Hands-on Gear Review

Saucony Hurricane ISO 3 Review

Comfortable, consistent traditional stability model that outperforms, but it sits on the heavy side and comes at a premium price.
By: Ryan Baham ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Aug 22, 2017
Price:  $160 List  |  $57.27 at Amazon - 64% Off
Pros:  Comfortable upper, stable and supportive, great traction on outsole
Cons:  Pricey, heavy, sole could separate from upper, clunky mid/outsole
Manufacturer:   Saucony
70
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#10 of 14
  • Responsiveness - 25% 7
  • Landing comfort - 25% 8
  • Weight - 20% 6
  • Durability - 10% 7
  • Upper comfort - 10% 8
  • Breathability - 10% 5
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Our Verdict

The Hurricanes were great so far as traditional stability shoes go. It outperformed upper comfort and landing comfort and consistently hit average or better marks on all of the other measures, but it also outperformed on price. That is, compared to the rest of the high-performance stability shoes like the HOKA ONE ONE Arahi, it carried a pretty steep premium. We think this will be the top choice for the traditional guy, but in terms of performance, runners might be surprised to find that the maximalist Arahi equals or outperforms the Hurricanes in almost every measure. Even so, the Hurricanes are a classic design worth closer examination.


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Our Analysis and Test Results

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The strongest features of these kicks are their plush upper and superior landing comfort. It's really hard to get comfort right in stability models because of the range of functions required to get landing right and motion controlled. Their plush tongue and collar padding come together with a thin mesh upper to comfortably balance into a moderately breathable shoe - another problem with a lot of the hot, heavy stability models. These are pretty great for the classic stability design and they top out among the other classic designs, like the New Balance 1540v2 and ASICS GT-2000 5, but they were edged out by the maximalist HOKA ONE ONE Arahi for the Top Pick for Stability award. Further down we'll explore the outperforming qualities of the Hurricanes and compare them to our Top Picks and the rest of the field to help you find what you need to get out there and run.

Performance Comparison


Looking at the chart below, it can be seen that the Hurricanes do pretty well in the field of stability shoes, though they lag behind the high-flying racing flats along with most of the other stability options.

Responsiveness


These were among the most responsive shoes in the pack. Their plush EVA foam midsole was not quite as responsive as the Adidas Adizero Boston 6 and On Cloud but their added stability features like the medial post and heel counter added to their responsiveness. A preferable alternative can be found in the HOKA ONE ONE Arahi, which was also our Top Pick for Stability.

The author (left  Saucony Hurricane ISO 3) and Tomaz (right  ASICS GT-2000 5) compare notes on stability shoes.
The author (left, Saucony Hurricane ISO 3) and Tomaz (right, ASICS GT-2000 5) compare notes on stability shoes.

Landing Comfort


In addition to its good responsiveness, it also has great landing comfort, largely afforded by its lower degree of responsiveness. The added plushness of the EVA stack provides enough give to make the longest run an endurable affair.

John testing out the Saucony Hurricane ISO 3.
John testing out the Saucony Hurricane ISO 3.

We put these alongside some of the top performers, like the On Cloud, which won Top Pick for Lightweight Racing Flat, and the Arahi. But just edging these out were the Pegasus 34, which won the Best Buy award and the Brooks PureFlow 6, our Editor's Choice winner. In this case, we feel that the Pegasus 34s are a more comparable shoe and might better suit a runner looking for a stiffer ride.

Weight


As a stability shoe, the expectation is that the shoe will be heavier than average because of its reinforced materials, added padding, and weighty support structures. That is no different here: these shoes weigh 25 ounces in a men's 11, making them the heaviest pair after the New Balance 1540v2, which can double as early generation infantry tanks.

These come in at 25 ounces in men's 11  but they make up for the weight in comfort and performance.
These come in at 25 ounces in men's 11, but they make up for the weight in comfort and performance.

Typically we would have a very narrow spread of weights for this classification, but HOKA's entrance onto the stage makes it very easy to point out the lightest shoe: it's the Arahi, which only weighs 21.7 ounces in a men's 11, making it competitive with the likes of the Brooks PureFlow 6, which comes in at 20.3 ounces. Of course, there are shoes like the Minimus 10v1 that come in at 17.2 ounces, but they're completely different styles of shoes. For that reason, we suggest going with the much lighter Arahis.

Durability


Stability shoes are knocked for their extra weight, but that usually translates into a more durable shoe that will last longer and go through more abuse. That holds true for these as well. Its TRI-FLEX outside places XT-900 carbon rubber along high wear areas of the outsole amid iBR+ blown rubber to protect the midsole and ensure the shoe lasts. A heavier upper sporting the Saucony ISOFIT design helps reduce the stress and wear that would otherwise be taken by the lighter, breathable mesh.

The iBR+ blown rubber and XT-900 carbon rubber protect and extend the life of the softer EVA midsole.
The iBR+ blown rubber and XT-900 carbon rubber protect and extend the life of the softer EVA midsole.

But we did find a few concerns from reviews that some users had problems with the sole separating from the upper. We didn't find that in our testing, but we couldn't be sure that it wasn't a common problem. We found that the New Balance 1540v2s and ASICS GT-2000 5s were more dependable and didn't have the same concerns in this area. Between those two, the ASICS are the higher-performing comparable model.

Upper Comfort


With its thick collar padding, plush tongue, dynamic and sleek-fitting ISOFIT system, and cushy EVERUN topsole, these kicks had a lot going for them. But part of the reason they need so much added comfort is because as stability shoes, they lock the foot into a particular position and resist what the foot would otherwise naturally do - which, for some of us, is to flail around in space and time. Certainly, these were the most comfortable stability shoes in the lineup and should be at the top of the list for comfortable stability shoes. Opening the shoe up to the rest of the pack, though, places them below the Best Buy winning Pegasus 34 and Editor's Choice winning PureFlow 6, both of which allow great freedom of movement and include great amounts of padding and natural fits. Between the two, the Pegasus 34 is closer to the feel of the Hurricane ISO 3.

The plush tongue and highly padded collar help the Hurricane claim its spot as one of the most comfortable shoes in our lineup.
The plush tongue and highly padded collar help the Hurricane claim its spot as one of the most comfortable shoes in our lineup.

Breathability


One of the notable pitfalls of the stability shoe is the lack of breathability. The necessity for nonporous stability structures like cumbersome heel counters and thick padding act in concert to seal off outside air circulation and seal in heat and moisture. These kicks maintain those same issues in addition to a partially closed toebox that offsets the breathing of the mesh upper over the forefoot. So far as breathability in stability models goes, these are just as good as the Top Pick for Stability, the Arahis, and better than the other two models. But if breathability is a must, consider going with the On Clouds.

Comfortable and supportive  but limited breathability.
Comfortable and supportive, but limited breathability.

Best Applications


These are all-season road shoes that should also serve you well on light trails. However, we feel they are best on even terrain.

Value


At $160 they are on the pricey side. They have a good level of performance, but for that price, we think runners will be happy with a lesser shoe and can use the difference to enter a local 10K.

Conclusion


We think most folks looking for a traditional stability shoe will be happy in the Hurricanes, but it's true that they carry a higher price than some of the less traditional shoes like the Arahi. Even so, they offer exceptional comfort and don't have that bothersome bogged-down clog feeling stability shoes can sometimes carry with them. What's more, they'll last a while for most runners, so the price tag doesn't hurt as much when they're around for a few seasons.

The author (left  Saucony Hurricane ISO 3) and marathoner John (right  HOKA ONE ONE Arahi) compare high-scoring stability shoes.
The author (left, Saucony Hurricane ISO 3) and marathoner John (right, HOKA ONE ONE Arahi) compare high-scoring stability shoes.

Ryan Baham

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