Men's SAUCONY® VIRRATA :: Experience the power of taking natural strides while keeping your feet fully protected with the men's Saucony® Virrata. Love the free, airy feel of Saucony®'s lightest and most flexible training shoe, while enjoying a plush and protected ride thanks to the enhanced cushioning and 0mm offset. 6.5 ounces
I was looking for a trail shoe that would be the Saucony Kinvara for trail running. The Saucony Virrata is it- I feel even a closer match than the Saucony Peregrin! With the Virrata's, having the 0mm heel to toe drop and allowing my toes to move around and splay, I don't have ankle pains like I have had from past shoes because these shoes allow my feet to move around more naturally. These shoes really give good room for my toes to move around which is a huge plus for me. Having the 0mm drop gives my ankle the ability to move more naturally. The shoe cushioning is great (at 18mm across the bottom of the shoe front toe back) and the rocks do not hurt my feet. At the same time, the cushioning is not mushy and I don't feel like I am working against myself when running, like I would with cushy/mushy running shoes. The shoe is super light at 6.5 ounces, which I can hardly tell they are on my feet. Also, the shoe really gives me a sense of traction and stability, having a wide sole. Additionally, the shoe breathes really well and keeps my feet cool. I have run a couple 30 mile training runs on trail and really, really like the shoes. I have also ran 10k's on the treadmill and have performed some of my fastest times. I will mention that if you are not used to running with 0mm heel to toe drop shoes, work your way up in your mileage to get your legs used to the new form- my achilles tendon was a bit tender after my last 30 miler (have done 2 30 milers so far in the shoes). I have never written a shoe review before, but felt I really needed to for this shoe as I don't know how a shoe could get better for myself.
Excellent first showing
Ran a 5 mile tempo run at the local track in these the day they arrived. Very nice colors. Light and fast. Seemed a little narrower in the forefoot than the Kinvaras but not enough to create a sizing issue. The cushion seemed as good or better than the Kinvaras and I really like the 0mm heel to toe ratio. My first pair in that specific range. I'd really like to see Saucony use the EVA foam for the strobel board in these and the Kinvaras to add a little cushion and better conformity to the foot.The uppers are fine, but I'm sure Saucony will add flex film and eliminate the feaux leather in the lacing area with the first update and drop a half ounce or so. The outsole showed noticable wear after one run even with a fairly light runner- 145 lbs. Overall I really like the shoe. The durability probably won't be an issue because it will be time to replace the shoes because of mileage long before outsole wear would cause any real problem. Besides I don't want to run in the same pair of shoes for the entire year or anything close to that.
I get in 30-50 miles a week when I am training. I am starting this season off with this shoe and I have put only a dozen or so miles on it - so reader beware.
I actually love the shoe. The only negative I can find is that there is narrowness around my mid foot (I wear a size 14) and looseness in the forefoot. I love the looseness, the narrowness I need to get used to.
The weight of the shoe is extraordinary. I wish I had gone to zeros years ago. The mesh upper is super airy. Since I land on the mid to forefoot, the lack of cushioning feels like a single guy going from a Buick Roadmaster wagon circa 1974 to a BMW M3 (any year). I.e. no junk in the trunk. You don't miss what you don't need.
I have worn it on bike rides and don't recommend that.
Almost got it right
Reading the specs on this shoe, I thought, wow!, someone finally got it right.
However, after running in them, here are my comments.
It feels more like 4mm or 6mm heal offset although I will assume that Saucony measured correctly as a zero heel ofest. I find that I have to work hard to mid-foot strike in this shoe. I think this is due to the oversized heel platform and the flat midfoot section of the shoe. So instead of midfoot striking and rolling forward, the Virratta has you midfoot strike with effort and then land the back heel (slap), and then push off the back of your foot to move forward. It is a weird sensation, kind of liking running in sand.
This zero offset may be new for Saucony, but the heal platform is too big for a zero offset shoe because you are not supposed to land on your heel or if you do it is to land very gingerly.
The flat midsection is also a problem. If I land midfoot I want a very slight curvature in the midfoot to propel me forward to the front of my foot for pushoff.
I am hopeful that someone will get this right and design a trainer like this with these additional characteristics.
Newport Beach, CA
quick feet with cushion
I'm 5'11", 220lbs, but these still offer enough cushion to protect my knees during 5-10 mile runs. When I get down to 200lbs., I would go further in these, but for now I'll use my saucony triumphs or the cadillacs of long distance, Brooks Glycerin's. This is a solid, zero drop, speed work trainer with enough cushion to use for longer distances.
If you've never run in zero drops and are use to 8-12mm offsets, you should use the Kinvaras first and then work your way down to these. I own 2 pair of the Virratas, three pair of the Kinvara's and one saucony triumph, to go along with the cadillacs (Glycerin's).
I bought my first pair after my Kinvara 3's didn't fit right in the toe box. I was going to buy one of pair of Virratas until the Kinvara 4's were out for a while. Now this is my shoe. Fits perfectly and a bit more cushy than the Kinvara. At first I did not like the soft ride but it came in handy trainig for some very technical trail runs. Low to the ground and good cushioning makes it perfect for runnning on rocks. The upper mesh drains well for running through streams and swamps. I punished these shoes and they held up really well. The soles show little wear and uppers have one small tear new the little toe after months running on rocks. Great minimalist road shoe too!
The perfect mix lightweight & cushioning
It's a pleasure to run in these shoes. It's super light with a soft and form fitting upper that makes for a shoe that just disappears on your feet. It also offers a great deal of cushioning in the forefoot area that's allowed me to tackle half-marathon distance runs without feeling beat up. The outsole wear out a bit faster, but I've been able to log 200 miles on it without encountering any problems.
I'd recommend it to anyone who wants the benefits of minimalist shoes but still seeks the cushioning of a traditional trainer.
30K + Miles Talking - Great Shoe!
Even though I haven't worn this shoe out yet, I have a feeling it won't last long. Know what? Don't care! Throw away the factory insole for one with some resilience in the forefoot (my advice for most shoes) and this shoe is my all time favorite speed-work/race-day shoe. Got one hot spot on a very long, very steep downhill - otherwise it's awesome as a fast trainer and everything from 5K to half (still like Kinvara for full). Sure wish an American company would by Saucony, but I'm sure the Chinese are enjoying McDonald's too.
Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho
I really enjoyed my first run in the Virratas. They were fast and unlike some zero-drop or near zero-drop shoes these did not leave me with any calf soreness. My only negative comment was that when running on gravel trails I would get alot of gravel stuck in the grooves of the outsole. This was not noticeable until I got back onto asphalt. I am considering using these shoes for running my next marathon.
Andrew the Marathon Maniac
Great choice for mid & forefoot strikers
Very comfortable, light and cushioned in the forefoot, unlike most other shoes. I tried these after using Brooks PureCadence for the last year and a half. Fit and weight are similar but comfort is much better in the Virrata than the PC.
I did notice some minor wear after just the first 10 miles but reduced life in exchange for added comfort is a tradeoff I'm ready to make.
San Diego, CA
Minimal runner compromise shoe
This shoe is my minimal running compromise. I tried several others in the category, but this one works best for me.
I do my shorter workouts in vibram five fingers. For longer runs, my feet were getting too sore with the vibrams. These Viratta shoes are a compromise: flat without an intrusive arch so I can hold reasonable forefoot landing, but enough of a cushioned sole to let me go long without pain.
I can't agree with the comment about early wear. I just wore the Virrata for a 50k race on gravel, rocks, sand, and asphalt, with no signs of wear. That said, I bought the Virrata as a road shoe and have found it performs well on the roads. Good mix of cushion and responsiveness. It feels as responsive to me as my Adidas Adios 2's.
Lives up to it's billing.
This shoe allowed my foot strike to be more naturally on the fore foot.
They feel great on my feet.
The "knobs" don the sole did begin to show wear after a few weeks of running (15-20 miles a week). Outside of that, I like it better than the Kinvara I had been buying.
I am on my second pair of the Virata and plants continue to run in them
Good bye Kinvara. Hello Virrata!!
I have had Kins in the past so was curious when these came out especially as I wanted to transition to zero drops. Based on my first few runs I'm highly impressed with these shoes, held up nicely with good cushioning (semi-soft as opposed to firm), but wouldn't recommend them for track-type racing. I can't comment as to the wear yet but for the price I paid so far it's a real bargin.
Money well spent
What can I say-I'm biased. I've been wearing Saucony since 1979. This is a really light shoe. Comfortable out of the box. Breathable. I run on pavement, packed dirt, wear to the gym, and they're hip looking with shorts or jeans. They run true to size.
Light but stiff
Most comfortable upper I've ever worn for this 6'2" 200# guy. Shoes are featherweight and fast. Unfortunately the midsole is very stiff, quite light but no cushion, just a stiff block of foam. If they were softer it would be the perfect shoe.
These shoes are very comparable to the Kinvaras. Great shoe overall. They are very minimalist and you should probably not buy them until trying them out if your used to the air mattress included in the heel of most nikes. At first the 0mm offset feels strange but its easy to get accustomed to.
San Diego, ca
My new favorite running shoe
I like my Kinvara's, but I like the Virrata better. The zero drop combined with the cushioning, flexibility and lightness are what I need, and they just feel so right on my feet. I've enjoyed each run I've had with them.
Santa Monica, CA
I was skepticle but was won over.
I first used these running on the treadmill in the gym. Legs were a bit sore the first couple of times I ran. Now I run on paved cart paths and my old running shoes feel so much heavier and slightly uncomfortable.
Peachtree City, Georgia
Different fit than other saucony shoes.
Lite weight, lots of cushion, but don't fit like my other saucony shoes.
I'm used to Kinvara and Grid shoes. Still, shoes good for other types of runners.
Love the shoe
The Virrata replaced my Nike Free. I was planning on buying a new pair of Nikes when I went to the store. On a whim I tried on these shoes. Wow. I am impressed. Great shoe.
So far so good. They feel great, my only concern is the rowing machine straps may wear the tops out early.
It helps with the lightness but is rather poor in supporting the inner lower legs.
Very happy with purchase
Mens Saucony Virrata Running Shoe
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