The Saucony Reedemer is one of two shoes meant for runners with flat feet or that need to use custom orthotics in their running shoes. The Redeemer is the stable shoe, while its sister Echelon is the neutral version.
At 12.5 ounces is not a very lightweight shoe, but it’s in line with the category it’s in: 11.5 oz for the Asics Gel Kayano 25, 12 oz for the Mizuno Wave Horizon 2, 11.7 oz for the New Balance 1260v7 and 11 oz. for Saucony’s own Hurricane ISO 4.
Still, coming from the testing of the Hoka ONE ONE Gaviota the weight was a bit of a shock.
Saucony Redeemer ISO 2 First Impressions
The Redeemer is a good looking running shoe, as far as traditionally built stability shoe can look good.
It’s the first shoe I try with the ISOfit system from Saucony and it definitely looks and feels like a premium constructed shoe. The upper is soft at the touch and the heel cup is padded with a soft foam or textile material.
The sole is really flat and so is the insole. There’s no plastic shank in the middle – but the sole is so thick that there does not seem to be torsional instability anyway.
Immediately when I tried them on, the one thing that will become my gripe with this shoe showed up: the heel seems to be way too wide for my foot and my heel keeps slipping off while just walking around the room.
I try lacing it tighter, but I only manage to get a very tight mid foot fit without helping the heel issue.
The upper feels premium, warm and comfortable. No seams on the inside of the shoe. The gait seems quite natural for a stability/motion control running shoe and the EVERUN layer on top of the midsole feels like landing in a very cushioned insole.
Time to run in them.
Saucony Redeemer ISO 2 Sole Unit
Let me start by describing this sole unit a little.
At the top, right underneath your feet, there is a full layer of EVERUN, Saucony’s newest compound which is – similiar to adidas’ Boost – a fusion of thousands of micro bouncy TPU pallets. This layer is soft but responsive.
The midsole is composed by a standard foam with a quite sturdy medial post for stability.
The outsole is very flat with quite a wide base and its design is based on Saucony’s TRI-FLEX for a good flex and toe-off.
How does this translate? A very stable and very comfortable ride. I have nothing bad to say about the ride of the Redeemer 2. It gently guides your stride without making you feel constricted by it. You can feel the EVERUN under your feet while you land because it’s quite a softer layer compared to the midsole itself.
It’s a nice feeling. You don’t have the extreme bounciness of a full on Boost midsole (see adidas UltraBoost ST).
Saucony Redeemer ISO 2 Upper Unit
Let’s give it away: the upper is my least favorite part of this shoe. I might even say it’s the deal breaker.
The upper is built using Saucony’s ISOFIT system, which is basically a bootie-construction with an external exo-skeleton to which the laces hold on to. A very sturdy plastic heel counter is applied on the outside.
The mesh is very flexible and comfortable, there are no seems inside and the heel is well padded with what I believe to be memory foam.
So, what don’t I like about the upper of the Saucony Redeemer 2 ?
First of all my heel keeps slipping off the shoe. I tried lacing the Redeemer in many ways – there is no way I can make the heel stay in place without making the shoe uncomfortable some place else. Walking, running… my heel just slides away.
The shoe is not too long for me: my toes are almost crumped in the toe box.
So, we have a shoe that – for me – is too wide at the heel and too narrow at the toe.
That is bad enough? Here comes my second gripe (your mileage might vary): the Redeemer is REALLY HOT. Possibly this would not have bothered me if I was testing them in November, but now it’s July and it’s quite warm: my foot boils in these shoes.
So, is it all bad? Well, for me it is. And I run with no problems in Nikes, Adidas, Mizuno, Hokas… I don’t think my foot has a strange shape, aside from being flat, and I can’t really fit the Redeemer well. It is a beautifully constructed upper and the materials feel totally premium. But I just can’t fit inside well.
Saucony Redeemer ISO 2 Conclusion
Here comes my mixed conclusion on the Redeemer.
I love the ride: the EVERUN layer is really nice under foot and the stability is definitely there. The 8mm drop is nice and the shoe rolls well all throughout the gait. I feel it would work great for long slow runs and recovery days.
I hate the upper: small toe box, too wide heel, and such a hot shoe to use in the spring/summer.
I would recommend these shoes, but only if you get a chance to try the fit before you buy them.
We purchased a pair of Saucony Redeemer ISO 2 at Running Warehouse using our own money. This did not influence the outcome of this review, written after more than 50 miles of testing