With an upcoming 50K on the schedule, I had been planning on racing with the Peregrines, which had treated me well and were comfortable with about 200 miles on them. The Xodus completely changed my mind.
From the start, the shoes provided a rare treat — slipper-like comfort with a rugged disposition that enabled me to bound through the challenges of the trail with ease.
When it comes to muddy surfaces, where the creek has overrun the trail, the Xodus took on the mud, then quickly disposed of it, thanks to the appropriately sized and shaped lugs.
Water crossings were no problem, either. The shoes provided optimum support and dried quickly. (Truth be told, I did run on very warm days so I am not 100 percent sure how much of the drying was related to the warmth and how much to the shoe itself.)
I was completely satisfied with how the shoes reacted to other parts of the trail — rocks, hill climbs, dirt and sand. So satisfied, in fact, that they will be my shoes of choice as I run my first ultra later this summer.
I know the ultra will have multiple stream crossings and challenging sections, especially if the area gets rain in the days preceding the event.
While my trusty Peregrine’s would likely be satisfactory in the race, I have no doubt that the Xodus will give me the comfort and support necessary for a successful ultra debut.
Saucony Xodus ISO General Info
The Saucony Xodus ISO is a reinvented Xodus 6.0. Among the changes are a noticeably lighter model (10.3 ounces for men’s and 9.2 ounces for women’s.)
Saucony also improved the fit and comfort with its EverRun layer of foam that has been introduced in several of its recent releases, mostly road models so far.
At the bottom of the shoe, the new lug pattern was designed to enhance footing and stability on various terrain. The heel-toe offset comes in at 4 mm.
Saucony Xodus ISO Sole Unit
When I first put on the Xodus shoes, I was struck by the feel. They didn’t feel like brand-new shoes. But the Xodus does not sacrifice durability or stability even in the mud and muck of trails.
The combination of the shoes’ comfortable fit and determination allow the runner to navigate through mud, water, rocks, sand and more without hesitation.
For comparison sake, I have had to break in other trail shoes like the Peregrine and Scott’s model. My first run in the Xodus ISO was more than 10 miles, which worried me at the start.
However, they felt completely fine and I did not have any soreness after wearing the sneakers for the first time. On all the miles since then, the comfort has been excellent.
Saucony Xodus ISO Upper Info
The ISOFIT system creates a cocoon of comfort atop the runner’s foot. The Xodus lining wicks away moisture and quickly dries after stream crossings.
That combination provides a breathable, quickly drying shoe that wards off blisters and other ailments that will keep runners from performing their best.
During my more than 50 miles in these shoes, I did not experience any issues related to blisters, soreness or other foot-related issues.
Saucony Xodus ISO Conclusions
The Xodus ISO is Saucony’s premier trail running shoe. Its redesign makes it a great value. Those willing to shell out a little extra for comfort and support on the toughest trail terrain will not be disappointed.
For those preferring to stick softer, less challenging trails, there are plenty of options for quality shoes that are less expensive.
As someone who is gearing up for ultra marathons and regular runs on various terrain, I will be running often in my Xodus ISO. And, when the time comes for a replacement pair, I will look first at this model.
We thank the nice people at Saucony for sending us a pair of Xodus ISO to test. This did not influence the outcome of the review, written after running more than 50 miles in them.