Wednesday, March 25, 2015

A Shoe Review! - The Saucony Mirage 4

So there it is, the Saucony Mirage 4 (well that's a picture I stole from the internet, but mine looks the same). It sure is flashy and we all know that flashy means fast. The colours alone conjure up images of speed.

Anyway, I don't do a lot of gear reviews and shoes are very personal, but I thought I would jot down a few notes about why this shoe is working for me. I won't worry about things like ProGrid technology! or other such marketing terms though, just the how and why of what works for me.

I had been running the in the immensely popular NB 890 for quite a few years, but last year they changed the last it is made on and it threw me for a loop. I had to size up and still the toe box was too narrow. Also I found it slightly bouncy. While many people like a cushiony feeling shoe, I like my shoe on the firmer side.

So a stop at my favorite shoe store Aerobic First in Halifax to talk to my favorite shoe guy Luke and we found this great Mirage 4 (see picture of shoe above) in the sale rack left over from the previous year. The price was right, the fit was right and Luke watched me as I ran in it on the treadmill and all seemed good. So I bought them  (plus what's not to love about A1's fit guarantee).

After 100km and 4 half marathon distance training runs I am sold and will use this as my go to shoe for now. So what features do I like?

4mm ramp: I like a 4-8mm ramp shoe and this hits the mark. I don't like zero drop shoes and I don't like high heel wedges. So perfect.

Firm: This is a firm shoe with less cushioning than other distance shoes. I do like to have a bit more ground feel as I run and this help. The bounce comes from you and a high cadence, this shoe is probably not for the runner with a slow turn over.

Smooth Inner Liner: Unlike some of my New Balance shoes, you can easily wear this shoe sockless. There are no rough seams to worry about. While I do wear socks for most of my runs, I don't when I race in triathlons. So with the simple addition of some elastic laces, this is a great triathlon shoe.

Weight: While the weight listed by Saucony does put this much higher (some 100g) than say a NB 1400 or other pure race shoe, it feels responsive and not heavy at all. Perhaps that is the firm factor?

Toe Box: As I said initially, my feet are a bit too wide in the toe box for the NB 890 in normal width. But only slightly. This fit with room to spare.

Wear: So far with 4 half marathons and 100km the shoes are showing very little wear, so that bodes well for this being a great trainer and race day shoe for me.

Posting: There is minimal posting on this shoe (it is listed as a neutral runner) but there is some. Personally I like this. Just enough to deal with my slightly shallow arches and keep my foot more rounded and happy, especially on longer runs.

So over all, not bad, shoe. Definitely one I will revisit as long as Saucony continues with this Last style in making and shaping the shoe.