Thursday, January 22, 2015

Gear Review: Saucony Xodus GTX 4.0 trail running shoe

The Xodus has been my go to trail shoe for 3 consecutive purchases. I did two pair of the Xodus 3.0 and now I have put several hundred miles on my Xodus GTX 4.0. This is the first time I have bought the more expensive GTX (Gore-Tex) model and I have only ran in rainy conditions once or twice so perhaps I don't really need the GTX feature. It does add weight via the added "booty" inside and the added overlays. The other thing that the Gore-Tex does is work. My feet stayed dry, all of the reviews I read said their feet stayed dry so if you're running in wet weather this shoe will keep you dry. The shoe pays a price for that GTX feature. It comes in at a hefty 11.9oz!!! but I suspect some of that is due to all of the protection this shoe offers beyond just the weatherproofing.

First off this shoe has a Vibram outsole with a very aggressive lug pattern. The protection and grip that this affords you in dry weather is exceptional but in wet weather the rubber starts to get a bit slippery. I've never had mud cake up the tread pattern or rocks wedge into the tread but the slippery aspect is a bit of a let down. This shoe also has a rock plate that runs the length of the shoe and it works! Roots, rocks or whatever you step on is not going to bruise the soft underside of your foot in this shoe. To lock your foot down to this bed Saucony has incorporated it's Pro Lock system that goes over the midfoot area to help lock the foot down to the shoe and give it that glove like feel. This is super important in my opinion when your bombing down technical single track. The shoe laces are those stretchy kind that I know nothing about other than they do not come untied. To back that up this shoe offers a lace garage on the tongue and to further protect you from trail debris this shoe has a gusseted tongue and gaiter loops at the toe and heel of the shoe. This shoe is the Hummer SUV of trail shoes. Most of the reviews I have read all agree that the weight of this shoe is less than stellar so that will take some getting use to for you but beyond that I have no reservations in recommending this shoe.

 I like the fit and feel of this shoe. It has a 4mm heel drop with plenty of cushion and protection for even the gnarliest of trails. The low heel drop is not the same on this shoe as it is on a minimalist shoe because the stack height is substantially different. 26mm at the heel and 22mm at the forefoot!!! When I said this shoe was the SUV of trail shoes I wasn't kidding. It's big and heavy but it works in all regards. Dry feet, protected feet, laces that stay tied and a lace garage on a gusseted tongue. You can not complain about this shoe other than it's heavy and I slipped out a little bit on some trail debris when it was misty out. I highly recommend this shoe although I may not go for the GTX model simply because I don't have a ton of wet run days or river crossings but if you do, by all means, get this shoe.