Saucony Hurricane ISO 5 Review
Cons: Premium price, midsole less responsive, aggressive heel counter, heavy
Our Analysis and Test Results
The new Hurricane ISO 5 is designed to improve comfort and stability over the earlier versions, which were themselves quite impressively comfortable and stable. Our testing indicates that Saucony was successful in that ambition, delivering an impressive lander and all-around nice shoe in which to wrap your foot. Read on as we take you through our findings and recommendations.
These were among the most responsive shoes in the pack, though their plush EVERUNTM midsole is not quite as responsive as we'd like for a big stability model. Even with the stiffer EVERUNTM topsole, they seem to have traded off pop in the rebound for more forgiveness in the landing. Still, there are a few stability structures that help tighten things up, like the medial post, modest arch support, FORMFIT performance contoured footbed, and more aggressive heel counter. It's no track shoe, but it does a good job of quieting flailing feet without feeling like you're trying to run out of Forrest Gump's leg braces.
Saucony uses a unique design in both its top and midsole to deliver its landing performance. The full-length EVERUNTM midsole has a plush EVA foam and stream-fused TPU to improve rebound. Sitting atop that is a similarly constructed EVERUNTM topsole for buttressing and stability. The combination works well enough to put the Hurricane ISO 5 up near the top of this measure. There's just enough give in the cushioned midsole to pad you from the road, so it's a great choice for slow trots or if you're a heavy plodder. As we mentioned above, the rebound isn't quite the way we'd like, but it's solid for those in need of a little motion control and padding.
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 one of the heaviest pairs in our lineup.
Stability shoes are knocked for their extra weight, but that usually translates into a more durable shoe that will last longer and withstand more abuse. This is a little more difficult to substantiate with the ISO 5. Earlier versions used materials that could be reasonably researched alongside our field testing, but this version uses crystal rubber, which has near-zero available research — at least that we could locate.
Saucony says that its crystal rubber is especially durable, but we didn't find it to be particularly unique, and, as mentioned, neither could we find any good comparative material research out there to inform us one way or another. Based on our side-by-side testing with other shoes using standard rubbers in the sole, we didn't find much difference on the road or in subjecting it to harsh abrasion and cutting.
Happily, the EVERUNTM midsole is expected to have improved durability with its TPU component, so you'll get the same bounce for more of the season. That's helped along by its heavyish jacquard upper, which ought to withstand a good deal of abuse.
With its thick collar padding, plush tongue, sleek-fitting ISOFIT system, and cushy EVERUN midsole, these kicks have a lot going for them. Part of the reason they need so much added comfort is that, 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. They're among the most comfortable stability shoes in our lineup and should be near the top of your list if comfort and stability are top priorities.
The one caveat with the ISO 5 version is that it has a new, stiff, more aggressive heel counter. It was added to address slippage, but it can also chafe and rub a little, depending on the shape of your heel. A thick sock worked for us, but that might not work for everyone. Just be sure to try them out in your local running shop or get a good return policy if you decide to give them a go.
With the Hurricane ISO 5, you're not going to get the excellent breathability of a lightweight racing flat. Its upper is made of an engineered jacquard mesh, which is passably breathable, but in general, it has a bit too much padding in the upper to be especially aerated. It's warm in the winter and hot and wet in the summer. The necessity for nonporous stability structures like cumbersome heel counters and thick padding act in concert to seal off outside air circulation and hold 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. Comfort components like the ISOFIT inner sleeve are excellent for improving fit and padding, but when it comes to breathability, they're liabilities. That said, the Hurricane will perform about as well (or not) as any other big comfort or stability model.
As with most ultra comfort shoes, you can expect to pay a premium for these kicks. We suspect you could probably find savings and similar comfort with other models, but if you can find them at a discount, say 20 or 30 percent, you'd do well to grab them.
The Hurricane ISO 5 is one of the better stability models out there — which is why it found its way into our review. It's ideal for pronators who need a little help steadying the ship. Improvements to the heel counter, midsole, and upper make this latest iteration even better at quieting the feet. The ISOFIT wrap controls undesirable motion better, and the internal stability structure, midsole design, and padding give every step some plushy goodness. It's true that we didn't give the ISO 5 any awards, but that's not to say that it won't be the best shoe for you. It's a fairly straightforward stability model that many runners swear by, and you might be one of them. It's certainly a safe shoe if you aren't interested in trying out new or controversial designs like the Hoka One One maximalist models. And to top it all off, the new model is just a tad more stylish than the earlier versions — no one wants to look like a dorko in their heavily padded dad shoes and mom jeans.
— Ryan Baham
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