The idea behind the Saucony Breakthru is simple. Make a lightweight shoe that has ample cushioning for long runs; yet enough pop to pick up the pace and even be a race day choice.
And with all that packed into one shoe – keep it cheap. The everyday adaptable to every run shoe. Four iterations later the Breakthru series from Saucony maintains that idea with annual updates to improve the original shoe.
Saucony Breakthru 4 General Info
The big changes from the Breakthru 3 to the Breakthru 4 are a redesigned upper, a change to a more premium midsole, and modifications to the outsole. The 4 is also 0.1 oz lighter than the 3. Most of these are great additions which I will cover more in depth later on.
Within the Saucony lineup there are two silos of shoes, 4mm and 8mm drop shoes. While each shoe does not have an exact counterpart it does help differentiate between all of their options.
The Breakthru is a lighter and more responsive 8mm shoe compared to the Ride, but more durable and cushioned than the Kinvara. I would describe the shoe as a hybrid between the Ride and Kinvara.
Testing the Saucony Breakthru 4 involved trying to use it as both a long run option to test the comfort and cushioning as well as using the Breakthru 4 for interval work.
Unboxing the shoes the amount of IBR+ rubber on the outsole was very promising that these shoes would hold up from a durability standpoint without sacrificing weight.
I felt then and still feel now that the durability of the Breakthru is what distinguishes it from other lightweight do-it-all trainers within the marketplace right now.
Saucony Breakthru 4 Sole Unit
The sole of the Breakthru 4 is designed to be light and durable while maintining cushioning and a responsive feeling. The midsole now uses PWRFOAM instead of the previously used EVA foam.
This update to the foam promotes a more responsive feeling under the foot. There is still an EVERRUN topsole which also helps with a responsive yet cushioned feeling. These factors promote comfort and cushioning in an otherwise firm shoe.
The outsole of the Breakthru 4 is the shoes pride and glory. There is a significant amount of the IBR+ rubber that Saucony offers. IBR+ is a rubber that incredibly lightweight for its durability.
In most shoes, having a lot of rubber on the outsole creates a very heavy shoe, by using this specific type of rubber Saucony is able to make the Breakthru a lightweight but very durable shoe.
The durability is then enhanced with a denser rubber material specially in the heel and toe areas under the foot. This prevents the shoe from wearing down quickly especially for heel strikers.
These rubber areas are laid out in the signature Saucony tri-flex pattern. This layout of the rubber segments allow for flexibility and traction under the foot.
Saucony Breakthru 4 Upper Info
The upper of the Breakthru 4 is comprised of an engineered mesh, a thick cushioned tongue, and molded heel. The upper is breathable, durable, and comfortable.
It is a loose fitting upper in the midfoot than most shoes and runners may want to consider this when deciding on sizing for purchase. While the heel area is a thick molded section there is sufficient cushioning for the heel.
In testing, even with locking the laces down with the extra eyelet, I could not produce a strong locked down feeling around my foot. It was comfortable but felt as if my foot was moving within the shoe at times.
Saucony Breakthru 4 Conclusions
The Saucony Breakthru 4 is a good diversive shoe for the neutral runner. I found it to be successful from a comfort and a durability standpoint, however lacking in its responsive feeling compared to its expectation.
It proved to be good option for day to day training but was not in my consideration for any races during my testing period.
In our previous testing of the Breakthru 2, we lauded the shoe for it’s affordability and that aspect of the Breakthru has not changed. In fact the shining moment of this shoe comes in the durability of the sole especially at the price.
The Saucony Breakthru 4 is a minor update to an already good shoe and fans of Saucony Ride or Kinvara should give the Breakthru 4 a look.
We purchased a pair of Saucony Breakthru 4 from runningwarehouse using our own money. This did not influence the outcome of this review, written after running more than 50 miles in them.