Price: $150 $140
Weight: Men's 10.3oz/292g 10.8oz/306g
Weight: Women's 9.0oz/255g 9.3oz/264g
Midsole Volume: Maximum Maximum
Midsole Offset: 8mm 8mm
Category: Neutral Neutral
What we heard on the way to the review:
Runner: "Have you seen the new Triumph? Saucony is going after Maximalism (Hoka), That shoe is beautiful"
Retailer: "Oh we are selling it really well, that upper fits like a sock"
Competitor Magazine "Iso Fit Technology - A wrap system that creates near-custom fit with a soft inner sleeve and a floating cage that adapts to the precise shape and movement of the foot"
Saucony - The new Pro Grid Plus offers 20% more cushioning
A Comparison between equal level Neutral shoes
Brooks Glycerin - Asics Nimbus - Saucony Triumph ISO 12 - adidas Energy - Hoka Clifton
Let's take a step back and talk a bit about Saucony. For over 2 decades Saucony has been one of the default women's running brands. All the way back to the first Jazz the fit of Saucony running was really good for women. In fact many brands have studied Saucony fit when they made attempts to create unique women's shoes for their own line. The most interesting thing is that Saucony didn't set out to address the woman's foot. In fact for all those years they used one last for men and women. The result of all this is a lagging men's business.
Brands as they start out unless they are women's only brand will skew heavily towards the men's side of running. Once that side of the business is established they turn concentration to women. To be more clear the brand is not going after men. Men are after new technology in their running shoes and are more willing to take a risk on a new brand. To have a brand like Saucony with more than 50% of their business with women is really unique in the running shoe world.
One shoe to break that mold for Saucony with men was the Kinvara. I'll talk later when the Kinvara 6 comes out in Fall 2015 but I believe and have for a few years that the Kinvara is the perfect shoe. So it excited me when I took my first look at the new Triumph and saw in it a great deal that makes the Kinvara so good. In fact it's clear to me that Saucony wasn't looking at Hoka but at their own shoe the Kinvara when they made the change to this Triumph. in doing so I think they give the runner looking at the Hoka Clifton another option to try. When I finally got the chance to try it on it was instant, Saucony has a men's shoe. That's not to say that they are giving up on women. In fact I believe the Triumph is now positioned so well in fit and feel that it will work equally for both genders.
I bought this shoe with some trepidation. For years I worked with Saucony in my retail days. I loved the people there and the business we were building. But I never ran in their shoes. They didn't fit my foot at all and I always thought they were stiff and clunky. When they introduced the Kinvara finally I had a shoe I could run in. But only one. I was very pleasantly surprised by the Triumph ISO. My first run in the shoe straight out of the box, was a 5K time trial test on the roads. I felt the shoe reacted really well to the hard pace and held my foot well. 200 miles later I still have the same feeling. The shoe delivers exceptionally well for a maximum cushion shoe. It's really soft yet supportive. The constant ground contact is smooth and quiet on the road. You should not hear your feet when you run and this shoe will help make sure you don't. The forefoot is like butter the entire run. Long runs, hard runs, road runs, uneven path runs, the forefoot held my foot up and softened the blow. I really hesitate to say I liked the shoe for me. Typically if I like a shoe for myself it's not going to be great for all other runners. I learned early on to put my personal feelings aside. Working for brands I rarely liked anything for myself. The more I didn't like it the better the shoe actually did for everyone else. But I firmly believe Saucony built a really good shoe that I like and that millions will like too. I think the upper has enough room to fit most feet (high instep runners will struggle) and it has enough adjustment available. The midsole is full, soft and smooth. There is very little not to like in this new Triumph.
Triumph 11 vs Triumph ISO 12
To wrap it up a bit. If you run in the Kinvara but always wanted more shoe for longer runs or recovery runs you now have one. Looking at the Neutral shoe group above, if you feel the Glycerin or Nimbus are too stiff or that the Clifton and Energy Boost are too wide and unsupportive in the upper the Triumph ISO 12 is a great option in the middle of all of that. Also if you are like me and have struggled to find a Saucony shoe you like I highly suggest you give this shoe a spin.