It’s a new year and with that brings all new models of your favorite shoes. In this round, we take a look at the latest in neutral road maximum cushioning from Saucony in the form of the Triumph ISO 3. We reviewed this model in the past and have always been happy with the progression, so let’s see how the 3 stacks up.
Probably the biggest departure in the ISO 3 from the 2 comes in the upper where Saucony moved away from a much stiffer mesh/overlay combo into an almost fully engineered mesh upper. The frontal ISO bands have also been removed leaving only two bands starting at the mid and and moving backward. This manifests itself itself as what feels like a super roomy toe box and very little support up front… yet still tight in the back holding you in place. They did decrease the tongue padding and the collar is narrower and I personally found the lace up to be very secure, but folks who liked all the additional structure in ISO 2 might be disappointed.
Big change here on the heel were the Everun is basically 2x what it was on the ISO 2 (they call it the “Landing Zone”). This gives you a lot more bounce if you are a heel striker and that coupled with the redesigned midsole should lead to a smoother transition to your toe. The movement from heel to toe was a little more abrupt in the ISO 2 and the 3 regulates this a bit more in favor of a more relaxed movement. The offset is 8mm, but it definitely feels distributed better and seems lower.
Tri-Flex is still used on the outsole and honestly the sole on the ISO 3 is almost identical visually to the 2, but on closer inspection, you will notice the tread is inset more. The rear is a firmer carbon rubber whereas the mid to forefoot is softer blown rubber.
Style & Aesthetics
The coloring on the new Triumph ISO 3 is varied with some very neutral tones like the blue model we tested all the way up to a flashier white and citron model. The shoe itself is solid looking, it has a very mixed material look which gives it an interesting profile, and also doesn’t look like a max cushion shoe. The ISO 3 is available in three colors with a nice diversity across the lineup. It can look a little bulky, but the removal of the ISO bands and overlays have definitely lightened it up.
So is it any better you might be thinking after reading everything that has changed. The answer is going to be a mixed yes and let me take you to a run to explain why. First off the upper on the shoe is supremely comfortable and like the Freedom ISO it’s primarily engineered mesh up front. This leads to greater toe box comfort at distance and increases toe play as well. Some will find this too loose though as they really liked the structure they had before.
One great thing about these is a very limited break in time. So, while you typically need to spend a few runs in a new pair of shoes that have a stiffer upper in the Triumph ISO 3 you can get out there and go right away. They absorb a lot of impact in your legs will definitely thank you if you’re a stomper. That Everun heel improvement alone will make people very happy.
At low mileage, these honestly feel to me very similar to the Freedom ISO, just a bit heavier. Given that I was looking at both at the same time it was interesting to see that the lines between the two models are becoming very unclear. I could go 6 to 10 miles at a very similar pacing with a very similar feel and the only noticeable difference is a couple ounces in weight which at the shorter distances don’t mean much. When the miles increased however, this is where I think the two move away from each other. Runners who are heavier, who heel strike, who run slower and harder on their body will definitely appreciate everything the Triumph ISO 3 is offering. It is a plush cushioned ride and your legs will thank you. That being said, you will start to notice the weight at distance and for you faster runners with stronger legs, then the Freedom ISO should be something you might consider instead.
I don’t have a lot of complaints about the Triumph ISO 3, but I do think a lot of folks will, especially those who loved the structure of the 2. I think honestly the improvements that they made, some very subtle, were great. If you are a recreational runner, are looking for comfort and plushness, and your legs can’t handle the Freedom ISO then I would definitely take a look. ISO 2 runners should check these out and judge them for yourself. I think some will find it to be a great update.
Technical Stats, Pricing & Availability
- Weight: 10.5oz (size 9)
- Drop: 8mm heel/toe
- Stack Height: 30mm
- MSRP: $150.00
- Available: Now