Last year, Saucony came out with their lightest everyday trainer. That trainer was named the Breakthru.
It tried to have a no-compromise approach to lightweight training, so Saucony attempted to keep the shoe durable, comfortable, and inexpensive.
Now, they’ve come out with an upgrade to the original Breakthrus, and I think they’ve kept their original goal, and improved on the original design.
Saucony Breakthru 2 General Info
The Saucony Breakthru 2 is the first upgrade to the new Breakthru line of shoes.
The Breakthru line came out last year, and fits in between racing shoes and the daily trainers which essentially gives runners a more durable form of the Kinvara shoes.
I’ve been keeping an eye on lightweight trainers in the market, so I was excited to test this shoe.
If you’re looking for a quick comparison to the previous model, I’d say this newer model is slightly lighter, sleeker looking, and has a firmer ride.
Saucony shipped me a bright orange pair, which featured tasteful reflective overlays along the outer, heel , and …. outsole?
Ok, reflective material on the outsole seemed weird, but the overall shoe looked and felt like it was designed for flashy high speed workouts.
I actually ran home from the gym to pick these shoes up, and ran back to the gym in the Breakthu 2s to complete a workout.
They totally delivered in that short test, and I ended up learning more over the next 50 miles of training in them.
Saucony Breakthru 2 Sole Unit
Let’s start with the outsole. It’s loaded with rubber. This is what keeps the shoe afloat as a daily trainer, and keeps it from being pampered as a delicate and lightweight racer.
The outsole on the Breakthru 2s has Saucony’s standard mix of softer iBR+ rubber covering most the area, and then the high-wear zones have Saucony’s harder XT-900 rubber.
The midsole features a 23mm heel stack height and a 15 mm forefoot stack height to give you an 8mm drop. The stack height, and midsole design are pretty similar to the Saucony Ride 8 shoes that I tested a while back.
The bigger difference is the midsole on the Breakthrus is stiffer for a more firm and responsive ride. Also featured in the midsole of the Breakthrus is the PowerGrid technology Saucony has in quite a bunch of other shoes.
The PowerGrid technology is designed to stabilize and center the foot so impact is absorbed and distributed. Saucony claims it provides 20% more cushioning than standard foam, and I can agree to that.
Just don’t call these shoes cushioned, since they’re still on the firm-end of the cushioning spectrum. If you want Saucony and cushioning, go for the Zealots, or the Hurricane Isos, or maybe even the Cortanas.
I just have a few more words on the sole before I switch over to the upper.
The insoles are pretty standard, but there was a bit of a surprise when I pulled them out to look at the top of the sole: I saw some pretty messy stitching bonding the heel of the upper to the heel of the the sole.
It looked like it’ll do the job, but I’d recommend taking a peak on the heel stitching before buying your Breakthru 2s.
Saucony Breakthru 2 Upper Info
There’s a sleek looking upper on the Breakthrus. Unlike the Zealots or the Hurricanes, the Breakthrus have no bulky overlays and exclusively use FlexFilm around the midfoot and toebox to provide strength and comfort.
This keeps the shoe very light, and allows for a seamless upper. The drawback to using just FlexFilm on a daily trainer is it wears out sooner than all the other components. Or at least that’s been my experience with it.
However, I’ll always chose lighter FlexFilm over stiffer/heavier overlays any day. Speaking of lightweight, the Breakthru2s are 0.1 ounces lighter than their predecessor.
Since the soles on both versions seem about the same, I’m guessing the 0.1 ounce weight savings happened somewhere in the upper, and probably in the overlays.
The upper also has a low-profile tongue that keeps the racing spirit alive. It blends in well with the thin lacing eyelets and flat-style laces.
Finishing out the upper is a moderately stiff heel with a sleek looking embedded heel counter. There’s a bit of dimpling on the inside of the heel counter, maybe for reduced drag?
Fluid dynamics speculation aside, the heel fits in well with the overall light weight racing feel of the shoe.
Oh, there’s also an ample strip of reflective material along the rear of the heel (I really like it when shoe companies use reflective material in stylish ways like this).
Saucony Breakthru 2 Conclusions
I’m eager to recommend this shoe to any neutral runner, especially those who think they like the Kinvara line.
The Breakthru 2 has no major flaws, and it shows that you can turn a racing shoe into a durable trainer without adding much weight. The shoe is also pretty affordable with a $100 MSRP, so this shoe has great value for the price.
We thank the nice people at Saucony for sending us a pair of Breakthru 2 to test. This did not influence the outcome of the review, written after running more than 50 miles in them.