Tuesday, January 1, 2013
Saucony Triumph 10 Review
First, I may just know off the bat that the product is not for me. For instance, a big-time stability shoe wouldn't make my rotation even if it was the best stability shoe ever created by man or beast. Second, I may not have time, I already have about 10 pairs of shoes in the review rotation as we speak, and only now am I getting fully back in the swing of being a distance runner (my move up north and new job have taken over my free time for the past few months!). Third, I may just not be that into the product offered, may not typically use that kind of thing (certain hydration systems come to mind), or may just feel apathetic about the whole thing.
I am speaking, of course, of the lowering of the heel on the Triumph down to a midfoot-strike-friendly 8mm. A few millimeters may not seem like much, but many mainstream, tradition, heavy foam running shoes have over 12mm of "drop" from heel-to-toe, like a pair of high heels. What this lowering does, if you have not read into this kind of thing before, is allow the runner to land more easily forward on the foot, nearer the midfoot. A pair of traditional 12mm drop shoes requires a runner to almost artificially tip-toe to get the same effect, so robust is the under-heel foam. That creates issues in that you are straining your calves and other muscles to contort your way into a midfoot strike.
"barefoot running" or look around my blog and you'll see that the thought is that we are better adapted to run on our mid-to-forefoot and use our body's natural shock absorbing properties (the muscles and tendons of the legs, hips, etc.). You really can't heel strike running barefoot, you really only do that when you have big foam "moon shoes" on that dull the impact...of course, it doesn't truly dissipate the impact and studies are coming out that show that our knees and hips are taking a beating in traditional trainers. After all, humans ran for tens of thousands of years without padded shoes.
Kinvara (which is only 4mm of drop) and their upcoming Virrata 0-drop shoe.
Kinvara's even-lower drop for my longer-distance adventures, but this shoe has a place for many runners. It had state-of-the-art features for those traditional shoe junkies that love that stuff, and it has amore level platform for folks who are barefoot or minimal-curious. I liked running in them, and after a test period I passed them off to a friend who hasn't gotten the barefoot bug; he loves them. His next shoe will probably be a Kinvara 4..and that is a great strategy and proof that Saucony has the right recipe for success.