Saturday, August 1, 2015

Saucony Breakthru top ten first impressions

I got these bad boys from Running Warehouse on my dime. I wanted to patronize my local Pacers on 14th St., but not only did they not carry these (or the Zealots), but the guy there didn't hear about the Breakthrus nor did he believe that they'd be carrying them.  

I'll probably have more to say, but these were my out of the box impressions from wearing them on a walk and on a 5K training run this am.  I plan on wearing them tomorrow for a 13.1 where I hope to be near my course record time but nowhere near a PR.

1. The Breakthru is in the general ballpark in terms of weight vs the Zealot in size 13. Listed at 8.6 oz vs 8.3 oz for the Zealot.

2. Not as flexible as the Zealot, but it isn't very rigid.  I felt enough give as I rolled from heel to toe.

3. More cushioning than the Mirage 3 but less than the Zealot or Triumph. I'd describe it as firm yet cushioned vs. the firm/hard feel of the old Mirage.  More rubbery than foamy.

4. Enough forefoot space for me.  Didn't seem like there was any areas of discomfort or constriction. Happy toes.

5. The tongue is nice.  

It looks similar to the puffy mesh material in the Brooks Launch. They laced up very easily and have very even pressure.

6. I like the feel of the upper - locked down but not too locked down for me.

7. They are a jack of all trades, like Runblogger said. I could see using them in a 5K race up to a marathon, and for training.

8. I barely noticed the 8mm drop of the Breakthru vs the 4mm drop of the Zealot.

9. My foot seems to have the most pressure below the ring toe on the ball of my foot under my toes.  That is a good place to be (better than on the inside of my foot -- under the second toe).

10. They didn't impact my form much - but it felt easier to run faster than with Zealot.  I definitely can run faster with firmer shoes (The tread seems identical  similar to Zealot, so don't think that is a factor but there is more rubberized tread on the Breakthru. (More of that thin, durable black rubber vs. only the small amount of red rubber near the toe and the outer edge of the heel.  Plus, the yellow rubber is denser than the red puffy rubber nubs under the toes down to the heel on the Zealot)

Edit: this seems to have been corrected on my second version of the Zealot, below: more durable black rubber where the first version had the puffier, less dense red rubber.

Very possibly I think in part, the a faster feel may be related to the lower ground clearance - 15 mm in the forefoot vs 21 mm in the Zealot.)

Update: Just finished a 13.1 race with them. They did a great job protecting my feet and also helped with maintaining a good stride and cadence. Enough shoe for a 13.1/26.2 but not too much to get in the way. A strong contender to be my go to shoe for fall halfs and Marine Corps Marathon. 

Review of Breakthru 2:

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