Saucony Triumph ISO 4 Performance Review
Robbe: Saucony has pinned the Triumph ISO 4 as a comfort runner, and it mostly lives up to the expectations in that regard. On the first fit, my foot was enveloped in plushness as I tightened the laces and felt the stretchy ISOFIT and mesh upper conform to the shape of my foot. For those who are familiar with Saucony, this is nothing new. Their ISOFIT sock design has been proven and used for a couple of years now, for a legitimate reason. Because of the stretchiness, a super tight fit isn’t in the cards— which is fine— a proper fit shouldn’t cut off the circulation in my foot. Things were a little weird around the collar. For starters, the top line of the collar is cut low for some reason. Additionally, the collar is oddly wide. I didn’t notice either of these things at first, but during the run, they would come into play.
Moving on towards the front of the shoe, the toe box was slightly narrow, which to me was perfectly fine as I prefer a narrow width, although others have said it could use some room. On the run, the responsiveness was good for a well-cushioned shoe (the stack height is 28mm with an 8mm drop). For a moderate pace, the initial return from the Everrun midsole felt good, despite the overall weightiness of the sole (I’ll address this later).
Overall, the sole felt pretty firm, which I prefer, but those looking for an extra soft ride may be a bit disappointed. I found that the plushness of the shoe comes into play in the upper more than the sole. My longest run in these was a 12-mile slow run on roads and wet sand, but my foot felt comfortable throughout.
Lastly—the Saucony Triumph ISO 4 is a handsome shoe. It’s a personal pet peeve of mine that so many running shoes look like something your mom would wear on her lunch walk around the corporate office parking lot. This looks like a running shoe, sure—but it’s what a running shoe should look like. It comes in three colorways, and I liked the look of the green/black.
Meaghan: The last Triumph ISO I tested was V2, so there are some big changes from that iteration, but also some big changes from V3. Primarily, and most notably, Saucony replaced the PWRGRID+ foam with a full-length EVERUN midsole. What does this mean? EVERUN is a lot more “bendy”. It’s also heavier. If you enjoyed the ISO Freedom, you will like this shoe, as there are a lot of similarities. The outsole of the Triumph ISO 4 is covered in a triangular rubber pattern, called Tri-Flex, that does a pretty fantastic job of providing traction and durability.
Let’s talk about the upper, Saucony kept the ISOFIT design with a new mesh that feels softer and much more stretchy than its predecessors. It’s a comfortable shoe. The collar and tongue are super plush, though cut very low.
Robbe: I’m not going to say the Triumph ISO 4 started to feel like a brick after a couple of miles, but I’m also not going to say it didn’t. At 10.8 oz. for a men’s size 10.5, it’s not that heavy on paper. On the road is a different story. It felt heavy for what it’s supposed to be, which is an all-around neutral running shoe that should hold up well over long distances. Regarding general foot comfort, this may hold true. But I felt like the overall weight (which seems to be mostly relegated to the sole) began to wear me down, especially on faster-paced runs. The Everun cushioning in the sole doesn’t make up for it, and in reality, may be the cause for it. Also, whenever I attempted to pick up the pace, my foot felt like it was slipping out of the shoe. Even while running at a relaxed pace I often felt this. It didn’t slip out, but the sensation was there, which was unsettling. This happened on every run. At first, I thought it was due to the stretch of the ISOFIT upper, but I later realized it was the low (and wide) cut of the collar. No matter how tight my laces were (which shouldn’t be necessary anyway), my foot still felt like it was coming out of the shoe. Maybe this isn’t a problem for those with thicker ankles or wider feet, but for me (5’6”/132 lb/size 7.5), it was an ongoing annoyance.
Meaghan: There is a disconnect between the upper and midsole/outsole of this shoe for me. It felt as if I had a heavy rubber slab under my foot, held in place with nothing but shoelaces. The upper construction, though it looks supportive, is not. It lacks structure and actually collapses when there’s nothing inside. And for whatever reason, the collar of this shoe is cut extremely low. There is no support around the ankle; creating a general uneasy feeling when you’re turning the corner or trying to pick up the pace. Saucony is going the route of full-length EVERUN midsoles in all of their shoes, which I think is a mistake. Not only does this make the shoes heavier, it makes the shoes heavier underfoot. My W 7.5 came in at 9.5 oz. With daily trainer options in the 6 to a 7oz range, it’s difficult to want to take these out for a spin.
Saucony Triumph ISO 4 Conclusion
Robbe: I wanted to love the Saucony Triumph ISO 4. It’s a great looking shoe, and upon first lace up, I was pretty stoked. But I was disappointed by how heavy they felt so short into a run. I felt like I had to use more effort to maintain my average pace while wearing them. For slower runners, this may not be a problem, and in fact, this wouldn’t be a bad entry shoe for a beginner runner, or for long run days at a slower pace. When I wore them on my 12-mile run at a leisurely pace, I felt like the weight didn’t bother me as much, and my legs felt good post-run. The comfort is there, but the sole is firmer than one may expect. So for casual runners or long distance runs, or those who already love the Triumph series, I think this shoe would be acceptable. For those who like to throw in faster-paced workouts or tempo runs (but don’t have a tempo shoe), look somewhere else.
Meaghan: I too, wanted to love the Saucony Triumph ISO 4. It’s a great looking shoe and upon step-in, is really comfortable. Where the shoe falls short is out on the road. The bottom-heavy design is not great, particularly on the long run. My first outing in this shoe was an 18-miler; towards the end, my feet felt like they were dragging. Typically disagree with my reviews or loved the ISO Freedom? Great! You can purchase a pair for $160.