Some big changes are under way at Saucony in the Hurricane 14, the Triumph 9 and the Guide 5 - all main line shoes that run the spectrum from cushion to support. What's changing is the heel to forefoot height discrepanch - it's being dropped from 12mm to 8mm - a whopping one-third reduction. It's a nod to the minimalist trend in shoes without giving up the basic feel and nature of the shoe. The shoes will all be a bit lighter and feel more responsive. What remains to be seen is a) how the typical Saucony wearer will react to the shoes (the Guide and the Triumph have just been released and the Hurricane 14 is coming soon). Saucony is touting the change as one that increases midfoot cushioning and "maximizes muscle power by allowing for a more efficient stride". Some of the differential is being achieved by a 1 mm reduction in foregoot thickness, which, while not seeming like much, is about an 8-9% reduction. So... we'll report back on this as soon as we can get our hands on one to give it a spin. Manufacturers are loathe to make radical changes to successful products and Saucony is taking a big risk in modifying these bread and butter shoes in such a big way. We hope that for the sake of those Saucony lovers out there, the changes are good ones! The jury is certainly still out on the barefoot running movement and Saucony is, I think, trying to hedge its bets here and play to the minimalist trend without giving in to it completely. Most of the competition is simply coming out with a minimalist line, like the Brooks "Pure" collection and leaving core shoes following the tracks they have always followed. If any of you are trying the new Saucony 8mm shoes, shoot me a line with your impressions.
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The Adrenaline 12 is a modest improvement over the Adrenaline 11. The 12 features an improved tongue stablizer that keeps the tongue from migrating around the foot. The fit seems to be a bit looser than the 11, but unless you have a very narrow foot, I don' think it is going to be an issue. There's more mesh in the upper, which may be contributing to the looser feel, but, it makes the 12 more breathable. There's also an improved heel collar for less friction and fewer blisters as the heel will lift less with this new collar. The articulated "caterpillar" heel impact area has been lenghtened so the crash pad will work more effectively for more runners with different landing positions. If you are an Adrenaline afficionado, there's no reason to not like this shoe. The price, however, has bumped up to $110, but that's still squarely in line with Brooks' competition from Nike, Asics and Saucony. There are a couple of "fashion" colors in medium witdth only, and the black coloration is now available in medium and wide widths for men and women.
The Trance 10 is, quite simply, the most wonderful running shoe I have ever tried. The Trance line has, over the years, never quite lived up to what it should have been. It was nice, but... It never felt like a top of the line support shoe should have felt. Competitors like the Asics Gel Kayano, or the Saucony Hurricane quite frankly felt better and ran like the Cadillacs that their price indicated. I must say, I did use the Trance over the years, as it did fit me well, but the Adrenaline (see the review below) remained my favorite. Now, I fear, the Trance 10 has satisfied my caviar tastes and I can't stop wearing them. Full length DNA in a BioMogo midsole with a strong PDRB for motion control, the new Engineered Stable Pod system, flex eyelet stays and a unique tongue lock that keeps the tongue from moving around your foot all combine to make the Trance 10 not just the best Trance ever, but, IMHO one of the finest shoes ever built. Add the fact that it comes in narrow through wide in men's and women's and you have a shoe that will fit great and give you a ride like you've never had. Priced at $140, it's not inexpensive, but, hey, we don't expect to find caviar at the 99 cent or less store... Check out all the specs on this fantastic shoe and then, go try it on and you will probably spring for the caviar!
Heads up on pricing!
Most shoe companies are announcing big price jumps due to commodity price pressue and labor pressure in China. Expect increases in 2013 to go up around 15-20% .