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Saucony Triumph 17 Running Shoe Review: The Best Marathon Shoe For Beginners

This comfortable, cushioned shoe is ideal for bouncing your way through long runs

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(Image: © Unknown)

I’ve run in each of the past five editions of Saucony’s Triumph shoe. There’s only really one thing I don’t like about the line, and that’s the fact the numbering on them has gone 2, 3, 4, 5 and now 17.

The reason for that is that the 17 is the 17th edition of the Triumph shoe overall, the recent annual updates having been named Triumph ISO 4 or 5 because they’re the 4th and 5th edition of the shoe featuring the ISOFIT lacing system… which has now been removed. So there you go, the laces have gone back to normal and the numbering has too.

Putting that aside, I’ve loved running in all the recent versions and the Triumph 17 is my favourite Triumph shoe so far. That’s almost entirely down to the new PWRRUN+ midsole, which is springier and lighter than the EVERUN foam Saucony used on past Triumph shoes.

The main appeal of the shoe was always that it is one of the few highly cushioned and comfortable shoes that you can run quickly in – and the new midsole improves that. It’s a shoe that feels brilliant for long, easy efforts and tempo runs alike, and while there are faster shoes you could race in, you can feel comfortable using the Triumph 17 for all your training and racing, especially if you’re relatively new to the sport.

That’s in contrast to other cushioned options like the Hoka Clifton 6 or Brooks Glycerin 17. Both those shoes are a joy to wear for easy runs, but when you up the pace they feel unwieldy. Moving through the gears on a 90-minute progression run really showed off the Saucony Triumph 17’s qualities, and it felt as good at 3min 40sec/km pace at the end of the run as it did at 4min 20sec/km pace at the start.

It certainly helps that the weight has dropped by around 20g (305g for a men’s Triumph 17 compared with 323g for a men’s Triumph ISO 5), but the shoe feels even lighter than that on the foot.

saucony-triumph-17-running

(Image credit: Unknown)

The changes to the lacing system didn’t really affect my experience of the shoe, but the upper is certainly very comfortable, with loads of padding around the tongue and collar. Perhaps too much for some runners, who might find all the padding gets hot at times, but I’m a fan and on long runs it only added to the experience.

When you’re logging a lot of running during a training plan for a marathon or a half marathon, the Triumph’s combo of comfort and speed really come to the fore. If you’re a very keen and experienced runner who has two or three shoes in your rotation, you can use the Triumph for all your easy runs as well as tempo and long runs, reserving a faster shoe for intervals and race day itself. Beginners and heavier runners will find that it’s a shoe that can handle everything. Indeed, if I were to recommend one shoe for new runners taking on their first marathon, this would be it.

Buy men’s from Sports Shoes (opens in new tab) | Buy women’s from Sports Shoes (opens in new tab) | £139.99 (currently reduced to £125.99)

Nick Harris-Fry
Nick Harris-Fry

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.