Today, the premium, plush trainer is beginning to become an anachronism. New midsole materials, like Nike React and New Balance Fuel Cell, allow high levels of reactive cushioning at previously unthinkable weights.
Shoes like the Hoka One One Rincon has shown that you can have your cake and eat it, being highly cushioned yet fast and super light.
The Triumph ISO 5, however, sticks to a tried and tested formula of a thick slab of TPU foam topped off with a plush, padded upper. So, can the old-timer teach the ‘Johnny-come-lately’ a thing or two?
This is an expensive shoe, but thankfully it’s clear where the extra money has gone. The Triumph ISO 5’s upper is not just comfortable, but it's also comforting like a favourite sweatshirt on a hungover morning.
Sleek, it is not. Instead, it's wide and soft, with the topsole and form-fit insole providing a luxurious step in—just what tired swollen feet need the day after a hard workout.
The upper is a thick and reasonably dense mesh with laminated overlays. The internal toe bumper is unobtrusive but provides both structure and protection. The mesh is stretchy over the toe box, and the satin-like fabric around the ankle cuff ups the comfort stakes even further.
Surprisingly, it does not feel sloppy. The ISO fit system has had its critics. But in the Triumph, it pulls what could have been a baggy upper together nicely.
The Triumph ISO 5’s upper is virtually flawless for a recovery shoe, but if you intend to crank up the pace, it is undeniably bulky.
As implied, the Triumph ISO 5 is built for comfort, not speed. This begs the question, ‘Can a running shoe be too comfortable?’
That’s a tough call. For some, it could be stripped back significantly without too much sacrifice. For others, the easy-going sumptuous fit is the raison d’etre of shoes like the Triumph.
The fit is especially good at the heel. The smooth fabric around the cuff has a frictionless step in, all but eliminating the risk of blisters.
The Achilles section sits low and curves upwards providing gentle yet substantial support. Of particular note, the Achilles support and heel curve gently forward, moving the foot anteriorly and reducing heel slippage. The remainder of the ankle cuff sits perfectly beneath the malleoli.
The partial bootie construction and ISO fit take care of business in the midfoot. Meanwhile, the plump padded tongue prevents any discomfort from the ISO fit straps.
This makes the lacing comfortable and fairly easy to adjust; that said this isn’t a shoe that demands to be tightly locked down, the easy-going fit is conducive to a quick ‘lace up and go’ straight from the box.
Upfront, the toe box is wide and roomy. It’s prudent to note this isn’t Topo Athletic or Altra shaped where the toe box flares out anatomically from the midfoot but rather broad and square.
That’s not to say it isn’t comfortable or accommodating to wider feet. But, it may be top relaxed for those with a narrower foot.
Midsole & outsole
Fans of Everun are in luck: there’s lots of it and then some. The stack height is 28mm at the heel and 20mm at the toe providing an 8mm drop.
If that wasn’t enough, there is also a TPU ‘topsole’—a thin 2-3mm layer, which sits between the insole and lasting. This is gently glued in but is removable with some careful traction (shoe tinkerers may enjoy trying this topsole out in other shoes).
The purpose of the topsole makes more sense in Saucony shoes with an EVA midsole where it adds a bit of springiness. But, in the Triumph, it seems somewhat superfluous other than creating some extra step-in softness.
Saucony has used a full-length EVERUN midsole, a TPU foam. EVERUN is similar to Adidas’ Boost but feels a lot denser and less bouncy.
In comparison, the Reebok Floatride Forever Energy recently appeared with a TPU midsole, which is softer and considerably lighter without sacrificing much reactivity.
The outsole is extensive with a fairly thin layer of hard-wearing ‘crystal’ rubber with some strategically placed harder rubber at the heel and through the midfoot.
Despite the chevron-like arrangement of the outsole, the shoe remains rather inflexible, undoubtedly due to the thick EVERUN midsole.
As much as I loved the upper, the ride was a different story altogether. Although EVERUN does provide cushioning over longer distances, this is offset by its firm and less reactive ride.
The Triumph ISO 5 isn’t a light shoe, even within its class. A weight of 328g is heavy by today’s standards.
This weight becomes increasingly apparent over longer runs, most of the mass is low to the ground, making it feel like you are running on a thick slab of rubber, which of course you are.
The inherent inflexibility of the EVERUN differs from the ‘stiffness’ found in other shoes in that it doesn’t provide any snap. Instead, the Triumph ISO 5 feels clunky and flat-footed, which is exaggerated by the 8mm drop.
Whilst this may be alleviated by a slightly higher drop, some decoupling of the midsole would also be beneficial.
All said this makes for a frustrating experience, on the other hand, the upper is irresistible to tired feet, but the extra weight hampers slow or long runs.
The hefty Triumph ISO 5 is poorly suited for faster paces, and so becomes confined to plodding easy runs, limiting its versatility and hence, value for money.
Durability & protection
Durability is likely to be good, and everything is well-made. The upper is durable, and the high-end materials hold up well to use and abuse.
My experience with plump, padded uppers is that when they start to wear through the outer fabric, they can quickly break down.
The only other issues arise during wet weather when the shoe does tend to soak through and become waterlogged. Whilst the mesh is airy, it isn’t so much to prevent winter running in colder temperatures.
The grip is good on all hard surfaces, even light trails and the Triumph ISO 5 has adequate traction on wet roads.
Setting aside the newcomers for a minute, the top end, plush trainer market has some serious contenders jostling for attention.
The best of these include the Mizuno Wave Sky Waveknit 3, which has a softer ride yet still manages to be responsive. Wave Sky 3 is almost as comfortable and the New Balance 1080 v9, which provides similar cushioning for 10% less weight.
Whilst the Triumph may not be as light or responsive as others, its main appeal still lies in its comfort and durability.
The Triumph ISO 5 may be the flagship of the Saucony fleet, but the heavy midsole makes it feel more like a battleship. Fans of EVERUN will find enough positives to stick with the Triumph ISO 5. For the rest of use, better options exist elsewhere.
I’m a big fan of Saucony running shoes, and they’ve become my “go-to” brand. My favourite is the Saucony Ride ISO 2, but as they were nearing the end of their shelf life, I thought I’d try the Triumph ISO 5.
I was intrigued by the potential extra comfort they would give me on long runs, so they became my next purchase.
For me, this shoe is all about comfort. Therefore, I wanted to start with the midsole of the Triumph ISO 5s, as this is where most of that comfort comes from.
They are really well suited for long, steady training runs. The EVERUN technology throughout the shoe's sole is there to give greater energy return and a highly cushioned run. And I felt that was certainly the case.
They are heavy for running shoes at 323g, so won’t be for everyone. However, they are not designed for tempo runs or interval training. They are aimed at the runner doing the weekly long run or someone needing extra comfort for their everyday runs,
I really like using them on my long runs. I love the extra comfort given by the FORMFIT footbed and cushioned heel pad. The heavier side of this shoe is a small price to pay for such a plush ride.
The Triumph ISO 5 has a heel stack height of 28mm and forefoot height of 20mm. This means the drop from heel to toe is 8mm. This is quite standard for a highly cushioned shoe, perhaps even on the lower side when compared to market rivals.
The 8mm drop is good for giving a lower to the ground feel. Energy return felt higher with these than some other shoes I have tried.
No doubt that Triumph ISO 5 suits long, slow runs for me. Which does make the shoe a bit of a one-trick pony. It is not a problem if you’re rotating with other shoes for other run types or just like mainly running one type of run.
Now let’s take a look at the uppers, broken down into 3 sections.
Breathability & flexibility
These have similar uppers to the Ride ISO 2. The forefoot area is made of a stretchy, breathable mesh that has a plush feel about it. They feel almost luxurious, particularly when you first put them on.
As you can see from the picture above, there are lots of breathable holes in the mesh, so your feet get plenty of air.
The jacquard mesh is also flexible in that it molds to the shape of your foot. I can confirm, as Saucony states, the FORMFIT technology really does allow the shoe to adapt and move with your foot.
They fit really well. The toe box is wide, I have quite wide feet, and they certainly have enough width for me.
The heel is super-cushioned at the back of the shoe, adding to these shoes’ luxury feel. I went for a UK 8 EUR 42.5, and they fit like a glove.
Design & appearance
As per the photos, you can see I went for the Ash Quake colourway. They come in a variety of colours, but I liked the ‘quake’ style.
The colour is quite dark, but this is ideal for autumn or winter runs, with the shoes not discolouring as quickly as lighter coloured ones.
Outsole & durability
The pictures below show the shoe after approximately 100 miles of running.
As you can see, there are not really any signs of wear (so far) with my Triumph ISO 5. The tread in these shoes is very solidly constructed, and I feel they will easily be capable of 400-500 miles in total.
The tread on these is really grippy and durable. I have used them mostly in damp, wet conditions, and they are ideal. No slipping at all.
The tread is yet another example of runner comfort being the main objective for these shoes. The sole will handle most road type conditions and gravel tracks.
Definitely a fantastic shoe for long, comfortable runs and everyday recovery runs. These shoes will suit a neutral running style and anyone who needs or wants some extra comfort.
A must-have for runners who like to rotate their shoes from time to time as well. A lovely shoe that I’m delighted to have in my collection.
The Saucony Triumph ISO 5 is now the 5th edition in the Triumph line up. As this series has progressed, the shoe has gotten softer and softer. For those that are after that soft, high-level cushion shoe, you’ve come to the right place.
The Triumph ISO 5 features a full-length EVERUN midsole and new is a 2mm stack of EVERUN Topsole to provide more cush and response.
EVERUN is not your traditional standard EVA foam. It is made of polyurethane (same material as Boost) bead, which has been compressed; this has so many benefits.
It is very resistant to the weather. It can handle very cold and very hot temperatures without being affected, and it lasts a lot longer than EVA.
Also, when you land, instead of the force coming from underneath and compressing the midsole, it goes out in all directions, thus a more cushioned ride.
So as you would expect, the midsole has a ton of cushion and is very soft. I don’t think I was going crazy, but on my first long run in these shoes, there was a time in the run where it felt like the ground was sinking beneath me!
Many high cushion shoes are mushy and lack in response. This is not the case with the Triumph ISO 5. When you pick up the pace, you get some nice energy return.
But a downside to all that cushion is that it makes it very heavy.
The outsole provides good protection since I’m in winter at the moment, and it has been raining lots. The outsole does struggle with traction and slips a bit. But after 60 km, it is hardly showing any signs of wear and looks very durable.
The ISOFit upper features a jacquard mesh and is very structured and supportive where it matters.
The heel collar is very highly padded and doesn’t dig into the Achilles. I love the flexible lacing system where it accommodates any foot shape.
Something that stands out is the wide toe box; I don’t mind this too much as I have a standard width foot, and it gives me room while having a wide surface landing. But if you have a narrow foot, you might find your foot swimming around a bit.
The ride is soft, cushiony, and responsive. You can feel the foam compressing under your foot in some shoes like the Nike Zoom Fly Flyknit. You don’t get much of that with the Triumph, but although you can’t feel it, a lot the cushion is there, and the midsole feels soft.
The ride, though, is pretty bricky; I would love it to be more nimble like the Pegasus. You do adjust to this, though, and it becomes less noticeable.
I use these for easy runs, but you can pick up the pace in them if you want. They would do fine on a threshold run (thanks to the bouncy midsole), although they are a bit heavy when you really want to turn on the jets.
- Tons of cushion
- Very soft midsole
- Responsive midsole
- EVERUN foam isn’t affected by the weather
- Great flexible lacing system
- Strong supportive upper
- Durability looks good
- Versatile with pace and distance
- Ride was a bit bricky
- Outsole struggled in wet conditions
The Saucony Triumph ISO 5 is a maximalist shoe for those that love a soft and high cushioned midsole while providing some nice bounce.
The outsole looks to be durable, although it does lack traction. The upper is highly supportive and structured with a flexible and comfortable lacing system.
The ride is highly cushioned, providing a low impact landing and then providing some nice response although it is heavy and does feel a bit bricky.
This shoe is going to do the majority of work for you on those easy days and long runs. Remember, though, it can handle some pace and does fine for threshold work.
Good to know
- The Saucony Triumph ISO 5 is a running shoe that’s designed to take on the roads. It makes use of an open upper construction to accommodate air into the foot-chamber. Contrary to the design of the Triumph ISO 4, this one doesn’t employ any stitch-reinforcements and extra sewn layers. The stretchy ISOFIT façade has even been updated to straightforwardly accommodate the natural movement capacity of the foot.
- This road-companion has more EVERUN than its predecessor. Two versions of this technology are layered on top of each other; one is responsible for impact attenuation while the other is meant to bring more pep to each step.
The outsole unit of the Saucony Triumph ISO 5 makes use of the Tri-Flex Crystal rubber compound. This layer is tasked with covering the contact points, shielding them from wear-and-tear. It has a spongy disposition that contributes to the overall cushioned feel of the sole unit.
Zigzag flex grooves are meant to heighten the bendability of the platform, thus encouraging the foot to perform more comfortably as it takes each step.
EVERUN is a cushioning unit that runs the entire length of the Saucony Triumph ISO 5. The purpose of this material is to support the foot and keep the footfalls cushioned throughout the running session. The EVERUN is also used in other running shoes from Saucony.
The EVERUN Topsole is a layer on top of the impact-mitigating base. The job of this add-on is to put energy to the foot and leg of the runner, invigorating each step.
A FORMFIT footbed offers contoured support for the underfoot. Its curved sections are responsible for attending to the midfoot arch and the gaps that connect the toes to the ball of the foot.
The upper unit of the Saucony Triumph ISO 5 makes use of jacquard mesh. This cloth-like fabric has an open construction that accommodates air into the foot-chamber. Ventilation is key to a revitalized running experience.
ISOFIT is comprised of a stretchy midfoot panel and layout of overlays. These elements are constructed to hold the foot in place and prevent in-shoe wobbling. They also bolster the structural integrity of the facade.
The padded collar and tongue are responsible for cushioning the top dimensions of the foot. They are also catalysts for the prevention of accidental shoe removals.