Monday, August 10, 2015

Saucony Mirage IV (Women's) - Shoe Retirement Review

The Basics
The Saucony Mirage IV is a lightweight, versatile, running shoe from Saucony's "Natural" line-up, with just a touch of stability. The Mirage is targeted at runners looking for a lightweight shoe, with decent ground feel and low offset, who slightly over-pronate.

Boasting an offset of 4mm, the Mirage weighs in a 8.9oz (252 g) for a men's 9, and 7.9oz (224 g) for a women's 8. The upper uses Saucony's Flexfilm technology and their HydraMax lining. The Mirage IV was chosen as Fitness Magazine's Best Minimalist Shoe of 2014.

Women's Saucony Mirage IV

The Meat
The Mirage IV is my second pair of Mirages, the first being the Mirage 2. The Mirage 2 was my solemate at the time, the first running shoe I really loved but they didn't last me long. Fortunately,
with the Mirage IV, the life expectancy has changed. In fact, as I'm retiring these shoes now at around 250 miles, I've gotten more wear out of them than I have any other running shoe.

Saucony Mirage IV outsole
Saucony Mirage IV lateral wear
I know 250 miles sounds low, but I have picky feet and that's how we roll, 'er run. As someone with a very prominent forefoot strike I've found that shoes typically go about 150 miles before I start to notice significant wear to the lateral edge of the outsole and a loss of cushioning in the forefoot. The "Ask Mario" column from says that minimalist (and the Mirage fits into the broad sense of this category) shoes usually last from 200 to 400 miles, so I think I'm doing pretty good.

At the end of the life of this shoe, it is still one of my favorites. I find them to be firm but not too firm but at this point the cushioning left isn't enough for more than the shortest of runs. I've come to think of these as my fast shoes, and if they hadn't started giving me blisters on the medial ball of my foot I would probably use them as racing flats. They've been great for speed work, track workouts, and runs up to 5 or 6 miles. For runs longer than 6 miles, I prefer something with more cushioning, though on longer runs I do like the slight amount of stability these provide as my legs and feet start to get tired.

Saucony Mirage IV on feet
The Mirage IV is an excellent choice for the runner with mild over pronation who wants a more natural feel provided by a lightweight shoe with a low offset. The upper has worn well, with no significant damage and the sole exceeded my expectations. I would prefer a little more width in the forefoot and I'm glad to see that the Mirage V does provide this. Being that the Mirage IV is now last year's model, you can find them at a great discount on on Amazon (men's here) or at your local running store.

If you've tried the Mirage IV, what are your thoughts? If not, is there anything else you would like to know?

While this review does contain affiliate links, I have not been compensated in any way to write to it and the opinions are my own.

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