If you’re acquainted with Saucony, you’re likely aware of its reputation for combining tradition with innovation. I can confidently say the Triumph 21 isn’t just a run-of-the-mill update; it’s a leap forward. With its FORMFIT design, PWRRUN+ cushioning, and a focus on an efficient stride, the Triumph 21 is all about delivering a premium running experience. It’s not merely about the looks or the brand; it’s about a shoe that elevates your run, offering comfort, durability, and a touch of exhilaration.
What’s the scoop on the Triumph 21? What sets it apart? More crucially, is it the right fit for your running needs? Whether you’re a beginner hitting the pavement for the first time or a marathon veteran, the right gear is key to your performance. If your eyes are set on a shoe that blends the old with the new and does it with style, the Saucony Triumph 21 might just be in your lane.
But, let’s not just skate on surface-level observations. We’re here to dissect the Saucony Triumph 21, unravel its features, and really understand if it deserves a spot on your shoe rack. Join me as we delve into its design, scrutinize its performance, and determine whether it’s worth investing in.
Lace up, and let’s dive into the Saucony Triumph review!
Saucony Triumph Full Review
First Impressions & Feel of the Saucony Triumph
Sliding into the Saucony Triumph 21, you’re immediately greeted with a sense of luxury. The shoe wraps around your foot, offering a snug yet unrestrictive embrace. The FORMFIT design, which contours to your foot, suggests a customized feel right out of the box.
The cushioning, courtesy of the PWRRUN+ foam, is plush yet responsive. You’ll notice a springiness underfoot, hinting at the energy return this shoe promises — something I found lacking in previous Triumph models. The updated heel design cradles the foot securely, signaling stability and support for a variety of distances. I have some concerns about the 10mm drop and how well it will suit forefoot strikers.
First impressions can be telling, but they’re just the starting line. Let’s lace up and take the Triumph 21 out for a real test.
PWRRUN+ Midsole: The Triumph 21 is built around Saucony’s PWRRUN+ midsole, renowned for its plush, yet responsive cushioning. It’s about feeling the road beneath you while being insulated from its harshness.
FORMFIT Design: Adapting to the runner’s foot, the FORMFIT design offers a customized, locked-in fit that supports a variety of foot shapes and sizes.
Updated Heel Structure: The redesigned heel area ensures a secure, comfortable fit, reducing slippage and enhancing stability for long runs.
Engineered Mesh Upper: Saucony employs a breathable, flexible mesh upper that conforms to your foot while providing structure and ventilation.
Durable Outsole: The Triumph 21’s outsole is crafted to endure, offering reliable traction across different terrains and extending the shoe’s lifespan.
- Luxurious, responsive cushioning
- Adaptive fit that caters to a wide range of foot shapes
- Wide model available
- Stability and support for long-distance running
- Breathable, flexible upper construction
- Robust and durable for extensive use
- May feel slightly heavy for speedwork or racing
- Not the most budget-friendly option in the market
Who Is This Shoe For?
- Neutral Runners: The Triumph 21 is designed for those with a neutral gait, providing a balance of cushioning and support without overcorrecting the stride.
- Long-Distance Enthusiasts: If you’re into marathon training or long-distance running, this shoe offers the comfort and durability needed for those extended miles.
- Runners Seeking Plush Cushioning: If your priority is a luxurious, cushioned feel without losing responsiveness, the Triumph 21 should be on your radar.
- Athletes Looking for a Reliable Trainer: Perfect for daily training sessions, the Triumph 21 offers a consistent, reliable performance.
Who Is This Shoe NOT For?
- Speed-Oriented Runners: If you’re looking for a lightweight racing shoe, the Triumph 21, with its focus on cushioning and support, might not be the best fit.
- Budget-Conscious Buyers: Given its premium features, the Triumph 21 comes at a higher price point, which might not appeal to those looking for a more economical option.
- Runners Preferring a Minimalist Feel: If you lean towards a more ground-contact, minimal cushioning experience, this shoe may feel too plush for your liking.
- High-Arch Runners: The Triumph 21 is geared towards neutral to medium arches, so those with significantly high arches might need to explore other options for optimal support.
Upper Design of the Saucony Triumph 21
The upper of the Saucony Triumph 21 showcases a commitment to comfort and functionality. Here’s what stands out:
FORMFIT Contouring: The upper is designed with FORMFIT technology, which adapts to the shape of your foot, providing a custom-fit feel that accommodates various foot shapes.
Breathable Mesh: The engineered mesh is not only breathable but also offers a balance of flexibility and structure, ensuring your foot stays cool and secure.
Heel Support: The updated heel design is a noticeable improvement, providing a snug fit that locks the foot in place without feeling restrictive.
Quality Materials: Constructed with durable materials, the Triumph 21’s upper is built to withstand the rigors of regular running while maintaining a comfortable feel.
Width Options: Saucony offers the Triumph 21 in multiple widths, catering to runners who need a bit more room or have specific fit requirements.
It’s clear that Saucony has listened to feedback and evolved the design to meet the needs of a diverse range of runners. If you’re looking for an upper that marries breathability with a bespoke fit, the Triumph 21 might just be your match.
Midsole Design of the Saucony Triumph 21
The midsole is where the Saucony Triumph 21 really shines, blending comfort and performance seamlessly. Here’s a breakdown of its midsole magic:
PWRRUN+ Foam: The star of the show, PWRRUN+ foam, offers a luxurious cushioning experience. It’s about more than just softness; it’s about a cushion that responds and propels you forward, embodying the essence of what a quality midsole should offer.
Responsive Ride: Despite its plush nature, the Triumph 21 doesn’t compromise on responsiveness. You’ll feel an energetic bounce with each step, a testament to the well-engineered cushioning system.
The midsole is designed to hold up over countless miles, providing a consistent, reliable experience. The midsole of the Triumph 21 strikes a fine balance between luxurious comfort and dynamic performance. It encapsulates what many runners seek in a shoe — a plush yet responsive ride that feels as good at mile one as it does at mile twenty — a midsole that just won’t quit.
Outsole Design of the Saucony Triumph 21
Turning our attention to the base of the shoe, the Triumph 21’s outsole is a key player in its overall performance. Let’s dive into its features:
Robust Rubber Compound: The outsole is crafted from a durable rubber that balances wear resistance with flexibility, ensuring a long lifespan for the shoe.
Traction and Grip: Whether you’re navigating city streets or tackling light trails, the outsole provides reliable traction in various conditions.
Flexibility: The outsole design incorporates strategic grooves and patterns, allowing for natural foot movement and a smooth transition throughout your stride.
Weight Balance: Despite its durable construction, the outsole doesn’t add unnecessary weight to the shoe. It maintains a balance, contributing to the overall stability and comfort of the Triumph 21.
The outsole plays a crucial role in the shoe’s performance, providing a secure, grounded feel that complements the plushness of the midsole.
The Saucony Triumph 21 offers a balanced weight, making it suitable for a range of running activities. The men’s version weighs in at approximately 283g, while the women’s model is lighter, weighing just 8.8 oz (250g) on par with the likes of the Brooks Glycerine or the Asics Gel Nimbus.
Featuring a generous stack height, the Triumph 21 men’s model has a heel height of 39mm and a forefoot height of 29mm, ensuring ample cushioning and comfort for all types of runners. The women’s version maintains the same comfort with a 37mm heel and 27mm forefoot height.
With a 10mm heel-to-toe drop, the Triumph 21 is designed to cater to a variety of running styles, particularly benefiting those who favor a heel-strike pattern. As a forefoot striker, it’s a little higher than I prefer, but I can still run comfortably in this shoe.
The Saucony Triumph 21 doesn’t skimp on support. Designed for those who seek a cushioned, stable ride, here’s what you can expect:
Customizable Fit: The FORMFIT design caters to a range of foot shapes, offering a supportive, personalized feel.
Heel Counter: The reinforced heel area ensures your foot stays locked in place, providing stability throughout your run.
Balanced Cushioning: The even distribution of cushioning from heel to toe encourages a natural, efficient running form.
This is a shoe that understands its audience and delivers on its promise – a cushioned, stable ride for the long haul.
FAQs about the Saucony Triumph
What’s the standout feature of the Triumph 21 compared to its predecessors?
The Triumph 21 boasts a significant upgrade with its PWRRUN+ midsole, delivering an exceptional balance of plushness and responsiveness. This improvement provides a softer, more comfortable ride, making it ideal for longer runs or recovery days. Compared to its predecessors, the Triumph 21 offers a more luxurious feel underfoot without compromising on energy return.
Which shoes are most similar to the Saucony Triumph 21 for those seeking alternatives?
When comparing the Saucony Triumph 21 to other models on the market, several shoes come to mind that offer a similar blend of cushioning, comfort, and performance. These alternatives are worth considering if you’re looking for options similar to the Triumph 21’s profile:
1. Brooks Glycerin: The Brooks Glycerin stands as a direct competitor to the Triumph 21. It features a luxuriously soft midsole paired with a comfortable, breathable upper, making it an ideal companion for long runs and high mileage. The Glycerin also offers a smooth transition and a supportive fit, making it a favorite among runners who value a plush, uninterrupted running experience.
2. ASICS Gel-Nimbus: A staple in the high-cushioning category, the ASICS Gel-Nimbus offers top-tier shock absorption and a snug, adaptive fit. This shoe is particularly appealing for runners who prioritize a blend of comfort and structured support. Its Gel cushioning system delivers a soft yet responsive feel, catering to those who cover long distances or seek a luxurious ride. However, if you have wide feet and can’t find the wide model — steer clear. I find the regular width very tight for wider feet.
3. New Balance Fresh Foam 1080: This model from New Balance is another excellent alternative, boasting a generous cushioning system akin to the Triumph 21. The Fresh Foam 1080 is recognized for its smooth roll-off and versatile performance, making it suitable for a variety of running activities, from casual jogs to intense training sessions.
4. Hoka Clifton: The Clifton line from Hoka is famous for its maximalist cushioning, offering a cloud-like experience with every stride. It’s an exceptional choice for those who appreciate the Triumph 21’s plushness but are looking to explore a different brand. The Clifton excels in providing a lightweight, cushioned ride with a unique, rocker-like sole design that promotes a natural running gait.
5. Altra Torin: The Altra Torin is another worthy mention. It stands out with its balanced cushioning and a foot-shaped toe box, offering a natural and comfortable fit. Known for its zero-drop platform, it encourages a more natural foot position and stride. The Torin is great for runners who prioritize a mix of cushioning and a design that mimics the natural shape of the foot.
Each of these shoes has its unique features and qualities, but they all cater to runners who seek a cushioned, comfortable running experience similar to what the Saucony Triumph 21 offers. Remember to consider your specific running needs and preferences when exploring these alternatives.
How does the Triumph 21 cater to different foot shapes and sizes?
Saucony’s FORMFIT design in the Triumph 21 is a game-changer. It essentially cradles your foot, adapting to its shape and stride for a custom-like fit. This versatility makes the shoe suitable for a wide range of foot shapes and sizes, offering a snug yet comfortable fit.
Is the Saucony Triumph 21 a good option for high-mileage runners?
Absolutely! The Triumph 21, with its enhanced cushioning and durable outsole, is built for the long haul. Whether you’re logging daily miles or gearing up for a marathon, this shoe can withstand the demands of high-mileage running while ensuring your feet remain comfortable and well-supported.
Can overpronators use the Triumph 21 effectively?
While the Triumph 21 is designed as a neutral running shoe, its supportive structure can accommodate mild overpronators. However, if you have severe overpronation, you might want to explore shoes specifically designed for stability.
Final Thoughts on the Saucony Triumph Review
The Saucony Triumph 21 emerges as a top contender for runners seeking a blend of luxury and performance. Its PWRRUN+ midsole is a standout, offering a plush ride that doesn’t skimp on responsiveness. The FORMFIT design and engineered mesh upper contribute to its high comfort levels, making it a joy to wear on long runs — and kudos to Saucony for offering it in different widths.
While it may not be the go-to choice for runners who prefer a firmer, more grounded feel, the Triumph 21 excels in delivering a premium, cushioned experience. Whether you’re a casual jogger or a dedicated long-distance athlete, the Triumph 21 is a reliable, luxurious addition to your running repertoire.