Saucony Lancer 2 Review Facts
With this second edition of the Lancer, Saucony aimed to significantly improve upon the original model. The road trainer offers up moderate cushioning in a stable package. Suitable for road running, the neutral shoe features the standard 8mm drop seen in the majority of Saucony brand shoes. The intent here was to create a more stable, cushioned version of the same shoe, but the effort has fallen short. The response to the Lancer 2 has been mixed. Most reviewers just didn’t find the shoe was a big improvement. When worn, the supposed improvements just aren’t noticeable at all. Many reviewers even said that the Lancer 2 was a step backward. So what went wrong?
The outsole of the Saucony Lancer
2 remains pretty much the same. An XT-600 rubber outsole graces the bottom of the shoe and some flex grooves have been sprinkled in to ensure the shoe can flex accordingly. The outsole is resistant to wear but it's not particularly good at providing traction. Saucony has added a stability feature to the shoe but the overall stability
is compromised by the poor grip underfoot.
Reviewers of the original Lancer were quick to point out the poor grip of the shoe. It's kind of surprising that this issue wasn't addressed in the new version. The durability issues seem to have been ignored as well considering the outsole remains just as thin as before.
The midsole of the Saucony Lancer 2 has been tweaked a bit. Saucony intended to infuse the shoe with more padding and bump up the overall support. The midsole features PROGrid technology for support and a bit more EVA cushioning than before. So, did their changes make the grade? Unfortunately, the addition of the Medial Support Arc doesn't really help to increase overall stability
that much since the traction is so bad. The increased padding sounds good in theory but many reviewers complained that the shoe felt less padded than the original Lancer. Reviewers were especially disappointed by the lack of forefoot cushioning.
The upper of the Saucony Lancer 2 gets a small upgrade. New overlays have been added to lend better support
to the wearer. The overlays work quite well in this regard. They don't add extra weight but reviewers were nearly unanimous in their praise of a supportive fit. The shoe also fits pretty true to size. Mesh material covers the upper of the Lancer 2 and you'll also find stretchy laces that will help you adjust the fit accordingly. Some reflective material also outfits the upper.
The Saucony Lancer 2 is fairly lightweight. The women's version weighs 8.8 ounces and the men's version about 9.9 ounces. The new overlays added to the upper don't affect the weight too much. Compared to the original version, there's a slight decrease in overall weight. Most reviewers found the shoe lighter than they thought it would be. It's a definite advantage for the Lancer 2. It feels fast on the run. It's a good shoe choice for those who are only planning to run short distances.
With a standard mesh upper the Saucony Lancer 2 won't win any contests for its breathability but it doesn't do a bad job at ventilating. The toe box provides a bit of extra room which helps air to circulate in an area that's often cramped and uncomfortable. The newly added overlays don't negatively impact
the breathability nor to they tack on weight. There's some flexibility to the upper material as well which helps with ventilation as well. A roomy toe box also helps with air circulation. Wearers found the toe box construction much improved and liked that there was more room to wiggle around.
When it comes to the question of comfort, the Saucony Lancer 2 is a bit of a mixed bag. The new overlays that have been added to the upper do help provide a bit of a better fit. The lightweight also adds to the shoe's overall comfiness. But the cushioning is just not where many wanted it to be. Reviewers felt that impact felt particularly hard in the Lancer 2 and compared to the original model the cushioning felt pretty minimal
. That's interesting since the shoe is supposed to contain more cushioning in its midsole. Perhaps the discomfort is the result of a dense material being used? If the cushioning material is particularly firm some runners may find that impact feels a bit too jarring.
The Saucony Lancer 2 comes in a variety of colors. There are flashier iterations and more subdued options. The women's version comes in a nice teal/orange combination, a grey/fuschia, and a grey with coral and neon green accents. For men, there's an all-black version and a colorway that's a little flashier with bright orange, neon and blue. Overall, the shoe is attractive. It doesn't look bulky and the color accents are on point.
Some runners did find the design to be a bit bulky looking but I disagree. I think the look of the shoe is pretty sleek. It's one of the more positive aspects of the Lancer 2.
The outsole of the Saucony Lancer 2 remains exactly the same as the original version. The XT-600 rubber material is meant to provide traction and protection from friction
. Reviewers of the original Lancer felt that the sole was way too thin to be able to last more than a couple hundred miles. The Lancer 2 doesn't really improve on this issue. The sole remains pretty thin and the shoe probably won't last much more than a few hundred miles of training. It's most suitable for those running low weekly mileage.
For those choosing to use the shoe indoors, you'll likely find you get a little bit more life out of the shoe. Indoor running doesn't tend to wear outsoles as much as outdoor running does, for obvious reasons.
The protective features are few and far between on the Saucony Lancer 2. The upper does feature some reflective components to keep runners visible on early morning
runs or during the evening but that's the extent of the protection you'll get with this shoe. The cushioning is really rigid and although it technically does pad underfoot, it feels really harsh. Reviewers almost unanimously talked about how they hated the feel of the Lancer 2's midsole cushion. The shoe also provides poor traction so you'll want to be wary when running in adverse weather. The added upper overlays do ensure there's enough support provided for the wearer, though. And there's enough ventilation to keep the temperature of the shoe's interior controlled.
The ProGrid midsole construction and the EVA cushion are meant to provide a fair bit of energy return. Except, most reviewers just didn't find they got a lot of rebound from the Saucony Lancer 2. The midsole cushion felt too stiff to really feel responsive. Most reviewers found the midsole cushion felt as if it had been greatly reduced compared to the original shoe. Running in the Lancer 2, for many runners, felt like slapping the ground. Hard.
There's a little bit of support in the Saucony Lancer 2. The new overlays do the bulk of the job by keeping the wearer's foot securely in place. They're probably the best addition to the Lancer 2. Even with them added, the shoe feels breathable and they don't tack extra weight. Underfoot, the ProGrid midsole and dense EVA cushioning does provide a solid base but it's almost too much support. It renders the ride almost unbearably stiff and rigid. The one saving grace, though, is the nice amount of arch support for flat
Stick to the pavement with the Saucony Lancer 2. It's not a trail shoe. There's plenty of evidence for this. First off, it looks like your traditional road shoe. It has zero protective features aside from some supportive overlays and some reflective components. There's no solid midsole rock plate or fancy upper construction that keeps stuff like rocks
out of your shoe. The Lancer 2 brings just the basics. It also provides really bad traction, so stick to the ground where you'll be sure footed.
Lancer 2 is at a fairly low price point but for all its faults the price seems a bit high. The lifespan of the shoe just doesn't justify the price tag. The biggest drawback is the awful traction. Unless you're a runner that runs uniquely indoors on a track
or treadmill, you'll probably want some semblance of grip for when rainy weather strikes.
The Lancer 2 just doesn't provide the value most runners are seeking when they choose to purchase a running shoe. Runners want durability, which the Lancer 2 lacks. They also want to be able to get a bit of versatility out of their shoe. Sure, you can wear the Lancer 2 casually, it looks good enough, but it's tough to wear it for both indoor and outdoor runs. It's also likely not a shoe you'll choose to wear for marathon training.
As mentioned previously, this is probably the biggest drawback of the Saucony Lancer 2. The original Lancer was also terrible at gripping surfaces and the Lancer 2 doesn't fix this issue. The outsole is the same XT-600 sole. It's thin and not very durable. It also just doesn't grip wet surfaces well at all. This results in a shoe that's better suited for indoor workouts at the gym or at home on the basement treadmill. I'd definitely avoid taking the Lancer 2 out for race day, especially if there are clouds in the sky.
The Saucony Lancer 2 lacks flexibility. Even though the outsole does feature Flex Grooves, the EVA midsole cushion is so rigid that the shoe just doesn't bend that much. It results in a rigid and inflexible ride that's pretty uncomfortable. Most reviewers didn't feel like the shoe moved naturally. It might work for those of you choosing to run short distances but several miles into a long run the lack of flexion might really tire out your feet.
There's some stability in the Saucony Lancer 2. The overlays that have been added to the upper ensure your foot doesn't sway from side to side. Some slippage that occurred with the first version has been eliminated because of the better fitting upper. The Medial Support Arc also increases the overall stability a bit. Unfortunately, the extremely poor traction kind of counteracts a lot of those great features. It's hard to feel stable when you lack the ability to grip the surface you're running on.
The Saucony Lancer 2 has an 8mm drop. Most Saucony shoes feature this heel to toe angle. The geometry is meant to encourage a more natural midfoot strike. Many reviewers, though, commented that the forefoot cushioning just wasn't there. A more forward foot strike just didn't feel comfortable in the Lancer 2.
- XT-600 rubber outsole is intended to help with traction
- Flex Grooves are intended to provide flexion to the sole
- ProGrid technology in midsole keeps runners stable
- Moderate amount of EVA cushioning in the midsole
- Medial Support Arc helps support the arch of the foot and adds a hint of stability
- Mesh upper
- Reflective strips
- Stretchy lacing system
If you're primarily an indoor runner looking for an affordable running shoe
for the gym, the Saucony Lancer 2 might be a good choice. Otherwise, there are plenty of better options in the neutral category
. The Saucony Lancer 2 just doesn't cut it for long-distance running. The hard cushioning isn't comfortable and feels like a step backward from the original version of the shoe. The shoe has trouble gripping wet surfaces, too. Some positive aspects include the nice midfoot arch support and the properly fitting upper with a nice wide toe box. Again, the Lancer 2 is your best bet if you'll mostly be using it inside for gym workouts and treadmill runs. Its cushioning is too rigid and dense to feel very good for long runs on hard outdoor pavement.