Recently I had the privilege of being on a call with the Saucony team (Head of Footwear, Pat O’Malley, their Head of Biometrics, Spencer White, and Senior Designer, Chris Mahoney) to learn about their new philosophy on heel-to-toe offset. Saucony has been one of the most responsive shoe companies when it comes to offering different levels of cushioning and heel-to-toe offset. (4mm Kinvara and Mirage, to the 0mm Hattori, and their full line of trainers) Saucony is taking it’s top three selling shoes and lowering the heel-to-toe offset from 12mm to 8mm. An 8mm offset will be the largest offset in their shoe line moving forward. This is huge. Why would you mess with your top selling shoes? The answer from Saucony is based on research and testing. They found 8mm to be the sweet spot for allowing runners that mid-foot strike and runners that heel strike to achieve a good ride throughout the stride. The lower heel does not interfere with the mid-foot strike and the new materials allow for more cushioning with less heel. 8mm offset will help runners gradually move towards a lower drop shoe. Personally, I have suffered calf issues resulting from running high mileage in 0 drop and 4mm drop shoes. Now, I mix in a higher offset shoe for recovery runs to give my calves a break. The Saucony team is very enthusiastic about the new shoes. Chris Mahoney told us “this is an exciting time in shoe design because of the new materials available and the consumer’s willingness to try and demand new products.” After getting off the call with their team I couldn’t wait for the shoes to be delivered. Once I got the shoes, I could see why the Saucony team is proud of this product offering.
Saucony sent me the Triumph 9 a neutral trainer. Out of the box they look pretty traditional. The lower heel is noticeable, but that is the only thing that looks different from a traditional trainer. Traditional is code for a tad boring / palatable to the mainstream. I look forward to seeing the color combos they come out with down the line. When I slipped them on I loved the way they felt on my feet. The upper fit snugly and the cushioning felt firm and plush at the same time. There is plenty of IBR+ (rubber) on the bottom from traction and durability. I tear through shoes, the rubber on these will extend the miles I can get out of the Triumph 9s. Standing still they felt great, but the test is how they feel when running right?
After completing the MCM, I needed a solid trainer for easy miles while my body recovered. I found myself excited to pull the Triumphs out of the closet. They are a great recovery / training shoe. Several runs in the Triumphs ended up getting extended. They feel light at 10.9 oz. even though I am used to lighter trainers. I think the extra cushioning contributed to the light feeling. My legs stayed fresh. I find that I run slower in traditional trainers, however, my splits in the Triumphs were on the fast side of my pace range. I would not choose the Triumphs for my tempo runs or track workouts, they don’t “feel” quite as nimble and responsive as my Kinvaras, A4s, or Pure Connect. Part of it is also psychological too. They look like traditional trainers, and traditional trainers don’t look fast. This shoe replaces the Brooks Ghost in my rotation. In my opinion this is a better shoe than the Brooks Ghost and that is saying a lot. I would recommend the Triumph 9 to anyone that is looking for a solid trainer. I have the luxury of having shoes to use depending on the run experience I want, including barefoot, racing flats, minimal, etc. If I could only have one shoe in my closet right now I would choose the Triumph 9. For an all around shoe it is a solid pick, although the price of the shoe is in the higher range $130 (U.S.)
At the time I wrote this review I had put 50+ miles on the Saucony ProGrid Triumph 9s.
What Saucony says…
Saucony ProGrid Triumph 9
Premium cushioning redefined, the 9th edition of the Triumph weighs in at a full once lighter than the 8th, and is upgraded with PowerGrid™, a new injection-molded foam that delivers a ultra-plush yet still responsive feel underfoot. Designed with an 8mm offset to allow an easier transition for less impact. Weight: 10.9 oz.
For another opinion of the Triumph 9s check out how2runfast’s review.