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Saucony Xodus ISO 2 Review

This is a super protective low-profile trail runner.
Saucony Xodus ISO 2
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Price:  $130 List | $70.99 at Amazon
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Pros:  Super protective, cute design, breathable, quick to dry
Cons:  Lower value, unstable, heavier construct
Manufacturer:   Saucony
By Amber King ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Nov 9, 2018
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63
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#14 of 15
  • Foot protection - 30% 8
  • Traction - 20% 6
  • Stability - 15% 6
  • Comfort and Fit - 15% 5
  • Weight - 10% 5
  • Sensitivity - 10% 5

The Skinny

The Saucony Xodus ISO 2 is a protective low-profile trail runner that can tackle everything from the pavement river trail to smooth, winding singletrack. The ample cushioning, built-in rock plate and new hot-melt vamp layer keep feet protected from all types of trail hazards. The 4-mm drop offers a smooth ride perfect for any kind of runner, while the heel cup features fantastic stability. On that note, while it's a great all-around trail runner, it's not the most lightweight shoe out there, nor is it the most stable because of its taller stack height.

The Saucony Peregrine 8 is a lightweight and versatile trail runner that doesn't have the same protective features as the new Saucony Xodus ISO 2. It's not as cushioned nor is it as protective. That said, many trail runners prefer the Saucony Peregrine 8 because of its superior comfort in the form of a more flexible upper and roomier toe box. If you're in search of a great trail running shoe that will keep you moving forward for miles on miles, and you don't require a whole lot of protection from the trail, the Peregrine 8 may be a better option. However, if you are in the market for a shoe that is more protective, then the Xodus ISO 2 may be up your alley instead.


Compare to Similar Products

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Saucony Xodus ISO is a low profile shoe that offers boatloads of protection from all sorts of surfaces. We think it was a decent trail shoe but lacks in areas of stability, sensitivity, and overall comfort.

Performance Comparison


The trail shoe features ample protective features making a versatile option.
The trail shoe features ample protective features making a versatile option.

Foot Protection


If you're looking for a trail shoe that is similar to the Saucony Peregrine 8 but with enhanced foot protection, this is it! Featuring 24mm of cushion and a bomber rock plate, you are bound to feel very little on the trail. When stepping over sharp rocks and stones, we didn't even flinch.

The toe cap is hard and reinforced  providing great protection on-trail.
The toe cap is hard and reinforced, providing great protection on-trail.

The molded toe cap is hard and did the trick when we accidentally kicked the odd pebble or rock. In addition, the new updated upper is breathable, and doesn't allow even the smallest particle inside! The upper makes it perfect for crossing streams because it wicks well in light drizzles. That said, it is not waterproof by any means, but it does dry quickly. Overall, this is one of the more protective shoes in this review.

The midsole and upper features many protective features including ample cushioning and reinforcements around the body of the shoe.
The midsole and upper features many protective features including ample cushioning and reinforcements around the body of the shoe.

Traction


If you plan on running on a variety of surfaces, this shoe will do that trick! With a super sticky PWRTRAC rubber outsole and deep V-shaped grooves, it will keep you from slipping while on loose or rocky surfaces.

The PWRTRAC outsole is bomber providing great traction on all sorts of surfaces.
The PWRTRAC outsole is bomber providing great traction on all sorts of surfaces.

During an early Spring escapade, these multi-directional grooves didn't only stick to the trail but performed well on melting snow and scree fields. That said, it's not the best option for slippery surfaces because the lugs aren't long or aggressive enough. We also noticed that it slipped while traveling on the steepest single track, littered with rocks and other "stuff".

The lugs are deep and multi-directional for great traction that is quite versatile.
The lugs are deep and multi-directional for great traction that is quite versatile.

Stability


The stability of this shoe is about average. While the heel feels super stable for pivoting and moving quickly on the trail, the ample cushioning makes you feel high in the shoe. Even with its low profile design (4-mm heel to toe drop), the height makes the shoe feel tippy on the trail. We found ourselves moving a little slower over the technical and rocky terrain where turning an ankle was a real possibility. As a result, we'd recommend it for more stable surfaces and less technical terrain, even though its protective features are meant for more technical trails.

The stability harness wraps the foot to provide a decent fit and better stability. That said  we felt a little high up in this shoe.
The stability harness wraps the foot to provide a decent fit and better stability. That said, we felt a little high up in this shoe.

Comfort & Fit


While this shoe boasts underfoot cushion that is super responsive, this was one of the less comfortable shoes tested. It has everything to do with the fit of the shoe. The area inside the toe of the show does not have a lot of volume from top to bottom. For those with a more voluminous foot, the inside felt more confined and less spacious. In addition, the material creases at the point right underneath the lacing pattern, so there are some comfort issues at that point.

The uppers and soft  thin  and comfortable. The Achilles features additional cushion that some liked and others didn't.
The uppers and soft, thin, and comfortable. The Achilles features additional cushion that some liked and others didn't.

Overall, the width feels a little wider, but because the volume of the shoe is so minimal, it only really works best for those with less voluminous or narrow feet. Make you sure you try them before you buy for all the potential issues listed above. Everybody has a different foot.

The fit is versatile  locking down for those with wide to narrow feet.
The fit is versatile, locking down for those with wide to narrow feet.

Weight


Feeling a little heavier on the foot, it weighs in at 10.75 oz. When wet it holds a whopping 5.75 oz of water! That said, it's one of the quickest to dry and wicks water well. That said, it's not waterproof, but a still decent option for water crossings (but not swims).

This protective baby is heavy when wet!
This protective baby is heavy when wet!

Sensitivity


With 24-mm of responsive cushioning, sensitivity is an inherent trade-off. It's hard to feel the ground with these bad boys. If you seek a ride that feels like the road, on the trail, this may be a great option for you.

Best Applications


This shoe is perfect for tackling all types of terrain. While stability isn't perfect, we appreciate that it still performs on everything from roads to technical trails. We wouldn't recommend it for the most unstable surfaces like trails with big rocks or choss covered fields. Not only is it a great trail runner, but the burly protective elements makes it a great light hiker or wear-around town shoe.

This protective shoe is a good choice for the Perimeter trail in Ouray  CO. This 5-mile trail has many different hazards and views!
This protective shoe is a good choice for the Perimeter trail in Ouray, CO. This 5-mile trail has many different hazards and views!

Value


At $130, we think this shoe is a little expensive for what it offers (though it can be found online for some great deals!). It stands out for its protection in the form of cushioning and a rock plate, but there are other shoes that have the same types of features for the same or less money.

Conclusion


The Saucony Xodus ISO 2 is a super protective trail shoe designed for taking on the miles. While it's not the most sensitive or stable, it is still recommended for taking on everything from paved roads to some technical trails.

Take this shoe running or hiking. The stable and protective elements make it a great trail option.
Take this shoe running or hiking. The stable and protective elements make it a great trail option.


Amber King