Saucony ProGrid Xodus 2.0 review
I’m not going to lie – we testers at activegearreview.com open a lot of shoe boxes. As such, we’ve all developed a fairly good barometer for how a shoe will perform just by picking it right up out of the box. Many things are revealed just by the initial poke and prod we put all shoes through. I had very high expectations when I heard I would be testing a pair of Saucony trail shoes, as their reputation definitely proceeded them. To say that they met my expectations would be understating the matter slightly. Simply put – they were awesome.
I’d like to make it clear, though, that my actual first impression wasn’t all that great. Sure, they looked really cool, but they felt a bit imbalanced to my hand as I lifted them out of the box. As I state above, I’ve grown to know running shoes fairly well, and I can usually tell if a shoe is going to perform from the second I lay hands on it – I’m sorry to admit, Saucony, I didn’t think the Xodus was up to the challenge. Once I slipped them on and walked them around the house, I was singing a different tune. For months now, I’ve been testing minimalist shoes. The Xodus is the polar opposite, and it felt like home. I didn’t wait a second longer – I went right out and hit up some trails.
Once I got these bad boys out on the trails, I really found out what the ProGrid Xodus 2.0 was all about. In my opinion, the measure of a trail shoe is it’s ability to handle just about anything a trail can throw at it. Yes, I agree that some shoes excel really well at certain things, but the bottom line is that I’m not competing for 25k in prize money at the head of a pack of skinny elite runners wearing 6.0oz trail shoes. I like a trail shoe that’ll go through mud, snow, slick-rock, scree, and dry dirt – all in the same run. I don’t mind a bit of bulk if it means that at the end of the day, my foot is somewhat dry and well protected. Due to a recent late spring snow fall here in Colorful Colorado, I had the perfect opportunity to throw just about every possible trail condition at this shoe. Within five minutes of hitting the trail, I was ankle deep in mud and not losing a step – the traction from the Vibram outsole was great. I went through snow patches straight to slick rock just for the sheer enjoyment of it, and the Xodus didn’t let me down anywhere.
The performance of it in adverse conditions didn’t even hit upon what I like best about the shoe. The fit was great, too. This will vary from runner to runner, but I really like a secure mid-foot wrap. The inter-lock system used by Saucony was completely different from other shoe designs I’ve tested – it was put INSIDE the shoe. Go ahead, read it again, I promise you read it right the first time. Most companies put the forefoot wrapping system on the exterior, but not the ProGrid. It felt really comfortable, and allowed a secure fit without pinching the top of my foot, creating weird pressure points with lacing, or gapping around the ankles.
To round it all out, Saucony actually added compatibility to the shoe by including metal hooks for attaching ankle gaiters. This means that even in the wettest, slushiest, or coldest conditions, you can add an extra layer of protection in order to stay comfortable and dry on long runs. Saucony’s gotten it right for so long on the road – it’s nice to see that they’re getting it right on the trail. Just like the tongue says below, pick up and pair of these and you really can “run anywhere.”
Saucony recently launched their new “Find Your Strong” advertising campaign. Tell us how you found your strong and get a chance to win a free pair of Saucony ProGrid Xodus 2.0!
Contest expires: May 25th, 2011
Congratulations to Heather G and Gary Thomas for winning the Saucony Find Your Strong Contest! There were some amazing stories, thank you for everyone’s contributions!