by staff contributor Chris Rosenberg

 

Here is the newest addition to the Saucony family of running shoes, the Saucony Breakthru.  It is a shoe that bridges the gap between the Kinvara and the Saucony Ride that yields, in my opinion, one of the best shoes in their line. 

The Upper

With a sleek minimal upper and wide platform, it will fit a wide range of feet.  The upper fits the foot like a glove, holding the foot in that Goldilocks zone between too tight and too loose.  From mile to mile there are no pinching or friction points that I could find. It is one of the most comfortable uppers that I have ran with in recent years. 

It’s not a seamless upper, but the stitching is only where it can provide extra support without a medial post.  They exist in the toe guard, on the medial side of the shoe, and on the heel counter.

In addition to the upper providing extra support, there is an asymmetrical heel counter.  This secures the heel in the shoe, as well as providing extra support for the heel into the mid foot.

The Ride

Weighing in at 8.6 oz., this is one of the lightest trainers in the Saucony line. Being a light trainer, this shoe does not have a soft cushy ride, but that is not what this shoe going for.  Light, fast, and supportive is this shoe’s expertise.  Saucony’s Power Grid cushioning runs throughout the entire mid-sole, gives the shoe good heal cushion and a responsive toe off.  It can easily handle the moderate runs, and, for efficient runners, a light weight long run shoe.  The Breakthru falls right on the dividing line between a minimal and a traditional shoe, so it makes a good transition shoe as well. 

At first, the ride is a bit choppy.  Transition from the heel to the toe is less fluid than most shoes, but while maintaining an efficient mid-foot strike this shoe comfortably glides over the asphalt.  One of the features that sets the Breakthru apart from other shoes in this category is a stiff mid-foot.  While this is the cause of the rough heel to toe transition, it does help enhance the mid-foot striker’s experience.  It gives some extra cushion and support during the weight bearing phase. 

Though the transition from heel to toe is rough.  As a minimalist transitional shoe, it provides good feedback for bad form.

Conclusion

I like this shoe.  With the sock-like upper and supportive yet responsive mid-sole, this shoe will perform well from the long run to tempos and can be used as marathon racing flats. 

As an everyday shoe, this should be used more by more efficient neutral runners.  It’s a good shoe for high school, collegiate, and post collegiate runners who tend to be front pack runners.  However, if you are a beginner road racer looking for a racing flat, a speed work shoe, or a transition to minimalism, this shoe is a great option to try.