Saucony Zealot ISO 3

9.0
9.0 score
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Editor rating: 9.0 / 10
User's rating: based on 4 user ratings
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Saucony Zealot ISO 3 Review Facts
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The Saucony Zealot ISO 3 is the newest iteration in the Zealot line. This shoe is the perfect companion for your long training runs, recovery runs, or just overall leisurely runs. Runners loved this shoe as part of their marathon training team because it proved the perfect combination of support, cushioning and lightweight flexibility that they craved on those long runs. The key changes that Saucony made to this newest model is in the weight. This shoe is much lighter than its predecessor, the Saucony Zealot ISO 2, but it has maintained the same popular plush, cushioned ride. The heel drop is low and runners love the combination of the low heel drop (4 millimeters) and the plush cushioning. This is the ideal shoe for the runner who is looking for more security on their runs. The upper provides a wrap design that holds the foot securely in place while still being flexible and comfortable. The heel of the shoe also offers support features that help keep the foot in place and eliminate blisters and chafing. The collar of the shoe is padded for comfort and security too. The price is average for this caliber of running shoe and is quite competitive with other shoes in the same class. Overall, this is a high quality road running shoe for a runner looking to log longer, slower miles or compete in longer races.

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Perfect for long runs and races
  • Flexible
  • Low heel drop but great cushioning
  • Reasonable price
Cons
  • Shallow toe box makes runners need to order a half size up.
  • Limited color options
Outsole
Outsole

Outsole

For runners who were a fan of the Zealot ISO 2, there is good news. The Zealot ISO 3's outsole is very similar. One positive addition is the new Tri-Flex technology, which is flexible grooves along the bottom and an interesting horizontal lightning bolt shaped pattern. The purpose of the Tri-FLEX is to add more flexibility to the shoe and promote a natural gait cycle. The slight changes made to this outsole only add more durability to this already durable rubber outsole.
Midsole
Midsole

Midsole

One reason why the Zealot ISO 3 is so much lighter than its predecessor is that the SRC impact zone of the midsole has been removed. However, runners should still expect to find the same supportive, cushioned midsole feel. This shoe is suggested for a neutral runner because it does not offer any additional stability features. Reviewers were very surprised to experience such a cushioned midsole feel. This added cushioning through the midsole makes this the ideal companion for your longer runs. Runner loved the responsiveness and the overall springy return that these shoes provided.
Upper
Upper

Upper

The newest iteration of the Zealot ISO uses a combination of tried and true technology from the Zealot ISO and has added new features based off of runner recommendations. The upper of the shoe is able to be supportive without creatign a feeling of claustrophobia for the runner. The material used in the upper is Saucony's patented ISOFIT. The fit of the shoe feels like a glove due to the inner sock sleeve. The sleeve works to give extra support to the arch of the foot for added comfort. Saucony uses their patented FilmFlex material for the outer layer of the upper of this shoe. It is seamless to eliminate unwanted friction and irritation that can lead to hot spots and blisters.


Weight
Weight

Weight

A key change that was made to this shoe from its laster version is the weight. A few different elements were removed from the shoe and different materials were substituted so that it would not sacrifice quality but would provide a lighter overall feel for the shoe. The shoe weighs in at 8.5 ounces. Runners loved that they are able to get a cushioned, supportive ride while still keeping the weight low. This isn't going to feel quite as light as 5 or 6 ounce racing shoe, but for a shoe that is perfect for long runs, this weight can't be beat.
Breathability
Breathability

Breathability

The upper of the Zealot ISO 3 features an open mesh construction to allow for maximum breathability. At first look, runners can see that the air holes on the upper are bigger than a traditional upper mesh. Runners love that this shoe stays cool and dry and helps protect against hot spots and irritations. The drawback to a more open, airy design is that the upper of this shoe is not waterproof or resistant, making this a poor choice forrunning in the rain.
Style
Style

Style

While the overall style of this shoe is modern and fun, runners were disappointed with the lack of color options offered in this model. Saucony shoes are known for their vibrant color options, but the newest version of the Zealot ISO only comes in limited options. This could be because Saucony will often offer limited color options for newer models and once the shoe becomes a favorite with runners, they will add more color options. The options that are offered are vibrant and run, but they are limited in selection. Currently, in the men's model, this shoe is only offered in three color options: gray, orange and blue, and green and gray.
Comfort
Comfort

Comfort

These shoes offer the perfect amount of cushioning and comfort for your long runs. The cushioning in the Zealot ISO 3 absorbs the harmful shock of each footfall and does a great job of returning the energy to the runner. This helps the runner to go longer without fatiguing prematurely. Another area where the shoe provides great comfort to the runner is in the upper of the shoe. To begin, the lacing system is designed to tighten the upper of the shoe around the foot and create an adaptive feel that runners found very comfortable. The upper is also made from breathable mesh that keeps the foot cool and dry mile after mile. The collar around the ankle is padded to reduce irritation and friction.
Protection
Protection

Protection

This shoe is the perfect shoe for the half or full marathon distance. Runners who run these distances know that protection needs to come in the form of shock absorption and cushioning and the Zealot ISO 3 delivers in both of those areas. The midsole offers the right amount of cushioning without feeling bulky. It is designed to absorb shock from the road and keep the joints safe from continuous impact.
Durability
Durability

Durability

The outsole of the shoe is made using Saucony's patented TRI-FLEX design which consists of a durable rubber that keeps the runner safe from the elements of the road and also protects the shoe from premature breakdown. Runners like the durability of this shoe especially since they were primarily using this shoe for long miles, which can cause the shoe to break down quicker.
Responsiveness
Responsiveness

Responsiveness

This shoe is not responsive enough to be used as a speedy shoe. Runners didn't love the shoe for tempo runs or speed drills that required changes in direction or speed. The added cushioning makes the shoe slightly slower to respond, and this shoe is better used for long training runs or for longer distance races like the marathon or half marathon.
Support
Support

Support

The cushioning of the shoe offers superior support for the runner. The base of the shoe is slightly wider and provides a supportive base for each footfall. This makes this shoe ideal for longer distance running. Additionally, the upper of the shoe offers great support. The collar of the shoe is padded and works in conjunction with the heel counter to secure the foot and keep it from dangerously moving around during the run. Overall, the cushioning of the shoe supports the runner through their long miles and races.
Terrain
Terrain

Terrain

This is a shoe that is designed for the road. Runners love it for urban as well as rural runs and races. Since it doesn't provide superior responsiveness, this shoe is not suggested for speed work on the track, but because of its solid base and added traction due to the TRI-FLEX design, it is a good shoe to use on the treadmill when the weather keeps you cooped up inside. Since it does have some added traction elements on the outsole, a groomed trail won't hurt this shoe, but it isn't suggested for the intensity of off road hikes or runs.
Price
Price

Price

This shoe comes in right at the middle of the pack in terms of price. The average road running shoe in America is not right around $120 and this shoe falls only slightly higher than that. Sure, it isn't a shoe for the individual who is truly looking to save money, but it certainly won't break the bank either. Since it is designed for your longer runs and races, runners suggest breaking the price down into dollars per mile, which makes this shoe a great value.
Traction
Traction

Traction

The outsole of this shoe offers Saucony's patented Tri-Flex technology. This technology adds traction to the bottom of the shoe via the rubber material and the unique design that is created to grip the road below it. It isn't grippy enough to take you off-road into more extreme trail conditions, but it does provide a perfect amount of grip to take you safely and secure on the roads and treadmill.
Flexibility
Flexibility

Flexibility

The other design feature of the Tri-Flex outsole is that it provides great flexibility to the runner. This element is designed to support a natural gait cycle. Deep, zig zagging flex grooves line the outsole and help the runners have a more natural movement. Likewise, the ISOFIT material used in the upper is stretchy and conforms to the unique shape of each foot. There is nothing stiff about the material of the upper and runners feel like it fits more like a glove than a case.
Stability
Stability

Stability

This is a neutral running shoe that does not offer any unique design elements for stability. The cushioning provided does help support the arch of the foot slightly, but there are no special technological design elements that are included specifically to address pronation issues.
Drop
Drop

Drop

This shoe has a surprisingly low heel to toe drop. At 4 millimeters, this shoe qualifies as a natural or minimalistic running shoe. Runners like the combination of the low drop and the added cushioning.
Key Features
Key Features

Key Features

- ISOFIT design of the upper adapts to the foot and give a superior midfoot fit.
- EVERRUN midsole material runs the length of the shoe and provides superior cushioning.
- Heel locking technology keeps the heel secure and free from unwanted movement.
- TRI-FLEX outsole provides added traction and flexibility.
Bottom Line
Bottom Line

Bottom Line

Saucony took a step back from the Zealot ISO 2 and made some important changes. They did an excellent job of listening to the consumer and keeping the elements of the shoe that were working, and making tweaks to the design elements of the shoe that runners were having problems with. In the end, they provide the runner with a comfortable, cushioning shoe that is great for long runs and races. It is lightweight and flexible through the upper and outsole and is highly responsive due to the 4 millimeter heel drop. Runners reported that they wished the shoe came with more robust color and style options, but all in all, they loved the total running experience afforded to them by these shoes.