Verdict from 3 experts and 72 user reviews

5 reasons to buy

  • Traction: Numerous runners laud the Mar River TR 2's versatile grip. Whether it be on dirt, gravel, rocky trail, snow, road sections, and more, it sticks excellently. 
  • Cushion: It's as comfortable as road running shoes. It may be a touch firm, but it's still lively and bouncy for fast-paced runs. 
  • Toe box: There is enough room for the toes to splay without any excess movement. 
  • Fit: Experts are "blown away" by the dialed-in, secure, sock-like wrap of the upper. This delivers confidence-inspiring support even on steep descents.
  • Protection: Unlike the Peregrine 10, testers say that the Mad River TR 2 doesn't need a rock plate because it has sufficient cushion to shield the foot from sharp ground elements.

2 reasons not to buy

  • Hefty: Although "not totally insane" for trail runners, the shoe's weight is just a little heavy given how "little there is underfoot." 
  • Lacks breathability: The shoe can feel hot, especially during long sessions.

Bottom line

Considered the more road-influenced version of the Saucony Peregrine 10, the Saucony Mad River TR 2 offers a more forgiving, feel-good ride. This makes it an excellent road-to-trail alternative without compromising the necessary features to tackle semi-technical terrains.

Whether you want to go fast or mellow, the Mad River TR is sure to deliver. It's a very versatile shoe, to say the least, for such an affordable price.

Tip: see the best trail running shoes.

Saucony Mad River TR 2: So much for so little price

The highlight of the Mad River TR 2 from Saucony is its multi-surface traction, coupled with a more protective midsole. What makes it even more versatile is the fact that it can handle some pounding on the pavement. And it gets even better — all of these benefits come at an affordable price! 

Mad River TR 2: What is it for?

Distance: Middle to long distances

Surface:

  • Semi-technical trails (where it shines) 
  • Rocky trail (with larger rocks) 
  • Road
  • Gravel pack trail
  • Snow 
  • Ice
  • Loose terrain
  • Steep off-trail terrain 

The Saucony Mad River TR 2 is a trail shoe be "quick at about any terrain" but it does stand out in "cruising long distances" on multiple terrains. 

Saucony Mad River TR 2 vs. 1: The upgrades 

Although the Mad River TR 2 retains some of the hailed features of the first version, it takes thing up a notch by implementing the following:  

  • Enhanced toe box for better toe splay 
  • Newly introduced PWWRUN midsole for impact protection 
  • Added cushioning for better comfort; hence, higher stack height
  • Revamped upper for enhanced water drainage and ventilation 
  • Fit is more secure because of the added midfoot overlays

Nice to know

There Mad River TR 2 has two customizable features: (1) two rows of lace eyelets (inner and outer eyelets) for lockdown fit; and (2) outsole spots where you can drill drainage holes or insert screws for winter running. 

Rankings

How Saucony Mad River TR 2 ranks compared to all other shoes
Top 23% trail running shoes
All trail running shoes
Top 41% Saucony running shoes
All Saucony running shoes
Top 23% neutral running shoes
All neutral running shoes

Popularity

The current trend of Saucony Mad River TR 2.
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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.