I have logged a great many of miles in various Saucony shoes from my time spent on my high school track and cross country teams to my days after I graduated. They never have caused me any trouble and they have normally held up pretty well, with the Saucony Freedoms not being an exception. If you are looking for some minimalist style running shoes, then here is one option to look closely at.
First off, I will start with the comfort of these shoes. Recently, I went on a 13 mile road run with these guys on my feet and I can’t say I experienced any problems from the shoe. The ends of a few of my toes did start to develop blisters but that isn’t much to complain about in my book. Not that I could give you a specific number of miles ran, but I can tell you that I have ran many runs in these shoes and have owned them for around 8 months. Though, they weren’t my primary running shoes throughout this time due to a personal surplus of running shoes. I did still use them as casual shoes. Sometime here recently, I think I had rack-up a few 40-mile weeks but nothing over that. Being that these are somewhat of a “minimalist shoe” with lower amounts of support, I don’t think this is necessarily the right choice for everyone. Along with lower levels of support, which don’t bother me at all, they also have a 4mm heel-to-forefoot height offset which means they are flat and not going to make you feel propped up.
My philosophy is that if you are experiencing pain from running, it is probably due to an unnatural running form rather than the shoes you are wearing. This isn’t to say that I think all athletic shoes will work for someone as long as they have a natural, efficient form. Since I hadn’t always had a correct form when running, I might have had to take the time to correct the sloppy motions before I could wear low profile shoes as to avoid undue pain. But another way to look at it, is to think that one needs to get a shoe that replicates bare foot running as much as possible in order to better detect pain caused by bad body mechanics so that you could correct it as soon as possible. Oh and lastly, I had to get a 1/2 size larger than usual so you probably will to unless you got thing for having your feet strangled.
You would probably guess that these shoes are pretty lightweight but they really aren’t. My pair, which is essentially a size 12.5, weighs 11.2oz (318g). Saucony’s Type A6, which is a road racing shoe, weighs 6.9oz (195g) in a size 12. Hoka’s Clifton 3, which is more of a “maximalist” running shoe, weighs 10.2oz (289g) in a size 12. I think the additional weight is from the sole which is constructed of a more plush padding called EVERUN™. It is different from the padding in Saucony’s other running shoes. In no way do I think that these are clunky or heavy. As you can see, these shoes are very trim. When I wear them, I feel very agile and more free compared to most other shoes I have ran in due to their slim profile.
Now on to the durability. Like I said, I have owned these for around 8 months and they appear to be holding up well. During periods of heavy running, I usually get about 7 months between shoes. Typically, the first part that really shows wear in Saucony shoes is the top fabric area where the toes will press against. This damage can be alleviated by attaching duct tape to the inside of the shoe, just above the big toe. You also should try to keep your nails short to. The next area the starts to show degradation is on the sides where the foot bends the most. This is at the joint of the toes and forefoot. At this point the soles would have heavy wear which eliminates most traction boosting features that are molded into the soles. The pattern molded-in on the bottom of the Freedom is fairly deep and still working for me. All other areas are still intact. There is a little fraying going on around the edge of the tongue but at this point I can’t say much else has happened. Unlike some of my former running shoes, these have well-designed eyelets which are maintaining there structural integrity against the ever-present force of the shoe’s laces (when being worn, of course). The colors are a little faded and the shoes are dirty but that’s to be expected.
If you are like me then there isn’t much of a reason not to get these. They are holding together well plus they are low profile and quick on the feet. Oh, and don’t worry about the colors. Saucony offers many color schemes if vibrant orange and high-lighter yellow don’t do it for you.
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