Our verdict

The Saucony Triumph 21, building on its legacy, offered us in the lab the smooth ride that enthusiasts have always cherished from this saga. This year's version provides unprecedented cushioning, an upgraded PWRRUN+ midsole, and a breathable knit upper. While its outsole intelligently balances weight and durability with strategic cutouts, in our experience, this shoe truly excels as a jack-of-all-trades, particularly for those with wide feet, thanks to its broad design.

Pros

  • Ready for wide feet
  • Exceptionally cushioned
  • Durable outsole
  • Comfortable and breathable knit upper
  • PWRRUN+ responsive foam
  • Softer midsole than v20
  • Versatile across different running paces
  • Weighs under 10 oz!

Cons

  • Not suitable for those with narrow feet
  • Drop might be too high for forefoot strikers

Audience verdict

88
Great!

Who should buy

The Saucony Triumph 21 comes highly recommended from our lab team for:

  • Anyone in need of a cushioned and durable running shoe.
  • Runners boasting wide feet, searching for a reliable daily trainer.
  • Beginners to the running scene looking for a versatile, long-lasting shoe.

Saucony Triumph 21

Who should NOT buy

The Saucony Triumph 21 excels as a jack-of-all-trades running shoe. However, for intervals or fast-paced training, it might fall short. Instead, consider the Saucony Endorphin Speed 3—it offers a plush ride but is 100% tailored for speed workouts.

For an alternative geared toward daily running, we also recommend trying the ASICS Novablast 3, as it delivers a great balance of comfort and performance.

Saucony Triumph 21 cut

Runners with narrow feet might also want to explore other options. Shoes like the Nike Pegasus 40 or the Hoka Clifton 9 can provide a better fit in this particular situation.

Breathability

The Saucony Triumph series has consistently excelled in breathability, and the 21st edition upholds this tradition. In our lab's smoke-pumping test, we awarded it a score of 4/5. This score guarantees sufficient ventilation, even on hotter days.

During our light test, we clearly saw the impressive airflow. The way the light passed through the ventilation holes Saucony incorporated was notable. We especially appreciated that airflow was present throughout the whole shoe—not just in the toe box, which is common in most shoes.

However, it was our examination under the microscope that gave us a closer look at the shoe's design.

Saucony Triumph 21 micro

Here, we discovered a thick knit upper. Typically, this design enhances comfort but can reduce breathability.

Saucony Triumph 21 microscope

This explains why, despite the numerous ventilation holes, the shoe didn't earn a 5-out-of-5 score.

Test results
Triumph 21 4
Average 3.8
Compared to 229 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Breathability
5

Durability

Toebox durability

From the moment we first held the shoe, we were immediately impressed, sensing its potential for outstanding durability. However, the real test was subjecting the upper to our Dremel. 

Upon doing so, our initial hunch was validated. We were happy to give it a 3/5 score, which is significantly above average. It outperformed the ASICS GT 1000 12 by a noticeable margin as you can see below.

Saucony Triumph 21 Toebox durability
Test results
Triumph 21 3
Average 2.4
Compared to 163 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Toebox durability
5

Heel padding durability

The fabric in the heel area felt more robust than what we've encountered in most other shoes. This gave us the impression that we were testing a contender for one of the most durable daily trainers on the market.

In our lab test, we discovered that the Triumph 21 indeed stood out. It secured a 3/5 score, surpassing many of its rivals. While at first glance this might seem like just an average score, it's important to note that most shoes only manage to achieve a 1/5 in the same assessment.

Saucony Triumph 21 Heel padding durability
Test results
Triumph 21 3
Average 3.2
Compared to 159 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Heel padding durability
5

Outsole hardness

We measured the outsole's rubber hardness at 80.4 HC, which falls into the average range. This middle-of-the-road choice ensures both reliable grip and durability.

Saucony Triumph 21 outsole

For the Triumph 21, Saucony made a smart decision to avoid overly soft rubber. This was necessary because the outsole has multiple cutouts and areas with exposed foam, all in an effort to reduce the shoe's weight and improve flexibility.

Saucony Triumph 21 Outsole hardness
Test results
Triumph 21 80.4 HC
Average 80.5 HC
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 280 running shoes
Number of shoes
52.1 HC
Outsole hardness
93.0 HC

Outsole durability

We employed the Dremel once more to gauge the outsole's durability. The tool left an indentation measuring 0.7 mm.

It's clear to us that the Triumph 21 is a long-lasting shoe.

Saucony Triumph 21 Outsole durability
Test results
Triumph 21 0.7 mm
Average 0.9 mm
Compared to 141 running shoes
Number of shoes
0.0 mm
Outsole wear
2.0 mm

Outsole thickness

We measured the outsole at 2.9 mm, making it slimmer than what's found on most shoes.

We're confident that Saucony thoroughly tested numerous outsole variations in the lab. They determined that there wasn't a need for a thicker design, which helped in saving weight.

Saucony Triumph 21 Outsole thickness
Test results
Triumph 21 2.9 mm
Average 3.2 mm
Compared to 299 running shoes
Number of shoes
0.0 mm
Outsole thickness
6.6 mm

Weight

We've touched upon the outsole's role in the shoe's weight-reduction strategy—and the results are in! The Triumph 21 impressively tips the scales below the 10 oz benchmark.

At just 9.95 oz (282g), this is a standout weight for a plush daily trainer.

Saucony Triumph 21 Weight
Test results
Triumph 21 9.95 oz (282g)
Average 9.35 oz (265g)
Compared to 300 running shoes
Number of shoes
5.26 oz (149g)
Weight
12.56 oz (356g)

Cushioning

Heel stack

Our admiration for the shoe's weight grew when we measured the heel stack in the lab.

Saucony Triumph 21 heel stack

At 39.1 mm, we discovered that it ranks among the most cushioned daily trainers available. Now it stands proudly in the same category as super-thick shoes like the Nike Invincible 3.

Saucony Triumph 21 Heel stack
Test results
Triumph 21 39.1 mm
Average 33.6 mm
Compared to 299 running shoes
Number of shoes
7.6 mm
Heel stack
42.7 mm

Forefoot stack

We precisely measured the forefoot and found it to be 28.6 mm thick. This thickness ensures enough cushioning for every type of foot strike.

Additionally, it ensures near-zero ground feel, which, depending on the runner, can be seen as a benefit or a drawback.

Saucony Triumph 21 Forefoot stack
Test results
Triumph 21 28.6 mm
Average 24.9 mm
Compared to 299 running shoes
Number of shoes
7.6 mm
Forefoot stack
35.8 mm

Drop

When we measured the difference between the forefoot and the heel, we found a 10.5-mm heel-to-toe drop.

This makes the Triumph 21 an excellent choice for heel strikers, consistent with its previous versions.

Saucony Triumph 21 Drop
Test results
Triumph 21 10.5 mm
Average 8.7 mm
Compared to 299 running shoes
Number of shoes
-0.8 mm
Drop
16.1 mm

Insole thickness

We measured the insole to be 6.7 mm thick, and we found it to be incredibly comfortable because it's made of the same PWRRUN+ foam used in the midsole. You can be assured of comfort no matter how long you plan to run in these shoes.

Saucony Triumph 21 Insole thickness
Test results
Triumph 21 6.7 mm
Average 4.5 mm
Compared to 295 running shoes
Number of shoes
1.5 mm
Insole thickness
7.3 mm

Midsole softness

Note: a low durometer measurement equals a soft material, whereas a high measurement means it's firm.

At RunRepeat's Lab, we simply have a passion for running shoe foams. So, when it came to testing the PWRRUN+ midsole of the Triumph 21, we were keen to use our durometer. We had a strong feeling that this would be the softest version yet, given the current trend in running shoes.

Our hunch was right. We measured it at 16.8 HA, making it a truly plush foam. To put it in perspective, the Triumph 19 was measured at 18.8 HA and the Triumph 20 at 19.5 HA.

Saucony Triumph 21 Midsole softness
Test results
Triumph 21 16.8 HA
Average 21.4 HA
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 227 running shoes
Number of shoes
8.5 HA
Midsole softness (soft to firm)
41.5 HA

Difference in midsole softness in cold

After 20 minutes in our freezer, we measured the PWRRUN+ foam at 21.6 HA using our durometer in the lab. It still felt plush.

We discovered that there's a 28.6% change, which is a great result for a daily trainer. It shows that TPU foams like PWRRUN+ are superior to their EVA counterparts.

Saucony Triumph 21 Midsole softness in cold
Test results
Triumph 21 28.6%
Average 25.6%
Compared to 226 running shoes
Number of shoes
0%
Difference in midsole softness in cold
100%

Stability

Lateral stability test

The Saucony Triumph 21 is a neutral running shoe, lacking specific stability features. However, we've always found the series to offer moderate stability. This characteristic persists in the current edition.

Torsional rigidity

A primary reason the Triumph 21 feels more stable than one might expect is its significant torsional rigidity—unlike many daily trainers. In fact, we awarded it a 4/5 score, a rating often reserved for plated shoes.

Test results
Triumph 21 4
Average 3.2
Compared to 278 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Torsional rigidity
5

Heel counter stiffness

Saucony's designers used the same strategy with the heel counter. As a result, we awarded it the same 4/5 rating.

This approach enhances stability, but it might compromise comfort for runners who favor a softer heel counter.

Test results
Triumph 21 4
Average 2.8
Compared to 262 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Heel counter stiffness
5

Midsole width in the forefoot

Saucony's approach to enhancing stability in a subtle manner is evident in the increased midsole width. They went with a wider design, with the shoe boasting an impressive 118.1 mm in the forefoot.

This design guarantees smooth and stable landings for both neutral runners and mild pronators.

Saucony Triumph 21 Midsole width in the forefoot
Test results
Triumph 21 118.1 mm
Average 113.7 mm
Compared to 300 running shoes
Number of shoes
100.5 mm
Midsole width in the forefoot
126.5 mm

Midsole width in the heel

With a heel width of 91.3 mm, we found it to be right in line with the average.

The width is just right for a daily trainer; if it were any broader, this shoe might overshadow other stability shoes in Saucony's lineup.

Saucony Triumph 21 Midsole width in the heel
Test results
Triumph 21 91.3 mm
Average 90.4 mm
Compared to 300 running shoes
Number of shoes
74.9 mm
Midsole width in the heel
106.6 mm

Flexibility

Stiffness

Comfort is essential for a shoe designed for daily running. Typically, this means a low score in the 90-degree bend test. We measured the Triumph 21 and it gave us a reading of 22.0N, which translates to a flexible shoe and seems just right to us.

Test results
Triumph 21 22.0N
Average 29.1N
We use an average of four tests. The video shows one of those tests.
Compared to 282 running shoes
Number of shoes
2.2N
Stiffness
94.4N

Difference in stiffness in cold

After chilling the shoe in the freezer for 20 minutes and testing it again, we measured a result close to the previous one: 25.8N.

We measured a 17.4% difference, which stands out when compared to almost any other daily trainer.

Many shoes still use EVA foam—a more affordable material that doesn't perform as well in cold conditions. In contrast, Saucony uses TPU in their PWRRUN+ midsole. We've discovered that this material consistently performs well in colder temperatures.

Test results
Triumph 21 17.4%
Average 36.2%
Compared to 282 running shoes
Number of shoes
0%
Difference in stiffness in cold
148%

Size and fit

Internal length

Clocking in at an impressive 269.8 mm, this shoe perfectly matches its size expectations. Based on Saucony's size chart, the US 9 we examined is expected to be 270 mm. We believe a minuscule difference of 0.2 mm showcases outstanding precision.

Saucony Triumph 21 Internal length
Test results
Triumph 21 269.8 mm
Average 269.2 mm
Compared to 163 running shoes
Number of shoes
259.9 mm
Internal length
280.4 mm

Toebox width at the widest part

We measured the upper of the Triumph 21 by Saucony and found it to be quite roomy at 102.1 mm at its broadest point.

This design makes it suitable for those with wider feet, even in its standard-width size. However, it's worth noting that Saucony also offers this shoe in a Wide size for those who might require an even more spacious fit.

Saucony Triumph 21 Toebox width at the widest part
Test results
Triumph 21 102.1 mm
Average 98.4 mm
Compared to 300 running shoes
Number of shoes
89.5 mm
Toebox width at the widest part
109.1 mm

Toebox width at the big toe

The area for the big toe is also designed with a broad feet shape in mind. We measured this part too and found it to be 81.6 mm wide.

Saucony Triumph 21 Toebox width at the big toe
Test results
Triumph 21 81.6 mm
Average 78.2 mm
Compared to 174 running shoes
Number of shoes
60.4 mm
Toebox width at the big toe
92.5 mm

Tongue: gusset type

The tongue provides an excellent lockdown with its bootie-style gusset. It's non-intrusive and offered our feet comfort, which is essential for a daily running shoe.

Saucony Triumph 21 Tongue: gusset type
Test results
Triumph 21 Bootie

Comfort

Tongue padding

In our lab analysis of the tongue, we turned our attention to the padding—crucial for comfort to prevent issues like lace bite.

We discovered that Saucony added two layers of padding inside the tongue, which together measure a total of 7.6 mm.

Saucony Triumph 21 Tongue padding
Test results
Triumph 21 7.6 mm
Average 5.6 mm
Compared to 297 running shoes
Number of shoes
0.5 mm
Tongue padding
14.2 mm

Heel tab

There's a finger-loop heel tab. It's not just a fashion thing, but it also helps us slide our feet in with ease!

Saucony Triumph 21 Heel tab
Test results
Triumph 21 Finger loop

Removable insole

The insole isn't glued, allowing us to easily swap it with custom orthotics or different insoles from other shoes.

However, as we said before, this shoe's insole shares its composition with the midsole: TPU-based PWRRUN+. If you opt to replace it, be mindful that you're parting with some valuable cushioning. It's something to think about!

Saucony Triumph 21 Removable insole
Test results
Triumph 21 Yes

Misc

Reflective elements

Kudos to Saucony! In a world where reflective elements are often overlooked to reduce costs, we truly value these two strips they've added in the heel.

Saucony Triumph 21 Reflective elements
Test results
Triumph 21 Yes