Gear Review - Saucony Women’s Xodus 4.0 While shopping at EMS a few weeks back these sexy shoes caught my eye. I was really in the market for a Brooks shoe, more specifically the Brooks Cascadia, for my next set of thru hikes starting next summer.  When I saw these shoes on clearance in my size I tried them on and liked what I saw, so I snapped them up at a bargain price, only $58 after tax!  I figured for that price I could justify just using them for running if they didn’t work out.  After doing two 4-mile runs and a 10-mile hike in them yesterday, here’s how I feel they performed.  The Cons: -This shoe will NOT stop slipping on my heels when hiking uphill.  I’ve tried a few combinations of lacing and haven’t found a totally slip-free fit. I’m assuming I have narrow heels as most of my casual shoes tend to do this anyway.  I tend to buy children’s shoes if I can for a better fit, so this may not apply to everyone.  -You can see the crazy grip on the soles of these suckers.  They work on every surface except smooth rock. One step on smooth rock and the soles might as well be made from wet glass because you cannot grip at all and will slide.  This is a major down side since The Long Trail has a lot of rocks! -The shoe is TIGHT for the average fit.  I think if one were to put a substantially padded insole in here they’d probably lose a few toenails. I have a pretty narrow foot and this shoe fits my foot like a glove, which is hard to get used to. (This is actually a selling feature for the shoe, a “midlock” foot band). The Pros: This list is ultimately longer than the cons! -NO BREAK-IN PERIOD!  Saucony shoes are known for having no break-in period required and I definitely found this to be true. These shoes fit like a glove, as I mentioned above.  They didn’t even need a hiking insole added like pretty much all other trail shoes do.  The factory insole is crazy comfy.   -The insole has a 4 mm offset, which gives your foot a more natural gait.  While the manufacturer states that this in itself can cause some sore muscles, I found that after my first short walk in these I didn’t have the pains in my calves again.  -The sole on this shoe is amazing!  First and foremost, a Vibram sole is important to me when I hike. I know the thing will hold up to whatever I can throw at it.  Secondly, the grip on these shoes is like monkey feet digging into the turf.  From grass to mud to gravel, this shoe grips hard and therefore makes you work less hard to push your way up a tough hill.  -Built in “sock liner.” Whatever it is they are using to keep this shoe breathable, yet soft, is top notch. I ran on crushed gravel for a total of 8 miles and never once had a single teeny pebble in my shoe.  There is also a plastic loop on the forefoot to hook on your gaiters if you wear them.  Overall, this is a seriously kick-ass shoe.  It’s comfortable, breathable, and high performing.  My foot feels stable due to the tightness of the mid foot banding I mentioned in the “cons” section of this review.  Overall, I think I’ll get another pair and wear them for the Benton MacKaye Trail and the Finger Lakes Trail next summer.  For the Northville-Placid Trail and the Long Trail, however, I may look into something else just for more stability on rock.  It’d be a long day hiking over Mt. Mansfield in Vermont if the rock is slick as I really don’t find these shoes perform well on wet rocks, even small ones.   This post is not sponsored or endorsed by Saucony in any way.  I’m just a huge fan of this shoe and wanted to share my views. 

Gear Review - Saucony Women’s Xodus 4.0

While shopping at EMS a few weeks back these sexy shoes caught my eye. I was really in the market for a Brooks shoe, more specifically the Brooks Cascadia, for my next set of thru hikes starting next summer.  When I saw these shoes on clearance in my size I tried them on and liked what I saw, so I snapped them up at a bargain price, only $58 after tax!  I figured for that price I could justify just using them for running if they didn’t work out.  After doing two 4-mile runs and a 10-mile hike in them yesterday, here’s how I feel they performed. 

The Cons:
-This shoe will NOT stop slipping on my heels when hiking uphill.  I’ve tried a few combinations of lacing and haven’t found a totally slip-free fit. I’m assuming I have narrow heels as most of my casual shoes tend to do this anyway.  I tend to buy children’s shoes if I can for a better fit, so this may not apply to everyone. 
-You can see the crazy grip on the soles of these suckers.  They work on every surface except smooth rock. One step on smooth rock and the soles might as well be made from wet glass because you cannot grip at all and will slide.  This is a major down side since The Long Trail has a lot of rocks!
-The shoe is TIGHT for the average fit.  I think if one were to put a substantially padded insole in here they’d probably lose a few toenails. I have a pretty narrow foot and this shoe fits my foot like a glove, which is hard to get used to. (This is actually a selling feature for the shoe, a “midlock” foot band).

The Pros: This list is ultimately longer than the cons!
-NO BREAK-IN PERIOD!  Saucony shoes are known for having no break-in period required and I definitely found this to be true. These shoes fit like a glove, as I mentioned above.  They didn’t even need a hiking insole added like pretty much all other trail shoes do.  The factory insole is crazy comfy.  
-The insole has a 4 mm offset, which gives your foot a more natural gait.  While the manufacturer states that this in itself can cause some sore muscles, I found that after my first short walk in these I didn’t have the pains in my calves again. 
-The sole on this shoe is amazing!  First and foremost, a Vibram sole is important to me when I hike. I know the thing will hold up to whatever I can throw at it.  Secondly, the grip on these shoes is like monkey feet digging into the turf.  From grass to mud to gravel, this shoe grips hard and therefore makes you work less hard to push your way up a tough hill. 
-Built in “sock liner.” Whatever it is they are using to keep this shoe breathable, yet soft, is top notch. I ran on crushed gravel for a total of 8 miles and never once had a single teeny pebble in my shoe.  There is also a plastic loop on the forefoot to hook on your gaiters if you wear them. 

Overall, this is a seriously kick-ass shoe.  It’s comfortable, breathable, and high performing.  My foot feels stable due to the tightness of the mid foot banding I mentioned in the “cons” section of this review.  Overall, I think I’ll get another pair and wear them for the Benton MacKaye Trail and the Finger Lakes Trail next summer.  For the Northville-Placid Trail and the Long Trail, however, I may look into something else just for more stability on rock.  It’d be a long day hiking over Mt. Mansfield in Vermont if the rock is slick as I really don’t find these shoes perform well on wet rocks, even small ones.  

This post is not sponsored or endorsed by Saucony in any way.  I’m just a huge fan of this shoe and wanted to share my views.