Saucony Breakthru 2

8.6
8.6 score
[Editors rating (8.8) + Users rating (8.0)] / 2 = Runnerclick score (8.6)/10

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Editor rating: 8.8 / 10
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Saucony Breakthru 2 Review Facts

The Breakthru 2 is the first upgrade to the original version of this speedy trainer from Saucony. The original Breakthru attempted to be too many things at once. This time around, Saucony decided to focus on producing a more specialized shoe. Special attention has been given to weight, speed, responsiveness — and to a a certain extent, durability. It was a very wise decision because now the Breakthru concept can appease to a niche market of runners — those looking to stay light and fast while still having an adequate amount of cushion and protection underneath their feet. Some of these runners may be fans of the Kinvara, which is a perfect example of a fast and lightweight trainer. The issue with the Kinvara, however, is its thin outsole which can break down quicker. With the Breakthru 2 you are essentially getting a lot of the same benefits but with added cushioning and durability.

It is important to emphasize, however, that the Breakthru 2 is NOT in the category of heavily cushioned and protective shoes. With its firm midsole unit, the Breakthru 2 is designed for the advanced runner who has moved on from traditional support and stability shoes. It also works well as a transitional shoe from more traditional types. All in all, the Breakthru 2 is not the jack of all trades it once tried to be, but instead has been engineered to be an expert at delivering copious amounts energy.

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Highly responsive and fast
  • Light-weight construction
  • Breathable mesh upper
  • Versatility: Works great as a race day shoe or for daily training, especially for up-tempo runs
  • Outsole durability through the use of dual carbon material
  • Style appeal
  • Bright colors and reflective features make it great for low light running conditions
Cons
  • Disorganized stitching on top of the sole unit
  • Flex Film Upper lacks durability
  • Midsole lacks flexibility
Outsole
Outsole

Outsole

The outsole on this particular version is loaded with rubber, adding to the fact that this shoe was designed with durability in mind. Other trainers like the Kinvara and Nike Lunar Tempo are constructed with thinner outsoles. For the Breakthru 2, there are 2 types of rubber material, IBR+ and XT-900. XT-900 rubber is located in high usage areas and it’s the stronger material of the two. It’s purpose is mainly to add durability but it also delivers some traction. IBR+ material is constructed from softer compounds. This portion of the shoe is lighter in weight and enhances the cushioning aspects of the midsole.
Midsole
Midsole

Midsole

The stack height on the Breakthru 2 is 23 mm on the heel and 15 mm on the forefoot. The midsole is very similar to that of the Saucony Ride 8 . Both midsoles feature Power Grid technology which absorbs shock and provides a light amount of cushion. You can expect a firm and responsive ride with this type of midsole.
Upper
Upper

Upper

Most of the upgrades have been done on the upper. It consists of Flex Flim technology which provides a comfortable glove-like fit. There are less overlays, giving the shoe a cleaner and smoother appearance. The overlays are also thinner than before. The mesh on the upper is more flexible and allows for added breathability. In general, the upper has been built using less materials in order to reduce weight while not sacrificing any essential functions for this part of the shoe.
Weight
Weight

Weight

This 2nd version of the Breakthru is slightly lighter than the first. The men’s shoe weighs 8.5 ounces and the women’s shoe weighs 7.4 ounces. Every design aspect of the shoe has been centered around keeping each component as light as possible. From the upper to the rubber material used for the outsole, as well as other parts like the tongue, these components are all lighter and thinner. All these factors put it in the lightweight racer category.
Breathability
Breathability

Breathability

The upgrades on the upper and the use of less overlays has not had any effect on the shoe’s breathing capabilities. The mesh material contains minuscule perforations that are widely scattered throughout the top of the shoe, reaching past the mid point. They are tiny but there are a lot of them and they allow for a constant and steady stream of air to penetrate the inside, thereby allowing your feet to stay dry, cool, and comfortable. And as an added bonus, the Breakthru 2 features a run dry collar which helps to wick moisture away.
Comfort
Comfort

Comfort

Some shoe manufactures love to spoil their runners with gluttonous amounts of comfort. This usually applies to shoes which focus on support and stability and feature loads of plush cushioning. The Breakthru 2 is NOT that shoe. So you can’t expect the same level cushioning that you would receive on a more traditional type of shoe. On the other hand, you will get comfort through other areas like breathability and weight reduction. We can always think of a lightweight shoe as being inherently more comfortable than a heavier one for the obvious reason that it just feels better to drag around less weight on your feet.
Style
Style

Style

The Breaktru 2 is available in 3 color combinations for both men and women. Combinations include colors like blue/cotton/orange for the men and twilight/oxygen/citron for the women. Despite slim pickings for color combos, the shoe has good structural appeal and looks a lot better than the first version. Part of the improvement has to do with the upgraded upper which features smoother overlays that add a cleaner look as a whole. The first version didn’t stand out much as a lightweight racer and looked more like a traditional running shoe. This one looks more like a racer through its sleek and modern aesthetics. In fact, we’re wiling to say the 2nd version of the Breakthru looks even better than the third version which still has the racer look but took on a more boxy appearance.
Durability
Durability

Durability

Durability is a mixed bag. The outsole gives you outstanding durability through the use of specialized rubber that’s strong and tough. Whereas on the upper, the overlays prove to be flimsy and break down far too soon. Fortunately, the Breakthru 3 does away with Flex Flim and replaces the upper with engineered mesh that proves to be more durable.
Protection
Protection

Protection

Just like comfort, the Breakthru 2 only offers the bare essentials when it comes to protection. Most of it is through the outsole’s heavy coating of rubber that creates a thick barrier between your foot and the ground. And in conjunction with the midsole, you get a double layer of padding to remind you that you’re not running with a minimalist/barefoot type shoe. In addition, the Breakthru 2 has reflective features that match perfectly with the shoe’s bright color styles that make them perfect for nighttime runs.
Responsiveness
Responsiveness

Responsiveness

Responsiveness refers to a shoe’s ability to absorb, capture, and release energy after each landing so that it results in a continuous cycle of energy reload. The Breakthru 2 utilizes Power Grid technology to perform this function through the use of lightweight EVA material. The combination of lighter material along with the firmer construction of the midsole results in a power-packed cycle of energy return that delivers speed. This obviously is the shoe’s talent and one of the main reasons why you’d consider purchasing a pair of Breakthru 2s.
Support
Support

Support

Arch support is neutral and stability is minimal. Expect to do most of the balancing work yourself if you’re running with this shoe. There will not be much, if any, motion control or guidance to help you out with any running deficiencies. For that reason, this shoe need not apply for over or underpronators.
Terrain
Terrain

Terrain

The Breakthru 2 is a road and track shoe. And considering that they are light and easy to pack, they make a great pair of gym shoes as well. They are not waterproof or water resistant. And the large scattering of perforations on top clue us in that running in these under wet conditions is a bad idea, unless you enjoy having soggy feet. The thick rubber outsole could do well over some light trail but essentially these shoes are meant for flat and dry conditions.
Price
Price

Price

Since the Breakthru 3 is the latest addition to the Breakthru family, price on this particular model has been reduced. Price varies widely but stays below the $100 mark. It makes sense to shop around and look for a great deal on these, especially if you don’t require having the latest model. Upgrades to the third version of the Breakthru have been minimal so the Brekathru 2 still offers a lot of the same benefits as the third.
Traction
Traction

Traction

As mentioned earlier, there are two rubber technologies on the Breakthru 2: XT-900 and IBR+. Traction is mostly garnered through XT-900 components which are the toughest of the two types of rubber materials. They also provide the most durability and protection for the outsole. IBR+ provides some grip but its use is mostly to serve as an enhancement for the midsole’s delivery of cushion and responsiveness.
Flexibility
Flexibility

Flexibility

Flexibility has been improved since the first release. The original version featured more overlays which got constrictive. Overlays on this version have been reduced and the mesh material is more relaxed and flexible.

In essence, the Breakthru 2 has been built with the idea of less is more: less material means more mobility. On the other hand, when we move down to the midsole, it’s a whole different story. While it’s true that the midsole was intended to be firm, it would have been preferable if it could match the level of flexibility on the top. Hopefully, Saucony can upgrade the midsole’s flexibility for any future releases of the Breakthru. If so, then we will be more enthusiastic about this shoe.
Stability
Stability

Stability

The Breakthru 2 offers very little when it comes to stability. It has a neutral arch support and it’s meant for runners with neutral pronation. Anyone still working on their gait cycle would not gain much benefit from this shoe, unless your goal is to transition. In general, it’s better suited for runners who are accustomed to landing mid foot to forefoot.
Drop
Drop

Drop

Stack height on the heel measures 23 mm and the height on the forefoot measures 15 mm. This results in an 8 mm drop measurement. The shoe’s drop offset is one of its key features that compliment its status as a low stability neutral trainer. With lower drop offset, you get a more balanced distribution of cushioning that helps to keep a runner in greater natural balance.
Key Features of the Saucony Breakthru 2
Key Features of the Saucony Breakthru 2

Key Features of the Saucony Breakthru 2

• 8 mm Drop Offset
• Power Grid Midsole
• Light-weight Construction
• Dual use of rubber material technology: XT-900 and IBR+
• FlexFilm Upper
• Neutral arch support
Bottom Line
Bottom Line

Bottom Line

It’s important to recognize that above all else, the Saucony Breakthru 2 is a specialty shoe. It doesn’t have a one-size fits all approach that attempts to appease to the running masses. It doesn’t try to be the “perfect” shoe by offering every feature and component into a single piece of footwear because if it did then it would just result in another subpar running shoe that fails to stand out among the crowd.

The Breakthru 2 may not offer every feature and may be lacking in several areas such as cushioning, comfort, and flexibility. However, it was not designed for optimal comfort situations like an ultra marathon. That’s not to say it wouldn’t work well for a regular marathon but generally speaking the Breakthru 2 is your best partner when it comes to shorter to mid-length races and for daily trainings that involve a lot of fast running. It’s firm responsive midsole makes it an expert for delivering a power punch of energy to help you achieve your speed goals. And since it’s more of a specialized shoe, it doesn’t hurt add it to your collection as the “speedster” if you’re the serious runner that owns several pairs of shoes for different types of running.