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What You Need To Know
Our takeaways from The Running Event 2022 in Austin, Texas
Highlights from Saucony include the Kinvara Pro, Triumph 21, and Endorphin Elite
We’ve seen some other updates to the core lineup and they look very promising
Not fully inclusive of all 2023 shoes (some shoes may still be under embargo)
Well, 2022 was certainly a banner year for Saucony. Out of nowhere, they claimed some/most of the top spots in our end-of-year Best In Gear roundups, on both the road and trail side. From the elite Saucony Endorphin Pro 3 to the stability game-changer of the Saucony Tempus to the Swiss Army knife Endorphin Speed 3, Saucony covered all the bases with plenty of home runs in 2022.
Of course, it’s hard to keep momentum, and few are able to do it. Asics and New Balance have certainly turned a corner the past few years and have kept up momentum, and by the looks of it, it seems that Saucony is driving in the same lane.
So what’s in store for 2023?
To find out, we headed over to Saucony’s booth on the floor of The Running Event, and chatted with Chad Holt, product line manager for Saucony, who took us through a handful of shoes. (Though, oddly enough, we didn’t hear about any of the core staples like the Ride, Guide, or Kinvara, that we know for a fact are coming in 2023. I mean, we saw all of them at the Saucony after-party that night.)
In any case, here’s what we know about Saucony 2023, including our first thoughts on the shoes. There are certainly some exciting elements in the limited lineup that was shown to us, but we also think the real juice has yet to be squeezed (read to the end to get some more info on that).
SAUCONY KINVARA PRO
Saucony Kinvara Pro (Women’s)
STACK/DROP: 42 mm/34 mm (8 mm drop) WEIGHT: 9 oz (255 g) for a US M9 RELEASE DATE: August 2023 PRICE: $180 NOTABLE FEATURES: By all accounts, the Kinvara is a legend in the Saucony lineup. A decade ago, its light weight and simplicity made it a go-to shoe for everything, from race day to daily training. But its allure has started to fade as shoes have made the move towards more cushion and more energy return in a similar weight range. In short, the core idea of the Kinvara become outdated. Enter the Kinvara Pro.
With this shoe, Saucony takes the basis of the Kinvara and attempts to elevate the product to modern shoe making standards. The goal is to “democratize innovation,” and create a shoe that suits both the elite and everyday runner. The midsole design features a layered cushioning system: bottom is a full-length bed of PWRRUN foam, above that is the same tear-drop shaped carbon fiber plate found in the Endorphin Pro, then comes a layer of PWRRUN PB (sandwiched between foot and carbon plate), then it’s all topped off with a 7 mm PWRRUN+ sockliner. Long story short, you get all three Saucony foams in one shoe, as well as a carbon fiber plate. Madness, but in a good way. Upper is more built up and structured than the Endorphin Pro or Speed, and it still manages to stay lightweight at 9 ounces. Needless to say, we’re very intrigued and excited to see how this shoe fares against others in its range (i.e. New Balance SC Trainer).
Now does this mean that the Kinvara is going away? Of course not. However, we have seen the Kinvara 14 and we can assure you that it appears to be quite an upgrade to the traditional Kinvara. We don’t have a timeline on that release, but since the Kinvara 13 came out early 2022, we’re assuming that we’ll see the 14 by summer.
SAUCONY TRIUMPH 21
Saucony Triumph 21 (Men’s)
STACK/DROP: 37 mm heel, 27 mm forefoot (10 mm drop) WEIGHT: 9.9 oz. (250 g) for a USM9 RELEASE DATE: Summer 2023 PRICE: $160 NOTABLE FEATURES: Anyone who’s run in last year’s version of the Triumph knows what you’re getting in the Triumph 21. That’s because it’s the same midsole and outsole, with an upper change. That’s not a bad thing– the Triumph 20 was an excellent max cushion cruiser and the best version of the shoe in years. For those not in the know, the midsole is Saucony’s plush PWRRUN+, with a nice 37 mm stack for plenty of comfort on the run.
The main changes here are an engineered flat knit upper, which should hold the shape of the foot a bit better. It’s also softer to the touch, so will provide a but more comfort in that regard.
A sustainable version of the shoe will also be coming in the Triumph RFG (Run For Good), though it has some notable differences. The midsole in that shoe is 55% biobase, which is higher than most sustainable shoes, including Allbirds and the Asics Lite models. Those fall around 48% biobase materials in the midsole. The upper is made of recycled materials, but seeks to maintain the same performance and comfort found in the standard Triumph. We have yet to see a sustainable shoe that actually performs to the marketing pitch behind it, so we’ll see how it actually works in practice. The construction of the shoe does add a bit of weight, putting it a half-ounce heavier than the Triumph 21. The Triumph RFG releases summer 2023 for $160.
SAUCONY ENDORPHIN RIFT
Saucony Endorphin Rift (Men’s)
STACK/DROP: 33 mm heel, 27 mm forefoot (6 mm drop) WEIGHT: 8.6 oz. (244 g) for a US M9 RELEASE DATE: July 2023 PRICE: $170 NOTABLE FEATURES: Another spin-off of the Endorphin line for trail, the Endorphin Rift looks to take some of the elements of last year’s Endorphin Edge into a whole new shoe. Let’s set aside the fact that the Endorphin Trail was one of the worst shoes ever made, since the Endorphin Edge absolved Saucony of its sins. If the Endorphin Rift can replicate some of the magic of the Endorphin Edge, without the white-knuckle experience on technical terrain, then we’re all in.
From the looks of it, we may have a winner. The Endorphin Rift still has a full bed of race-ready PWRRUN PB foam in the midsole, but a more moderate stack height should limit instability, which was one of the issues with the Endorphin Edge. It is a non-carbon-plated shoe, but it does offer an adaptable rock shield in the forefoot, and some sizeable 4.5 mm lugs on its PWRTRAC outsole.
With a gusseted upper and adaptable lacing, you’re looking at a pretty secure ride that’s ready for a variety of surfaces. The fact that they managed to keep this shoe under 9 ounces is kind of wild, and should make for a fast and fun shoe on the trails. Definitely the most exciting thing on the trail side for 2023.
We can’t say much about these shoes, and for some reason they weren’t shown to us at The Running Event, but the updated Ride 16, Guide 16, and Kinvara 14 all look very promising. The Kinvara 14 looks like it got a full overhaul and the design we saw is top-tier Saucony.
Then there’s the Endorphin Elite, the lightest, fastest, and the most energy-efficient shoe that the brand has ever made. We got hand-slapped for accidentally sharing a photo of the shoe (come on, we were like four Lone Stars deep and it was just sitting on the wall at the Saucony party), but it’s literally on Roadrunner Sports right now, so whatever. We’re not allowed to divulge much of anything, but we can tell you that it is a celebration of Saucony’s 125th anniversary and will feature a new midsole material. And that it may be coming sooner than you think. And that it will be the priciest Saucony shoe to date, at $275. Stay tuned.
Watch the full rundown of Saucony 2023 on YouTube!
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