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Everyone who runs for a long time goes through many pairs of shoes, but most runners can remember their first true love – the shoe that made them realise that there actually is a difference between running shoes, and that finding the right one makes every session better. For me, that was the Saucony Triumph ISO 2.
It was not an especially pretty shoe, with lurid lime sections and a chunky profile, but it was delightfully plush and comfortable to run in. And despite the hefty whack of cushioning on the bottom, it was fast enough to help me set PBs at pretty much every distance.
The ISO 3 was a similarly great shoe, and I am pleased to report that Saucony doesn’t disappoint with the ISO 4, which improves on past editions with the addition of a full-length EVERUN midsole.
EVERUN is Saucony’s energy-returning cushioning. It made up part of the soles in the ISO 2 and 3, but the ISO 4 is the first in the line to have it running along the full length of the shoe. I’ve always found the cushioning on the Triumph ISO line to be enjoyably bouncy on long runs in particular and this is very much the case with the ISO 4. It’s not a light shoe at over 300g for a men’s size 9, but it never feels heavy on the foot thanks to the energy-returning cushioning and the smooth heel-to-toe transition.
It’s a shoe that’s fit for almost all your training needs, aside from your speediest sessions when serious runners might favour a firmer shoe. The Triumph ISO 4 is at its best on longer runs, however, when the benefits of the EVERUN cushioning really come into play. Whether you’re racking up distance with easy efforts or working on your half or full marathon pace, the Triumph ISO 4 is a great option, which matches the comfort of other top-end highly-cushioned options like the Brooks Glycerin 15 while feeling slightly faster on the foot.
The upper on the ISO 4 is comfortable, with a well padded collar and tongue and plenty of room in the toe box despite the snug fit elsewhere on the foot. Saucony has made an effort to make the Triumph ISO 4 more street smart with subtler colourways and a denim edition, but it’s still very clearly a running shoe and probably not something you’d stroll around town in.
If you’re a beginner runner, as I was when I first slipped on the Triumph ISO 2, the ISO 4 is an excellent all-round shoe that is cushioned, springy and comfortable. And while experienced runners might turn to a faster shoe for tempo and track runs, the Triumph ISO 4 is definitely a superior option for longer efforts.
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.