The Saucony Zealot is an unusual shoe for me to choose to run in. As most people know, my shoe preference is maximum cushion. I like to train in a maximum cushioned shoe to keep me healthy and injury free.
Saucony released the first model of the Zealot last year. When we first brought in the Saucony Zealot at work, I knew it was a shoe I wanted to try. It was light weight but still cushioned.
The feel of the upper is similar to the Saucony Triumph and Saucony Hurricane because they all share the ISO top. The tongue of the shoe is attached and lacing can be pulled extremely tight without hurting your metatarsals. It allows for a sock like fit to the shoe. I comfortably wear a size 10 in both the Zealot and the Saucony Triumph.
One thing I love about the Zealot is how wide the toebox is! I feel like I have plenty of space to wiggle my toes. Since the shoe is not available in a wide, I was worried it might be too narrow for my feet. This is not the case and my feet are very comfortable. My toes are comfortable before, during and after a run.
The bottom is extremely light weight. The Zealot is more cushioned than the Kinvara but less cushioned than a Triumph. It also has a 4mm drop so it sits lower to the ground than the triumph as well.
For me it was an adjustment to run in the Zealot. I normally run in maximum cushioning shoes and I admit that running in a light weight trainer makes a big difference. I was actually sore the first couple of times I ran using the Zealot! I was not used to the drop of the shoe or how light they are.
Once I got used to the lower to the ground feeling, I liked them a lot. They are very responsive to the ground. It feels like the halfway shoe between my racing flats and maximum cushion shoe. I like that I don’t feel as if my legs are being weighed down by a heavy shoe. I feel like I have the cushion but have a faster turnover rate.
I’ve run about 300 miles in them and can feel the cushion beginning to minimize. I don’t think they last as long as many traditional shoes but I will buy another pair.
Edit to add: I currently run 1-2 times per week in the Saucony Zealot.
- Light weight but very cushioned.
- The upper fit of the shoe accommodates many different feet.
- How long the Zealot lasts! For me personally I think they’ll see ¾ length of a traditional running shoe.
I would recommend the Saucony Zealot for a neutral runner. They fit well for those who like the minimalist feel but want more cushion or for those who want a light weight trainer to rotate through.
Questions for you:
What shoes are in your rotation?
Have you ever run in the Saucony Zealot?