When the Freedom was released about 19 months ago, it was a game-changer. It was the first shoe to boast a full-length EVERUN midsole. A very responsive, yet still cushioned shoe that became an instant favourite. The updated version dropped this summer and while I was a fan of The Freedom to begin with, I like it even better now.
With the second edition, you still get the full-length EVERUN midsole, but you also get the debut of ISOKNIT. The previous model had an ISOFIT upper which has a sock-like feel and “morphs to the foot for a custom feel”. Those features are maintained with ISOKNIT, and the addition of a performance knit gives you more freedom of movement and makes the shoe more breathable.
One of the most striking changes in the new version of this shoe is the fit. The Freedom ISO 2 has a much more spacious toe-box than the original version. I was a little cramped in the previous model, and typically reserved the shoes for track-workouts. I love the fit of the second edition! While I will still be wearing them on the track, I plan to wear them during other, longer sessions as well.
By the Numbers:
Offset: 4mm (same as previous edition)
Weight: 8.2 oz/232g (8.1 oz/230g)
I have worn many models of Saucony shoes over the years, The Ride, The Hurricane, The Fastwitch, The Triumph, The Freedom and of course the Kinvara. I had never tried the Breakthru previous to receiving a pair a couple of weeks ago. Initially, it was the aesthetic of the shoe that caught my attention, the pair I saw on IG were a striking red colour and they looked similar to my go to shoe, The Kinvara. Naturally, this piqued my interest.
In spite of having a go to shoe, I like to rotate my shoes depending on what type of run I am doing ie. long-run vs. speed work vs. track etc. Some days you just want a bit more cushion, especially for a long run, and I was typically using The Triumph for this purpose. The Triumph and The Breakthru both have an 8mm offset, whereas The Kinvara is only a 4mm offset. For reference: the offset is the difference between the heel stack height of the shoe and the forefoot stack height of the shoe. There are different theories on why offset is important (or not), but basically it is said to change your gait. A higher offset might encourage you to land on your heel, whereas a lower offset might encourage you to land on your mid-foot or forefoot, running in a way that is more bio-mechanically efficient.
My point is: The Triumph and The Breakthru are fair to compare as they are both neutral shoes with the same offset and are both suitable for road and track surfaces. The most shocking difference I felt when wearing The Breakthru was how light it felt (and is!). Some shoes with an 8mm drop feel clunky and bulky, not The Breakthru! They only weigh 7.4 oz, almost 2 oz lighter than the Triumph, and under 1 oz heavier than The Kinvara. At only 7.4 oz, you would be hard-pressed to find another similar shoe so light.
Running in The Breakthru 4 feels like a shoe you already know. Like a relative of The Kinvara. It is comfortable, light and still feels natural. You feel connected to the surface beneath you, which isn’t always the case in shoes with an 8mm offset. The Breakthru 4 also feels much more responsive than other running shoes with the same offset. Needless to say, I was impressed with The Breakthru and happy to be introduced to it. They will definitely be a staple in my shoe rotation, and I recommend you try them too!
During the summer I learned that Saucony would be releasing a brand new running shoe sometime in winter 2016/2017. As a Saucony fan and shoe nerd I was beyond excited to learn this. Partially because this is a completely new shoe not just an upgraded model, but mostly because I heard the shoe would have a full-length Everun midsole. In case you don’t know, Everun is a newer innovation from Saucony. It is their form of cushioning which boasts energy return, durability and it’s closer to the foot than other performance brands place their cushion. In the past, the Everun has been used solely in the heel insert or top sole.
The specs on theses shoes are:
Weight: 8.1 oz
Heel drop: 4 mm
Price: $ 199.99 CAD
I had been eagerly awaiting the arrival of these shoes since I found out Saucony was sending me a pair and again supporting my running! Plus, like I mentioned earlier, I first heard about these shoes in the summer, so I was waiting for them to launch and the shoe nerd in me created a lot of hype around this product. When I heard they had arrived I abandoned the idea of running home and instead took transit so I could get the Freedom ISO’s on my feet and running in them ASAP. I ran in them for the first time on Monday night, it was my 7th day in a row running. I had already covered about 80km for the week, not my highest mileage ever, but right now I’m building back up so let’s just say my legs are feeling it. Anyway, I headed out in the dark with no real route planned with the sole purpose of testing the shoes during a 45 minute run. There ended up being quite a few hills in there. No problem, I felt like I was flying!
The Freedom ISO hugs your foot nicely, and feels super light, I almost forgot I was wearing shoes, seriously! Saucony certainly delivered on their promise of energy return. I felt like I was spending more time on my forefoot, barely working , while still running far too fast for an easy run. Normally I try to keep it slow, but I just couldn’t, the shoes felt great, I felt great and the runners’ high followed.
The next day I took them out again for a 75 minute run, again they were amazing. The way they feel on your feet is incomparable to anything else I have tried. It is evident Saucony put a lot of reasearch and effort into the creation of the Freedom ISO and it was well worth it.
I have decided to compete in The Island Race Series in 2017, so I think I’m going to reserve these for speed work and racing. The Freedom ISO’s slogan is “starts amazing, stays amazing” and from what I have seen that’s certainly the case.
I have been very fortunate this summer to have been given multiple pairs of running shoes. I have previously written Shoe Review: Under Armour Gemini 2 and Shoe Review: Adidas Ultra Boost Uncaged . I got lucky again and received these shoes last week from the Saucony shoe fairy (Thanks Rebecca!). I have been running in many different brands of running shoes since last fall, but last summer I ONLY wore Kinvara’s for all of my runs and training. I went through 1 pair of Kinvara 5’s and 2 pairs of Kinvara 6’s. There have been some important upgrades between the 6 and the 7 including the addition of the Everun heel insert, which is Saucony’s new cushioning. It is closer to the foot, directly under the sockliner (insole).
The specs on theses shoes are:
Weight: 6.6 oz
Heel drop: 4mm
Price: $ 139.99 CAD
I had not run since my 30km at VanRace on Sunday because I had a fall while hiking on Monday and twisted my ankle, so today was my first day back! I took these out for an easy 40 min run which was 6.6 km. These are the lightest performance shoes in my rotation, but the comfort is not compromised at all. They are responsive and still feel cushioned. Kinvara’s are what I would typically use when doing speed work or racing shorter distances, when I want to feel light and fast, though I have done half-marathons in them too.
I rotate my running shoes depending on the run for the day and I am also using The Saucony Hurricane ISO 2 specifically for my longer runs. The Kinvara 7 is a more natural ride at a 4mm drop and is classified as a neutral shoe. This allows the body and feet to take on a greater work load as compared to wearing a cushioned stability shoe like the Hurricane.
Aesthetically, I love these shoes! This is a new colourway, brought in for me, but there are 4 other choices available. I really like that the sole is blue instead of white like many other Saucony shoes.
Saucony is a performance brand that solely focuses on running, their shoes work great for me and I would recommend them to anyone who is serious about running. The Kinvara 7’s are sure to be my new favourite lightweight, neutral shoe and I would give them a 5/5.
Last week I received an email from Adidas Canada asking if I would be interested in receiving a pair of their new Ultra Boost Uncaged running shoes. The answer of course was a “YES” please! In case you didn’t know, the hype surrounding Adidas Ultra Boost is insane and certain colour ways can be found on eBay for 100s of dollars. The original Ultra Boost has plastic “caging” on the sides of the midfoot, so for the uncaged version this is not present. The Ultra Boost Uncaged were released for the first time a few weeks ago and sold out instantly!
The specs on theses shoes are:
Heel drop: 10mm
Price: $209 CAD
I tested these shoes for comfort while standing and walking in them for 6 hrs at work. They felt wonderful. I also took them out for an 11km run which consisted of a 20 minute warm-up, 8 x 2 mins @ 8km pace, and a 20 minute cool-down. They were a great choice for this workout due to the incredibly responsive, energetic “boost” sole of the shoe. I also really enjoy the hugged sensation provided by the “primeknit” material on the shoes’ upper. It is a pleasant and secure hugged feeling without being restricted in your range of motion.
The Ultra Boost Uncaged was originally released in grey and pink for women. I LOVE the grey colour way. More colour ways are coming very soon! I have my eye on the triple black (sole is also black), they are a great looking shoe.
The Ultra Boost Uncaged meets Adidas promise of providing a super responsive ride. They were great for a run that included speed work and I have no doubt they would continue to feel great on a longer run. Plus, they get mad style points, not many performance running shoes offer that! My rating is a 5/5.
*Though these shoes were given to me by Adidas, the opinions are my own.
As a runner and shoe nerd, I have tried many brands and styles of athletic shoes. However, until this evening I had never run in any Under Armour shoes. I was lucky enough to receive these from work (#workperks), so before I tell you my review here are the specs:
- Offset: 8mm
- Weight: 9oz
- Price: $160 CAD
I took these out for a 20 minute walk and a 7km easy run. They were great for walking, and I felt like I was being propelled forward. This was followed by a 40 minute easy run which was just over 7km. At 9oz the Gemini 2 are quite light in weight, which I liked. They pack a lot of cushioning into those 9oz. Each brand has their own type or name of cushioning and Under Armour uses speedform. They feel springy and I would consider them to be quite responsive. These would be an ideal shoe for any kind of speed work.
In terms of fit, I found them true to size. The Gemini 2 hug the midfoot in a way that feels secure. They are spacious in the toe box, which I liked. My feet are on the wider side, but these fit perfectly!
They come in many different colour choices and let’s be honest, colour matters to MOST people. I especially like the fade detail on the side of the shoe that goes from turquoise like the shoe’s upper to green like the laces.
Overall, I was impressed with the Gemini 2 and would give them a 3.5/5.