Saturday, February 4, 2012
How did they revamp them? They decreased the heel-to-toe offset. Before the revamping, the heel was 23mm high and lowered to an 11mm lift under the forefoot which resulted in a 12mm heel-to-toe offset. The revised versions starts with a 20mm heel and a 12mm lift under the forefoot for only a 8mm heel-to-toe offset. The result? A more level ride.
Doesn't sound like much, but by decreasing that higher heel by 4mm you get a much more natural gait that allows you to have a better mid-foot landing. The higher heel-to-toe offset tends to promote heel-striking. The lower heel in the Triumph maximizes muscle power by allowing for a more efficient stride. Heel-striking causes a runner to pull forward before pushing off. Running should be more of a push. In order to pull forward, you actually recruit more muscle. This expends more energy which means more fuel is burned. This can result in quicker onset of fatigue. Lowering the heel promotes more of a mid-foot or flat foot landing more under the center of the body which allows you to work with the pavement pushing off, instead of working against it as a heel-striker does with a push-then-pull. It also lets the body work more like a shock absorber creating less breaking effect and jarring of the knee and hip. Less jarring = less injury.
I've been wearing the Triumph 9 now for a couple of months now and I'm lovin' them. I've been a big fan of the Triumph since they first debuted several years back. They've been my personal running shoe of choice for years. So, I was a little apprehensive at them being tinkered with. However, at the same time, I've been wondering why all the hoopla over the minimalist movement. I keep thinking why doesn't a running shoe company just lower the heels of their running shoes while keeping the integrity of a traditional running shoe. So, while apprehensive over an old favorite being tinkered with, I was eager to test them out.
My findings? Well, true to form, the Triumph still provides a great cushioned ride. The wide/roomy toe box was still there and best of all the 8mm heel-to-toe offset is amazing! My feet feel much better. It's kind of funny that I'm celebrating the obvious, but it's true. I've been telling women runners having calf, Achilles, and plantar fasciitis issues to toss the high heels and wear lower shoes; all the while (while not stilettos) I've been running around with "heels" that were putting me more on the balls of my feet and promoting more of a heel-strike making it hard to achieve that mid-foot landing.
The PowerGrid Triumphs have always been my personal running shoe of choice and now it's been made even better. So, if you're wanting more of a natural ride but not ready to wear gloves on you feet or run "exposed" then give Saucony's new 8mm line a try. You won't be disappointed.
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Note: While Saucony requested the product review and provided the shoes for testing, I received no payment for completing the review, nor was I encouraged to write a positive review. The review results are strictly based on my experience running in the shoes.