Saucony Virrata

8.1
8.1 score
[Editors rating (9.5) + Users rating (4.0)] / 2 = Runnerclick score (8.1)/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.
1
Editor rating: 9.5 / 10
User's rating: based on 2 user ratings
1 star
50%
2 star
0%
3 star
50%
4 star
0%
5 star
0%
Add your Rating
All Saucony Shoes
Saucony VirrataReview Facts
Watch Video Review

Let’s talk about zero-drop running shoes for a moment. These shoes take the “drop” out of heel to forefoot, allowing the foot to sit level to the ground and aid in helping the runner utilize his or her natural form. Perfect for those who tend to overpronate while running, zero drop shoes have gained quite a bit of popularity in the running world.

However, with many zero drop trainers, this feature comes at a cost, often stripping away any of the comforts that some runners have come to expect in a high-end trainer. Addressing this problem, the Saucony Virrata is a minimalist zero drop shoe with maximalist cushioning. Lightweight but providing excellent cushioning, this neutral trainer is flexible and features zero drop to encourage a more natural stride.

Its highly breathable seamless upper provides a snug fit while its cushioned sole protects the foot from the hard road ahead. The traction its outsole provides will keep the runner moving on asphalt and pavement surfaces and is even graded for light trail running. For a lightweight trainer with zero drop but also keeps the foot protected and cushioned throughout a ride, the Saucony Virrata seems to be the answer for common complaints that zero drop trainers simply don’t provide enough comfort. A great choice for runners looking to transition to a zero drop sneaker and for those who haven’t found the right amount of cushioning in a zero drop shoe, this ultra-lightweight trainer just may be the answer. After all, zero drop trainers have only gained more popularity over the years, and if just a few design issues were addressed–as they seemed to have been in the Saucony Virrata–maybe more runners would be receptive to switching to the zero drop style.  

Pros

 

  • Very lightweight trainer that offers both zero drop and comfort

  • Stylish design that makes it look more maximalist than its minimalist nature

  • Highly breathable upper that’s snug and comfortable

  • Flexible outsole allows for excellent surface control

  • Well-priced for a zero-drop trainer

Cons

 

  • Some complaints of the toe box being too narrow

  • Midsole may wear down quicker than in some other trainers

Outsole
Outsole

Outsole

To keep with the zero drop philosophy, the outsole--while initially looking thick--is actually quite thin. With big lugs at the forefoot and heel, most of the outsole is exposed foam, which keeps weight down considerably while also providing a good amount of traction in maximum impact areas. This may concern some over durability issues, but runners have reported putting hundreds of miles on their Saucony Virrata without noticeable degradation of the outsole. In fact, some runners may not even feel that these are zero-drop shoes due to the large lugs made of XT-900 traction rubber on the forefoot and heel of the outsole.
Midsole
Midsole

Midsole

What makes the Saucony Virrata stands apart from other zero-drop shoes is its cushioning, which seems more suited for a maximalist shoe than the Virrata’s minimalist design. Its EVA midsole adds a fair amount of plushness to the trainer, which will be appreciated on long runs through the streets and sidewalks of your town or city. Cushier than a lot of minimalist shoes without adding weight, the Saucony Virrata’s midsole is just plush enough for the zero-drop crowd to take notice. In addition, the Virrata’s midsole provides excellent flexibility due to flex grooves at the bottom of the midsole.
Upper
Upper

Upper

The thin but snug upper on the Virrata provides comfort and is resistant to wear and tear. With excellent padding, HydraMAX moisture-wicking collar lining, and reflective details as part of the overlays, the Virrata keeps the foot comfortable, dry, and the runner safe in low-light conditions. Constructed of breathable mono mesh that guarantees the foot will remain cool and well-ventilated throughout a run, runners will appreciate the lightweight construction of the upper. Although there has been some complaints that the toe box is a bit narrow, this may vary from runner to runner. In addition, its padded tongue stays firmly in place after lace-up and the heel counter comes up to a natural height.
Weight
Weight

Weight

Weighing in at 6.9 ounces/196 grams, the Saucony Virrata is a lightweight minimalist shoe that offers some maximalist comfort, particularly in its springy and plush EVA midsole. But by constructing the outsole to cover high-impact areas while keeping other areas open to foam and creating the upper from a seamless mono mesh, the Virrata has kept the weight off while providing comfort where it counts for most runners.
Breathability
Breathability

Breathability

Thanks to its seamless mono mesh upper, the Virrata is a highly breathable trainer. Stripping much of the shoe’s components down to bare essentials (after all, it is a minimalist shoe), it remains a well-ventilated trainer without skimping on midsole comfort.
Comfort
Comfort

Comfort

The two major points of comfort on this trainer are its midsole and its upper. The midsole is made of a thin but durable full-length EVA that retains its spring and softness even after many miles are put on the Virrata while its upper is well-cushioned in key areas (such as the heel and the tongue) so the runner will experience a step-in comfort that lasts after lace-up and long into the run.
Style
Style

Style

Appearances can be deceiving, and the Saucony Virrata’s aesthetic certainly attests to this. While coming across as a much bulkier, even “maximalist” running shoe at first glance--what with its chunky-looking outsole, brightly colored and kinetic upper, and plastic toe box guard, one could mistake it at first glance for one of Reebok’s more garish lines. But this is all for show: the outsole is actually much lighter and more ergonomic than it seems while the upper is lightweight and thin. It looks like a heavier shoe than it is--which may be appealing to some runners as they glide for miles in a pair of these sharp-looking shoes, knowing that what you see isn’t always what you’re getting. And with the Virrata, you’re getting the appearance of a heavy trainer with the performance of an ultra-lightweight one.
Durability
Durability

Durability

Although its upper is made of a durable mono mesh that will retain its shape and structure after long periods of use, there have been some complaints of the its durability. One reviewer had mentioned that after 250 or so miles, the midsole had taken on a different “feel” and that the high wear areas on the outsole began to wear. This may be the trade-in for the Virrata’s lightweight construction, however: the outsole is mostly foam with just reinforced rubber lugs on the heel and forefoot. So although this may be a flexible and comfortable shoe, durability is not one of its great strengths.
Protection
Protection

Protection

Given the nature of the minimalist design of the Virrata, there is some moderate protection in high-wear areas and areas prone to impact but it is not the most protective trainer on the market. With reinforced rubber on the heel and forefoot of the outsole to protect from footfall impact and a rubber guard over the toe box, areas of the foot that are most vulnerable to injury are protected. But outside of its cushioned heel counter and plush tongue, the upper doesn’t offer much in the way of protection from either impact or the elements. While the Virrata has been graded as appropriate for light trail running, these are not trail running gaiters or particularly hardy trainers for more extreme weather conditions.
Responsiveness
Responsiveness

Responsiveness

The EVA cushioning of the Virrata provides a good amount of responsiveness, as this thin and springy material cushions every landing and adds a bit of spring to each toe-off. Likewise, the XT-900 traction rubber on the heel and forefoot of the outsole provides additional traction and grip on a variety of surfaces. The flex grooves at midfoot also allow for more surface control and natural movement of the foot.
Support
Support

Support

Although a zero-drop shoe, which are nominally best for those who overpronate while running, the Virrata is a neutral running shoe. So while those who overpronate may find some comfort in its zero drop construction, this is not a stability shoe.
Terrain
Terrain

Terrain

Although the Virrata does not offer heavy-duty protection against the elements, this is a lightweight running shoe that’s designed to take on the pavement and asphalt of your city or town with ease. In addition, it has been recommended for light trail running--but make sure those surfaces in nature are dry, as the Virrata’s mono mesh upper will get your foot muddy and wet!
Price
Price

Price

For a lightweight zero-drop trainer, the Saucony Virrata is a moderately priced running shoe. Although there are budget trainers out there that are cheaper, zero-drop models with this amount of cushioning aren’t usually in the Virrata’s price range. For the runner who would like to try a zero-drop trainer, this one won’t break the bank.
Traction
Traction

Traction

With large lugs that cover the heel and forefoot of the outsole made from XT-900 traction rubber, the Virrata offers a fair amount of traction on ideal surfaces. Flex grooves at the midfoot also provide a good amount of flexibility for the runner to grip the ground in a natural manner.
Flexibility
Flexibility

Flexibility

Flex grooves at the midfoot allow for a good amount of flexibility in the Virrata. Although the mono mesh upper may seem a little stiff, it conforms to the shape of the foot for a solid fit. Since the outsole is only partially covered by rubber, there is a fair amount of flexibility in its construction.
Stability
Stability

Stability

With a well-balanced heel counter to keep the foot firmly in place throughout a run and a snug fit after lace-up, the Virrata offers a fair amount of security. However, this is not specifically a stability shoe; although it is a zero-drop trainer, it is designed for the neutral runner in mind.
Drop
Drop

Drop

Here is the big achievement of the Saucony Virrata: it is a zero-drop shoe that offers a good amount of cushioning. While zero-drop trainers are often associated with runners who overpronate, the overall design of the Virrata is for the neutral runner who wants to experience the difference in stride that the zero-drop purports to offer.
Key Features
Key Features

Key Features

- Zero-drop trainer with a good amount of cushioning
- Mono mesh upper that allows for breathability
- Rubber lugs on forefoot and heel that provide great traction
- Lightweight construction (6.9 ounces/196 grams)
- Sharp design that hides its nature as a lightweight zero-drop trainer
Bottom Line
Bottom Line

Bottom Line

For the neutral runner that’s always wanted to try out a zero-drop trainer but doesn’t want to sacrifice comfort, the Saucony Virrata is here. With a breathable upper, excellent EVA cushioning in the midsole, and a light but traction-heavy outsole, the Virrata is good for a ride on the sidewalks and roads of your town or even for some light trail running. At a price that’s not too much of a plunge for those who are unfamiliar with zero-drop shoes, the Saucony Virrata may just be your first entry into the world of zero-drop--without having to drop too much cash in the process.