Verdict from 5 experts and +100 user reviews

6 reasons to buy

  • Most runners appreciated the comfort and lightweight that Cortana 4 offers.
  • The low profile design offers more freedom in terms of foot movement.
  • Most runners emphasized the secured fit in the arch and heel of the 4th version.
  • The significant redesigning and sleek appearance of the Saucony Cortana 4 is something most runners appreciate.
  • Runners with slightly wide feet are happy with the shoe because of the roomy toe box.
  • The durability is reliable and precise, even when it comes to the individual parts.

4 reasons not to buy

  • The shoe is expensive.
  • Few runners find the shoe irritating because of the heel cup that rubs the foot.
  • Some runners are unsatisfied with the reduced stiffness of the Cortana 4.
  • There were complaints of the forefoot area being a bit tight for the toes.

Bottom line

Most runners considered the Cortana 4 from Saucony as the definitive version of the series. It is a relatively lightweight neutral shoe that offers responsive cushioning and a comfortable ride. This shoe is best for both the track and the road.

Tip: see the best running shoes.

Good to know

  • The Cortana 4 from Saucony makes great strides in the advancement of the series through high quality features such as the breathable Air Mesh in the upper and the durable XT-900 rubber in the outsole.
  • This shoe uses the moisture-wicking HydraMAX Lining technology, which secures the foot and keeps it dry & cool.
  • Impact protection is a prominent trait of this running shoe as it uses mid-sole technologies that were designed to make each step more comfortable and agreeable, while preventing impact forces from potentially resulting discomfort or injury.
  • The group of cushioning systems in the mid-sole work together to provide responsible cushioning and a smoother transition from the heel to the toe, resulting in a much better running performance.
  • The mid-foot section benefits from a Medial Post, which moderately supports the arch.

The 4th version of the Cortana has a regular shoe length. It can accommodate runners who have a medium-sized heel, mid-foot and forefoot areas. The semi-curved shape of this shoe allows space for the natural shape of the foot to ease into it.


The outsole unit uses the XT-900 compound, which is a material made from carbon rubber. It is the one responsible for providing traction over the roads.

The IBR+ or the Injection Blown Rubber is a liquid-molded material that is durable and consistent. It’s a lightweight layer in the outsole, which shields the unit from abrasion and wear. The soft material allows it to provide some additional cushioning. The IBR+ is also present in the Omni 16 running shoe and other shoes from Saucony.


The Saucony Cortana 4 makes ample use of the PowerGrid technology, a high-quality foam that offers 20% more cushioning than most mid-sole foam units on the market. The Grid design helps to balance the foot, spread pressure evenly, and maintain a soft underfoot feel.

The SRC Impact Zone and the Impact Interface are components in the mid-sole which isolates impact and shock when landing the foot on the ground. The former takes care of the entire length of the shoe while the latter works more for the heel.

A Medial Post adds some support to the mid-foot area, keeping the foot more centered and in line for a much more efficient stride.


The upper unit of the Saucony Cortana 4 gives well-ventilated coverage of the foot with the use of the Air Mesh fabric. It keeps the foot dry and cool, permitting long-term use for those who want to participate in lengthy athletic activities.
The HydraMAX Collar Lining is a soft and irritation-free fabric that holds the heel snugly in place while giving a next-to-skin comfort that’s capable of staving off moisture. It’s an inner sleeve that allows runners to wear the Cortana 4 without socks.

The Flex Film Overlays are welded in the upper and they were meant to secure the foot of the wearer and prevent wobbliness in the middle section of the upper. The Sauc-Fit adds more security in the rear part of the arch, as well as the heel area.

The Comfortlite Sock Liner was molded to the outlines of the heel and arch, essentially cradling the foot and making sure that each section of the underfoot is supported.

Rankings

How Saucony Cortana 4 ranks compared to all other shoes
Top 45% road running shoes
All road running shoes
Bottom 47% Saucony running shoes
All Saucony running shoes
Bottom 38% stability running shoes
All stability running shoes

Popularity

The current trend of Saucony Cortana 4.
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Author
Jens Jakob Andersen
Jens Jakob Andersen

Jens Jakob is a fan of short distances with a 5K PR at 15:58 minutes. Based on 35 million race results, he's among the fastest 0.2% runners. Jens Jakob previously owned a running store, when he was also a competitive runner. His work is regularly featured in The New York Times, Washington Post, BBC and the likes as well as peer-reviewed journals. Finally, he has been a guest on +30 podcasts on running.

jens@runrepeat.com