Since I am a big fan of the Saucony Kinvara line, I thought I would give the Cortana 3 a shot. The Cortana 3, to my understanding, was a beefed up version of the Kinvara. A little more everything. More cushioning, more durable outsole, more upper. Some things are cliché for a reason, I found the “less is more” very fitting for the Cortana 3.
The cushion on the shoe is a relief on recovery runs. The 4 mm offset gives the stride of the Cortana a similar feel as the Kinvara. For as much of a shoe the Cortana is, Saucony did a good job at keeping the shoe light at 9.5 oz, Kinvara weighs in at 7.7 oz. for reference.
The most noticeable downfall of the Cortana 3 was the toe box. I have narrow feet. I rarely review a shoe where I complain about toe box. After a few miles of running my feet were rubbing the sides. No Bueno. Another thing I felt was off about the shoe was the upper and the overuse of plastic in the overlays. The entire back of the heel is rigid plastic. The toe of the shoe is plastic too. The front of the shoe where the flexfilm is used puckers and wrinkles. Something just seems off with the Cortana.
Saucony makes great shoes, but you can’t win them all I suppose. What I would love to see is a version of a Kinvara upper on a Cortana 3 midsole and outsole with a little more room in the toe box. The Cortana 3 falls into my “meh” category. It isn’t a horrible shoe, it also isn’t a shoe I get excited to run in. I have a marketing idea for shoe companies that could get us shoe junkies to buy more shoes. Take a shoe in your lineup that is beloved, like the Kinvara. Modify the midsole and the outsole of the shoe for the following: