Today's post comes courtesy of my husband, someone I am determined to make a runner. When my wife asked I wanted to review the latest and greatest shoe from Saucony, the Virrata , I was filled with mixed emotions. I was excited to have the opportunity, but was nervous, because I'm not the strongest runner. While my wife is off running everything from 5Ks to marathons, I am briskly walking along the race course turning my head left to right like a timid elementary school child deciding whether it’s safe to cross the street, trying to catch a glimpse. Although, I did complete a 10K last year, 3 to 5 miles once or twice a week is more my speed.
Getting the right shoes has always been tough for me. I have big, flat, and narrow feet. You know what they say about men with big, flat, and narrow feet….they need a good pair of shoes. I have tried a variety of different shoes, but mainly have stuck with cross training shoes that I use for running and weight lifting. It wasn't until recently that my wife explained to me the importance of having a pair of shoes that are just for running. Enter the Virrata. The Virrata, which Saucony boasts as its “lightest and most flexible training shoe” is intended to allow your foot to move more naturally. I have been using the Virrata for the past week, indoors and outdoors and have the following thoughts about the shoe:
- These shoes are lightweight. Not having worn a really lightweight shoe before, I wasn't sure how much of a difference it would make when I was running. These are the lightest shoes I have ever worn. Compared to wearing a cross trainer with added cushioning and heel support, I found that the Virrata made me feel like I was in more control and had a more natural stride. I have the tendency to run with shorter strides, but because I felt like I was running closer to the ground with the Virrata and because the shoes are lightweight, my instincts were to take bigger strides, especially while I was on the treadmill.
- For a “zero drop” shoe, it still feels cushioned. Because I have flat feet, I was concerned that the Virrata would not provide enough support while I was running. This was not an issue. My feet felt secure and cushioned. The outsole of the shoe felt very sturdy right when I pulled the shoes out of the box. I think the shoe is a good compromise for runners looking for the bare foot style shoe, but still want some cushioning.
- The shoes breathe pretty well. The upper part of the shoe is made with a mesh material that feels light and did make my feet feel like they were getting some air as I was running (especially outdoors). However, the material isn't light enough to make you feel like you are running bare foot.
- Style. Saucony sent me the black/citron/red style and it may have just been my “runner’s high,” but I felt some positive energy in the gym and outdoors surrounding my shoes.
Bottom-line: It seems like there are a lot of shoes out there that are designed to emulate running bare foot, and while the Virrata is certainly lighter and lower to the ground than other shoes I have worn, it truly feels well-cushioned and supportive for your feet.
*FTC Disclaimer: We were provided the Virrata to review, but opinions are our own.