A huge slab of PWRRUN BIO+ and a plant based dye help the Triumph care for the planet. Will it care for your feet?
Triumph RFG – Good for the planet
Ever wondered where your running shoes go after you did all those kilometres in them? You can wear them casually or for garden work. Then what? What if it was possible to reduce the amount of plastic and especially the part used to make running shoes?
With the Run For Good, Saucony has made the move towards greater sustainability. Reducing plastic and other synthetic materials with natural rubber and PWRRUN BIO+ foam which is made from 55% foam. Further adding to the green credentials on the upper with plant based dyes to add to your feel good factor while running. Saucony are even shipping the Triumph RFG in re-designed packaging to reduce waste and consumption.
Whilst we are all in agreement that we should take better care of the planet. Do these material choices also have a positive impact on our running as well as our world? With many running shoe companies offering shoes on subscription, recycling services and recycled versions of popular picks, how do Saucony stack up against the rest?
Weight in Saucony’s sample size: 295g (10.4 oz)
Stack height: 37mm heel and 27mm forefoot for a 10mm drop
Comfort in abundance and smiles for miles
When I received the Saucony Triumph RFG, I was at a point where my feet and legs felt tired after a 91km training week. Taking them out of the box put a smile on my face because they looked so comfortable. After stepping in, I found that the comfort went way beyond looks.
Firstly, the upper of the Triumph RFG is very comfortable. There is plenty of room in the forefoot and my toes have enough space to spread. Added to that, the length is just right and I will definitely say it is true to size. Furthermore, the upper is a dual layer mesh that is made of cotton and it features plant-based dyes that are eco-friendly.
Whilst being very comfortable, it is not the most breathable material. However, with the winter months (in the northern hemisphere) to come, I don’t think that will bother me too much. Although I will be interested to see how the upper feels in rain and how fast it will dry. Along the upper, there are some embroidered overlays at the midfoot and an additional loop that holds a part of the laces.
Moving along the upper, the nicely padded and gusseted tongue works perfectly with the midfoot section and the lockdown is really good. The only small drawback to me is the heel cup. For me, it is not that it is not comfortably padded and the stiff cup holds my foot awkwardly. I am cautious of the placement of the seams in the heel as I have previously suffered from achilles issues and this is where I feel them.
Stepping into this shoe is like a hug from an old friend. Comfortable, welcoming and reassuring. The Triumph RFG envelops the foot with plush padding, easily achieved lockdown and softness galore. As Silke noted, the forefoot has plenty of room for the foot to spread and the fit is definitely true to size.
Straight from the box, I found that it was very easy to achieve a comfortable fit with no need to fiddle with the laces. My initial run in the Triumph RFG was 24km. During this, I had not a jot of discomfort in the foot. I echo Silke’s sentiments about the upper not being particularly breathable, I can imagine my feet getting a little warm in summer. However, that is many months and miles away.
Regarding the question about drying, this I can give a good answer to. During my time in the shoe so far, the British weather has lived up to stereotype and given plenty of rain. Dashing through deluges and puddles as deep as the ankle, I can say that the shoe does take a couple of days for all the padding to dry out properly.
Unlike Silke, I had no issue with the heel cup of the Triumph RFG. While stout, I found it held me securely and the seam placement had no impact on my enjoyment of the shoe. The laces had plenty of length to allow for a runner’s knot if needed and to be double knotted for security. Whilst the plant based dye had no real impact on the fit of the shoe, it is always good to reduce the amount of junk we put into our environment.
PWRRUN BIO+ Saving your legs and the planet
As mentioned before, I received the Triumph RFG with some kilometres in my legs and I needed some easy running. While walking round the house, I could feel the smoothness of the midsole foam. Saucony’s new PWRRUN BIO+ cushioning is made using 55% corn-based foam. As the icing on the cake, Saucony have also finished the shoe with a PWR+ insole which returns even more energy.
The Triumph RFG offers a very comfortable smooth ride, made for almost every type of runner. Even though it is a tall shoe with almost 37mm in the heel (in my size), it doesn’t feel unstable to me. To balance the height and reduce stability issues Saucony have widened the midfoot. However, I must say that a lack of stability has never been an issue for me in any shoe. Having run at temperatures of around 10 degrees celsius and slightly above 0 degrees I have observed a slight difference in the ride. It felt a bit firmer with lower temperatures.
For a next iteration, I would wish for a little more of a rocker geometry to give me even more of that smooth ride.
I have thoroughly enjoyed the ride of the Triumph RFG. It has treated me well over a range of distances and over a reasonable range of paces. For me, the shoe is incredibly easy to run in. The PWRRUN BIO+ foam soaks up the shocks from the road and the geometry of the midsole melds wonderfully with my foot strike and I felt like I could just keep on going forever.
Whilst the rocker isn’t hugely pronounced or aggressive, it just adds to the smooth roll of the shoe and adds just enough assistance to make the easy runs feel easier. The 10mm drop from heel to toe also helps with making running super pleasant.
As with Silke, I have never had an issue with running in unstable shoes. In fact, I have a preference for shoes which can get a little spicy. That being said, I found this shoe to be very stable underfoot despite it’s gargantuan proportions. Overall, it is built like a Rolls Royce, smooth, huge and very comfortable. Despite it’s weight and position as a max cushioned trainer, it is possible to turn up the pace a touch in the Triumph RFG. There were a couple of runs with friends where I glanced at the watch and was quite surprised at the paces we were running despite the ease of the feeling. However, it would not ever be my main race or workout shoe.
Top tier recovery shoe?
The PWRRUN BIO+ is, as Silke said, soft but not mushy. Whilst it does get a little firmer in colder temperatures, it has never proven to be uncomfortable. I have been very pleasantly surprised by the Triumph RFG. Before this test pair, I had never really considered the shoe as one I would be interested in.
However, I would definitely consider buying myself a new pair when these are worn through. It has replaced the Nike Invincible as my recovery day runner of choice. Especially with the much better fit of the upper.
Everyone loves a gum sole, right?
The grip works excellent on dry and wet surfaces. There seems to be enough coverage on the outsole to last this trainer at least 400k. Saucony says that the 80% natural rubber outsole is engineered to offer the same level of performance as the synthetic sole it replaces.
I have run the Triumph RFG through leaf mush, deep puddles and errant mud. At no stage have I felt like I was about to slip or slide to my doom. This is a massive improvement on my experience with Saucony Speed outsoles which, on many occasions, had me hanging on for dear life! After nearly 110km in the shoes, I have noticed no wear on the 80% natural rubber outsole which leads me to agree with Silke’s high durability predictions.
Rolls Royce comfort with a premium price
The Triumph RFG is the training companion you are searching for when your weekly mileage is very high. It offers such a comfortable ride that I didn’t want to take it off again. I find myself wearing them around the house, after cleaning them underneath of course!
Also, I hope that the cotton upper won’t get drenched on my next run so that I have to wait for it to dry. I also hope that I can wear them for a lot of kilometres and afterwards as a pleasant looking casual sneaker!
A real workhorse of a trainer which suits all your mileage needs. Comfort in abundance and a smooth as silk ride make the Triumph RFG a worthy addition to any running shoe rotation. Going forwards, this shoe will, and has, been a constant companion for when my legs are feeling a little the worse for wear or for running longer. It brings pure comfort through any run with the amazing upper and smooth rolling midsole.
As Saucony say in their brief, it really is a shoe for a feel good run which the planet will approve of. My only downside to the Triumph RFG is the price. At $160/€190 it is rather on the expensive side. Despite this, I am sure that it will become one of my most economical shoes per kilometre when all is said and done, however that doesn’t always make the initial sting to the wallet easy to take.