Saucony Triumph 20 Review: Not an Endorphin, But a Triumph
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Weighs 10 oz. (283 g.) for a US M10.5 / 8.3 oz. (236 g.) for a US W7.5
We’ll never say no to thicker, lighter foam underfoot
There’s more than enough padding in the upper, too
Maybe Triumph is just how Saucony is describing its year
Available now for $160
MEAGHAN: Saucony has been dropping some gems this year. The refreshed Endorphin line is the crown jewel, so why not expect more greatness across the board? It’s been a couple of years since I laced up a version of the Triumph, but I’m always down to test out a highly cushioned trainer. Bring on the Saucony Triumph 20.
This year’s model comes with a brand new slab of PwrRun+ that’s lighter and softer than its predecessor. Oh, and Saucony bumped the stack height from 32 to 37mm in the heel and 24 to 27 in the forefoot. That means more stack and a higher drop, somehow in a lighter package.
The upper is all-new, too, but it still brings the same plush comfort that Triumph fans know and love. Saucony’s lacing system offers some additional lockdown features at the eyelets, and there’s no shortage of padding in the tongue and collar.
On paper, this shoe checks all the boxes. But how does it feel out on the roads?
ADRIENNE: Meg is right. Saucony has been killing it this year. My personal history with the Triumph starts back at version 17 when Saucony introduced PwrRun+ to the equation. I expected a heavy and dull shoe back in the day, and I was happy to be wrong. That was then, and this is now, so let’s see if Saucony has kept up its winning ways in the Triumph 20.
Once again, Meg is right — the Triumph 20 passes the eye test with flying colors. I don’t even mind wearing the shoe in public, which doesn’t always happen with running shoes. It’s as comfortable as it is stylish, so you know you’re in for a plush ride. For most people, the FormFit design will hold your foot in place and adapt to you rather than forcing you to change your stride for the shoe.
I put almost 50 miles on the Triumph 20, and it shines best as a recovery/easy day shoe. It’s capable of picking up the pace, but there are better options — even within the Saucony stable. The slower I went, the better the shoe felt, and for me, on days where I need not push, this turned out to be a good thing.
Be warned, however, that the Triumph isn’t an Endorphin in disguise. It knows what it is and leaves the high-tech cruisers in their own lane. Let’s see what I mean.
RYAN: I’ve had my feet in more than my fair share of Saucony shoes this year, and I’ve yet to find one I didn’t like. I trotted in the Tempus, felt good in the Freedom, did something that starts with A in the Axon, and thoroughly enjoyed the Endorphin Pro and Speed. Now it’s time to take it home in the Triumph.
Sometimes a shoe happens to land at the perfect time. I’m about a month out from my first marathon at this point, and I’m looking for as much cush as possible to hold me through the heap of road miles. That’s basically what the Triumph 20 is — a fat stack o’ foam with a plush layer of cushion on top. There’s no reason this shoe should be as light as it is, but that’s magic, baby.
Meg and Adrienne covered most of the important stuff above, and they touch on the important tech specs below, so I’m just gonna pass along the vibes. Let’s roll.
MEAGHAN: Let’s start with the aesthetics because I love what Saucony did here. The Triumph 20 colorway I received (Prospect/Glass) is a neutral gray with some bright accents like a shiny gold Saucony logo. It’s fun without being over the top.
The PWRRUN+ sock liner and cushioning underfoot feel great upon step-in. Paired with the highly padded tongue and collar, it’s got all the features of a very plush shoe. While Saucony increased the stack, they also reduced the weight. My US W7.5 came in at 8.3oz — pretty decent for a well-cushioned trainer.
ADRIENNE: I agree with Meg that the weight reduction was nice, and the step-in felt luxurious. I have relatively narrow, low-volume feet and had no problems with the fit. I was able to lace up and go without a second thought.
If you love hella cush, then you’ll probably love this shoe. There’s cushioning for days with the PwrRun+, and it’s not interrupted by a plate, a different core, or any other midsole modification. The change means there’s less fire in the Triumph 20, but that’s by design. I found the ride pretty smooth overall, though there are some things I’d change (more on that in a sec). It’s not so much a snap and a pop as a slow, luxurious roll. Think Rolls Royce, not Ferrari.
As I ramp up my fall training, I need a go-to recovery shoe for the double days when my legs are tired. The Triumph is that shoe — it’s soft and comfortable, and it keeps me from wanting to push too hard. It also feels stable and grips the pavement well, thanks to subtle outsole improvements. There’s more than enough rubber here.
In my opinion, this is one of the most comfortable trainers of the year. I didn’t run into hotspots, irritation, or anything else that made running less enjoyable. The materials are premium, and the cush is king. It reminds me of the recently reviewed Mizuno Wave Neo Ultra in some ways, which is actually a compliment.
RYAN: Comfort, comfort, comfort. That’s the story of the Triumph 20. There’s padding everywhere, from the extra-thick midsole to the marshmallow-esque upper. Everything is thick, and it feels great on foot.
I took the Triumph for 12 miles right out of the box and enjoyed every one of them. Then, I took it for a 17-mile long run with similar results. Speed didn’t matter for either effort, just comfort and distance. The PwrRun+ is plush underfoot, and it doesn’t feel like it deadens out over the course of a run. No, it doesn’t add anything incredible, but I wasn’t looking for magical pop or speed on a shoe with this much cushion.
I got the same colorway as Meg, and I hold similar sentiments. It looks great and is easy to pull off as a casual shoe. However, I think the few pink hits are more impactful than the gold Saucony logo. Not nit-picking, though, cause it’s a great look all around. Even the marbled outsole rubber keeps the theme going, a nice change from the usual monotone soles. If you’re gonna go monotone, make it a gum sole. Otherwise, keep the marbled funk comin’.
MEAGHAN: I struggled with this shoe. On paper, it looks great. Even in my hand, it feels like a shoe I would enjoy, but it never came together on the road.
My first issue was the lacing — the laces were too short to double-knot, and tightening them up to add some length put too much pressure on the top of my foot. It didn’t help that the upper felt a bit narrow and seemed to lack volume through the toe box. I just never found that Goldilocks fit.
The experience didn’t get much better underfoot. Despite the new foam with its claims of being lighter and softer, the midsole felt firm and lacked any kind of response. I’ll usually forget about a shoe mid-run, but I was constantly reminded of the Triumph 20’s presence. For whatever reason, I kept thinking the laces needed to be fixed, which threw me out of a comfortable rhythm.
ADRIENNE: It took me a few runs to get a feel for the shoe’s character. At first, it felt bouncy, and then it felt kinda dead, then it was back to bouncy again. The Jekyll and Hyde experience confused me while I racked up the miles, but maybe it’s just a breaking-in period. At any rate, I can see why Meg had some issues with the mercurial traits.
Also, the laces really are that short. Kinda weird.
RYAN: I can understand where Meg is coming from when she says the upper feels a little narrow. My foot isn’t as wide as hers is, but I had a similar experience. I chalked it up to the ridiculous amount of padding, but I didn’t need to tighten the laces as much as she did for a comfortable fit.Shop Saucony Triump 20 - Men's Shop Saucony Triump 20 - Women's
MEAGHAN: The Saucony Triumph 20 was a miss for me, partially because Saucony has so many good options. I’d grab the Endorphin Shift (more stack, less cash) or the Endorphin Speed (firmer ride, way more pop) before I put the Triumph back on.
ADRIENNE: Saucony set its bar high for 2022. The Endorphin series deservedly overshadows the rest, including the Triumph, but Saucony’s max-cushion trainer still has a home. It’s a good pick for runners who want a classic, neutral ride with a modern twist. The Triumph 20 isn’t a perfect shoe, but it’s one that I plan to continue adding easy miles to during the fall marathon season.
RYAN: Triumph isn’t just a good name for this shoe, it’s an apt way to describe Saucony’s year. I haven’t had a bad experience in any of the half dozen models I’ve run in, and the Triumph is more of a good thing — literally. It has plenty of padding, plenty of foam, and plenty of miles ahead of it. If you’re in the market for a max-cushion trainer, the Saucony Triumph 20 is certainly worth a look.
P.S. Don’t listen to Meg, she’s totally wrong about the Triumph.
You can pick up the Saucony Triumph 20 for $160 at Running Warehouse (featuring free 2-day shipping and 90-day returns) by using the shop link below.Shop Saucony Triump 20 - Men's Shop Saucony Triump 20 - Women's
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Meaghan signed up for her first marathon three weeks before the race, because it was $10 more than the half she planned to run. She learned everything in running the hard way. Now a USATF & UESCA certified run coach, she loves encouraging friends to go for big goals as she continues to chase faster times. She enjoys a hot cup of coffee, a cold martini, and making bagels for friends and family.
All-time favorite shoes: Nike Alphafly Next%, New Balance SC Trainer, Asics Superblast.More from Meaghan
Adrienne has been running since she can basically remember but has been running the roads and XC courses of the Houston and College Station: TX area for the past decade. When she’s not running, she maintains her busy sport psychology and counseling practice and has ambitions of living in the mountains someday.
All-time favorite shoes: Saucony Endorphin Speed (any model), ASICS Metaspeed Sky, New Balance Rebel v2.More from Adrienne
I am not a runner but I do stand all day and have issues with foot pain. I found the Saucony Triumph 17 and for the last 4 years the Triumph is the only shoe I wear at work. I just wanted to say keep up the good work!