Saucony Mirage 4 Review

Saucony Mirage 4Saucony Mirage 4 Review

Men’s: 4mm platform (drop) Weight: 8.9oz. / 252 g (size 9)
Women’s: 4mm platform (drop) Weight: 7.9oz. / 224 g (size 8)

The Good

Thomas: This shoe is a stunner! It is beautiful to look at. Every detail of the shoe looks flawless. The shoe locks together with minimum welded overlays and tight breathable mesh. The upper feels super comfortable and light on the foot.

Jenny: Saucony does a great job at lightweight. They are my go to brand when it comes to a daily trainer with little bulk. Not only do they have one shoe in this category but there are several to choose from. I’ve said it before but I’m a Kinvara/Virrata girl. The Mirage fits right in with these other two shoes and with the exception of the light medial posting for stability, it’s a very similar shoe to the Kinvara. Thankfully I have a pair of Mirage 3′s that I can compare the 4′s to. At first glance, there is not a whole lot that has changed. The updates from the 2 to 3 were less than subtle and with great reviews, it was tough to make a change in the right direction. Why mess with perfection? A couple things that were added to the 4 to improve the ride were:

  • Powergrid to the midsole to give it a cushier ride. Previous models had Progrid, which is a step down in softness.
  • The Upper is now more durable. Wider meshes are easily broken through but this round is doubled up and a heartier material. It’s a tighter weave but still breathable–win/win.

Stein: The Saucony Mirage 4 looks great. I ended up with the red version of the shoe and at first glance I was impressed. They look fast and sexy. When I put the shoes on and walked around the house I continued to groove on them; the upper is light, they’re super plush, the heel doesn’t slip and they just feel comfortable. In fact, the upper fits me better than either the Saucony Virrata 3 or Kinvara 4, with just the right amount of room for my toes.

Meaghan: I LOVE the look of this shoe. I was sent the Red/Robin’s Egg Blue/Yellow color way, but I would argue they are more blood orange. The teal and yellow accents really make this shoe stand out. I got several compliments on them. Okay, enough about looks. I also love the fit of this shoe – true to size, snug through the midfoot with plenty of room for my wide foot/toes to spread out in the forefoot. The tongue and collar are super plush, which gives the shoe some nice added comfort and I never had any irritation or hot spots. They weigh in just under 8 oz, so not the lightest shoes I’ve owned, but they’re great for every day training. To me the shoes feel fast. One of my first runs in these shoes was a 22 miler and I was running sub 8 min/miles without much thought (that is pretty quick for me).

The Bad

Thomas: My thoughts on what I did not like about the Saucony Mirage 4 are obviously based on my own preferences. I say that because the items I will point out might be exactly what another runner may want in a shoe. I found the Mirage to be way to firm and stiff for my liking. The shoes felt great standing and walking around so I decided to take them out of the box for a 22 mile run. After the run my feet and legs were killing me. BTW, I do long runs with new shoes a lot, sort of a trial by fire. The Mirage midsole is not a shock absorber. I thought maybe the shoe needed more of a break in period to soften up so I followed up that run with a couple 8 mile runs. The shoe remained firm.

Jenny: To be super nitpicky, you can say that the weight increased–SLIGHTLY…we’re talking tenths of an ounce. In the shoe world, that can be a big deal, so it’s worth mentioning. When on my foot, it wasn’t enough to make a noticeable difference, however. I also found this to be kind of a stiff shoe. It doesn’t have the flexibility of the Kinvara or Virrata but with the medial posting for support, that makes sense. Mild pronators will often look for that light support and that’s what you’ll get–it does the job.The little carbon lugs didn’t fit great into their little slots on the outsole. I noticed that they look popped in like little foam pieces. I don’t have a TON of miles on the shoe, so not entirely sure how they’ll wear overall but they weren’t quite laying flush with the EVA midsole. Maybe all they needed was a few more miles to wear down some more. This didn’t affect the fit/feel, but I noticed it as I was inspecting for wear.

Stein: Unfortunately, every time I ran in the Saucony Mirage they started to feel stiff and clunky within the first mile. Despite putting all my effort into maintaining a light gait and mid-foot strike (and the relatively modest 4mm heal-toe drop) it was difficult to avoid heel striking. There is a chunk of plastic embedded in the sole, just under the arch, that seems to provide much of the Mirage’s “stability” along with seriously limiting flexibility. I felt like it took more effort to run in these shoes due to their firmness and my feet just couldn’t flex as much to recoup some energy with each stride.

Meaghan:This is a firm shoe. The benefit of a firm shoe is that I don’t hesitate running over the cobble stones of downtown Baltimore. The negative is that it’s really, really stiff. There isn’t much give, and even with a light shoe and a 4mm drop, the firmness of the midsole and the stack height of the Mirage 4 removes any ground feel.

Saucony Mirage 4Conclusion

Thomas: The Saucony Mirage 4 are a beautiful pair of running shoes that I wanted to love. The upper fits great but the firmness and lack of flexibility did not work for me. If you love firm shoes, I think that you would be thrilled with the Mirage 4. For my tastes there are other Saucony shoes I prefer. We will be posting reviews of more of them soon.

Jenny: The Saucony Mirage 4 is a lot like the Mirage 3. With some added durability and a little color makeover, if you were happy with the previous version, you’ll love the update.

Stein: Runners who lean towards a stability shoe will probably love the Saucony Mirage 4. It is firm, plush and snazzy. The upper is fantastic but the sole just doesn’t mesh with my running style. Regardless, I’ll continue to wear them as a casual shoe.

Meaghan: I’m a little torn on this shoe. I’ve personally grown to love it, but I’m hesitant to recommend it. If you prefer a firmer ride you will absolutely love the Mirage 4. If you’re into that softer more flexible feel on your feet, you should probably opt for another shoe in the Saucony line, like the Virrata (we will be reviewing the Virrata soon.)

Saucony provided the BITR team with samples of the Mirage 4 for this review.
Check out Runblogger’s review

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Skechers GOrun Speed 2 (GOmeb)
Mizuno Wave Hitogami Running Shoe Review
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Comments

Hi – how does the stiffness compare to the Mirage 2?

posted by Daniel / 03.15.14 - 8:34 pm

[…] Thomas Neuberger and his review crew tackled the Saucony Mirage 4. Much as I reported in my own review of the Mirage 4, Thomas and Stein both found the shoe to be […]

Seemed stiffer than I remembered, but you might want to try it on to see what you think.

posted by Thomas Neuberger / 03.18.14 - 1:24 pm

I know this is an older review, but based on my experience with the 2 vs the 3, I agree on many points. I loved the 2 and wanted to love the 3 (still love the fit of the upper!) but agree that it’s very clunky and I feel like the medial posting is more aggressive (based on how my feet are responding). In addition, it makes the left side of my left foot go numb by the time I’m a couple miles into a run. So frustrating.

posted by Michelle / 05.21.14 - 8:53 am

Bummer Michelle.

posted by Thomas Neuberger / 05.23.14 - 8:37 pm

I went from the Mirage 2 (loved it) to the Mirage 3 (loved it) to the Mirage 4 (ihated it). The Mirage 4 was super stiff and clunky to the point that I could not run normally in it (and I’m a neutral runner with no gait issues). I only made it a few miles before my hamstrings begged me to stop and return the shoes.

posted by Martha / 07.17.14 - 10:55 am

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