They Say – The Triumph ISO 2 is going to rock your running world. It features EVERUN, the latest in cushioning construction and material innovation. EVERUN takes a dramatically more lively and responsive foam cushioning material and brings it closer to your foot than ever before, which means more bang for your running buck. Itâ€™s what we callÂ TopsoleÂ construction, and itâ€™s changing the game in a big way.
Featuring EVERUNÂ TopsoleÂ and an EVERUN Landing Zone in the heel
A new TRI-FLEX outsole configuration for better ground contact and a smoother ride
Improved ISOFIT upper for an even closer and more accommodating fit
Welded bottomÂ eyelitÂ for added comfort over the foot
Shoe Category: Neutral
Construction Type: Neutral
Surface: Road, Track
Arch: High, Normal (Mid)
Water Resistant: No
Heel Stack Height: 30mm
Forefoot Stack Height: 22mm
We Say -Â Injection blown rubber cushioningâ€¦Â IsofitÂ inner sleeveâ€¦Â RundryÂ collar liningâ€¦Â EverunÂ landing zoneâ€¦Â Tri-flex outsoleâ€¦ itâ€™s easy to forget youâ€™re talking about trainers when some of theÂ phrasesÂ thrownÂ aroundÂ sound likeÂ theyâ€™re straight out ofÂ a science-fictionÂ TVÂ programmeÂ or car manufacturers advert. However, how many of these features will actually result in a good running experience and how many of them are just gimmicks, or flashy words knocked together and put out there in order toÂ justify the Â£135 price tag?
Now I shouldÂ beginÂ this review by saying we don’t mess around with our gear reviews at Trek and Run. While some magazines willÂ justÂ wear trainers for a jog around the blockÂ and othersÂ will perform an autopsyÂ to examineÂ a shoeâ€™sÂ innards, weÂ justÂ want to run. I could phrase this as ‘we runÂ shoesÂ into the ground’ or ‘weâ€™llÂ test themÂ â€˜til they break’ but to be honest,Â we’re pickyÂ about which products we reviewÂ so that’sÂ pretty unlikely to happen withÂ any of theÂ shoes we test as we only tend to use the best!
The SauconyÂ TriumphÂ ISO 2 is no exception toÂ this method of testing asÂ I put them throughÂ wellÂ overÂ 400 miles of training runs and races andÂ as a resultÂ they fast became my favourite shoes for longer distances.
TheÂ design of the shoe is quite loud with a strange combination of colours offered (the shoes I tested featured orange, blue,Â lime green and silver, however the website described this asÂ â€˜Blue/Silver/Slimeâ€™)Â and the huge 8mm heel to toe drop with a 22mm forefoot stack at the front and 30mm heel-stack at the back means youâ€™ll instantly grow a few centimetres when wearing these shoes, however the cushioning provided by this huge sole is out of this world and led to an incredibly comfortable ride, as well as strong encouragement to run with a mid-foot/fore-foot strike.Â The sock-liner also looks strange at first withÂ material at the back of the shoeÂ projecting inside the shoe and onto yourÂ Achilles, however as a resultÂ they fit like a gloveÂ which gave me the impression theyâ€™d beÂ especially good for trailsÂ or gravel paths where the linerÂ wouldÂ stop small items from finding their way into the shoe.
Throughout my testing period I used them for aÂ large number ofÂ activitiesÂ including distances from 5k right up to Marathons (26.2 miles) and on a variety of surfaces including trails, gravel paths and mud,Â and I found that during short runs ofÂ 5kÂ and underÂ the shoesÂ just didnâ€™t seemÂ as responsiveÂ asÂ they couldâ€™ve beenÂ where it almost felt that some of the kinetic energy transferred from my leg muscles to the ground was lost in the cushioning. However during longer training runs theseÂ shoesÂ were an absolute dream to run inÂ â€“ so much so thatÂ I managed to achieve a couple of Half Marathon personalÂ bestsÂ while racing in these shoes!
This year Iâ€™d set myself the challenge of completing 3 marathons in 4 weeks in Rome, Brighton and finally Milton Keynes, butÂ admittedly Iâ€™m not a fan of running too many long runsÂ during trainingÂ as Iâ€™ve previously experienced foot painÂ whenÂ myÂ long-run mileage has increasedÂ aboveÂ 15 miles (last year I chose to run a marathon on a base of fast Half Marathons inÂ an effort to avoid this issue!). However IÂ began testing these shoes as my winter training was starting to ramp up ready forÂ my plannedÂ marathons,Â andÂ as the mileage increased my feet still felt great allowing me to continue with the long runsÂ right up until my final long run of 21 miles when IÂ found IÂ had to talk myselfÂ out of continuing the run!
I shouldÂ mentionÂ that there was oneÂ exception to this during a 19 mile training run where I struggled during the middle few miles, yet seemed toÂ perk up again towards the end.Â Looking back afterwards at theÂ routeÂ weâ€™d takenÂ weâ€™dÂ startedÂ our runÂ on roads,Â headed onto trails for the middle section,Â then back onto pavement after 14 milesÂ so I wondered ifÂ maybe the ‘energy return’ featuresÂ of the shoe aren’t asÂ effectiveÂ on trails due to the softer nature of the groundÂ â€“ possibly even causing a negative effect where energy is dissipated elsewhere? Of course this isn’t a major issue when long races are typically held on roads, butÂ after that experience I decided toÂ stick with the SauconyÂ Nomad TRÂ trail shoes Iâ€™dÂ previouslyÂ tested forÂ any longer distanceÂ trail events.
Marathon season finally arrivedÂ and I went into theÂ first of these events in RomeÂ feeling fullyÂ confident with my choice of footwear despite the fact part of the course would be on cobble-stones â€“ a surface notorious to runners for causing foot and leg pain â€“ and this confidence was strengthenedÂ when I reached the cobblestones of Piazza DelÂ PopoloÂ 20 miles into the raceÂ and my feet and legsÂ stillÂ felt great!Â I crossed the finish line slightly broken physicallyÂ in a time of 3h47m,Â but with my feet still intact â€“Â great news considering my nextÂ marathon was just 2 weeks away!
At Rome Iâ€™d decided to take it a bit easierÂ than usualÂ due to the cobblestones (Iâ€™d planned to run it in 4 hours but had gotten carried away with the crowd support!), but in BrightonÂ I was on a mission to smash myÂ MarathonÂ personal best of 3h38mÂ set back in 2013,Â and I felt confident thatÂ with an undulatingÂ tarmac and concreteÂ course and this great pair of long-distance roadÂ trainers, this was the place to do it! The firstÂ 20Â miles flew by comfortably and even asÂ I started to tire when IÂ passed through the mentally draining industrial area between miles 20 and 23Â my feet still felt fine, and as IÂ passed through the finish lineÂ my watch showedÂ 3h35mÂ â€“ Iâ€™d managed to knock 3 minutes off my personal best!
Unfortunately Milton Keynes a week later wasnâ€™t to be another success story as although Iâ€™d entered the race with an intention of chasing sub 3h30m,Â a number of factors on the day meantÂ myÂ target wasnâ€™t to be. However the first 7 miles of the course were again on tarmac as the slightly undulating route made use Milton Keynesâ€™ famous grid-work of dual carriageways,Â and again the combination of tarmac along with the TriumphÂ IsoÂ 2â€™s responsive soles meant I felt absolutely great for the first 7 miles and even ended up runningÂ 7:45 minuteÂ miles instead of theÂ 8 minuteÂ miles Iâ€™d planned!Â Even at 18 miles into the race when I was mentally exhausted and made the decision to slow down, I was on target for a sub 3h30m finishÂ (I eventually finished in 3h39m)Â and this had made meÂ feel confident that when my next Marathon PB attempt comes round Iâ€™ll achieve it in these trainers â€“ or theirÂ identicalÂ replacement as itâ€™s very likely Iâ€™ll have put too many miles on these by then!
I have to admit thatÂ throughout my testingÂ I well and truly fell in love with theseÂ shoes!Â WithÂ a RRP of Â£135 theyâ€™re not theÂ cheapest on the marketÂ andÂ admittedly theÂ flaws previously mentioned meanÂ they wonâ€™t be my choice ofÂ footwear for short distance or trailÂ races,Â howeverÂ they are spot-on forÂ longer distance events and theyâ€™ll be put through their paces again this weekend when I reach theÂ finalÂ Half Marathon stretchÂ of the Outlaw Half Ironman Triathlon, and I have every confidence that theyâ€™ll help me to cover those 13.1 miles comfortably and smash through that finish line.
To find out more aboutÂ Sauconyâ€™sÂ TriumphÂ IsoÂ 2 trainers, visit:Â http://www.saucony.com/en/triumph-iso-2/21899M.html