Saucony Mirage 4

8.0
8.0 score
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Editor rating: 8.0 / 10
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Saucony Mirage 4 Review Facts

Saucony makes the impossible, possible with their Mirage Powergrid 4 running shoes.

A popular addition to their minimalist, natural running collection, the Saucony Mirage line is a stability shoe known for its surprisingly lightweight race-ready feel. Their newest update, the Mirage 4 is a nod towards runners with minimalist leanings, who still need the support and stability that flatter shoes do not generally provide. Saucony keeps true to the line, however, by keeping a relatively flat 4mm drop, while keeping a thicker midsole. Saucony switches out their ProGrid heel cushioning used in previous models for their new PowerGrid technology, which promises to keep the shoe light and supportive while enhancing overall responsiveness.

 

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Light weight feel for enhanced running economy without skimping on support
  • Breathable, durable redesigned upper
  • Great responsiveness for the thickness of the midsole
  • Reflective detailing for safe night running
  • Eye-popping aesthetics
  • Great fit and less heel sliding to keep chafing and blisters at bay
Cons
  • Slightly heavier than previous version
  • Stiff sole
  • Outer/upper fibers deteriorate and/or fray quickly
Outsole
Outsole

Outsole

The outsole is made of a cushioning carbon rubber material (XT-900) and flexible Blown Rubber in the forefoot region. The Mirage 4 has carbon lugs to increase traction, but the lugs do not appear to affect the feel upon impact and wear down evenly.
Midsole
Midsole

Midsole

The midsole is made of EVA+/Powerfoam that is 15% lighter and is made to last the long haul, having increased its durability by 30%. It is combined with Saucony’s new PowerGrid technology positioned in the heel that helps evenly distribute impact forces, increasing the shoes’ ultimate responsiveness despite the near inch thick foam midsole.
Upper
Upper

Upper

The upper is supported by a 1.5mm EVA sockliner, with an HRC Strobel board underneath to increase plushness. There is snug HydraMAX moisture-wicking collar around the ankle and keeps runners feeling comfortable and dry. Saucony redesigned their FlexFilm mesh overlay, tightened-up the mesh weave. This resulted in layer reduction, a smooth inside shoe feel and increased stability. The Mirage’s upper also features TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane plate) arch support increasing shoe support and stability.
Weight
Weight

Weight

The men’s shoe weighs 8.9oz/252 g in a size 9 and the women’s shoe weighs 7.9oz/224g in a size 8. Runners familiar with the Mirage 3 noted feeling the .3oz increase in weight in this version. However, it is still a rather lightweight shoe. It should be said that the increased weight is attributable to the upgraded upper which, resulted in a better shoe.
Breathability
Breathability

Breathability

Runners report that the tighter weave of the redesigned FlexFilm overlay in the Mirage 4 is still highly breathable, helping keep your feet dry as well as chafe and blister-free.
Comfort
Comfort

Comfort

Those who tried the shoe overwhelmingly love the feel of this shoe, proclaiming it a “perfect fit.” The Mirage 4 has many indispensable comfort features. Runners overall reported a well-fitting upper that is snug in the right places with a perfectly locked-in, soft heel, and a roomy toe-box. The shoe feels smooth and plush.
Style
Style

Style

These shoes look sharp! These shoes are snazzy enough to hold the eye of any runner who was perusing their local running shoe shop, even those who claim their purchases are not swayed by aesthetics. Vibrant shoes feel fast and the color choices for the Mirage 4 fit the bill. Men’s styles come in a wide variety of color options: Citron (lime) upper with black larger and blue smaller accents, blue/black/citron, navy/viziorange (orange), black/white/green/orange, red/black/citron and blue/black/white. Women’s styles come in a gorgeous purple/citron/vizicoral (pink), green/blue, blue/vizicoral and black/pink/green.
Durability
Durability

Durability

The Mirage 4 does not seem to have any serious durability issues, but some have noted feeling initially skeptical early on. Many runners have had an issue with fraying of the thin threads in the shoe’s upper, as early as 15 miles into the shoes. The thicker support threads do not seem to be affected by this issue and as such, there does not seem to be any significant problems. Some runners have reported worrying about a possible improper fit of the shoes’ carbon lugs into their slots, but have not had any actual problems with them detaching from the shoe due to the fit. The new FlexFilm in the upper has been noted for great durability in the toe-box despite its lighter design.
Protection
Protection

Protection

The new PowerGrid heel disperses impact forces and together with the TPU plastic plate, and moderately thick midsole, the Mirage 4 provides adequate cushioning and protection from the elements: rocks, hard pavement and other potential sources of unneeded pain, encountered during long runs in this shoe’s intended terrain.
Responsiveness
Responsiveness

Responsiveness

There may never be a way to truly feel and respond to impact with the ground like directly connecting with the earth. So, it is not surprising that runners who are used to a traditionally minimal shoe might be a little disappointed by the responsiveness of the Mirage 4. The shoe has great responsiveness for its relative thickness, but some runners said they couldn’t feel a ground connection. Some even called the shoe clunky.
Support
Support

Support

The Mirage 4’s support features are the EVA+/Powerfoam, the PowerGrid heel, and the TPU plastic plate, which does a solid job of providing light/moderate support.
Terrain
Terrain

Terrain

The Mirage 4 was designed for road running in mind. The new PowerGrid heel and the TPU plastic plate provide the cushion and support needed for long-distance miles. The relatively thick midsole is appropriate for combatting all of the impact forces we undergo when pounding the pavement.
Price
Price

Price

This is an overall moderately (and reasonably) priced shoe that delivers some exciting features. At a price point that should be accessible for many runners, Saucony created a shoe that gives many runners at least a little bit of a lot of things they want: stability, lightweight, responsiveness, and a great plush feel.
Traction
Traction

Traction

The shoes’ XT-900 rubber lugs and the Blown Rubber outsole provide traction on par with other running shoes in its class.
Flexibility
Flexibility

Flexibility

One unfortunate downside to the Mirage 4 is its stiffness. Runners have reported stiffness due to the TPU medial plate and the changed PowerGrid foam, even after considerable break-in periods. Some runners experienced quad pain after a trial period and with so much else to like about the shoe, had to reluctantly give-up on the Mirage 4.
Stability
Stability

Stability

Saucony states that these shoes provide a “touch of guidance.” This shoe is useful for light to moderate pronators, providing a subtle hint of stability. This shoe is not for runners that need extra help with gait correction.
Drop
Drop

Drop

The shoe has a 4mm drop (heel: 22 -24mm, forefoot: 18-20 mm), therefore, gives a semblance of a barefoot experience. Although the drop should keep your heel out of the way, some runners recalled being unable to produce either a fore or mid-foot strike despite best efforts.
Key Features of the Saucony Mirage 4
Key Features of the Saucony Mirage 4

Key Features of the Saucony Mirage 4

• FlexFilm overlays

• 4mm drop

• HydraMAX moisture-wicking collar

• TPU midfoot stabilizer

• XT-900 compound outsole

• HRC Strobel board
Bottom Line
Bottom Line

Bottom Line

The Saucony Mirage 4 is a flashy shoe that does a reasonable job of combining stability features and minimalist feel. As expected, concessions were made to some elements, but what they do manage is a relative lightweight and remarkable responsiveness for the stability it provides. Although a little more stuff than the average shoe, definitely consider the Mirage 4 if you are looking for an overall lightweight shoe with a racing feel.