Saucony Mirage 5
Although the Saucony Mirage 5 is classified as a “guidance” shoe, you shouldn’t let that term fool you; this is not a bulky set of training wheels. What the Mirage 5 is in actuality is a lightweight trainer, perfect for runners who tend towards overpronation.
Enough stability and cushioning are present in its design to guide you and encourage more efficient and safer running techniques without sacrificing any speed. As a result, runners looking to improve their running form and break some personal records at the same time will want to consider these Saucony trainers.
- FLEXFILM soft breathable mesh upper
- Responsive and supportive POWERGRID midsole
- Excellent traction from its carbon rubber outsole
- Forefoot is too soft
- Uncomfortably small sizing
- Narrow midfoot
- Limited style options
The result is a shoe that feels flexible at the front and stiffer as you get closer to the back. Consequently, the shoe provides only enough flexibility to allow your toes to feel the ground beneath you and enough cushion to prevent your heel from experiencing injury from repetitive impacts.
As a result of its lighter weight, a higher level of responsiveness is possible when wearing the Saucony Mirage 5. In addition to the POWERGRID midsole, an EVA+ compound has been used in key areas of the midsole construction. This material is also lightweight and includes an added layer of cushioning that is adequate yet unobtrusive.
On the medial side is TPU (thermoplastic) unit which helps to correct overpronation, cementing the Mirage 5’s status as a literal training shoe.
As a result, comfort and breathability are at the forefront of this upper’s design, all while maintaining an impressively low total weight.
These features are perfect for fledgling runners who are still acclimating to a regular running routine and will help ease the pain that can come with the difficult transition from the couch to the track.
The Saucony Mirage 5, and the Mirage series, in general, is lauded for its extremely lightweight. Saucony deserves major props for producing a shoe that can provide all the support and stability necessary for a decent training shoe without a cumbersome weight or size.
In addition to offering this high amount of airflow, the material also feels soft to the touch and doesn’t irritate the skin. However, due to the extremely light weight of these training shoes, high breathability wouldn’t be an issue for the most part as the lack of weight prevents the accumulation of strain-related sweat. It’s still a nice feature to have regardless, especially for runners in warmer climates.
This is an excellent addition for beginners because even though the included insole will provide adequate support, the ease at which they can be removed makes replacing them with medical orthotics easier for those special cases. Finally, a "Run Dry" collar helps to lock the heel in place during a run. As the name suggests, this heel has the bonus benefit of wicking away moisture.
The options given aren’t terrible and make good use of color theory to provide choices in warmer and cooler colors. However, this is sure to bother some runners who are more fashion-oriented and may have difficulty coordinating their footwear with the rest of their wardrobe.
Even if a shoe is partially durable, it’s only as strong as its weakest point. For this reason, the final impression of these shoes’ durability is a negative one. Unless you treat these shoes exceptionally well, you should expect to need a new pair of shoes within under a year of owning these.
Not to say that it doesn’t include any literal protective features, however; for one, the breathable mesh and Run Dry collar offer excellent moisture protection. Secondly, the ProLock lacing system protects against slipping by securing your feet comfortably in the shoes. Finally, a highly reflective upper helps to protect runners from accidentally being hit by a lack of visibility in low-light environments.
The EVA+ platform is naturally bouncy and soft which helps add to the shoe’s responsiveness. The result is a shoe that not only provides an excellent return of energy with each stride but also encourages good running habits by providing extra responsiveness with proper gait and pronation.
Most athletic footwear manufacturers emphasize the heel area in the implementation of their support, often neglecting the front as a consequence. It’s should serve as some relief to know that Saucony did not do this and managed to successfully support both the front and back of the foot while wearing a pair of the Mirage 5's.
When combining this even support with a low offset, the result is a shoe that positively influences your running form.
As a result, these shoes shouldn’t be used under such circumstances in order to maximize their longevity and effectiveness. Also worth noting is that these shoes aren’t waterproof, so you will want to stick to drier environments when running in them.
This may seem unusual at first glance and the most likely culprit for this is the shoe becoming devalued by customers based on its limited durability. However, that can certainly come to your benefit if you’re looking for some cheap training shoes, as you can easily score a pair of these for under $100 with some due diligence.
The POWERGRID midsole and the XT 900 outsole are constructed from malleable materials, albeit occasionally at the cost of support. Overall, the Mirage 5 is a shoe that accommodates a runner’s natural movement.
This, in turn, gives you a sense of natural protection as opposed to artificial protection provided solely from the layers and layers of protection from a footwear equivalent to a set of training wheels. For this reason, stability is the bread and butter of the Mirage 5, cementing it as a proper “guidance” shoe.
This helps to minimize joint pain from inefficient running mechanics such as aggressive heel striking. On the other hand, for a runner not used to calf muscle engagement may need some time to adjust, as the muscle soreness can be killer for those first few days.
- Guidance shoe for overpronation correction
- Lower heel drop
- POWERGRID midsole provides support and responsiveness
- FLEXFILM upper with a seamless overlay
- Soft breathable mesh
- XT900 carbon rubber for traction
- Soft blow rubber on the forefoot for responsiveness
- Pro Lock lacing system for secure fit
The Saucony Mirage 5 can be considered perfect for novice runners who want a tool to correct their mistakes and facilitate proper running techniques without being overwhelming. It certainly doesn’t hurt that its overall lightness contributes to higher top speed.
With the unfortunate downside of diminished durability, the end result is a shoe that is ‘perfect’ for a short amount of time and in a limited capacity.