Lee Macholz is one of our 2018/2019 RErun ambassadors. She is a stud! After work and family time, she still manages to volunteer and/or run many events through Runners Edge and Run Wild Missoula. We asked her to review the new Saucony Xodus to show how burly this shoe really is! Here are her thoughts below…
I had the opportunity to put the Saucony Xodus ISO 3 to the test last weekend as I ran 22 miles across the Bob Marshall Wilderness. Trail conditions varied from smooth well-worn single track to completely overgrown let’s-play-avoid-the-rocks-when-you-can’t-see-your-feet to jungle-gym-style blowdown to stream crossings and squishy squelchy mud. Let’s just say it was a true Montana wilderness experience! But the Xodus carried me through it all in comfort and definitely helped me trust my feet in some pretty tricky footing. Here’s a breakdown of the features of this workhorse of a trail shoe…
FIT: The Xodus touts Saucony’s ISOFIT, which I was a little skeptical of at first, but after my second run it won me over. There is not a traditional tongue, but rather more of a sock-like upper with flexible side pieces for the laces. I have a very high instep that often prevents me from even getting my foot into a boot or shoe (I can’t even get my foot halfway into a Keen sandal) and many shoes that are not adjustable over the instep will cause my feet to go numb. But the ISOFIT is soft and stretchy and flexible enough that it molds over my foot without cutting off circulation and then you can adjust the laces to keep the shoe tight in all the right places. I really think the ISOFIT will work for all kinds of feet. The other common issue is the size of the toe box. I like a wide toe box and the Xodus was perfect – no blisters, hot spots, or even tenderness on my toes at all (I did end up with a half-size larger than normal).
The back of the shoe and the front tab are both very tall. Neither are stiff so I didn’t have any rubbing or blisters, but I did feel like my tab-style socks were disappearing. My socks were not necessarily slipping under my foot, but I felt like I wanted to keep pulling them up. I think that I’ll wear a higher sock with these shoes next time I’m out for a big day.
Cushion: I’ve also been hesitant to move away from a trail shoe with a rock-plate because I got so used to the protection it offered in my beloved Pearls. I was very pleased with the performance of the extra cushion in the Xodus, it felt more like the level of cushion I like in a road shoe and with the strong sole I didn’t feel the sharpness of any rocks on the trail.
Sole: The rubber sole of the Xodus is really grippy. It was so noticeable that I think my husband started getting annoyed by my comments on how grippy my shoes were! I love to scramble on rocks and the Xodus feels like I can really trust my footing on DRY rocks and wood. I emphasize dry, because I was so confident in my feet that I didn’t pay enough attention when I hit a wet rock and suddenly my feet were sliding sideways out from under me. This is the only real con I have found with this shoe – the rubber is not so great on wet wood or rock. I think it will be ok on wet rock that has some relief to it because the tread is deep, but I slipped around a lot on smoother rocks and wood that were wet.
Overall Performance: Overall, the Xodus is a solid trail shoe. They stood up well to a variety of trail conditions. They were comfortable even after being thoroughly submerged in a creek crossing – they did feel like they held the water in a bit longer than other shoes, but not long enough to be uncomfortable or feel heavy. I really like the flexibility, feeling of the upper, and adjustability of the laces. I think they are definitely Rut-worthy!