|Saucony Zealot ISO|
The BasicsThe Saucony Zealot ISO is a new shoe for 2015. Some say it replaced the Cortana, which was discontinued by Saucony after it's 4th iteration. Having ran in both the Cortana 3 and the Zealot, I find the shoes to be very different, though they do share some specifications.
The Zealot is a premium, neutral running shoe with an MSRP of $130. It weighs in at approximately 7.2oz for a women's size 8 (8.3oz for a men's 9) and has an heel/toe offset of 4mm. The ISOFIT mesh upper is supposed to provide a sock-like feel, while the PWRGRID+ cushioning lessens the shock from road impact for a soft landing.
|Saucony Zealot side view|
The Down and DirtyI really put these shoes through a test this weekend at the Beach Blast Triathlon and Duathlon, so it's the perfect time for a review. But how do I begin to review my favorite running shoe? I've been thinking about writing this review for a while, trying to think of some negatives to add so it wouldn't just be me gushing over this near-perfect shoe. I have picky feet, yet my first thought when I tried the Zealot on was "I love it." Good thing the staff at my local running store does not work on commission because I was not showing my poker face. The low offset plus premium cushioning, combined with a more spacious forefoot, made the Zealot be a love at first run.
|Zealot outsole wear|
One concern for some over a soft cushioned running shoe is that it can be too cushy, the Zealot does not suffer from this consequence. It is soft and still super responsive. If you've read my review of the Altra Torin, you know that it's also a shoe that provides the combination of low offset (0mm in the case of the Torin), high cushioning, and a spacious forefoot. While runners who like one should try the other, I think the Zealot would appeal to a wider range of running styles and is my definite favorite of the two. The Zealot is more flexible and responsive, with a more comfortable upper, and much better looks. The Torin is great for long runs and recovery runs, while the Zealot excels in whatever situation you throw at it. It's responsive enough for speed work and comfortable enough the long, slow run as well.
|Not wearing the Zealot without socks again|
|Saucony Zealot looking down|
ConclusionThe Saucony Zealot ISO is my favorite running shoe so far. It's soft, yet very responsive, with a low offset and an awesome fit for my narrow heel and wider forefoot. Plus it looks good too! So far, I've ran over 156 miles in the Zealot, including long runs, speedwork, tempo, and short/easy runs. I've used them on grass trails, road, sidewalk, and even the beach. My pair still has a lot of life left in them and if I were doing a half marathon soon, this would be the shoe I would wear.
Have you tried the Zealot?
What is your favorite running shoe?