I officially started distance running in eighth grade, when I decided my gazelle-like frame was not built for football like all my other friends. I made the lone decision to hang up my helmet and begin training early with the high school cross country team, for whom I would be eligible to compete as a freshman the next year. Since that time, I’ve worn a lot of different running shoes from all the major brands. And it should be a known fact by now that I refuse to run in anything other than Saucony!
In fact, my whole family is Saucony loyalists. My dad is a seven-time Ironman triathlete and my mom is a lifer who has run every morning for the past 30+ years, and they always head straight to the Saucony rack at their local running store. When it comes to distance running shoes, you could say Saucony is nothing short of a Team Tripp religion. From comfort and stability to design and durability, Saucony is a brand that has something for the casual hobbyist to the elite purist. They’re a respected brand in the running world because they solely make running shoes for runners, nothing else. They’ve focused on their craft over the decades and have set themselves apart because of it.
I get so many questions from followers about what shoe I recommend for them and their needs. Below is a list of my favorite Saucony shoes and I’m providing suggestions for runners of all different levels:
The Holy Grail
Anyone who knows me knows that I’m probably the world’s biggest Kinvara preacher. But that doesn’t mean I’m blindly biased! I’ve worn a lot of running shoes in my day and the Kinvara stands tall above the rest due to its incredible comfort while still being a minimal training shoe. The drop on the heel is 4mm, (most running shoes are 8mm-12mm) which means it’s a very light, sleek ride. What’s most impressive is that even though there’s less shoe separating your feet from the asphalt, it doesn’t sacrifice an ounce of comfort. Now in it’s 10th anniversary edition, the Saucony team somehow manages to make this model better with each iteration. If you’re a serious and motivated runner looking to take it to the next level and beat that PR, the Saucony Kinvara is always my number one recommendation.
Saucony Ride ISO
My mom’s shoe of choice! Long before I was even born, my mom has been waking up early in the morning to get a run in, no matter rain, sleet, or snow. She refuses to run in anything other than the Saucony Ride ISO due to the extreme amount of comfort and cushion it provides. Running in the Ride ISO is truly like running on a cloud. There’s a reason why Saucony refers to this shoe as “Endless Comfort.” It is perfect for the steady runner looking to stay in shape, put in the mileage, accomplish their goals, and feel good doing it. Even better, Saucony just announced that they’ll be releasing the Saucony Ride ISO 2! Get ready for even more cushion that will last even through high mileage.
The Happy Medium
Saucony Freedom ISO 2
Another family favorite! My Ironman father used to be as dedicated to the Kinvara as me… until he tried the Freedom ISO 2. Though similar in stature with a 4mm drop in the heel, the Freedom ISO 2 debuts Saucony’s ISOKNIT technology, which takes the sock-like feel of ISOFIT and combines it with an engineered performance knit material. This makes the Freedom ISO 2 super supportive and breathable. If the Kinvara is a Ferrari, then the Freedom is a Maserati—similar engine, but one is just built for a little more comfort. If you’re a consistent and committed runner looking for the perfect mix of speed and comfort, go with this shoe.
Saucony Switchback ISO
A trail running shoe without laces?? Stay with me. The only way to describe my first trail run in the Switchback ISO is fun. The obvious unique feature of this incredible trail running shoe is its BOA dial lacing system, which uses tightening cords to comfortably constrict to your foot and provide a game-changing fit experience. I definitely had my doubts on stability when considering a laceless trail running shoe, but I finished that run wondering why every shoe for every sport doesn’t get rid of laces and feature this innovative BOA system. I was genuinely shocked at how comfortable and supportive the shoe was; the shoe felt firm and sturdy on the trail, while providing serious comfort for the rocky terrain. If you live in the mountains or enjoy a good trail run, this is the best trail running shoe on the market.
Stretch & Go Breeze
The perfect shoe to wear to the gym and then head straight to brunch. This athleisure inspired shoe holds up in any training atmosphere, while also providing the look of a fashionable trainer that looks great with leggings or sweatpants. The women’s version comes in a variety of stylish colors; my wife has them in red, blush pink, and lilac purple, and she slips them on quickly to run errands all the time. The men’s version features a more sleek, classic color palette with blacks, whites, and navy blues. So whether you need to run a mile or two before work, do some cross training at the gym, or head to the grocery store after your workout, the Stretch & Go Breeze is the stylish option for a lifestyle on the go.