Saucony Xodus 3.0 GTX Trail Running Shoe Review
Living in Colorado, I get to experience a little bit of every season all year long, and it isn’t uncommon to be wearing flip-flops in the morning and need Sorel snow boots by the evening. Along with my flip-flops and boots, I always have a variety of running shoes handy for whatever Mother Nature hands us that day. Lucky for me, I was fortunate enough to be testing out the Saucony Xodus 3.0 GTX this spring when we were handed a particularly snowy few (read: seven) weeks.
Gathering the motivation to get out and run in the cold is hard enough, but throw in a few inches of snow and slush and the thought of cold wet feet too and I’m hitting snooze a few more times. With the waterproof, breathable, Xodus 3.0 GTX my wet-feet excuse wasn’t good enough. These burly, 4mm drop, Gore-Tex running shoes allowed me to get in miles comfortably no matter how inclement the weather conditions.
As I mentioned, the Xodus 3.0 GTX uppers are full Gore-Tex which kept the snow, slush, and water out while keeping my feet warm and dry. The gusseted tongue also helps to keep cold, wind, and debris out and the HydraMAX lining wicks moisture.
I was quite surprised at how well the Gore-Tex allowed my feet to breath. I assumed that my feet would overheat as my body temperature rose, but the uppers kept the temperature regulated quite well. While most of my testing was on colder, snowy days I did wear these for a run when it was mid-40s since I had packed them up for a midday run and the snow had melted by the time I got out. Even with warmer temps and bright sun, I didn’t feel my feet get to warm. When they did heat up a bit, the lining wicked moisture away from my feet to keep the dampness from making them cold.
The midsole has Saucony’s ProGrid and SSL EVA which are both lightweight responsive materials that reduce weight while providing superior cushioning. The lighter weight wasn’t as noticeable as it may be in a different shoe simply because the more built up nature of the shoe, but it did provide ample cushioning and an even feeling ride throughout each stride on both road and trail in dry and wet conditions.
The outsole features EBO (External Bedrock Outsole) to protect against rocks and other sharp objects that could potentially hurt your feet. The outsoles are a Vibram compound which has proven to be extremely durable and tough. After quite a few miles on varied conditions from snow and ice to rocks and dirt they aren’t showing any visible signs of wear yet.
The lugs are variable in shape (primarily triangular) and are multi-directional which definitely helped traction on all kinds of conditions while both ascending and descending even loose and muddy trails. They weren’t super on ice, but let’s face it, not much is unless it has spikes of some sort.
Although, with a 4mm drop these shoes exhibit a minimalist profile, they aren’t really a minimalist shoe. The fact of the matter is that these shoes, while having a low drop, are meant to gobble up any conditions, not to allow superior ground feel or flexibility throughout the gait cycle.
The fit is true to size with a fairly roomy toebox and a medium height arch that is noticeable and supportive but not overbuilt.
Not only would I trust these shoes go the distance in any condition for miles to come, but I would also strongly consider using them for day-hiking. The stiff midsole, EBO rockplate, and protection from the elements would make them more than suitable for hiking. In addition, for running or hiking on terrain with a lot of small debris, they feature a D ring on the first lace that would easily accommodate a gaiter.
Overall, I found the Xodus 3.0 GTX to be a comfortable shoe to wear for various distance runs – I did up to 9 miles in them – in wet, muddy, or rough conditions. They felt a little clunky at times and the shoe is rather stiff, but given what they’re built for I don’t find this a huge detractor since it offers so much protection against the elements. I would recommend these shoes for folks that run in wet, cold, muddy, and rough conditions at times, but wouldn’t’ expect them to be an every day training shoe.
The Saucony Xodus 3.0 GTX comes in a full range of sizes for both women and men.