Saucony Switchback ISO Trail Shoe Review

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The Saucony Switchback ISO is appropriately named: it is lightweight, shapes to your foot, and offers a grippy outsole to see you flying up or down trail switchbacks. The Saucony Switchback is available for both men and women. In this review, I tested out the women’s model on the trails around Steamboat Springs, CO.

Saucony pairs with BOA Technology®

The Saucony Switchback ISO trail shoes look very different than Saucony’s I have tested in years past and even this season. For starters, they feature BOA Technology® lacing system. I have never used the BOA system on a running shoe, but I was familiar with the product for biking. Initially, I was worried that the lacing system wouldn’t provide the same ability to micro adjust at the toe box vs the heel. However, I need not worry as a few forward twists to the nob and the shoe felt like it was molded to my foot. Saucony provides grooves within the tongue to help keep the lace system in place and prevents cutting into your foot. 

Unlike some other BOA models, the Saucony Switchback ISO features a one way dial, meaning that to loosen the lace system you have to pull out on the dial and start the tightening process all over This is not a big deal for me as, it is much quicker than tying your shoes, especially when you have cold hands and minimal dexterity or are wearing gloves or mittens. I have yet to have the system fail and don’t foresee that as an issue, even in technical terrain, as the laces have a tighter weave than even traditional laces. 

Saucony ISOFIT Upper

The Saucony Switchback ISO slipper like fit is also thanks to the integration of Saucony’s ISOFIT construction. The tongue runs the length of the lacing system and is integrated into the body of the shoe and doesn’t slip around thanks to a breathable mesh that attaches inside the shoe. This helps to prevent debris from entering the shoe as well. The upper is breathable, tough against scrapes with rocks/roots, yet molds to your foot. The toe box is reinforced, while the inner arch features a stabilizing type material. Despite the dark grey color, the upper stays cool on hot summer days thanks to small perforations throughout the entire upper.

Saucony Switchback ISO Midsole and Outsole

Saucony included their proprietary EVERUNTM midsole along the entire length of the shoe. This allows for continuous cushioning, no matter the contact, heel to forefoot. The cushion is adequate, however, I have been unable to test how it holds up to more technical terrain (due to a crazy Colorado weather).

The outsole features a grippy outsole made of Saucony’s PWRTRAC. The shoe forgoes traditional lug patterns and features two different types of outsole material: firmer rubber in the center of the shoe and softer along the perimeter. As mentioned above, traction tests have been limited by mother natures June snow showers. I will say that the traction pattern limits the build up of rock and mud within the bottom of the shoe, which is a major plus. More to come on how it does on dry/rock laden trail.

Technical Specs

  • Heel Stack Height: 22.5mm
  • Forefoot Stack Height: 18.5mm
  • Offset: 4mm
  • Weight: 8.8 oz. | 227 g

Final Impressions: Saucony Switchback ISO

The Saucony Switchback ISO is a great neutral, lightweight trail shoe that doesn’t skimp on features. The integration of the upper and midsole helps to keep you feel connected to the trails at all times. Add in the BOA lacing system, and you have a shoe that is responsive and stays put. The shoe runs true to size and doesn’t require a break in period. MSRP $140. For more information, please visit

Shannon: Shannon, our fabulous female tester, takes gear testing to a new level for women. When not at work or school, she is most likely training for a marathon, climbing one of Colorado’s tallest peaks, riding her road bike, or skiing down a mountain slope. Like many women, Shannon gets cold easily, therefore, we try to test the best all weather gear to help her stay warm and dry during all day outdoor pursuits. In the warmer months, Shannon enjoys exploring the Colorado backcountry with her friends and dogs and attempts to escape for as many trail runs as her schedule allows. Shannon is a great women’s tester because she gives readers true insight into how a product may perform for an active woman.
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