Saucony Razor Ice+ Review Facts
Saucony’s line of winter trail shoes is perfect for handling the coldest environments, able to take snow, ice, and sleet in stride. With ample cushioning in the midsole and sturdy treads on the outsole, traction and stability are guaranteed even during heavy snowfall. An unconventional design gives these shoes the appearance of a high top sneaker, but don’t be fooled; they have virtually nothing in common with these lighter, more ventilated styles of footwear.
Being intended for winter running,
the outsoles of these Saucony shoes are engineered to handle snow, ice, and moisture. The treaded soles are made of Vibram’s new Arctic Grip rubber, which was designed specifically to handle the treacherous terrain that comes with running on mountains and rough trails during the winter. The nubs and slanted trenches are spaced closer than most trail shoes. This is ideal for snowy or icy environments since it offers a greater degree of traction, but this results in a tougher time cleaning out debris that can become lodged in between the spaces.
A slight heel drop has been implemented into the design of the Razor Ice+’s midsole, with about 24 mm of material at the heel and 20 mm at the forefoot. This sizable portion of material is used to provide the ground cushioning that is standard for any trail shoes. The EVA foam used for the midsole has the added benefit of energy return,
helping to encourage an efficient stride. With this careful balancing of cushion and efficiency, this design works to ensure that you can run in these shoes comfortably for a long period of time before feeling sore or fatigued.
The most visually distinctive aspect of the Saucony Razor Ice+’s design is the upper portion. In order to retain heat
and protect your feet from excessive moisture, the upper is constructed out of a thin waterproof material. It slightly resembles a fabric hightop sneaker, but the material is made of neoprene and lined with fleece. This manages to keep your feet warm in cold winter environments as well as maintain a comfortable tight fit that doesn’t add a great deal of extra weight. This makes it perfect for colder environments, but the heat retention may not make these shoes ideal for running in warmer climates.
Weighing in at around 11 ounces, these shoes are a bit heavier than most other trail shoes
. This is because of the insulation used to keep your feet warm when running in snow and because of the ample cushioning required for tough terrain. The upper portion is considerably lighter than the midsole and outsole, but tightly securing the shoes to your feet should offset the bottom-heavy sensation that usually results from this design. For what each shoe contains, this weight is fairly modest, but some customers may find it tough to adjust to the additional burden
on their feet when running.
The Saucony Razor Ice+ wasn’t really designed for ventilation. In fact, the insulating properties
of the upper portion, coupled with the heavily cushioned bottom portion, result in a design that contains heat and air rather than facilitating the flow of air. This makes these shoes less viable for running in warmer environments when compared to other trail shoes on the market, but it also means that these shoes offer something the others don’t. It makes for a pair of trail shoes that are ideal for winter running, with any other environment likely to cause overheating and excessive amounts of sweat to accumulate.
Much effort has been made in the design of these Saucony trail shoes to provide a superior level of comfort, even while running on extremely uncomfortable surfaces. In addition to over 20 mm of cushion in the midsole and a slight drop adding 4 mm to the heel, an extra heel cushion is added to the insole. This ensures that your heels will be protected from excessive shock
during your run, but it may be less comfortable for runners who are accustomed to flat-footed running. This is another aspect where the Razor Ice+ distinguishes itself from other trail shoes, as most are more suited to this flatter style of running.
You will not find another set of trail shoes that look like these. This could be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on what you are going for in terms of style. It’s obvious when looking at these shoes that style was not the main focus, but some effort has been made to create a visual theme. The coordination of black, white, and red used on these shoes look nice, but the lack of alternate color schemes
make it a bit more difficult to pair them with apparel in any other colors. That said, they do look sharp when paired with additional protective winter gear, such as long underwear or a dark parka.
The most durable part of these trail shoes is the bottoms. The need for comfort and traction lends itself greatly to their overall durability due simply to the sheer amount of material needed to accomplish these tasks. However, the majority of the Razor Ice+’s upper is a simple insulating fabric. While this fabric is durable to a degree, it pales in comparison to the level of resistance offered by the lower portion, and is not nearly as durable as the upper portion of many other competing brands of trail shoes. Underneath the insulating fabric is an upper that more closely resembles a traditional trail shoe, but anything above the heel serves only as heat retention and presents a deceptive level of resistance from the elements.
In addition to protecting you from discomfort while running on rough terrain, these shoes are also very adept at protecting you from losing your footing while running on more slippery surfaces. Thanks to Saucony’s Arctic Grip rubber outsole, you will not have to worry about melting ice or snow causing you to slip. The multiple layers of cushioning also offer waterproofing, which will protect your feet from exposure to any liquid from melting ice or snow. Finally, the insulating collar and fabric on the upper portion will protect your feet from low-temperature environments in a way that simply can’t be replicated with other brands.
You won’t get as responsive of an experience with these shoes that you would with basic track shoes due to the increased weight on the bottom half. This bottom-heavy weight distribution is standard to trail shoes and is amplified due to the fact that the majority of Saucony Razor Ice+’s upper is simple lightweight fabric. However, a tight collar around the very top of this fabric works to offset some of the discomfort by supplying a snug fit.
For those runners who are used to a larger amount of support on their heel, the Saucony Razor Ice+ will feel right at home. The slight heel drop, coupled with the extra heel cushion in the shoe’s insole, will result in a great degree of heel support that is often unheard of when it comes to the vast majority of trail running shoes. In addition to this heel support, a high level of firmness is present along the entirety of the sole, providing a slightly less but still more than adequate level of support for the arch and forefoot. Coming from a casual running shoe with a high heel drop to these winter trail shoes is made easier because of this feature, but flat-footed runners may need to replace the insoles before experiencing the even comfort they are more accustomed to.
The terrain best suited for use with the Saucony Razor Ice+ is the colder ones. In winter, harsh mountain trails become even harsher with the addition of frost, ice, and snow. These shoes will handle these terrains at their tamest and at their most treacherous. One thing to keep in mind, though, is that while they are suited for standard mountain running environments, the lack of proper ventilation can make it uncomfortable to wear these for long periods when the weather is warmer. For the most part, you will only want to seriously use these shoes for running in the winter, as the insulated material works to retain heat rather than dissipate it. That said, these can still be used for those warmer days in a pinch; just don’t be surprised if you need to take them off for a bit once you reach the summit in order to prevent trench foot.
The price for the Saucony Razor Ice+ is significantly higher than most trail shoes commonly go for. Coupled with the fact that they are really only effective in one specific environment, this can be a major turn-off for the majority of prospective customers. However, for one particular customer, this price tag is fully justified due to the fact that these shoes offer something that simply cannot be found elsewhere. Based on the high quality of materials used in its construction, the level of effectiveness it displays in winter running environments, and the exceptional durability and insulation, this is well worth the price for a serious trail runner in a seriously cold climate.
This is by far the most impressive aspect of these trail shoes. The outsoles of the Saucony Razor Ice+ are designed to provide impeccable traction and control on even the most inhospitable of surfaces. Mud, slippery rocks, jagged trails, snow, sleet, ice - nothing is going to make you slip when running in these shoes. This is accomplished with Saucony’s exclusive Arctic Grip material used in the construction of their outsole, which provides a level of traction perfect for handling the harshest of environments. However, even though these shoes can handle non-winter environments, other aspects of its design such as the insulated upper portion make them less desirable for use in these alternate climates.
You shouldn’t expect any degree of flexibility with trail shoes in the first place, and these Saucony shoes are no exception. The sheer amount of cushioning present in the midsole and outsole prevent any real bending when running, which will be a bit of an adjustment for individuals switching from track running to trail running. However, one area where these shoes are a bit more flexible is in the upper. The insulated upper portion is made of neoprene and fleece, offering a greater degree of flexibility along the ankle and calf than you may expect with its high top design.
In order to provide an even level of shock absorption, these shoes are extremely rigid. This is an excellent source of stability which is certainly needed on inclined surfaces, not to mention the benefits it contributes to running on rougher terrain. Expect a high level of stability overall when running in these trail shoes, but don’t expect a great degree of flexibility. This is the tradeoff that comes with any serious pair of trail runners, and the Razor Ice+ is no exception to this rule. However, one area in which stability is deceptively absent given the style of these shoes is on the ankle, since the majority of the upper covering is made of a thin fabric instead of something with rigidity.
All trail shoes start with an even level of cushion that runs the entire length of the shoe in order to provide comfort and stability over extremely inhospitable surfaces. These shoes also offer a slight heel drop of around 4 mm which works to provide a tiny bit more protection to the heel. With Saucony’s trail shoes, the insole has a slightly elevated heel pad that provides even more protection, resulting in a slightly higher drop than the midsole’s meager offering. This is nice for runners suited for striking with their heel, but flat-footed runners will probably want to consider replacing these insoles for something flatter in order to prevent this extra elevation.
- Arctic grip outsole
- 20 mm of cushioned midsole
- Neoprene and fleece-lined upper
- Additional heel support in the insole
- Slight heel drop
- Lack of ventilation
There are a few design choices made with these Saucony trail shoes that set them far apart from the competition. The good choices are an extremely competent outsole and a highly insulated upper, which makes them perfect for running in extremely cold environments. However, the disappointing style, poor breathability, and high price tag are bound to turn off many potential owners. All in all, the people best suited for the Saucony Razor Ice+ are those who want to run on a snowy mountain and aren’t willing to drop some dough on the best equipment.