We spent 9.1 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what runners think:

7 reasons to buy

  • A couple of consumers were surprised that the shoe is more supportive than expected.
  • Some runners felt the KOA TR provided a comfortable ride that is just right for trail running.
  • The midsole is thick and feels great to run in, a buyer commented.
  • A lot of users are impressed by the light weight of the shoe.
  • Several runners were satisfied by the traction provided by the lugs of the shoe.
  • One reviewer commented on the excellent water drainage system of the KOA TR.
  • The weave of the upper is tight but is surprisingly breathable, according to one user.

4 reasons not to buy

  • Some users felt the shoe was heavy and that it had a tendency to drag the foot.
  • One runner commented the lugs had less grip than they would have preferred.
  • The shoe is harsh on the first use and required breaking in, according to a reviewer.
  • There was a noticeable tightness around the midfoot, which was hard to ignore, as stated by a user.

Bottom line

With a much-appreciated versatility and impressive technology, the KOA TR delivers comfort and performance that is outstanding no matter the trail condition. It is not the lightest trail shoe on the market, but its responsive performance was admired by many neutral runners. They liked that the shoe was able to provide feedback and lateral stability without compromising protection.


Terrain: Trail
Arch support: Neutral
Weight: Men: 10.3oz | Women: 9oz
Heel to toe drop: Men: 4mm | Women: 4mm
Pronation: Neutral Pronation
Arch type: High arch
Use: Jogging
Strike Pattern: Forefoot strike
Distance: Daily running | Long distance | Marathon
Heel height: Men: 22mm | Women: 22mm
Forefoot height: Men: 18mm | Women: 18mm
Release date: Jun 2017
Brand: Saucony
Type: Low drop
Width: Men: Normal | Women: Normal
Price: $110
Colorways: Blue, Grey, Purple, Red
Small True to size Large
See more facts


Among the better Trail running shoes
A popular pick
It has never been more popular than this December

Expert Reviews

Experts are runners, 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.

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86 / 100 based on 7 expert reviews

  • 96 / 100 | Road Trail Run | | Level 5 expert

    I would probably be reluctant to spend much time off trail in the Koa TR (but would certainly consider the Koa ST with 8mm lugs), but aside from steep, loose off trail and perhaps snowy, icy winter conditions, the Koa TR is a fine choice, especially if you run from your doorstep.

  • 80 / 100 | Coach | | Level 4 expert

    A new addition to the Saucony trail line-up, the Koa TR is perfect for city runners whose trail running mostly consists of off-roading in parks with the odd trip out to the countryside. The Koa TR is comfortable enough to run on roads, while the 4mm lugs give just enough grip to cope with a range of trails – although you obviously wouldn’t want to try speeding through a bog in them.

  • 85 / 100 | Mud Run Guide | | Level 2 expert

    This shoe will get you through the roughest terrain. On a drier course, it will be great. For a race with a lot of mud, the drainage is a consideration when buying. Overall, this could be a decent OCR shoe for the right race.

  • 80 / 100 | Mud Run Guide | | Level 2 expert

    The shoes were pretty responsive and transitioned well from pavement to boardwalk to a packed trail and finally off the trail. My heel locked in nicely and my toes had ample room to move where needed. The shoe is wide enough for my foot and my feet had a comfortable ride on the trail.

  • 85 / 100 | iRun | | Level 1 expert

    Although the Koa ST’s aren’t the smallest or lightest trail shoes available, the impressive tread, handy lacing system and comfortable ride make it worthwhile. Whether you’re new to the trails and want to protect your feet from rocks and mud, or you’re a seasoned ultra runner with a foot long beard, I recommend giving these new Sauconys a try.

  • 78 / 100 | ULTRA-RUNNER.COM | Level 1 expert

    When running at speed on road in the Saucony KOA TR the shoe feels almost like a road shoe, soft and light with lots of bounce, the slight rock to the sole feels great. Once on hard trails the shoe turns in to a nice trail shoe and can even cope with little bits of mud.

Become an expert

  • The Saucony KOA TR is a versatile shoe that is built to function on- and off-road; it performs well in a wide variety of conditions, including technical trails. Both the outsole tread and midsole unit allow the shoe to be responsive and efficient in transitioning from the pavement to the trail.
  • The innovative EVERUN midsole allows the shoe to be responsive while still providing ample cushioning throughout the run.
  • It also features the FlexFilm technology, which provides lightweight support, strength, and comfort while retaining foot security for a stable motion.
  • The 4-mm heel-to-toe drop delivers a more natural ride, letting the foot exert more effort by not allowing it to be complacent with the shoe’s cushioning and stability features. This, combined with the small weight and midfoot strike, results in an excellent speed.

The KOA TR is a lightweight trail running shoe that caters to the foot with neutral pronation. It provides the foot with a secure fit, and the shoe technologies allow for a locked-down feel. The oblique toe box results in a wider toe room, so while the length runs true to size, runners with a high-volume foot will also appreciate this shoe. Width profiles are available in D – Medium for men and B – Medium for women.

Using the PWRTRAC outsole, the KOA TR is engineered to adapt to various terrain types with its excellent traction and durability. It offers enough grip to keep the foot secure, even on the most uneven surfaces. The PWRTRAC is also utilized in the outsole of the Saucony Peregrine 8 for traction and durability.

The outsole also includes a more versatile lower lug pattern that provides extra grip, thus making it more effective on both hard surfaces and uneven terrain. Although quite minimal, the 3.5 mm lugs make running easier because they allow the sole to roll smoothly, keeping the runner sure-footed no matter the terrain. They are made from a sticky rubber compound that is capable of handling sloppy and muddy conditions.

Featuring Saucony’s unique EVERUN technology, the EVA midsole provides the right blend of firmness, cushioning, and responsiveness. EVERUN delivers significant key benefits: it absorbs impact shock three times better than standard EVAs, returns 83% of the energy absorbed, and it lowers peak pressures as the underfoot conforms to the shape of the foot and distributes force across a larger surface area.

Made from tiny pellets of polyurethane that are heat-expanded and molded into a single cushioning unit, EVERUN has a definite firmness that allows for a resilient ride.

Despite the relatively low stack height, the midsole of the KOA TR provides the right amount of protection and support. It is bouncier and allows for smoother landings and stronger takeoffs.

The upper of the KOA TR is made from woven mesh that is flexible, tough, and breathable that works double-duty as a protection from debris and rocks and as an evacuation system that sheds water well, enabling the foot to stay cool, dry, and at ease. Its secure finish delivers durable foot-wrapping and adequate ventilation.

Using the FlexFilm technology, there is an exoskeletal support frame for an enhanced strength and comfort. It is fused with the upper mesh material, reducing the amount of stitching and thus creating a soft and almost seamless surface against the runner’s foot.

FlexFilm overlays are also present to secure the foot in place and minimize any unwanted movement for a stable run. It runs in a crisscross design across the midfoot and the through the forefoot so the foot is comfortably locked into place.

The toe box is oblique-shaped for additional toe room, allowing maximum toe splay and therefore improving balance, especially when pushing the pace on moderate to technical trails.

Heel support is present through the heel collar that is made plush for added comfort, and the heel counter that is made sturdy and secure. A reinforced heel piece is also positioned in the upper for added protection and locked down fit.

There is also a plush, non-gusseted tongue which rides independently beneath the cleaty upper throughout the lace area. This design delivers a snug yet comfortable protection for the ankle.