My first introduction to Saucony A4’s was back in October 2010 when I was on the hunt for an “orange” shoe. Wha what?! Doesn’t everyone buy their running shoes based on the color? Whatevs…I digress…the women’s A4 didn’t come in orange, so I chose another brand…H-A-T-E-D it, by the way. I won’t mention the shoe (Mizuno Precision). After wearing out three pairs of Kinvaras, I decided my feet could probably handle this cute little racing flat and when I saw that the new colors were orange and aqua, it was a done deal. They sat next to my desk for a couple of weeks as I worked up the courage to wear them. I needed a good reason to lace them up, something worthy of these beauties. I found a Memorial Day 5k that was perfect. Warmed up in my Kinvaras, carefully switched to my sweet, brand spankin’ new, almost glowing A4’s and decided to go sockless. Mmm, that may have been a bad idea. Two steps into the race, I knew I was in trouble. Every.single.step. shot piercing pain into my heels. I finished with some pretty chewed up feet, but am not necessarily blaming the shoes. Rookie mistake #1: Never try anything new on race day. Rookie mistake #2: Never break in a shoe during a race. They did bring me to a new PR, though! In subsequent wears, I’ve used moleskin and that does the trick to ward off any further blisters. Onto the shoe specs. What I first noticed about the A4’s when I took them out of the box, was how incredibly lightweight this shoe is. Weighing in at a whoppin’ 5.4 oz, this is the lightest shoe I’ve owned. Then I was quickly mesmerized by how pretty they are. Seriously, you canNOT go wrong with aqua. They do have a little bit lower heel than the Kinvaras, which makes sense because they’re a racing flat and need to weigh less, but that probably contributed to the different wear pattern on my heel. They have a fantastic, snug but not too tight fit, which made my foot feel really secure with no sliding around. The insole has just the right amount of cushion so that you don’t feel like you’re striking the pavement but not too much that you lose the minimal feel. One of the coolest features of the shoe are a series of holes on the sole that allow it to breathe. The upper mesh does a great job of that, too. There is good traction on the sole–the signature Saucony triangles are there, smaller and in clusters which work for gripping well but not feeling bulky or nobbly. Saucony is ever-so-clever and pays close attention to even the tiniest of details–on the sole is even imprinted “Get Some!” Highly recommended, fast racer for runners accustomed to a neutral shoe with minimal cushioning.
Air Mesh Upper
Provides lightweight breathability
Great for putting the shoe on or adjusting quickly
SSL(Saucony Super Lite) EVA
An advanced EVA blend that maximizes rebound and durability while minimizing weight
A carbon rubber outsole material that offers exceptional traction properties without sacrificing durability