Saucony Triumph 22 Review: You Never Knew You Needed This!

A midsole change usually means one of two things, a fantastic new version of a shoe which adds a layer of magic or an annoyed fanbase who wonders why the company wrecked their favourite shoe. Which way do Saucony swing in the Triumph 22?

Saucony Triumph 22: A Major Update 

A midsole change is always a big moment in the lifespan of a shoe model. Upper updates are less interesting for the consumer. It’s mostly us (shoe reviewers) who get hyped about the smallest tongue change and colour variation. But when it comes to a midsole compound change, everyone can see it. First, because it’s often written on the shoe. Secondly, because most of the time these updates are significant enough for every person familiar with the franchise to notice them.

 

Now these upgrades are even more interesting when a “traditional” foam is replaced by a “super foam”. Such is the case here for the Saucony Triumph 22.

Triumph 22-06
Triumph 22-05

Specs: 

Product details from Brooks

Weight: 221g | 7.8oz (men’s US9)

Heel-to-toe drop: 8mm

Price: €250 | $250 | £220

Triumph 22-10
Triumph 22-01

Saucony Triumph 22 Upper: From a Plush Midsole to a Plush Upper

If you’re familiar with the recent iterations of the Saucony Triumph franchise, you probably know that the 20th and 21st versions were as plush as can be in terms of ride. Their uppers were comfortable and padded but definitely less so than the one of the Triumph 22. The new Triumph is thicker and noticeably more padded in the upper. Your foot will be extremely well held by the generous heel bolsters.

 

Meanwhile, the over-constructed tongue which helps to lock the foot in the midfoot area of the shoe. However, the drawback is that the upper of the Triumph 22 gets warm very quickly and overheating will be an issue that many will experience. That being said, the thickness is such that light rain won’t have time during a 1-hour run soak through the upper material and wet your feet. The fit is true to size and the width is on the generous side (except maybe around my pinky toe).

Triumph 22-03

Midsole: PWRRUN PB Transforms a Recovery Shoe Into a Versatile Cruiser

Take a cheap entry level car and put a Ferrari race car motor, you will get a cheap entry level car with a Ferrari motor. Not a race car. Yet the Triumph 22 took the best foam from Saucony’s shelves and tried to implement it on an easy day shoe. The two caveats to this are that first PWRRUN PB is a great foam but is not necessarily the “best”. Secondly, the Triumph is not just an easy shoe but more of a daily trainer.

 

What I’m trying to say here is that the Triumph was already a high end premium trainer, not an entry level shoe. Therefore implementing a different “higher end” foam had good chances of success because the rest of shoe was ready to welcome it. This is what the Saucony Triumph 22 achieved. 

 

The Triumph 22 keeps a similar geometry to its predecessors but becomes a more versatile shoe. The midsole feels rather firm underfoot when walking. Easier paces confirm that firmness and the first miles were honestly disappointing for me. The shoe became much more interesting at faster paces when the midsole started to compress more and deliver some energy back. With the wide platform, cruising at paces slightly slower than my marathon pace felt pleasantly “natural”.

 

Any effort I had to produce was mostly to carry 330g on each foot. The weight is certainly a penalty and the its distribution (added to the 10mm drop) feels like the shoe is heavier in the heel. This creates a strike point further back on my foot than usual. After a few runs and the midsole broken in, easier paces became more pleasant but far from the cushion level and the plushness of the Triumph 20 and 21. The Saucony Triumph 22 is an endurance pace cruiser for me.

Triumph 22-07
Triumph 22-02

Saucony Triumph 22 Outsole: Can It Get Any Worse?

This section will not be long nor detailed. The outsole of the Saucony Triumph 22 is plain bad and does not deserve any positives. Yes, one could mention durability but honestly I’d sacrifice some of it to get some form of traction and grip. All the shoes on the market do a better job. Sadly, Saucony is well known by now for the poor outsole without them trying to address it (or at least so it seems from an outside perspective).

Triumph 22-08

Saucony Triumph 22 Conclusion: A Different Shoe Which Suits Me

The Saucony Triumph 22 is just a different shoe now. Not a better one, it’s just different. From a plush and cushioned pair of recovery slippers, Saucony made a compelling uptempo cruiser than can still slow down a bit for easier miles. Fans of the previous versions will need to look for something else. I am personally happy with this move as the previous versions of the Triumph were not my thing. I found them draining too much energy from my gait cycle. This new midsole on the Saucony Triumph 22 absorbs my pounding and gives the energy back while forcing me to work a bit, unlike proper uptempo shoes. The stability will address the needs of most mild pronators. I’m also pretty sure that heavier runners will find a great allrounder companion in this shoe. 

Alex Filitti Meta Circle

Alex

29 years old

183cm (6′) – 68kg (148lbs)

Mid/Forefoot striker – Stride runner

Moderate pronator

@alexfilitti

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