Saucony Triumph 17 – It’s all new, even the number

This is a shoe that I’ve wanted to try for a while now, I’ve been looking at the previous version of this shoe, but just never got around to it, so when the Triumph 17 came out I just had to buy it. In case you are wondering how we all of a sudden ended up with version number 17 if the previous version was a 5, well, there were the Saucony Triumph 1 to 12 and then the Triumph 12 became the ISO 1, and then there were the Triumph ISO 2 to 5, that together makes this the 17th edition of this shoe.

The Triumph 17 is a neutral running shoe with a 33.5 mm heel stack and a 25.5 mm forefoot stack giving it an 8 mm drop and it weighs 261 grams in the women’s model. A lot has changed about this shoe since the previous version. 

Upper

The Triumph 17 no longer has the ISOFIT system from the previous versions and the jacquard mesh has also been updated. It’s now rebranded to 360 fit and it’s more flexible than before and this version looks a bit sleeker than the previous one. The flexibility of the upper helps to provide enough room in the toe box. 

The laces are made out of some sort of velvet-like material, but they do start to pill pretty easily. Not sure why they chose this material, maybe to enhance the plush experience of the upper. There is medium padding in the tongue and quite a bit of plush padding in the heel for a good lockdown. 

Midsole

The midsole has also changed. Gone is the Everun (I must say I’m a bit sad to see that go since I really enjoyed the Saucony Ride ISO 2) and Saucony now has a new midsole material called PWRRUN+ (apparently they are still not able to write out things in full). The PWRRUN+ looks a bit like Adidas Boost with the fused together beads that look a bit like styrofoam. It’s a combination of TPU and EVA. 

It is lighter, bouncier, more flexible and more durable than Everun. Saucony says it’s actually 28% lighter than EVERUN. Well, the Triumph 17 is about 20 grams lighter than the ISO 5 version, although so much has changed in the shoe that it’s hard to tell why that is exactly. That might be the midsole, but could as well also be due to the upper. 

Saucony also says PWRRUN+ is two times more flexible than EVERUN. I’ve tried to compare this to the Ride ISO 2, but found it difficult to compare. The PWRRUN+ seems to be a bit more flexible. The platform of the Triumph 17 is a bit wider than that of the Ride ISO 2. 

Outsole

Most of the outsole is made out of crystal rubber, which Saucony uses on most of their shoes. From my experience with the Ride ISO 2 I can say it is very durable. The other parts are covered with hard rubber in the high-abrasion areas. I’ve done over 100 kilometers in the Triumph 17 and I hardly see any wear on the outsole. 

Performance

This shoe provides you with supreme cushioning and a bit of bounce. It is very plush and it does feel a bit like running on clouds. That’s what makes this a good shoe for heel strikers. It’s a maximal cushioned shoe that does well on roads and easy trails. 

However, for some reason the muscles in my midfoot start to hurt while running in these shoes and I can’t figure out why. The platform is wider than the upper, so the ride isn’t unstable and the midsole underneath the arch doesn’t feel unusual. But it happens every time I run in these shoes and already after a few kilometers and the muscles in my feet remain sore even after I’ve taken off the shoes. But that might just be me. 

In the beginning, I thought I just had to get used to the shoes, but after over 100 kilometers in these shoes, I still have the same issue. Unfortunately for me that would mean it would be really difficult to wear these as marathon shoes even though they would be really good for the marathon distance. I’ve never had this in any other shoe, not Saucony or any other brand. My feet need to recover more from the shoes than from the run itself. I wonder how the stability version of this shoe would feel or the next version of this shoe for that matter. 

Conclusion

The Saucony Triumph 17 is a good long distance shoe. Plush is definitely the word for this shoe, but it’s not a mushy ride. It’s soft, but with some energy return. It is a good shoe for heel strikers and it does well for longer distances with a comfortable upper and a comfortable ride. 

Comparison

Saucony Ride ISO 2

The upper of the Triumph 17 is a bit stretchier, but both have good lockdown in the midfoot. The Ride ISO 2 still has the EVERUN midsole, while the Triumph has the new PWRRUN+ midsole. The Ride ISO 2 is a bit firmer, but also a bit lighter. The Triumph is overall more plush, as well in the upper as in the midsole and has a wider platform than the ISO 2, which was already quite wide.

Brooks Glycerin 17

They weigh about the same, but the Glycerin has a 10 mm drop versus the 8 mm of the Triumph. Both have comfortable stretchy uppers, but that of the Triumph feels more plush. The Triumph has a bit more stack height and even though the Glycerin is quite a plush shoe, the Triumph easily wins it from the Glycerin when it comes to being plush. The Glycerin is a bit more flexible in the forefoot, while the Triumph is more flexible in the midfoot area. 

Asics Nimbus 22

There is not that much difference in weight between the two shoes, but the Nimbus has a higher drop, which pushes you onto your forefoot a little more to help you toe-off. The upper of the Triumph feels softer and stretchier. The weight distribution in the Triumph is more evenly spread out, while in the Nimbus the heel is a bit heavier due to the gel. Both are plush shoes, but the midsole of the Triumph feels a bit more marshmallowy. 

Adidas Ultraboost 20

The Triumph feels more plush, as well in the upper as in the midsole. That’s also because the Triumph has more stack height than the Ultraboost. The Triumph has a more conventional upper and therefore feels a bit more stable than the knit upper of the Ultraboost, which gets its stability from the cage around the midfoot. 

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