I’ve put around 225 miles on a pair of Saucony Triumph ISO, and I have to say it is one of the best running shoe updates I’ve seen. The Triumph has been around for a number of years, and has been a popular neutral cushioned trainer. The Triumph ISO represents an update that is a significant upgrade. The two primary features that have been incorporated into the ISO version are the ISOFIT upper and the PWRGRID+ cushioning system. The PWRGRID+ sole is designed to provide 20% more cushioning over the previous model, without increasing the weight of the shoe. The ISOFIT upper allows for a custom fit to the shoe, providing a sock-like fit that allows the shoe to move in harmony with the foot. The ISOFIT upper consists of a well-padded sleeve that wraps the foot and a cage lacing system allows you to tighten or loosen the sleeve to conform to your foot shape.
The Triumph is a true neutral shoe, so it’s clearly not for everyone, but for those who need a neutral cushioned trainer, it is an outstanding choice. The PWRGRID+ cushioning is excellent. It provides very good cushioning while providing a very smooth transition. I’ve found the cushioning to be of the “Goldilocks” variety – just right. It’s not too cushy, nor is it too firm. The cushioning protects my feet and legs regardless of the distance or intensity of the run. I never feel beat up after running in them, yet the cushioning doesn’t slow me down. As I said earlier, the cushioning provides a very smooth ride, so the Triumph ISO feels like a fast shoe.
For my money, the best feature of the Triumph ISO is the ISOFIT upper. It really works as advertised. The upper and lacing system allow you to customize the fit of the shoe on your foot. I’m amazed at just how customizable the fit is with the construction of the upper. And, once you get the fit right, the shoe truly moves in harmony with your foot. That means no slippage, no movement of the shoe, no friction, and no hot spots. Getting the perfect fit may take a couple of tries and adjustments, but once you find what works for your foot shape, in my experience the fit seems almost too good to be true. I have a fairly high arch and wide forefoot, so there are some neutral cushioned shoes that simply don’t fit me. The Triumph ISO, I’m happy to say, is not one of those. It allows me to get the perfect fit.
The Triumph ISO is not the lightest shoe on the market, but it’s fairly light (my size 9.5’s weight 9.9 ounces), and because of the perfect fit, it actually feels somewhat lighter than it is. The fit and feel of this shoe may make it a good long race shoe for some runners.
Another nice feature is that once you lace them up for the perfect fit, the laces stay – they don’t loosen up or come unlaced. It seems like such a small thing, but I’m always amazed at how the laces on some models of running shoes come loose, even when double-knotted. Stopping to retie your shoes in the middle of a run can be pretty aggravating.
The Saucony Triumph ISO has become my primary daily training shoe. They seem to be very durable thus far, as I have seen no breakdown in the cushioning properties at all yet. I automatically track the mileage on my shoes, so I will know soon how many miles I can safely put on a pair of them. The price of the Triumph ISO is on the high side. Based on my experience, the advances in shoes technology Saucony has put into this model make it worth the higher cost.
For those who pronate and need a shoe with stability, Saucony has incorporated the same technology into the Hurricane ISO. If you need a good shoe that provides the extra structure and support of a stability shoe, but provides better cushioning and a customizable fit, you might want to check out the Hurricanes.
written by 3RRC co-owner and President, Brad Altevogt