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If you're not familiar with the Saucony performance running lineup, the Triumph is a the top of the range, most cushioned, neutral trainer. It sits above the Saucony Ride in terms of price and cushioning and it's the neutral version of the Saucony Hurricane.
2 years ago, the Triumph 17 received major updates that made the running world take note. Its midsole was changed to super responsive PWRRUN+ and its upper ditched the ISOFIT for a more comfortable fit. The Triumph 17 was a big improvement over its predecessor, the Triumph ISO 5.
The Triumph 18 was a refinement to the excellent Triumph 17. Its upper was thinner and it replaced the crystal outsole rubber for blown rubber. The Triumph 18 felt faster and more versatile.
This year, just like Saucony's Endorphin Series, the Triumph 19 is also a minor update. It has the same midsole and outsole as the Triumph 18 with a new thinner, more streamlined upper. The 19th version weighs 26 grams less than version 18 but it has the same price and the same heel-to-toe offset.
The Triumph is a max-cushioned trainer so it competes with other juggernauts such as the ASICS Nimbus, Hoka Bondi, Adidas Ultraboost and Nike Invincible Run.
The Triumph 19 uses a TPU based foam in its midsole which is a new generation foam so it has the benefits of a highly cushioned ride but also with excellent energy return.
Year after year, the upper of the Triumph gets better and better. The Triumph 19 has enough padding for long distance comfort while being noticeably less puffy and more breathable than the Triumph 18.
The new mono mesh feels like material you'd find on a racing or speed shoe like the Endorphin Pro/Speed. It's so translucent that you can see your socks through the mesh.
The tongue of the Triumph 19 is very similar to the Triumph 18. It's the perfect length and has the right amount of padding to protect your foot from lacing pressure.
A stout internal heel counter locks your heel securely in place while the heel collar and tab are generously padded. Foot lockdown in the Triumph 19 is top notch without having to use a runner's knot although there are double last row eyelets if you prefer to use one.
The eyestay reinforcements are made of suede as well as the external heel tab which is a theme on Saucony trainers this year. The Freedom 4 also has suede finishing which makes it look and feel more premium.
Reflectivity is provided by patches on the sides of the toe box as well as on the back of the heel for safety in low-light running.
The only thing to complain about is the soft oval laces which fray easily. Saucony should change it to the flat laces which are used on the Endorphin Series.
The Triumph 19 has a comfortable, accommodating fit with a spacious toe box. It's also available in a wide version but most runners will be fine with the standard width. Normal foot-width runners can also opt for the wide version but then going a half size down is suggested.
The TPU midsole of the Triumph 19 consists of thousands of tiny beads which are fused together to form one, continuous piece of foam. Think Boost (that's found in Adidas trainers) but lighter with more energy return.
TPU midsole have a lot of advantages over regular EVA midsole: they are resistant to temperature changes so the Triumph 19 won't feel firmer in the cold or softer in the heat, and they also don't show any creasing from repeated foot strikes- they maintain their cushioning over time better than EVA.
The upper part of the midsole, the black part, is a raised sidewall which shoots up around the foot. It helps to keep the foot centred during foot strikes and improves stability. It may look like a separate piece of foam but it's not, it's just painted black.
The rearfoot and the forefoot of the Triumph 19 flare out at the base, so this creates a stable platform which makes foot strikes feel very planted.
The high 32.5 mm heel stack height with a calf-friendly drop of 8 mm means that the Triumph 19 is suitable for both heel strikers and forefoot strikers.
Under the insole, a topsole made of PWRRUN+ sits on top of the strobel lining. This thin green layer adds an extra level of plush underfoot cushioning directly under the foot and it makes the ride softer.
The rubber Saucony uses on the Triumph 19 is XT-900 which is one of the hardest-wearing outsole rubbers in the running shoe world.
The thick layer of rubber provides ample midsole protection on all the high wear areas with rectangular protrusions placed diagonally to increase traction.
There are two longitudinal grooves on the forefoot which aid in transitions and make the forefoot more flexible.
A large cavity under the midfoot and rearfoot helps to save weight and allows the heel to compress more, making the ride feel more cushioned.
The thick, durable rubber combined with the high level of coverage suggests that the Triumph 19 is above average when it comes to durability.
The outsole should have at least 1000 kilometres of usage before the rubber wears down and the midsole foam is reached.
Traction is excellent in dry conditions on all types of surfaces however in wet conditions, smooth surfaces can feel slippery due to the hardness of the XT-900 rubber.
The Triumph 19 feels well cushioned although there isn't much of a sinking-in feeling so the Triumph rides firmer than other max cushioned trainers like the Nimbus 23, Invincible Run and the 1080v11.
It's this tinge of firmness that increases the versatility of the Triumph 19. Not only is it great for recovery/easy paces but it can also pick up the pace better than other super soft max cushioned trainers.
The Triumph 19 feels most at home during medium and long distance runs at easy or steady paces. Its thick midsole has enough deep cushioning for distances over 40 kilometres while its energy returning properties help you during faster paced efforts.
Ride transitions in the Triumph 19 are silky smooth. The single density midsole and the full ground contact outsole intensify the smoothness so it feels like you're gliding effortlessly down the road.
The wide midsole base and the raised midsole sidewall rails result in a remarkably stable ride for a neutral trainer. The high degree of flexibility in the forefoot also contributes to a natural-feeling ride in the Triumph 19.
The Saucony Triumph 19 might not possess the softest ride of the max cushioned heavyweights but it still has a highly cushioned ride which feels far from mushy.
The Triumph 19 beats the other max cushioned trainers in its upper construction which is lighter and more breathable while being just as comfortable.
Compared to the other max cushioned trainers, the Triumph 19 also represents great value at only $219. The Hoka Bondi 7 costs $249, with the Nike Invincible Run and the Asics Gel-Nimbus 23 coming in at a significantly higher price of $259.
Version 19 of the Triumph is more streamlined than version 18 with a less puffy upper so it's more suited to warm climates like in Singapore. It weighs less and has a faster feeling ride, making it a small improvement over the 18.
In a Saucony shoe rotation, the Triumph 19 fits in perfectly as the long run, easy day shoe. The firmer Ride 14 can be used for daily training with the super light Kinvara 12 for faster efforts.
Reviewed by Brandon Law