Facts

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Terrain

Road

Shoes best for road, track and light gravel. See the best road shoes.

Trail

Shoes best for trail, off road, mountains and other unstable surfaces. See the best trail shoes.

Good to know

As long as you stick to the road or path, and if you want just one running shoe, buy a road running shoe.

Arch support

Neutral / cushion / high arch

Shoes for runners who do not need any additional arch support (Around 50% of runners). Best for people with high or medium high arches. See the best neutral shoes.

Stability / overpronation / normal arch

Shoes for runners who need arch support (Around 45% of runners). Best for runners with a normal arch. See the best stability shoes.

Motion control / severe overpronation / flat feet

Shoes for runners who needs a lot of arch support. Best for runners with flat feet. See the best motion control shoes.

Good to know

- Rule of thumb: If in doubt, buy neutral shoes to avoid injuries.
- More about arch support in this video.
- Find your arch type by following steps from this video.

Daily running

Cushioned shoes for your daily easy running. Great comfort. See best shoes for daily running.

Competition

Lightweight shoes good for races, interval training, tempo runs and fartlek. Here are the best competition running shoes.

Good to know

If you want just one pair of shoes, buy a shoe for daily running.

Price
$150
Weight
Men: 9.2oz
Women: 6.2oz
Show more facts

Road

Shoes best for road, track and light gravel. See the best road shoes.

Trail

Shoes best for trail, off road, mountains and other unstable surfaces. See the best trail shoes.

Good to know

As long as you stick to the road or path, and if you want just one running shoe, buy a road running shoe.

Neutral / cushion / high arch

Shoes for runners who does not need any additional arch support (Around 50% of runners). Best for people with high or medium high arches. See the best neutral shoes.

Stability / overpronation / normal arch

Shoes for runners who needs arch support (Around 45% of runners). Best for runners with a normal arch. See the best stability shoes.

Motion control / severe overproanation / flat feet

Shoes for runners who needs a lot of arch support. Best for runners with flat feet. See the best motion control shoes.

Good to know

- Rule of thumb: If in doubt, buy neutral shoes to avoid injuries.
- More about arch support in this video.
- Find your arch type by following steps from this video.

Daily running

Cushioned shoes for your daily easy running. Great comfort. See best shoes for daily running.

Competition

Lightweight shoes good for races, interval training, tempo runs and fartlek. Here are the best competition running shoes.

Good to know

If you want just one pair of shoes, buy a shoe for daily running.

The height difference from the heel to the forefoot, also known as heel drop, toe spring, heel to toe spring or simply drop.

There are many opinions about what a good heel drop is. We do not recommend any in particular. Lean more in this video.

Summary

We spent 6 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what runners think:

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.


Rankings


Ratings

4.6 / 5 based on 30 ratings

5 star
63%
4 star
23%
3 star
10%
2 star
0%
1 star
0%

My Rating

Expert Reviews

Experts are running shoe geeks, who post reviews at youtube, directly at RunRepeat or at their own websites. Each expert is categorized from level 1 to level 5 based on expertise. See stats on expert reviews and how we calculate scores here.

Are you an expert? Apply to contribute here.

77 / 100 based on 6 expert reviews

  • 75 / 100 by Runblogger • Peter Larson • Level 5 expert

    The Saucony Cortana is clearly a shoe designed to appeal to the runner who likes all of the cushy bells and whistles in a running shoe, and is willing to pay for it.

  • 70 / 100 by Fellrnr • Fellrnr • Level 5 expert

    I've rated it as "worth considering."

  • 83 / 100 by Gear Institute • Carol Davenport • Level 2 expert

    Faster, more efficient runners might prefer the Saucony Kinvara, but for the high-mileage efforts, the more substantial Cortana could be a great marathon training shoe, leaving it’s lighter sister for race day.

  • 93 / 100 by The Athlete's Foot • Lewis Bartlett • Level 1 expert

    The shoe has a slightly wider toe box and allows your toes to spread out whilst running, which I really enjoyed in the shoe and encourages speed.

  • 87 / 100 by Complex • Calvy Click • Level 1 expert

    The first thing you notice about the Cortana is the way the sole guides your foot through each stride.

  • 83 / 100 by Active Gear Review • Stephanie Smith • Level 1 expert

    My only mildly negative observation is that I had to really yank on the laces to get the shoes to feel tight.

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Updates to Saucony Cortana 4

  • 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.

Saucony Cortana 4 size and fit

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.


Outsole

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.


Midsole

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.


Upper

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.