You know a review about running shoes is just a subjective opinion, because different runners like different things in different amounts from their footwear. However, there are a few areas where a shoe can impress in a close to objective fashion, and one of them is making a fast run feel easy, or at least easier than you were expecting.
On almost every run I undertook wearing the Saucony Triumph ISO 5 I would glance at my GPS watch intermittently and usually discover that I was running faster than I thought I was. I’m nearing the end of a marathon training cycle, running most days, and I consider myself to have a pretty good idea of my pacing, so it’s rare for me to be consistently surprised like this. So I’m going to go ahead and lavish praise on the Triumph ISO, with the bouncy Everun tech in the shoe taking the lion’s share of the credit.
Everun is Saucony’s proprietary cushioning tech and it uses similar materials to Adidas’s Boost foam and as such bears similar energy-returning properties. The Triumph ISO 5 has a full-length Everun midsole and an Everun topsole, and so despite being a fairly heavy, well-cushioned shoe, it still has the spring to let you run quickly with ease.
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That’s especially impressive because the Triumph ISO 5 is undoubtedly a shoe primarily designed to provide premium comfort, with a plushly-padded tongue and heel, a breathable but snug upper that has a lacing system that can be adjusted to suit your foot better, and that fat stack of cushioning on the bottom.
Other shoes in this comfort-first category, like the Brooks Glycerin 16, lose a fair bit in terms of speed and responsiveness as a result. The Triumph ISO 5, though, is still a shoe you can use for tempo and progression runs, alongside cruising through easy efforts.
The Triumph ISO 5 is not by any means an all-out speedster, but I’d say it’s definitely something most runners would enjoy wearing for a half or full marathon as a comfortable shoe that you can still hold a fast pace in. That said, Everun is also being available in Saucony’s Ride ISO and Freedom ISO 2 shoes, both of which are considerably lighter than the Triumph ISO 5, so runners purely focused on PBing might find one of them a better pick for races within Saucony’s line-up.
Saucony has truly nailed the highly-cushioned running shoe with the Triumph ISO 5, providing a supremely comfortable ride while still offering enough speed that you don’t have to add another shoe in your line-up when you’re keen to push the pace.
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Nick Harris-Fry is a journalist who has been covering health and fitness since 2015. Nick is an avid runner, covering 70-110km a week, which gives him ample opportunity to test a wide range of running shoes and running gear. He is also the chief tester for fitness trackers and running watches, treadmills and exercise bikes, and workout headphones.
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