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.
High cushioned shoes I have recently reviewed are:
The Saucony Triumph (Review)
The Asics Nimbus (Review)
The Nike Vomero (Review)
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?
I recently bought the Saucony Kinvara shoes. My first pair of flats. I’m not sure if they make me any faster but I feel that when I do throw in at 100% I’m getting more for my effort. But it could all be in my head!
Brooks Adrenaline GTS and Saucony Omni are also in my rotation.
I’m really interested in trying this shoe. A friend of mine ran in them and didn’t like them, but she’s worn the same shoes FOREVER and we can’t get her to change so it’s likely just her. I am currently switching between the Brooks Pure Connect and the Newtons Distance S!
I’m in the market for new running shoes right now actually! I’ve been using brooks and asics and I like the support they have. Right now though, I want to find more of a walking shoe, since that’s really what I’m doing haha
I wear Asics Gel Nimbus now, but was just looking at this shoe. I’m with you – the more cushion the better!
The Zealot has been a great shoe for us. I’m crossing my fingers Saucony seeds me a pair. 😉
I think your review has convinced me to give it a try. I love the Kinvara and have 3 pairs and run most of my miles in them (which I also feel has a limited shoe life, I swear the upper does not last even though I have plenty of wiggle room that mesh wears quick. although that was the 4 my 5s seem better and haven’t even ventured to the 6, because, sale pricing). But I need a wide toe box but like the snug fit so this sounds like a potential fit for me.
A lot of people have said they wish the Kinvara lasted a bit longer…it’s a shoe that doesn’t personally work for me but I definitely like to get the length out of my shoes as well 🙂
I do the Saucony Guides, Asics 2000, and my favorite- Mizuno Inspires. I actually had to retire my inspires after my long run saturday, I was so sad! I am definitely ready for a new pair. Well, not financially, but mentally and physically hahah.
I wore my new Brooks Launch 2 today for the first time and they are wonderful!! I feel like I should buy 5 pairs before they get rid of them 🙂 Hoka Cliftons (the first edition) are also in my rotation. Currently only those 2 although I want to get a 3rd into the mix. Actually a 4th and 5th.. 🙂 I am addicted to running shoes. I suppose there are worse things! ha
I’ve been running in Mizuno’s (Wave Rider, Wave Inspire) mostly because of the wider toe box, but these look like they might be a good try! Do you usually buy Wide width when available?
Interesting! The Saucony Zealot Doesn’t come in widths actually. I normally but a wide in most brands…my feet can’t even comfortably fit into Mizunos because of how narrow they are!
That’s so weird! Maybe I really need different shoes more than I thought! 🙂
If I get bored one day, I might come visit you and just try on a bunch of shoes. LOL Is your store pet friendly?! IT IS NOW. 😛
The Saucony Zealot was my first shoe that could be considered maximally cushioned – even if its on the lower end of the maximal scale, and I’m hooked. The midsole is obviously the highlight of this shoe, and it makes every landing soft without robing too much extra energy, while the sumptuous upper fits in well with the shoe’s purpose.
I’m glad you really like it Randell. It’s definitely one of my favorite shoes!
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