As always, we do the testing, research and pouring through tons of reviews so you don’t have to. Our aim is to help you make the best educated choice on which shoe is the best for you. We know that the wrong shoe can make a long-lasting impression that can ruin running for you. Running should be fun and the right pair of shoes makes all the difference.
The Saucony Cohesion 14 straight out of the box gives you a bit of a last decade feel. Yes, they look that outdated compared to other running shoes currently on the market. The Cohesion is an entry level running shoe aimed at people getting into the sport for the first time or athletes that incorporate some running into their training regimen, but it’s not their focus.
The Cohesion is also available in a trail running shoe, the Cohesion TR. For this Saucony Cohesion 14 review, we are going to focus on the road version of this shoe.
|Pros||Value for money|
They have a nice big toe box
Nice traction on all surfaces
It comes in a wide version and also has half sizes
True to size
Great traction on different surfaces
|Cons||High drop not great for forefoot strikers|
Not enough forefoot cushioning
Needs some breaking in
|Weight||9.1 oz. (260g) for a men’s standard size|
7.6 oz. (218g) for a women’s standard size
|Stack height||Heel height:|
Men 28.5mm / Women 28.5mm
Men 16.5mm / Women 16.5mm
We didn’t forget to list the rest of this shoe’s features, that VERSARUN midsole is all the bells and whistles you get with this shoe. So why would anyone even consider this shoe? Let’s take a closer look.
An In Depth Look at the Saucony Cohesion 14
Once you get past the dated look of the shoe, it’s surprising how comfortable the Cohesion 14 is. It’s not the softest ride, but we’ve learned that the softest ride is not always the healthiest ride. If you’re only doing a modest amount of mileage, having a max cushioned shoe as your only shoe is not a good idea. A maximum cushioned shoe prevents your feet from developing strength in the right places and allows you to land harder than you should, while a medium cushioned shoe forces you to learn to land softer.
They give a pleasantly consistent ride once you’ve broken them in.
Saucony made the upper of the Cohesion 14 of engineered mesh and it has overlays on the sides, the heel and the toe area. The mesh is breathable and keeps feet cool on warm days. Strategically placed overlays increase durability, but some runners found the seams to rub on their small toe.
The toe box is roomy but the overlays provide structure to the upper that gives you a secure lockdown. The thickly padded tongue and collar add to a snug and comfortable fit, but they hold a lot of moisture on very wet runs. I don’t recommend taking these out in the rain.
The laces are flat and long enough to make a double knot. They stay tied during a run.
They fit true to size but are also available in a wide and extra wide model.
The midsole consists of full-length VERSARUN foam providing medium firm cushioning. This cushioning performs well at medium to slower paced runs, but may be a bit firm for tempo runs and speed work.
The 12mm drop is very noticeable and better suited to heel strikers than forefoot strikers. The comparatively thin layer of foam (16.5mm) in the forefoot also doesn’t provide enough cushioning for forefoot strikers.
There is no additional structural support, but runners with medium arches have reported adequate support while runners with high arches have complained of not quite enough support.
Saucony has updated the outsole unit of the Cohesion 14. The rubber is still the same compound as before and it is extremely durable.
The pattern of the rubber layer differs from before, providing better traction than in previous models. There are flex grooves all along the outsole providing mild flexibility to the shoe in the forefoot and it helps to bring the overall weight down as well.
It has good grip even in wet weather, if you decide to go running once the rain lets up.
Who is This Shoe For or NOT For?
These are great for anyone just starting out with running. They are also good for runners looking to add a budget-friendly shoe into their rotation for shorter runs (5K or less). They are fantastic for gym workouts, except for those doing heavy lifting (squats and deadlifts specifically). They can even handle the occasional 10K at a relaxed pace.
They are not for runners doing high mileage needing lots of cushioning, and they are not suitable for Crossfit where a 4-6mm drop is ideal. The high drop of 12mm is almost certain to cause sprained ankles.
Alternatives to the Saucony Cohesion 14
Asics Gel Contend 7
The Asics Gel Content is very similar to the Saucony Cohesion in both looks and feel. It too should not be judged by appearances but by performance as a value for money running shoe option.
The AmpliFoam™ midsole provides a little more cushioning than the Cohesion, but it’s still a firm ride. The GEL® Technology provides great shock absorption in the heel on medium paced to slower runs, but on tempo runs it’s a little too firm. While you should be fine picking the pace up a bit on shorter runs, we recommend looking elsewhere for faster paced long runs.
Asics has added Guidance Line® midsole technology and flex grooves in the sole unit to encourage a stable yet natural gait. The multi-directional engineered mesh upper provides another layer of stability and it also allows for really good airflow.
Rubber on the high abrasion areas of the outsole and synthetic stitching on the overlays helps with durability.
The Asics Gel Contend clearly has a lot more features than the Saucony Cohesion, but it also comes at a slightly higher price point.
The Contend handles distance better than the Cohesion and with less padding and an Ortholite® Sockliner for moisture management, it also handles very warm weather and wet conditions better.
It weighs in at 268g (Men) & 223g (Women) which is also very close to the Cohesion. The 10mm drop makes it suitable for heel and forefoot strikers. It’s suitable for neutral runners and those who are mild supinators. The Contend is a narrower shoe though and runners with very wide feet should steer clear.
Something to note is that the sole unit on these shoes develop a rather odd squeak after the first couple of runs and while it doesn’t impact performance it can get on your nerves at times.
Nike Winflo 8
The Nike Winflo is easily the best Nike budget running shoe. It is a neutral everyday trainer suitable for short to medium distance runs and it’s a little more versatile than the Cohesion and Contend because the Winflo can handle faster paces as well.
When it comes to looks, it has an enormous advantage with none of the outdated looks of both the Cohesion and Contend. It’s an attractive shoe that won’t have you embarrassed if you quickly have to stop in at the mall after your workout. The upper is a double-layer translucent mesh that is stylish and modern.
It’s comfortable but breathability lacks a little. Flywire around the mid-foot adds support and a snug fit without adding weight.
The flat laces are on the short side and need double knots to stay tied.
The Cushlon foam midsole encases a full-length Zoom Air unit. It does the job of everyday neutral trainer well but the running experience is unlikely to blow your mind. This is a Nike model that has worked very well for my daughter over the years. Her older pairs gets moved to gym duty. It handles short to medium distances well and can pick up the pace when necessary.
Durable outsole rubber provides great grip on most surfaces.
They’re heavier than the Cohesion and Contend at around 250g to 300g and the heel drop of 10mm, makes them equally suitable for heel and mid-foot strikers.
Brooks Launch 8
Brooks classify the Launch as a neutral, lightweight daily trainer, most suitable for faster paces, tempo runs and speed work on the track. At 7.9oz / 224.0g (women’s) and 8.6oz / 243.8g (men’s) the women’s shoe weighs the same as the Contend, and it’s heavier than the Cohesion. So much for lightweight…
Brooks has packed the midsole with BioMoGO DNA foam. While it might be mildly more responsive than the Cohesion and Contend it is less responsive than the Winflo. The foam is on the firm side and doesn’t provide enough cushioning for most runners on longer runs. Runners have also reported that the foam gets very stiff and hard in really cold weather.
The heel drop on the Brooks Launch is the standard Brooks 10mm drop, and it works equally well for heel strikers, mid-foot strikers and forefoot strikers alike.
The upper is comfortable and the Air Mesh is thin and soft. It’s not very stretchy and locks the foot down securely. Heel slippage doesn’t seem to be a problem either. There are some runners with very narrow feet that felt the lockdown in fast turns is lacking.
The tongue is also thin and light but it doesn’t always stay in place as it isn’t gusseted like on the GTS (stability) version of the shoe.
This is a perfectly good budget shoe that is good for the faster paces where the Cohesion and Contend fall short.
FAQs on the Saucony Cohesion
Are these good for over pronation?
These are neutral shoes and while they have mild arch support, they don’t have the other support features necessary to correct pronation. If you are pronating, consider a support shoe like the Saucony Guide or Omni. If you look at older models, you can get an excellent deal on an otherwise expensive shoe.
Do they have a wide toe box?
Saucony shoes run wider than Nike, Adidas and Asics. These are not as wide as the Saucony Freedom, but they do come in a Wide and Extra Wide model.
My big toe came through on my last pair of shoes. How do I pick the right size?
When picking running shoes, go ½ or even a full size up from your normal everyday shoes. You can read our article on How To Measure Shoe Size For Runners for a more detailed explanation.
Final Thoughts on the Saucony Cohesion 14 Review
It’s easy to find fault with a shoe if you look really hard. The most important thing to keep in mind is this: what is the shoe intended for and can it do that well? It’s nice to not give the price of a shoe a second thought, but in these times it’s even nicer to find a shoe that is a genuinely good deal. These will all protect your feet without breaking the bank.
In my book, a shoe is successful if it does what the manufacturer promise, and it does it well. None of the above mentioned shoes are advertised as high performance shoes that will have you running PBs. Some of them have more features than others, but they are all solid entry level shoes that will keep you on the road and off the couch.
The Saucony Cohesion 14 is fantastic value for money and definitely worth buying if you are new to the sport of running or just looking for a great shoe for the gym. It is a straightforward shoe without all the extras of more expensive shoes, but it does its job surprisingly well.
The cushioned ride is not overly soft, and they are best suited to medium paced to slower runs.