Saucony Triumph 21 Review

The Saucony Triumph 21 is an excellent cushioned running shoe, if only a modest update on the Triumph 20

Saucony Triumph 21
(Image: © Nick Harris-Fry / Future)

Our Verdict

A new upper makes the Saucony Triumph 21 better than its predecessor, which was already one of the best cushioned running shoes available because of its comfortable and versatile ride. It’s expensive, though, and the Triumph 20 offers better value.


  • Comfortable
  • Improved upper
  • Good outsole


  • Better value options available
  • Not the best for faster runs

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Each update to Saucony’s long-running Triumph line usually finds its way on to our list of the best running shoes for those looking for a cushioned daily trainer. The Saucony Triumph 21 is no exception, with a comfortable ride that’s versatile enough for faster running alongside your easy runs, especially for newer runners.

In feel, the shoe remains similar to the Saucony Triumph 20 and so its high price means there is better value to be found by seeking a deal on that older shoe or looking at cheaper cushioned options like the Puma Magnify Nitro 2.

Saucony Triumph 21 Review: Price And Availability

The Saucony Triumph 21 launched in May 2023 and costs $160 in the US and £170 in the UK. The launch price is the same as the Triumph 20 in the US but has risen by £15 in the UK, where the Triumph 21 is one of the more expensive cushioned shoes available.

How I Tested This Shoe

Saucony Triumph 21

(Image credit: Nick Harris-Fry / Future)

I’ve run 30 miles in the Saucony Triumph 21, using it mainly for easy and long runs. I have also tested each of the past eight versions of the shoe, along with a range of the best cushioned running shoes available from other brands.

Design And Fit

The Saucony Triumph 20 was a significant update on the 19, with a redesigned midsole that created a softer, lighter and bouncier ride. Saucony has restricted its updates to the 21 to the shoe’s upper, which is now more breathable and has a better fit—in part because of the tweaked lacing system.

I had no concerns about the upper on the Triumph 20, though the update has improved the fit, locking the foot in place securely but comfortably. The extra breathability will be welcomed by those who run in hotter conditions than me, though the Triumph 21 still has a lot of padding around the tongue and collar, which can get hot at times. I found the shoe fitted well in my normal running shoe size.

Saucony Triumph 20 and Saucony Triumph 21

Saucony Triumph 20, left, and Saucony Triumph 21 (Image credit: Nick Harris-Fry / Future)

The Triumph 21 has a PWRRUN+ sockliner and midsole. This is not the bounciest foam in Saucony’s range, but it is comfortable and feels soft without being too squishy. The stack height is 37mm at the heel and 27mm at the forefoot for a 10mm drop, and the shoe weighs 10.3oz/293g in my UK size 9, which is almost exactly the same as the Triumph 20.

The shoe doesn’t have a full rubber outsole but there is good coverage and I found it gripped well in wet conditions. I don’t expect durability to be an issue either, since the layer of rubber on the bottom of the shoe is thick and PWRRUN+ is a long-lasting material.

Saucony Triumph 21

(Image credit: Nick Harris-Fry / Future)

Running Performance

The star feature of the Triumph 21 is its comfort. It is a highly cushioned shoe and while PWRRUN+ is not the softest midsole material it still protects the legs well. 

However, unlike many cushioned shoes, the Triumph 21 is not just about comfort. The ride is versatile and picking up the pace on progression runs felt natural in the shoe. It’s not a great pick for speed sessions, but can handle a bit of fast stuff. Newer runners will find the Triumph 21 works well as an all-rounder.

More experienced runners with a rotation will find the Triumph 21 fits best as an easy- and long-run shoe. I loved cruising through a 12-mile run in it, and over longer distances the increased breathability of the upper was a benefit, even here in the UK.

The ride is not the smoothest, with other cushioned shoes like the Asics Gel-Nimbus 25 having designs where the rocker effect is greater, and it isn’t as soft and springy as rivals like the Nike Invincible 3. The Triumph 21 has a more traditional feel and provides a good balance of comfort, stability and versatility.

Is The Saucony Triumph 21 Worth It?

Saucony Triumph 21

(Image credit: Nick Harris-Fry / Future)

The Saucony Triumph 21 is a great running shoe and is a top option even in a competitive market of excellent cushioned options. Its strength is greater versatility than other cushioned shoes, which makes it more suitable as an all-rounder, while still being comfortable if you just use it for easy runs.

However, it’s expensive, and while the new upper is a small improvement on the Triumph 20, I’d still get the older shoe if I could find it at a lower price. There are also impressive cushioned shoes that cost less at RRP, like the Puma Magnify Nitro 2.

The Asics Gel-Nimbus 25 and Brooks Glycerin 20 are also good alternatives at a similar price to the Triumph 20. The Asics has a softer, smoother ride, while the Glycerin 20 is just about my favorite cushioned shoe overall because of the balance of comfort and pop it offers on long runs in particular. 

Nick Harris-Fry
Senior writer

Nick Harris-Fry is a journalist who has been covering health and fitness since 2015. Nick is an avid runner, covering 70-110km a week, which gives him ample opportunity to test a wide range of running shoes and running gear. He is also the chief tester for fitness trackers and running watches, treadmills and exercise bikes, and workout headphones.