I have been lucky enough to be sent several pairs of shoes from Saucony and that has allowed me to essentially run in many variations of a neutral 8mm drop shoe (my preferred type of shoe). I am currently running in 4 different shoes that fit this description; Triumph ISO 2, Ride 8, Echelon 5, and the Breakthru (the new ones are out now).
I like running in all of the shoes but let me highlight the benefits/use cases (yes, I work in IT) for each shoe.
The Ride 8’s are the most versatile shoe of the bunch. I have been running in this line for a while but this is my first review of the Rides. What I like about this shoe is that it is an excellent balance between support and and structure. Some times a supportive shoe can have too much structure to it and overpower your foot so it can’t do what it does naturally. This shoe DOESN’T do this! It is the entry level type shoe that I think most runners (who prefer a neutral 8mm drop shoe) would be successful in. It is a durable shoe (the uppers are well constructed and and the soles are great).
The Breakthrus are a lighter weight version of a neutral 8mm shoe. I have tried to run in the Kinvaras before and tit just wasn’t a durable enough shoe for my running. Now that my running form has improved a bit, I can run in a lighter weight shoe. This shoes has become one of my favorites for shorter (3-7 mile) runs and runs that are speed or tempo based. It has excellent support in the midfoot thru the heel. It has a nice roomy toe box and the uppers are impressing me with their lightweight construction yet they are still pretty durable. This is an improvement over my experience with Kinvaras in the past. You need t be a fairly strong runner to run in a shoe this light weight, otherwise you may not do well with the lighter support.
The Echelon 5s are not my normal running shoe. They are designed for runners that need extra support and room custom orthotics or insoles. They are a very roomy shoe with extra support and cushioning but still are not as big and clunky as some of the other cushy shoes out there (think Hokas). This would be a great shoe for someone requiring extra support in a neutral shoe. I use this shoe for longer runs. Even with the roominess of the shoes it runs well for me and I don;t have any issues with rubbing that you might expect in a bigger shoe.
The Triumph ISO 2s are awesome! I have tried to run in this line twice before and was not successful. The first time was in the Triumph 11s and I just wasn’t running well enough at the time and they made my calves hurt. Then I tried again with the Triumph ISO 1 which was a totally re-engineered shoe from the previous ones. I had a problem with the construction of teh upper. It had two different layers that were made of two different type of materials and they rubbed the top of my feet and gave me blisters. That is when you are very happy to bought your shoes from RoadRunner sports because you can return them after 30 days with no issues! Back to the 2s. THEY ARE AWESOME!! Light weight like the Breakthrus but more supportive. I found the last version to be over constructed and these are the perfect balance! They are one of the more expensive shoes in the bunch but I would pay for another pair for sure!
All of the shoes reviewed in this post were provided to me by Saucony. The opinions are all mine. I was really lucky to get to run in multiple versions of this style of shoe!