Summary

We spent 7 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what runners think:

9 reasons to buy

  • The Saucony Zealot ISO 2 felt agreeably lightweight, according to many testers.
  • An expert reviewer reported that the upper fabrics were able to envelop the foot and keep it secure.
  • Several runners noted that the ISOFIT and the thin overlay system were able to support the foot and prevent it from moving against the shoe.
  • The underfoot cushioning system received praise from a lot of consumers; they felt that it was efficient.
  • Many runners used the word ‘comfortable’ to describe their time while wearing this running shoe.
  • The rubber outsole gained some fans because it was durable and reliable.
  • A number of purchasers stated that the supportive fabrics didn’t allow their feet to accidentally be removed from the shoe; they stayed in place during the running session.
  • A tester commented that they experienced less fatigue since they made the change to the Zealot ISO 2.
  • Several runners stated that the design of this shoe was visually pleasing.

5 reasons not to buy

  • The toe box felt a bit narrow, according to some of those who have worn it.
  • Several runners reported that it was a bit heavier than the original version.
  • A few consumers didn’t acclimate well to the color schemes of the Zealot ISO 2, stating that they were over-the-top.
  • The heel section of the platform felt too firm at lower speeds, a tester observed.
  • Energy return wasn’t very high, according to a reviewer; it’s as though she was wearing a heavy-duty shoe without the extra bulkiness and weight.

Bottom line

The Saucony Zealot ISO 2 generally performed well, according to shoe enthusiasts. They felt that it was able to provide reliable service to those with neutral gaits. For many of them, the upper was supportive, the midsole was responsive, and the outsole was efficient. But there were those who stated that the first iteration was better. They didn’t think that the 2nd version was a bad model, but they also didn’t think that it was able to surpass the original Zealot ISO.

Facts

Expert Reviews

81 / 100 based on 13 expert reviews

  • 60 / 100 |

    Saucony Zealot ISO 2: A shoe for the neutral runner

    More photos

    I ordered the Zealot ISO 2 and Hurricane ISO 2 styles from Saucony in January. I purchased both pairs of shoes to replace my previous running shoes, which were the Triumph ISO 2.

    Prior to receiving these shoes, I had never had any experience running in the Zealot style, so I cannot offer comparisons between the Zealot ISO 2 and its previous version. However, I can provide a solid review of the Zealot ISO 2 and compare some of its features with the Hurricane ISO 2.

     

    Weight & flexibility

    Upon trying on the Zealot ISO 2, I immediately noticed that it was a very lightweight shoe. In fact, it only weighs 8.4 ounces which some runners may find an advantage. It is also flexible, and the upper is very thin.

    This is made possible by Saucony’s FlexFlim technology in the upper part of the shoe. The shoe also has Saucony’s ISOFIT technology in the uppers, which allows a runner to experience a more custom fit when they lace and tie their shoes.

     

    Colors/variety

    There were four assorted colors offered in this style, and I thought they were all vibrate and fun. There were three solid base colors offered in red, blue, and green and then a more silver.

    I chose silver because the accent mint green matched my Garmin watch band. If you are a runner who enjoys bold solid colors, then you will enjoy the different options.

    Another feature that I quickly noticed about this shoe was the cushioning. The Zealot ISO 2 offers 4mm offset cushioning and allows for a more neutral ride for runners. Therefore, if you are a runner who isn’t dependent on cushioning this more of a shoe for you.

    Cushioning

    When comparing the Zealot ISO 2 to other Saucony styles that I have ran in the cushioning in this shoe is not enough for me. As I mentioned before the Zealot ISO 2 provides 4mm offset cushioning.

    I am used to running in the Hurricane ISO 2, and the Triumph ISO 2 styles, which both offer 8mm offset cushioning. Therefore, when I am in those, I feel like I am walking on air as compared to when I step in the Zealot.

     

    Cons

    After running in these shoes a few times, there are few negatives that I have found.

    Toe box & stability

    Another thing that I have noticed about this style is that it’s narrow in the toe box. While running in it, I have noticed that these shoes fit tighter on the outside of my foot than what I would prefer and rub against my toes.

    These are also a very neutral running shoe and do not provide as much stability for the overpronator compared to the Hurricane ISO 2.

    One advantage that I find in the Hurricane ISO 2 is that it offers a secure ride and heel support. However, when I am running in the Zealot ISO 2, I feel like my foot is moving in the shoe and that I can’t get the shoe tied tight enough to feel the security I need.

     

    Affordability

    A final setback that I can find with these shoes is the price. They retail for $130.00, which may be expensive for some runners, especially for a neutral running shoe.

    Conclusion

    To conclude, the Zealot ISO 2 would be a good option for runners who are looking for a flexible, lightweight shoe for road running.

    While it offers minimal cushioning and stability compared to some Saucony styles, I believe the neutral runner would enjoy the control they gain from this shoe. Additionally, runners who like bright colors on their feet will probably enjoy the four assorted color options.

    Lastly, at $130.00, it’s MSRP price is lower compared to other Saucony styles. Therefore, for the runner that is looking for a dependable brand, without the most expensive price, may find the Zealot as the better option for them as well.

  • 94 / 100 | Road Trail Run | | Level 5 expert

    The Zealot ISO 2 is a great up tempo shoe with plenty of cushioning and stability and no mush.

  • 94 / 100 | Road Trail Run | | Level 5 expert

    It’s cushy when the running is easy and spritely when you speed up. The ISO fit system really locks the foot in and they are nice and flexible.

  • 90 / 100 | Running Shoes Guru | | Level 5 expert

    I think the Zealot Iso 2s improve slightly on the first generation Zealot Iso shoes with the addition of EVERUN foam, but the 1.2 ounce weight addition might dissuade particularly picky runners.

  • 81 / 100 | Running Warehouse | | Level 5 expert

    As such, it’s great for logging daily miles if you are a forefoot or midfoot striker. It is light and responsive enough for long tempo runs as well. 

Become an expert
  • The Saucony Zealot ISO 2 is a running shoe that’s optimized for those who have a neutral running gait. It’s made with high quality components and materials that work together in order to make the overall running output as agreeable and efficient as possible.
  • The upper unit features breathable fabrics, which accommodate airflow into the foot-chamber. Parts of this section are actually stretchable, and they allow the wearer to feel as if they’re wearing a sock. The softness of the fabrics prevents rubbing or scratching. Also, reflective materials make the shoe more visible in low lighting conditions.
  • The full-length mid-sole foam that’s present in the Saucony Zealot ISO 2 is the one responsible for doling out responsive cushioning to the foot of the wearer. It also distributes impact pressure during each step, thus keeping the underfoot experience as comfortable as possible. An add-on in the platform actually attenuates shock and leads the foot towards a smoother transition through the gait cycle.
  • Durable carbon rubber shields the rest of the sole unit and keeps it free from the potentially abrasive nature of the asphalt. Placed in the forefoot area is a more responsive rubber compound, which, on top of its traction capability, adds a bit more cushioning and flexibility. Flex grooves heighten the bendability of the platform.

Standard measurements were used in the making of the Saucony Zealot ISO 2. The sizing schemes follow the regular choices of runners. The available width for both the men and women’s versions is medium. Its semi-curved shape actually follows the natural curve of the human foot.


The XT-900 is a high-quality material that’s made from durable carbon rubber. It protects the mid-sole foam from the abrasive asphalt. It also delivers traction, which is paramount to the runner’s performance.

IBR+ is a lightweight unit made from a blown rubber compound. It’s flexible and it adds a bit more cushioning to the underfoot. It’s placed in the forefoot section.

The Tri-Flex design makes use of a network of grooves, which make the platform more flexible. Because of the sole unit’s flexibility, no area of the outsole would be rendered inefficient or inactive; runners can appreciate a full-ground contact, especially when transitioning towards the toe-off.

The outsole configuration of this version is also comparable to the design of the Zealot ISO 3 and thus, runners can expect the same level of outsole performance on the road.


The EVERUN is a cushioning system that’s responsible for carrying the foot and the weight of the runner. It keeps the foot well-supported at all times. It doesn’t wear off or sag easily, making it efficient even after many uses. It can also attenuate impact during the foot-strike.

The SRC Impact Zone is an add-on in the rear of the platform, which absorbs shock when the foot lands on the ground.

The High Elasticity Sock Liner is a responsive unit placed right above the main mid-sole material. It provides additional cushioning, yet it also preserves the flexibility of the platform.


Breathable mesh covers the foot securely. It allows air into the foot-chamber, essentially keeping the interior environment well-ventilated.

The ISOFIT is made up of a soft fabric that adapts to the shape, size and movements of the wearer’s foot. It basically exhibits a sock-like fit.

The Flex Film overlay system is made up of a thin material that’s fused directly with the main mesh material. It assists in making the coverage more secure. It doesn’t have a substantial weight, unlike traditional stitched overlays.

The RUNDRY Collar Lining hugs the heel and keeps it in place. It is capable of staving off moisture.

Reflective materials allow the shoe to be more visible when under low lighting conditions. Light reflects against these materials, making it easier and safer for runners to run at night. It’s a means to prevent accidents on the roads.

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.

jens@runrepeat.com