Saucony KOA TR ST 2

Something New in Trail Running: Saucony KOA TR vs ST

This is the tale of something totally new from Saucony, their KOA trail platform. In a lineup that has really been dominated by their Peregrine model, it is a real risk for them to introduce something new. We respect them for it and not only did we get one model, but two… introducing the KOA TR and ST. Both shoes are nearly identical, but are differentiated in their use and some of the materials. The TR is a mixed material shoe whereas the ST is ultra aggressive and is just at home in deep mud as it would be on a Tough Mudder.

Construction: Upper

In one of my favorite moves by Saucony, both shoes feature an updated wider toe box which allows for increased toe splay. The TR upper is made from a durable woven mesh which provides greater flexibility and some limited protection.

Saucony KOA TR 14
Saucony KOA TR – Upper close-up

The ST on the other hand features a full synthetic upper that is distinctly more protective and durable. It also handles inclement weather better and while not being waterproof, it still does a very good job keeping water out.

Saucony KOA TR 12
Saucony KOA ST – Upper Close-up

Construction: Midsole

The KOA TR and ST both share the exact same mid platform. Each shoe got the EVERUN treatment and in this case we get a full 3MM of it. This makes the shoe incredibly comfortable under foot, but also gives you a decent level of responsiveness. They both have 4MM of drop and a 22mm stack height and honestly feel solid under foot.

Construction: Outsole

The outsole, like the upper, is there the toe shoes deviate. The TR uses their PWRTRAC technology, but with a super low tread pattern. They are almost teeth-like and instead of your typical bi-directional lug pattern these look more like a soccer/football turf shoe. This means they work well across dryer environments and even perform well on pavement and in gravel.

Saucony KOA TR
Saucony KOA TR – Sole

The ST on the other hand feature very deep 8mm bidirectional lugs that provide maximum traction across the nastiness the trail can throw at you.

Saucony KOA ST
Saucony KOA ST Sole

Style & Aesthetics

Both shoes offer only 1 color choice each. The KOA TR comes in a simpler blue and black whereas the ST comes in a highly visible red and yellow combination. The KOA platform overall looks distinctly different from anything you have seen from Saucony before from the wider toe box to the entire upper design and it’s not a bad thing.

Saucony KOA TR

Saucony KOA ST

Run Test

The run in both the KOA ST and TR is very similar. For me, it quickly came down to a matter of use. The majority of the time, my hands made their way to the TR. They were lighter overall, slightly more performant, and I could run them across a variety of services. When they weather turned I would lean into the STs a bit more to get a little something extra from a protection and grip perspective.

From an in-run perspective, the shoes definitely feel lighter than their over ten ounce weight implies. I found the TR to feel nimble, wider, and more comfortable than something like the Peregrine. They moved quickly across a variety of surfaces and I found turnover to be very easy. The STs have a little thicker feeling, but also you can really turn them up. The only real difference is the under foot feel. Traction wise, the ST is a monster in the mud and you get plenty of roominess.

My only issue comes in overall comfort. With a 22mm stack height, these aren’t overly cushioned and at distance it starts to wear on you a little. I see them as a more aggressive racer looking at 15 miles and under, but I opt for more cushion normally. Anything longer and I tend to want less feel under foot in favor of an easier ride.

Overall Conclusion

I honestly really loved both the KOA TR and ST. From the roominess in the toe box to the extra width overall, to even the design. I love the progression and the out of the box thinking Saucony is having with them. The KOA TR was definitely more of a favorite given its varying use, but the ST will work great for those that live in a lot of rain and even some snow. I am looking forward to future versions of these models from Saucony, it will be interesting to see where they take them.

Technical Stats, Pricing & Availability


  • Weight: 10.3 oz (size 9)
  • Drop: 4mm
  • Stack Height: 22/18mm heel/toe
  • MSRP: $110.00
  • Available: Now


  • Weight: 10.3oz (size 9)
  • Drop: 4mm
  • Stack Height: 22/18mm heel/toe
  • MSRP: $130.00
  • Available: Now