Saucony Tempus Review: Stable Through the Storm
ALDREN: I can’t tell you how much I envy neutral runners, given the array of super foam daily trainers they can choose from — New Balance FuelCell TC, Nike ZoomX Invincible, Puma Deviate NITRO, I can keep going. Then there’s me, over here in the corner, doing my speed work and long tempos in the FuelCell Prism. I’m not knocking the Prism, but the durometer of FuelCell is closer to the Propel than anything else.
Now falling from the clouds is the Saucony Tempus. This is Saucony’s first crack at modern stability, with a cradle of stiffer PWRRUN wrapped around a layer of PWRRUN PB for some extra pop. The dual-layered midsole combines a 36.5mm stack in the heel with 28.5mm in the forefoot for an 8mm drop.
MERCER: We’re back in the octagon once again to tackle a Saucony stability shoe. However, this ain’t your grandpa’s Guide. Instead, the Tempus is a new generation of stability shoe to go along with the Nike React Infinity and the ASICS Kayano Lite. It’s got heaps of PWRRUN PB to keep you bouncing and popping all day long, almost like the stability category is finally getting the same love as an everyday neutral shoe.
LINDSAY: Alright, here we go. A non-Endorphin shoe from Saucony… or is it? It isn’t an Endorphin, per se, but it’s definitely from the same family tree. Saucony is finally rewriting its stability algorithm after years of the Guide. PWRRUN PB foam paired with the PWRRUN (like in the Kinvara) gives serious “best of both worlds” vibes.
It’s equal parts bouncy, fun, high-energy foam with the density and stability of a stiffer foam frame. Bouncy foam in a stability shoe, you say? Yes. This also makes the Saucony Tempus a bit lighter than your average stability shoe. I can’t say I noticed too much of a difference on foot, but that’s neither here nor there. Let’s get to the good stuff.
ALDREN: If there’s one thing Saucony does better than most, it’s an upper. A simple mesh that molds from the midfoot back and a toe box wide enough for my toes to spread is all I can ask for. This is a pure true-to-size fit. There’s no material bunching at toe-off and enough lockdown at the instep for a secure hold. The Tempus upper is so basic, but I’d argue it’s lighter and more breathable than some race shoes on the market.
The star of the show is everything underneath the foot. First, thank you, Saucony, for attempting to make stability shoes exciting. The whole concept of the midsole has every shoe geek (myself included) in awe. We’ve mentioned that it’s a dual-layered component with a PWRRUN cradle and PWRRUN PB landing pad. This keeps the Tempus snappy at toe-off and stable when those longer tempos start weighing heavily on your form. The forefoot flairs to provide much more real estate for a confident land.
I took the Tempus from half marathon pace to 5k pace on the track, and I never felt like it was either too bulky or too heavy. The PWRRUN PB core snaps in stride without a second thought. I might need to do some tinkering with this shoe before I take it for higher mileage (you’ll see why in a minute).
Before we breeze into The Bad, I want to shine a light on this colorway. I love this sunflower yellow or Vizi Gold, as Saucony calls it. It matches nothing I own and stands out on all the unpaved roads in Orlando. The colorway screams yield while my feet only look for green lights when I lace up. The orange and black accents tie the shoe together for a thing of beauty. Kudos on the looks, Saucony.
MERCER: Fun. That’s everything I get with this shoe, from the sunflower yellow upper to the Tetris midsole and down to the grippy outsole. It’s all we need in life — summer GRIT is coming up, and this thing is gonna bring you home to your goal mileage by letting you crank one run after the next.
Saucony is on another level this year, with the new Ride and Guide offering some of the best response I’ve seen on a daily trainer, and the Tempus is right there with ’em. I’d argue it was a tad tight for my liking, but I also have funky feet. The huge slits in the toe box kept the shoe breathable, and the Saucony logo and adaptive lacing offered some much-needed structure.
My elevator pitch for this midsole is, “If the Nike Invincible was actually a stability shoe.” You’ll find yourself squishing the PWRRUN PB and thinking it’s too soft and plush, but that PWRRUN swaddles it like a baby to keep you rolling forward. The spillage of foam gives some inherent stability and lets Saucony jam more of that PWRRUN PB underfoot.
We’re all getting some major Endorphin vibes from the outsole, and I have no complaints about it. You’ll be able to rock the Tempus in a tempest without slipping or sliding.
LINDSAY: The first thing I noticed when I put on the Saucony Tempus was that it felt like my foot was getting a big, big bear hug. Plastic overlays at the midfoot extend vertically from the base to the laces, keeping me well connected to the midsole. They roll me into my next favorite feature — arch support. The medial side of the shoe has a massive chunk of PWRRUN, which gives it extra stability and keeps my foot aligned. The wide platform and good rubber sole coverage set the stage for a solid grip on the road, even when I took these out after a downpour.
Finally, I’m still not convinced there isn’t a mini fan in the toe box because, man, does that ventilation provide a nice breeze between the toes.Shop Saucony Stability – Men Shop Saucony Stability – Women
ALDREN: Strap in, y’all, because this ruined the shoe for me. As I climb onto my soap box, I want to clear things up and say that I work in a run specialty store. This means I see a handful of defective shoes weekly, so I understand when something goes wrong in the manufacturing department. I usually wave it off when it happens once, but twice? We have an issue.
When I received my first pair of the Tempus, the toe liner on the inside of my right shoe started peeling off and caused a blister at the tips of my little piggies after just 10 miles. We contacted Saucony, got another pair sent out, ran 14 more miles in the fresh pair, and it happened again. I hope I’m the only one that has to deal with this. We saw a total recall on the Saucony Endorphin Trail, and I fear this may have the same story. This is a great shoe with a concept I have been dreaming of, so I hope this doesn’t become a recurring problem.
Other than that, slower paces in the Tempus aren’t as fun. My feet were craving something softer like the React Infinity 3 or Diadora Mythos Blushield Vigore. Keep this shoe for some faster paces.
My final complaint is this excuse for a pull tab. I have dainty fingers that fit into holes that most others can’t (keep your mind out of the gutter). If you’re going to put a pull tab on a shoe just for aesthetics, then so be it, but give me something I can at least attach a carabiner to.
MERCER: I’m not sure what Lindsay is on, but holy crap did I not have room in this shoe. I think I trained my foot to feel squished while thinking about it because my feet hurt while I’m writing this review. Thanks, Pavlov’s shoes.
Even with the shoe feeling crazy narrow on my foot, my heel still managed to slip out every couple of steps. Given how many lace holes there are, I didn’t have enough lace left over to put the runner’s loop through.
LINDSAY: While the good outweighs the bad here, I’d be lying if I said a few features didn’t stick out like a sore thumb every time I wore the Saucony Tempus. First, it took a bit of Rubik’s cube methodology to get the laces adjusted just right. Once I mastered that, I noticed the toe box is just ginormous, and the heel area isn’t far behind. I had to double-check if I was wearing a wide shoe, but nope. So, I guess this would file under The Good if you wear wide-fit shoes because the Tempus will probably suit you just fine.
Finally, while the toe box practically has central AC, the rest of my foot was more on the cheap window unit status (roasty toasty).Shop Saucony Stability – Men Shop Saucony Stability – Women
ALDREN: What we have here is a perfect scoop of ice cream this summer. However, there’s a roach perched at the top of my cone, and it’s ruining the sweet treat. I wanted to love the Tempus, and I did on the first few miles, but once a small, yet integral part of the shoe is ruined, I’ve already lost my appetite.
All I can hope is that we see this concept repeated by other brands. I want to see more super foam stability shoes and hope this double defect doesn’t screw up the chances of that happening. I honestly can’t recommend this shoe to anybody because $160 is a hefty price to pay for a shoe that may deteriorate faster than some marathon flats. I’m not saying the same issue will happen to you (after all, none of our other reviewers had this issue), but I’m 0 for 2.
MERCER: This shoe needs to find its way into every stability runner’s lineup. Even with my width problems, I’m going to push past it for how sweet this midsole foam is. I’ll use it as a normal run shoe when I need a little pep in my step but not super shoe pop. And Aldren, sorry you fell into the Floridian stereotype of falling apart during a storm.
LINDSAY: I can confidently say the Tempus has joined my rotation and will be one of my go-to shoes for long runs — especially when I’m a little more tired and need the extra stability to keep my form from breaking down. I’m excited for what’s to come with stability trainers, as Saucony is truly changing the game here. While carbon plates and speed rocker geometry are all the rage right now, I think we’re going to see more variation in daily trainers, and this one sets the bar high at a reasonable price point.
You can pick up the Saucony Tempus on June 28 for $160 at Running Warehouse (featuring free 2-day shipping and 90-day returns) by using the shop link below.Shop Saucony Stability – Men Shop Saucony Stability – Women
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Should I get this or what for the Shift 3?
About me 46 yr old male, 160 20-25 miles a week. Very slight pronator currently run in the Mach 5.
I can’t speak for the Shift 3 but if you’re a fan of that lighter weight, more responsive sensation then you should check out the Tempus. It doesn’t have too intrusive of a stability to it so it’ll probably be stable enough for a slight pronation.
Wait, is it narrow or wide?
Personally, the tempus felt narrow from the mid foot to the heel (but like in a very secure way) and widened out around the toe box. Luckily, the tempus does come in wide if you need a wider fit but if you need that narrow you might be out of luck.