By MPF Athlete Chris Focacci
The first generation Saucony Xodus and I have had a long past. It was my first “true” trail running sneaker, and the shoe in which I ran my first ultra. I probably ended up putting close to 500 miles on those sneakers before they were retired to sneaker heaven. This was part of the reason that I was extremely excited to test out the next generation model, the Saucony ProGrid Xodus 2.
Over the last few months, I have done almost all of my trail runs in these shoes and I have not been disappointed. The Xodus is a rough and tumble, go anywhere and do anything trail runner. From the bottom up, the shoe makes contact with the trail through an extremely durable and exclusively designed Vibram outsole. The outsole is slightly on the stiff side, but is extremely grippy. The only times were I have not had the fullest confidence in it is when running after (or during) a rain storm on wet and slippery rocks, but I have not come across a shoe yet that handles this situation well. Moving up the shoe, the Saucony inter-lock system does a good job of wrapping around the mid-foot to secure it against lateral movement on technical trail sections. The uppers also breathe well, and have no problem draining, after frequent water crossings. If sand and debris are a concern, the gusseted tongue does a very good job of keeping debris out of the shoe, but if you are running on terrain where this might be a problem, the shoes also have metal loops specifically made to attach gaiters.
So what are the downsides? Well, I wouldn’t necessarily call them negatives, but there are some factors that should be noted before you decide these shoes are right for you. Firstly, coming in at 11.9 oz, these are definitely not in the minimalist camp. So if you are looking for a sneaker alternative to your Vibram Five Fingers, you should probably look at another model. While these can’t be considered minimalist, they are still moderately lightweight, and fall right in the middle weight range of other similar shoes in its category. The extremely popular Brooks Cascadia comes in heavier at 12.4 oz, while the Montrail Mountain Masochist is a lighter 10.8 oz. The other thing to note is that I have found that the toe box of these shoes to be geared toward a narrower foot, which may cause chaffing for someone with a wider foot.
The beauty of this shoe is that it is really designed to do handle anything well. It is very durably, while still keeping its weight down, and is just as happy running a trail 10k to tackling a technical ultra. The only thing to determine is if the fit is right for you, which varies so greatly from runner to runner, the only way to know is to give them a test fit. Visit Campmor.com to give them a try.