Saucony Cortana 4

8.5
8.5 score
[Editors rating (8.0) + Users rating (10.0)] / 2 = Runnerclick score (8.5)/10

Our RunnerClick score is based on our editors overall rating compared to the user ratings in order to generate the most accurate and unbiased score of each product we review.

If there are less than 10 user reviews for the product in total, the weight of user reviews is decreased from 50% to 25% to make sure that new products are not rated too high.
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Editor rating: 8.0 / 10
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Saucony Cortana 4 Review Facts

The fourth edition of the Saucony Cortana promises outstanding comfort, a lightweight running experience, and a unique design that is bound to catch the eye of everyone you pass down the road. This sneaker is an enhanced version of its predecessor, bound to make a difference in your daily routine. The Cortana 4 has a comforting amount of stability for runners who like to feel secure and on the right pace, as well as a generous amount of cushioning for the underfoot. The Saucony Cortana 4 has all the tools needed to meet your goals either on the track or on the road.

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable
  • Secure fit
  • Reliable durability
Cons
  • Slight signs of irritation
  • Toe box is narrow
  • Initially expensive
Outsole
Outsole

Outsole

The outsole of the Saucony Cortana 4 is meant to provide exceptional traction and fair durability. This part of the shoe is made with Injection Blown Rubber (otherwise known as IBR+), which is a liquid-molded material promoting both consistency and durability. In other words, it’s considered more of a lightweight layer that protects the outsole from wear and tear after frequent usage. This material is fairly soft, which adds another element of cushioning to the Cortana 4. It is clearly visible on the outsole as a molded, circular shape towards the inside of the forefoot. The outsole also has the XT-900 compound; a material made primarily out of a tough carbon rubber. This rubber enhances the shoe’s traction on the road and helps the overall durability.
Midsole
Midsole

Midsole

Runners will respond positively to Saucony’s precise execution of the PowerGrid technology. PowerGrid is a top of the line foam which offers a substantial amount of cushioning in comparison to the other midsoles in the running shoe market. This technology does a stellar job in providing balance to the foot, as well as maintaining a soft feeling throughout the underfoot. The midsole also has other components, such as the SRC Impact Zone, and the Impact Interface, which bring cushioning and stability to the table. From a cosmetic perspective, the midsole of the Cortana 4 looks clean, like any other sneaker, with “Power Grid” printed at the midfoot. Both of these components contribute to the protection and responsiveness of the Cortana 4.
Upper
Upper

Upper

The Saucony Cortana 4 has a breathable upper that encourage the feet to be dry and cool, no matter where you are in your exercise. The HydraMax Collar Lining offers a soft fabric that eliminates irritation, and holds onto the back end of the foot while providing satisfactory comfort. This lining acts as an interior sleeve that allows the wearer to utilize the Saucony Cortana 4 without the need of socks. This feature is a highlight of this running sneaker as runners can feel lightweight and not have to worry about acquiring blisters or irritation after a long run. The upper also contains important features that benefit the runner’s overall performance, such as Flex Film Overlays and the Comfortlite Sock Liner.
Weight
Weight

Weight

Weight is always a key factor in analyzing how light the prospective sneaker is going to feel. You can confidently run in the Saucony Cortana 4 without feeling weighed down due to bulk. The men’s version of the Cortana 4 weighs 9.2 ounces, whereas the woman’s version is a light 6.2 ounces. One of the Cortana 4’s biggest compliments was that it felt very light, so weight isn’t an issue when it comes to this sneaker. Based off of the thin upper and overall light measurement, the Cortana 4 will help you feel fast on your feet, even on the longest of runs.
Breathability
Breathability

Breathability

The Air Mesh fabric provides runners with well-ventilated airflow throughout the whole foot. In addition to this breathable fabric, the Cortana 4 also has a moisture-wicking lining called HydraMax. Besides enhancing the stability of this sneaker, the HydraMax lining technology keeps the feet dry and cool no matter how much you sweat, or what type of weather conditions you’re running in. The sock-like feeling runners gain from the Air Mesh is a clear indicator that these sneakers are both light, and breathable. With such great breathability, this shoe is definitely valuable for runners looking for a daily running shoe or another pair of marathon sneakers.
Comfort
Comfort

Comfort

One of the biggest benefits of wearing the Saucony Cortana 4 is that is extremely comfortable. Starting with the outsole, the Injection Blown Rubber adds a layer of cushioning on the bottom of the shoe. The PowerGrid technology within the midsole delivers the most amount of cushioning compared to the rest of the sneaker. This foam is substantially softer in comparison to other cushioning, making the ground feel like clouds. The upper has a padded tongue that has the ability to attach to the shoelaces depending on the preference of the runner. The Flex Film Overlays also contribute to the overall comfort levels of this sneaker because they are seamless. This means there is no room for foot irritation because of stitching. One of the biggest issues when it came to comfort was the toe box. This issue was split in half between reviewers; some felt as though the toe box was very roomy, while others thought it was way too narrow. A select group of consumers have said that the toe box is way too narrow for a normal foot, so runners with wide feet should try these on before making a final purchase.
Style
Style

Style

From the upper to the outsole, the Cortana 4 has a unique look to it. This sneaker is designed to look like a polar opposite of a traditional running shoe. The Saucony logo is clearly placed from the forefoot onto the midfoot, and “Cortana 4” above it on an angle. The Cortana 4 is available in two color combinations: Citron/Orange/Black, and Silver/Blue/Citron. Both styles have a neon color to it; one more than the other. These loud combinations are bound to stand out on the street or on the track, so runners who don’t mind the attention should definitely take these into consideration.
Durability
Durability

Durability

The durability levels in this shoe are good, but nothing great. The outsole has the IBR+ and XT-900; two materials that help extend the overall lifespan of the Cortana 4. The Injection Blown Rubber is durable and is strong enough to last dozens of miles. Although the Saucony Cortana 4 is prepared for overuse by containing durable features on the outsole, reviewers have claimed that the midsole tends to collapse after being used over 150 miles.
Protection
Protection

Protection

There is a surplus of protection for the underfoot. To protect the foot from casual impact, the midsole has the Impact Interface and the SRC Impact Zone; two significant parts of protecting the underfoot. These features thoroughly absorbs the shock and impact from foot striking. The SRC Impact Zone focuses on the full length of the shoe, starting with the forefoot. The Impact Interface on the other hand, works with the heel. These two tools are essential to the purpose of this sneaker. As far as the upper is concerned, while it feels similar to a sock, it isn’t extremely thin, so the top of your feet won’t be directly exposed to any type of bumps you may experience during a run.
Responsiveness
Responsiveness

Responsiveness

Sure, the Cortana 4 might not be as responsive as other lines in the Saucony brand, but they give off just enough bounce to keep you moving. The high amount of cushioning could unintentionally be detrimental to the responsiveness of this sneaker if it has that squishy sponge feeling. Despite this fact, the sockliner in the upper offers a responsive feel since it is built with a superior EVA material.
Support
Support

Support

The Comfortlite Sock Liner within the upper essentially surrounds the heel and the arch, providing a reasonable amount of support is given to the underfoot. This type of support is a great sign for runners who need some form of arch support. Those who have a normal arch, or slight overpronation are likely to do well in these sneakers. The Medial Post in the midsole also contributes some support in the midfoot area. This Medial Post helps keep the foot centered for a better overall stride.
Terrain
Terrain

Terrain

The Cortana 4 was engineered to do well on the road. It will respond well to surfaces such as the track, the sidewalk, pavement, and light gravel. Runners will be able to easily notice the benefits of the Cortana 4 when on the street. The shock absorbing features will evidently come into play and lead the runner to their next step. Anything rougher than that might cause an issue for the runner using this shoe. It’s best to stay away from woods and mountainous surroundings when wearing the Saucony Cortana 4, although you could test your luck without risking injury. Luckily, this sneaker can produce a decent amount of traction, so it wouldn’t be unreasonable to test these in a rougher terrain with caution.
Price
Price

Price

The price of the Saucony Cortana 4 has been quite flexible up until this point. When it was initially released, this sneaker was said to be slightly overpriced. The average price at this point was above the $120 range. After some time has passed, the price has decreased tremendously. A consumer can currently find this sneaker at well under $80, which is a great deal based off of the Cortana’s value, as long as you can find your size! Even if you need to spend a little bit extra for a rare size, the technology in the Cortana 4 can help keep you on the track for long periods of time instead of getting hurt with cheaply-made shoes.
Traction
Traction

Traction

While the lugs on the Cortana 4 aren’t anything superior, there is enough tread on the outsole to effectively grip onto mildly unstable surfaces. The XT-900 compound is most useful when it comes to traction. This carbon rubber-based material provides a great amount of traction regardless of the surface type. Runners who are in a slippery environment should not be concerned, as this compound is fully capable of gripping onto the ground; keeping the runner going forward. Puddles and ice shouldn’t be a problem for this shoe, but one should stay away from the forest environment as well as mountainous terrain due to the average-sized lugs.
Flexibility
Flexibility

Flexibility

Flexibility isn’t a strong suit for the Saucony Cortana 4. This sneaker holds slightly more flexibility than the Cortana 3. While initially there was a high amount of stiffness in the Cortana 4, runners have reported that this stiff nature began to disappear after running several miles. This ongoing stiffness has been noticed by buyers, who haven’t been satisfied as a whole. The mediocre flexibility in the Cortana 4 can potentially stray consumers from this shoe.
Stability
Stability

Stability

One thing you won’t have to worry about when wearing the Saucony Cortana 4 is the stability of your feet. There are Flex Film Overlays connected to the upper that were designated to prevent wobbliness within the middle by completely securing the feet of the wearer. This keeps the feet from moving around and making the runner feel unbalanced. There is also the Sauc-Fit, which offers more security to the back of the arch and heel area. With these features intact, the foot will stay in place throughout each and every step, without any temptation to move around. There will be no slipping and sliding with the heel counter effectively serving its purpose.
Drop
Drop

Drop

The heel-to-toe drop measurement is significantly lower than the industry average of ten millimeters. The Saucony Cortana 4 has a drop measurement of approximately 4 inches for both men and women. This isn’t necessarily a drastic change, it just proves that the Cortana 4 doesn’t encourage heel striking. Furthermore, this measurement is considered a perfect mid-point between sneakers with a drop of over 10 millimeters and sneakers with an extremely low drop.
Key Features
Key Features

Key Features

• HydraMax Lining
• Flex Film Overlays
• SRC Impact Zone
• XT-900 compound
• IBR+ on the outsole
• Breathable upper
Bottom Line
Bottom Line

Bottom Line

The Saucony Cortana 4 is an ideal sneaker to have for those looking for stability, comfort, and protection. Saucony has applied a handful of high end technologies that are meant to enhance the experience of the runner, while lasting for hundreds of miles. If you’re used to wearing traditional running shoes but sometimes need an extra boost of cushioning and stability, the Saucony Cortana 4 can accommodate your running needs.