Saucony Virrata 2 First Impression:
The neon green Saucony Virrata 2 pair that I received were definitely bright and perfect for spring. The shoe is extremely lightweight. New to the Virrata 2 is a reconstructed upper, which provides slight structure to this minimal shoe, and sleeker “sportier” graphics. Reflective graphics on the upper come in handy for shoe visibility in the dark.
Immediately, I noticed the deep “triangular like grooves” pattern of the outsole. For a minimal shoe, I was surprised at the depth of the grooves. Knowing that the Virrata is modeled similar to the Saucony Kinvara pair, I was intrigued to see what the Saucony team had in mind for this “little sister” zero-drop version.
The Saucony Virrata 2 Upper:
This minimalist shoe is, well minimally structured. However, don’t take it for granted! The Virrata 2’s redesigned upper is constructed of extremely breathable mono mesh. The mesh is not only lightweight but handled its own during light rain showers. After a run in less than ideal weather, the mesh dried quickly and kept shape.
For more inclimate weather or still early spring mornings, the breathable mesh was not in my favor as the wind cut through easily. The toebox is slimmer than other Saucony models, which I found favorable. I liked the added structure. It contours more to your foot and allows better control.
The HydraMax collar lining offers cushioning and absorbs moisture. It creates friction against your socks, which controls them from sliding down during your run. The added fabric around the heel and collar gave a snug fit and helped the shoe conform to your foot. This small technology is a nice touch and added to the overall comfort.
Saucony Virrata 2 Sole Unit:
When Saucony says their shoe has an 0mm offset, they mean it. However, just because their drop-zero entry gives you the impression that you’re running barefoot, it doesn’t make you essentially have to feel every bump. The EVA+ midsole gives ample cushioning and protection.
The midsole proved to offer strong shock absorption and the cushion helped the energy transition to create an efficient and fluid stride. Whether track, concrete, or road, the Virrata 2 provides a smooth ride.
The XT-Carbon rubber outsole is generous, and is designed in a “triangular chunk” grooved pattern. This pattern gives great flexibility to the outsole while its deep grooves give solid grip. The outsole pattern and composition provided strong traction in a variety of elements.
Keep in mind that the composition of the outsole is made of midsole material, and it wore a little easier than typical outsole material. However, that is to be expected with extremely minimalist shoes, as the goal is to be lightweight and not offer structure/durability.
The grooves along the outsole opens up your stride, while creating minimal cushion, and creates efficient movement.
Saucony Virrata 2 Overall:
Saucony takes their shoes seriously. From an internal standpoint, this crowd favorite hasn’t changed, and Saucony keeps what works. Externally, Saucony tweaked the upper in the Virrata 2’s for stronger support.
This minimalist shoe is still something to be excited about, as it’s zero-drop entry, comfortable cushion elements, and smooth ride technologies continues to make this a top favorite. Weighing in at a slim 6.4 ounces, this shoe gets you as close as you can to barefoot running with all the protection of a running shoe.
Overall, its a fun running shoe both visibly and wearing. I would recommend this on anyone who wants a top performing low profile shoe for long distance runs or races.
We thank the nice people at Saucony for sending us a pair of Virrata 2 to test. This did not influence the outcome of the review, written after running more than 50 miles in them.