 days 13 hours, besting the previous record by 7 hours. Mike's shoe preferences lean towards firmer, dense cushioning, and shoes with narrower profiles. He prefers extra forefoot space, especially for long ultras, and he strongly dislikes pointy toe boxes.

Sam is the Editor and Founder of Road Trail Run. He is in his 60’s  with 2024 Sam’s 52th year of running roads and trails. 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 Valliere loves to run and explore the mountains of Colorado, the steeper and more technical the better. He has summited all of the 14ers in the state, many 13ers and other peaks in Colorado and beyond, plus, he has summited his local Green Mountain over 2,100 times in the past 20 years.   He can be found on mountain trails daily, no matter the weather, season, conditions or whether there is daylight or not.  On the side he loves to ski (all forms) bike and hike, often with his family, as he introduces his twin daughters to the outdoors. Jeff was born and raised in New Hampshire, but has called Colorado home for over 25 years. He is 5’9” and 145 lbs.

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'.

Comments and Questions Welcome Below! Please let us know mileage, paces, race distances, and current preferred shoes

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Al said...

Compare to Trabuco and Trabuco Max?

Michael Siniff said...

I have been eagerly anticipating this model. Absolutely LOVED the v1 and avoided the v2 because of toebox width concerns. I'm on the fence now about the v3. Could pick up another v1 at steep discount but have concerns for the midsole foam holding up being it is a two year old model. Great review as always sir, thanks !

Mike P said...

I haven't run the latest Trabucos. Jeff V will be joining the review - he may have tried one of them.

V1 toebox was great - it would be perfect to have V3 with the V1 toebox! I would suggest sizing up if you decide to try them out.

Joseph said...

Confirm what I've read elsewhere that whilst more stack there's actually less PB to save money - hence the huge weight increase?

2 was already too poor grip and stability for proper mountain ultras. Much worse.than a tomir, speegoat.etc

Mike P said...

Joseph - I haven't seen details on the foam composition, but the midsole definitely seems to wrap up & around the edges more- and that foam would be the outer, regular EVA foam. So perhaps as a percentage of volume there's less PB since the new foam is on the "outer". That's just me speculating though.

I agree and also mentioned in the review - seems more like an "all around" outsole to me.

Joseph said...

Hey - thanks for the reply.

I sort of don't understand shoes like this then.

Maybe they work well for a nontechnical 200 miler? Reminds me a little of the new Zegama. For 100 and below I dunno why you'd pick something like this over a Terrex Ultra or Tecton.

If it got technical you'd want better grip and sacrifice the efficiency of a tippy superfoam - anything resembling a speedgoat would work (tomir 2 maybe the best in the category?).

My gut is that shoes like this become daily trainers for (relatively) slower runners who enjoy the reduced impact when running on hardpacked trails, but these people might save a wedge of money and enjoy their running more in something like a Torrent or Peregrine.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand the lack of enthusiasm. This is a better shoe than the V2 and V1 alike. Let me explain why. Sizing is accurate. Please bear with me, but Mike got V1 one size too small and it fit because it was ridiculously loose. Don't kill me, but the V1 was way too big and loose for its size.

This isn't the V2 model, its wider, but it isn't a Trabuco Max or a Caldera either, it is way firmer cushioned. High stability, the traction is good, why one has to run it in the snow in the mountains, seriously, would one have done this with a Trabuco Max or Caldera?

Compared to the Peregrine it is more cushioned and comfortable, for a longer run. It's not a speedy shoe, but so is neither of the shoes mentioned above.

Don't quite understand the lack of love, I loved the very well ventilated and cool upper and overall comfort.

It's a different shoe compared to the V1 and V2 models, it is wider and different. So it is likely not what people wanted or envisioned, unfortunately. I rate it higher, would love a bit more cushion and a softer or more energetic ride, though.

Mike P said...


I agree, there's definitely a lot of room for subjectivity and personal preference with this one. For me personally - I tend to agree with you, this shoe kind of gets superseded by other options. I would go with Tecton X all day over these, but of course price is a factor there. The Terrex Speed Ultra is a different animal, I could see that shoe not working for many runners - the bounciness and narrowness makes that a very, very specific (race) shoe.

It does up the cushion factor over the Peregrine though, and it's also more cushioned underfoot than shoes like the Torrent or in that class. It could be used as a long day option for runners who like those types of shoes.

Mike P said...

Anon- Yes, this is the best of the 3 Xodus Ultra versions. V1 sizing was completely different, to the point of being incomparable. I had 9.5 and 10 in V1 and didn't quite get the fit I wanted - the upper was just too baggy and those lace rails didn't help. I still think V2/3 are too narrow. Something in the middle would be ideal. V3 does seem a touch wider than V2, but I did have to go up 1/2 size.

I don't think model is in quite the same "MAX" class as Trabuco Max and Caldera. I'd say this shoe is way more stable and versatile than those two. I haven't run Trabuco Max, but the Caldera was way too much underfoot for me and too unwieldy to manage on real trails. I'd look at those two for cruising on long, long stretches of gravel or something along those lines.