Saucony Breakthru Review Facts
Saucony released the Breakthru as an addition to fill the gap between two other of its popular models, the Ride and the Kinvara. With the Ride being more of a traditional shoe and the Kinvara being a fast ultra-lightweight trainer, the Breakthru attempts to be a happy medium between the two. Whether it succeeded in its quest to be a hybrid version of two types of shoes is to be questioned.
However, based on its own merits, Saucony has produced a fast and responsive trainer that’s ideal for racing and daily training sessions. It’s ideal for the type of runner who may appreciate a shoe like the Kinvara, Nike’s Zoom Elite or any other class of performance trainers but who wants some added cushioning and durability without having to sacrifice speed. The Breakthru has been outfitted with additional cushioning and durability, making it more adept at holding out for a longer number of miles than its competition, while still retaining the main elements of a performance trainer.
The outsole is constructed from a combination of two rubber material technologies, XT-900 and IBR+, which are two widely used technologies in many Saucony outsoles. XT-900 is placed in high usage areas and intended for added durability and traction. IBR+ material is softer and compliments the cushioning features of the midsole. IBR+ rubber is placed on the forefoot area, giving this part of the foot extra comfort and protection. In addition, the outsole includes wide grooves that help with easier transitions. The outsole performs well, and you will have no complaints here as its effectiveness and durability will have you running for many miles to come.
The midsole unit combines Saucony’s Power Grid technology along with the SSL or Saucony’s Super Lite EVA material. Power Grid absorbs impact and distributes the energy over a wider area. SSL components combine durability and provide plenty of bounce, giving the shoe plenty of responsiveness while reducing the amount of weight.
Despite the fact that the Breakthru was meant to be more cushioned than the Kinvara, it’s still a firm shoe. There is greater cushion than you’d find on a more minimalist
design, but in general, the midsole emphasizes responsiveness rather than cushioning.
The upper is constructed from synthetic materials and features a sheet of soft mesh material to cover the top of the shoe. The overlays feature shatter graphics for unique styling. The interior has a good amount of padding and is made from a soft fabric material. The tongue is also well padded and made with the same type of soft fabric as the rest of the interior. The heel area features a Run Dry Collar which helps to wick moisture away, ensuring that your feet stay dry and cool.
The Breakthru weighs 8.6 ounces, just a little over 1/2 of an ounce lighter than the Saucony Ride 7. Its weight is one of the main selling points. As a whole, the shoe has been designed with the idea of using lightweight materials in every part so that it can stay true to its function as a race-inspired model
Fortunately, breathability is something that has been improved in subsequent versions of the Breakthru
. For this release, however, breathability features fall short of expectations. The problem is with the barely visible perforations on the lining of the mesh that doesn't allow enough air to get inside the shoe. This creates a poor ventilation for your feet, but fortunately, this is an area that has seen improvement with the latest upgrades of the Breakthru.
Even though the Breakthru can be regarded as a mutation between the Ride and the Kinvara, with cushioning being plushier than it is on the latter, it has not been designed with the intent to deliver a heap of comfort. Cushioning levels can best be described as moderate. The midsole, as we’ve mentioned, is meant to be firm and responsive. Comfort is mostly emphasized around the interior walls with the shoe’s gracious amounts of padding and soft fabric material. Also, the Run Dry collar helps with keeping moisture away.
The Breakthru looks more like a traditional shoe and doesn’t show much racing inspiration through its structural design (something that has changed dramatically in the next versions). That’s not to say it’s visually unappealing, but it simply fails to stimulate the visual senses in its uniqueness.
Several color combinations are available, most of which combine grey and another color. The most appealing color combination for the men is the yellow/blue/orange option and for the women, it would be the blue/vizi/orange combination. — this, of course, is assuming that you’re a fan of bright colored running shoes
The Breakthru has firm construction from top to bottom and it serves it well when it comes to durability. The outsole has a good reputation for its ability to withstand longer runs than other performance trainers. XT-900 rubber has been specifically implemented in high usage areas in order to protect the outsole. IBR+ also has some durability aspects but it is mostly added on for cushioning than it is for protection. The use of synthetic materials on the upper provide good coverage for the top part of the shoe.
Out of all 3 versions of the Breakthru, this one offers the most protection. The reason is in the fact that this edition aligns more closely with a traditional shoe. It has a higher stack height which means higher walls that naturally keep you more guarded against the outer elements. There is also the firm construction of the midsole and upper which provide a secure fit for your foot.
Other protective features include the use of the Run Dry Collar on the heel and the use of soft blown rubber on the outsole for added cushioning which helps to protect your joints
. Additionally, the bright colors and reflective features help with running in low-light conditions.
Responsiveness is achieved through Saucony’s Power Grid technology. The Breakthru’s midsole works by absorbing energy from impact and releasing it back into action after a runner toes off from the ground. This cyclical process of capturing, distributing, and releasing energy works through each step a runner takes. It also works in conjunction with the runner’s speed so that the faster you run, the more energy you get.
The Breakthru has neutral arch support, making it an ideal fit for neutral runners. Those with running deficiencies in their gait, under or overpronation
will struggle more with this class of shoe unless you are a runner who is working on switching up your running style. Neutral runners, on the other hand, will gain the most benefit from the shoe’s responsiveness by the fact that more energy is generated and less is consumed by your own body when landing and toeing off from the mid-foot or forefoot areas. This is in contrast to heel landings which are less efficient because they require that more energy is used during the gait process.
Road and track are the most suitable environments for the Breakthru. It is prepared to handle moderately difficult road conditions like uneven asphalt because the outsole contains some decently sized lugs and there is enough treading to sustain a proper grip. It will also perform well over some light trail conditions
or gravel terrain. It’s not waterproof
but the fact that the shoe’s upper is mostly enclosed means it will be suitable under mildly wet conditions. Overall, however, the shoe is mainly intended for dry, flat, and even terrain.
With two newer versions ahead of it, the original Breakthru is deeply discounted, making it a great bargain. Price is between the mid $40 range to just under $100. However, paying close to $100 for this version would be very unwise considering you could just buy the latest model for the same price. Paying around the $50 range is more like it. Sizes and color options are limited so finding a particular style you favor can prove to be challenging.
As previously indicated, the outsole combines two types of rubber technologies, XT-900 & IBR+. Traction is largely generated through the use of XT-900 materials which are designed for added durability, whereas IBR+ is made from a soft blown rubber material which helps with cushioning. The outsole has moderate treading which functions for varying degrees of grip on the roads.
Flexibility is one of the biggest drawbacks for the Breakthru but something that has been largely improved in the later versions. By its very nature, Power Grid midsole units are firm and less flexible than other platforms. So in this sense, a bit of constricted feel in the midsole is to be expected. The main drawback lies in the shoe’s upper mesh which lacks stretch. In addition, many users have problems with the forefoot area of the shoe fitting too tight. Despite improvements in the updated versions, flexibility still remains a persistent issue with the Breakthru. Hopefully, it's an issue that Saucony can look to improve for any future updates.
With its neutral arch support, the Breakthru offers minimal to moderate amounts of stability. With this type of a shoe, you won’t get much in terms of motion control
, so it is expected that a runner will already have good mechanics before lacing up in a pair of these. Stability is mostly achieved through a runner’s own footwork. The Breakthru will work in conjunction with your gait as a compliment rather than as a correction.
The Breakthru’s 8 mm drop is one of its defining features. A lower drop offset measurement means that cushioning will be distributed over a greater surface area. It works as a compliment to the shoe’s neutral arch support and the result is a wider dispersion of shock absorption. There’s less pressure on a single part of the body and it helps with a runner initiating neutral landings.
• Power Grid Midsole Technology
• Soft mesh upper
• 8 mm drop
• XT-900 carbon rubber and IBR+ material on the outsole
• Designed for versatility as a race shoe and daily trainer for fast tempo running
The first edition of Saucony’s Breakthru is a well-intentioned effort to come up with a shoe that fills the void between two of its popular models, the Ride, and the Kinvara. It combines more cushioning than a standard performance shoe while still maintaining a racing appeal. It’s lightweight and can deliver a quick burst of speed. In addition, it emphasizes the necessity for a durable outsole that can outlive many of its performance-line competitors. Therefore, when it comes to factoring in its primary objectives, we can conclude that the shoe succeeds.
Unfortunately, there some considerable drawbacks that still persist even in the current upgrades. The most significant of these is in the shoe’s lack of flexibility. The midsole is firm and responsive but lacks mobility. The upper is also very constricted and the forefoot area fits too snug according to some of its users. These issues are enough for anyone to consider exploring other options for a performance shoe that can deliver a more well-rounded experience. In the case of the Breakthru, the consensus seems to be that you get some benefits at the expense of others.