Saucony Bullet

The Saucony Bullet was first introduced back in 1985. This retro-inspired current model is designed to look like the original and meets the current style demands of vintage sneakers. The Saucony Bullet is lightweight and has a thin and flexible outsole that will deliver ground feel since there is not a ton of cushioning. With that said, the EVA midsole that is featured in the midsole is a little heftier than other minimalistic running sneakers so if you want a true barefoot running shoe, these are not it. However, if you are easing into the barefoot running thing, they may be a good shoe to start on. With that said, a large number of reviewers prefer to wear them solely as casual sneakers. In either event, they look great and do not cost a lot.

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Where to Buy
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Pros & Cons
  • Low profile and slim silhouette 
  • Vintage-inspired style meets current trends
  • Fit like a glove
  • An extremely affordable price tag
  • Comfortable enough to be worn as all-day casual shoes
  • Cons
    • Tend to run small and narrow
    • Thin outsole may wear away prematurely if used as running shoes
    • Key Features
      The Saucony Bullet is a throwback version of its 1985 model and is minimalist in engineering. The outsole features three different areas of tread in different triangular traction designs. The forefoot boasts the smallest triangular treads and allows for the most flexibility. The midfoot has sporadic triangular treads which do not serve a whole lot of performance purposes, rather it is more cosmetic. The rear foot has the largest of the triangular treads and results in a more sturdy heel platform so you can stand on them for longer in comfort. This flush-to-the-ground tread pattern allows for a smooth heel to toe transition. The rubber outsole is thin and helps to maintain the minimalist style of this sneaker.
      The Saucony Bullet is a minimalist sneaker with a super-low profile and a midsole to match. Typically, with sneakers featuring an EVA midsole, it takes a while to break them in so don’t expect a super-soft cushiony experience when you step into them. This EVA midsole is molded to form to your foot and adds comfort to each step. There is not a lot of cushion to these but that is normal for a minimalist sneaker. The design of the midsole is to deliver a small amount of cushion and response but you will not experience a lot of spring in your step. The EVA will also help to absorb some shock as well. They can be worn as minimalist running shoes, but many reviewers choose to wear them as casual sneakers, especially if they aren’t used to the feel of a minimalist midsole.
      The retro-inspired Bullet is modeled after the original model of the shoe from 1985. The upper design is a low-profile silhouette made of nylon and strategically-placed suede overlays featured on the forefoot and heel. The nylon material that makes up the upper is breathable and lightweight. Unlike engineered mesh found in a number of other running shoes on the market today, the nylon may be considered less breathable in comparison. However, because it is a little thicker than mesh, it is durable and will be great in colder climates. One thing about nylon is that it does not have a lot of give so if the upper feels too snug, you will have to loosen the lacing system in order to feel some relief if you have wider feet. The heel and tongue are both padded for additional comfort. The combination of nylon and suede combine to form a vintage-style shoe that is not too bulky.
      Minimalist running shoes are, by nature, very lightweight. The thin outsole, minimally-cushioned midsole, and lightweight upper combine to result in a lightweight minimalistic sneaker. Depending on the size and whether you are getting men’s or women’s, these sneakers weigh a mere 7 to 8 ounces.
      The nylon material that makes up the upper on this sneaker does not allow for as much airflow into and out of the foot chamber as much as mesh sneakers might. Some users say that the nylon upper combined with socks creates for a warm foot environment. This might be a good thing for colder climates but may result in hot feet if you are wearing them where it is warmer. Obviously, you could go sockless in these, but reviewers say they are not as comfortable when worn without socks. Although these shoes could be used as minimalist running shoes, the fact that they lack in breathability makes them better suited for casual wear.
      When it comes to comfort, it is obviously something that is subjective to the user. The Saucony Bullet is engineered to be a minimalist running shoe so it does not have a lot of material in the midsole or upper to provide cushioned comfort. With that said, if you are looking for a minimalist sneaker and want to have ground feel and a next-to-nothing fit, then these will meet those desires. Some reviewers even said that the cushioning offered in these sneakers is a little too much in terms of minimalist style. The tongue and heel collar are padded enough to supply some level of comfort and will keep irritation at bay. The shoes are designed to fit like a glove and will form to your foot like a second skin. However, a number of reviewers said that the shoe runs small and is on the narrow side so if you have feet with more volume, these sneakers may not work for you.
      One of the popular styles on the market today is sneakers with a vintage feel and these sneakers definitely meet that style. Because they are modeled after their 1985 predecessor, their silhouette and overall style matches that of a retro sneaker. The nylon and suede upper is made to look like a sneaker from years past and will look great either casually or being used as a minimalist running shoe. A number of reviewers bought these shoes because of their vintage style and use them as casual sneakers so they definitively hit the mark in the style category.
      These shoes don’t pack much punch in the durability department when it comes to the outsole because it is very thin and does not feature an aggressive lug system to help the shoes stand up to hundreds of miles of wear. The upper, however, is thicker than engineered mesh due to the suede and nylon in its engineering. Several users said that the outsole started to wear and even get holes in it after being used as minimalist running shoes for a long time. If you use these as casual sneakers, they will last longer, but as minimalist running shoes, they may carry you over a couple hundred of miles before needing replacing. With that said, the price tag is so affordable, that may not be such a bad thing.
      Because these are minimalist running shoes, they do not have much to make them up and they may not protect you against certain injuries like more supportive sneakers would. The engineering of these sneakers helps them to fit like a glove and fit snugly, which will protect your feet from the elements slightly but they won’t protect you from much. The midsole is slightly cushioned to protect you from some levels of shock, but not as much as other more supportive sneakers. The overlays will help the shoe hug your feet and they will feel like a second skin which is more protection than going barefoot.
      Highly responsive sneakers tend to offer more cushioning and shock absorbency than the Saucony Bullet. These sneakers have a small EVA midsole that absorbs shock and delivers cushion but they will not help you experience a springy ride. The thin rubber outsole and EVA midsole work together to deliver some shock absorbency and some level of support but not to the extent that you will feel propelled forward.
      The contoured footbed included in this sneaker is designed to form to your foot and supply some support, especially when you compare it to running or walking barefoot. Minimalist running shoes, by nature, do not deliver a great amount of support. However, these sneakers are engineered to fit like a glove and help to support your feet to the point of being slightly more supported than going without sneakers. Barefoot running hit its peak a couple of years ago and has since lost its popularity. With that in mind, the Saucony Bullet supplies more support to your feet than many other barefoot running shoes in that they have a certain level of midsole cushioning that you will not feel when running barefoot.
      These shoes are meant to carry you over asphalt, concrete, or hard-packed trails whether you are wearing them as casual sneakers or minimalist running shoes. Their outsole will move and flex with you no matter where you wear them but they won’t supply a lot of traction if you are looking to change direction quickly or wear them on more aggressive terrain.
      For the price, you really can’t go wrong with these sneakers. Currently, they can be purchased for anywhere from $40 to $55. For that low price tag, it may not be a bad idea to give them a try if you are looking for a minimalist running shoe or retro low-profile casual sneaker.
      Saucony placed three different sizes of triangular treads on the outsole of this sneaker to deliver different levels of traction. The forefoot of the sneaker features the smallest of the triangles and will aid in flexibility and grip while the heel features the largest of the triangles which are better for heel striking and standing. The midfoot boasts triangles that are sized in between these two and are really only there for aesthetic purposes. All in all, these sneakers are not incredibly slip-proof in wet conditions but will work well in dry weather.
      The thin outsole, combined with the triangular treads, allows the shoe to be optimally flexible. The forefoot is supremely flexible with its thin outsole and midsole and small triangular treads with built-in flex grooves. The upper is made of nylon and suede overlays and these also allow the sneaker to bend and flex with your foot. Since these are minimalist running shoes, they do not have a ton of material impeding the flexibility and they are designed to deliver a glove-like fit that moves with your foot.
      When it comes to minimalist running shoes, typically stability does not really factor into the equation. The minimal outsole, midsole, and upper combine to form a sneaker that is thin, lightweight, and sock-like which means there is not a lot of room for stabilizing features. The outsole does feature larger triangular treads on the heel which will help to keep you more stabilized when standing but all in all, there are not a lot of stability features offered in this sneaker.
      These are minimalist sneakers and do not have a lot of drop to them. There is not a lot of cushioning and outsole material to differentiate the heel stack from the forefoot stack but they do have more drop than if you were going barefoot.
      Key Features
      - Low profile molded midsole forms to your foot and allows for excellent minimalistic feel
      - Lightweight design engineered to deliver a sock-like fit
      - Flexible triangular grooves on the outsole will allow the sneaker to move and flex naturally with your feet
      - More cushioning than other minimalistic running sneakers for added comfort and a less-than-barefoot-feel.
      - Nylon upper with suede overlays for a stylishly vintage look
      Bottom Line
      This is a stylish and extremely affordable minimalistic running shoe. Whether they perform well as actual running sneakers or better as casual shoes is really a personal choice. A number of reviewers actually preferred them as running shoes while others said there is no way they would wear them as such and prefer to wear them out and about. The fit tends to be a tad small and narrow so if you have more voluminous feet, these may not work for you. The Saucony Bullet definitely meets the current retro-inspired style trend so it may not be a bad idea to try them out stylistically first and if you want to attempt to use them athletically, you won’t have to break the bank to do so.
      Where to Buy
      Backcountry Link
      See Deal
      Moosejaw Link
      See Deal
      By Abbie Copeland
      Last updated:
      Where to buy
      Best offer on: Jul. 27. 2021

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