ADRIENNE: The Saucony Triumph is a premium trainer that’s been around for quite a while now with its 19th iteration. This is a shoe that I feel like has been ignored in the past, but should not be this go around.
Although the recent Triumph editions were fun and peppier than their listed weight, in today’s running shoe game, less is more. The folks at Saucony answered the call and gave the people what they wanted, a lighter shoe by nearly an ounce. Same plush and energetic PWRRUN+ midsole, but a FormFit mono mesh upper has replaced the double-layered mesh, wrapping the foot in all the right places and making the shoe more breathable. This shoe feels like sitting down in the cabin of a Mercedes. Now, I’ll step out of the way and let the team discuss their likes, dislikes, and usual mayhem on here.
ROBBE: I’m not a huge cush guy, and one of the first shoes I bashed in a review for Believe in the Run was the Saucony Triumph ISO 4, a monumental clunker that felt more like a sofa for small mammals than an actual running shoe. So I wasn’t exactly excited to put miles into the Triumph 19, but with the ISO fit gone and a PWRRUN+ midsole, I figure I should give it a try.
KYLE: We all want a smooth ride right? I mean, is there one among us that dislikes a seamless, quiet transition through their gait? I don’t think so. But, can a shoe be too smooth? The Saucony Triumph 19 may be straddling that line. Can there be too much of a good thing?
NICK: The Endorphin line has been getting all the hype from Saucony, and rightfully so. And while the Kinvara is touted as the brand’s flagship trainer, the Triumph 19 is here to claim its spot in your rotation. The highly-cushioned daily trainer is revamped in its latest edition with a light, comfortable upper and stylish aesthetic.
ROBBE: For starters, I think this is the best-looking shoe in the whole Saucony checkers and chess family. The accents are subtle on this one, like a southerner trying to blend into a Brooklyn crowd. But enough with colors and patterns, let’s talk about the ride.
If you were a fan of the Triumph of the past (especially last year), then you will love this shoe. The midsole/outsole combo is the same as last year, but somehow, this thing lost an ounce of weight in the upper. That’s a pretty, pretty big deal. There isn’t as much plushness as year’s past, but in exchange, you get a more breathable – yet still comfortable – wrap around the foot. And honestly, I felt it on the run (in a good way). Compared to previous versions, the Triumph 19 felt for sure lighter on the foot, which was a pleasant surprise.
The ride on this is what I would say “standard” for a cushioned daily trainer. It didn’t really wow me, but it works. And honestly, a lot of the time, that’s just what you need in a daily trainer. Much like the Brooks Glycerin, this shoe just gets the job done. I guess you “could” pick up the speed in these, but I feel like they stay in their lane when it comes to performance. I feel like I didn’t give this a great review on YouTube, but I actually think it’s a pretty nice shoe and the weight loss is a big deal, in my opinion.
KYLE: The Triumph 19 has style and cushion for days. The latest set of footwear coming out of this brand is so bold and fun, it just makes you want to snatch these out of the box and just head out on a hilly 10-mile tempo with the shortest pair of shorts in your drawer. These sport a rad aesthetic, bordering on Vans/Santa Cruz skateboard vibes from the late ’80s and early ’90s. I also love the recycled materials in the upper. It’s 2021: if I had my way every shoe would have a couple of carbon-neutral or negative features.
The cushion is also here in a big way. The PWRRN+ midsole really delivers in reducing impact while being flexible enough to provide an exquisitely smooth ride.
NICK: The Triumph 19 features a new mono-mesh upper that’s comfortable and wraps nicely around your foot. The perforations in the toe-box and midfoot make it breathable for warmer temps and minimal overlays give the shoe just enough structure. Along with the upper, a gusseted tongue and padded heel counter contribute to an overall secure and comfortable fit.
The midsole is where this shoe shines and, as Kyle mentions, is almost too good to be true. The 32.5-24.5 mm of PWRRUN+ is uber soft, especially in the forefoot. As a forefoot striker, I appreciate the amount of cushion upfront as I often feel left out from the HOKA and big cush party. It’s a smooth ride that almost lulls you to sleep, which makes this a great easy/recovery day shoe. The Triumph 19 is just relaxed, without a care in the world, and that’s how you run in this shoe. That midsole combined with a durable, blown rubber outsole makes this shoe a reliable trainer to turn to when you’re feeling beat up or dealing with injury.
I mentioned the Endorphin line earlier, and it’s great to see the Triumph 19 get the same stylistic treatment. I love the bright white with black checkerboard inside and blue outsole. I get real Speed Racer vibes from this shoe, especially with the optional yellow laces (so much better than the black IMO). It’s just fun to look down at this shoe on your feet, which makes a hell of a difference when the going gets tough.Shop Triumph 19 – Men Shop Triumph 19 – Women
ROBBE: Like I said above, this shoe isn’t going to wow you. Which is fine, but if you’ve been tantalized by some of the Endorphin line, just don’t think you’re getting that same feeling from this PWRRUN+ midsole. It’s a bit soft, which provides that cushion and comfort, but you’re sacrificing pop and performance.
I also had issues with the overall fit. I just couldn’t get a great lockdown, no matter how many times I adjusted the laces. Also, the laces are kinda garbage, so switch those out ASAP.
KYLE: As I alluded to earlier, the cushioning on this model is a double-edge sword. I felt a lot of give in the midsole, which was great for mitigating that initial impact. However, I really missed that pop in the toe-off phase. I can’t describe it any better than that. I felt like my foot was having to work harder to actually push off through all the softness. I feel like there’s a happy medium of cush and responsiveness that the Triumph 19 just doesn’t find.
Mid-foot lockdown was a bit on an issue in this shoe, as I just didn’t feel a lot of lateral stability. I don’t run anywhere near fast enough for this to actually affect my performance, but fast, tight cornering doesn’t seem to be in this shoe’s wheelhouse.
NICK: Heel lockdown is a little bit of an issue in this shoe. It’s not so bad to where you’re falling out of the shoe entirely, but there’s some lift for sure.
There are a few small things that I don’t quite understand about this shoe. For example, I (and it seems like society) would’ve preferred a flared heel counter, which is industry standard now. Also, it just feels like this shoe should have a pull tab. I’m not a tab addict like some runners out there, but it definitely would have a spot on this one.
I feel like a broken record, but @saucony, what’s up with these rope laces? Can we not do this anymore?Shop Triumph 19 – Men Shop Triumph 19 – Women
ROBBE: Overall, this is a really solid shoe, especially if you’ve run in past versions in the Triumph and liked them (or conversely, found them to be lacking). It’s not going to blow your mind, but it will get you a ton of miles in comfort.
KYLE: The Saucony Triumph 19 delivers on the cushioning and has style for days. This would be my easy day/recovery run shoe. While not my first choice for tempo days or workouts, this shoe certainly has a place in your rotation.
NICK: The Saucony Triumph 19 is an impressively cushioned trainer that’s here to rescue your legs from the monotony of the daily grind. It’s a fun shoe that excels at looking fly while cruising down the street at a relaxing pace. This is one of those shoes that remind you why you love running.
You can pick up the Saucony Triumph 19 at Running Warehouse (featuring free 2-day shipping and 90-day returns) on July 15, 2021.Shop Triumph 19 – Men Shop Triumph 19 – Women