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Thursday, November 23, 2017

Saucony Zealot ISO3 Review

I've had the Saucony Zealot ISO 3 (Reflex Edition) for a little over a month and have come to love the shoe so much that at the moment it's my go to shoe for my easy runs. This is actually a little surprising seeing as how I couldn't really get its older sibling, the Zealot ISO 2 to work for me. I was a little skeptical about the Zealot ISO 3 but having read some rave reviews about the Zealot ISO 3, I was keen to give it another try and I was glad I did.

Now, if you've run in Saucony's Kinvara series of running shoes, then the Zealot ISO 3 can be described as sort of a Kinvara with a lot more cushioning to it and easily a lot wider in the upper as well. The Zealot ISO 3 is not a replacement for the Kinvara, mind you but more of an add on, for want of a better word, to the Kinvara.


The Saucony Zealot ISO 3 is a completely major upgrade of the Zealot ISO 2. The Zealot ISO 3 sheds almost all of it outer material this time around which in return frees up a lot of the forefoot room making this a much roomier and less restrictive shoe as compared to its older sibling. The lockdown in the midfoot is a lot better with the previous versions ISOFIT panel evolving into a neater twin strap configuration. 

For a shoe that looks this bulky, it's even more surprising that Saucony has managed to reduce the weight of the Zealot ISO 3 down even more to 8.5oz (based on the men's size 9) as opposed to the Zealot ISO 2's 9.5oz. Even my wife was pretty impressed with the weight after she took the shoe out for a run cos she thought the shoe looked pretty bulky. 


As I mentioned earlier, the Saucony Zealot ISO 3 is a completely new shoe. The upper consists of a brand new engineered mesh free from all the layering of the previous version and is now a whole lot less stiffer and breathable than its older sibling. Two independent straps replaces the ISOFIT of the Zealot ISO 2 and is similar to the Prolock found on the Kinvara models. These 2 straps stretches over the inner sleeve and the outer mesh of the shoe and has reduced the number of lacing rows to 5 against the 6 of the Zealot ISO 2. 

Without the added overlays of its predecessor, the Zealot ISO 3 looks a whole lot sleeker now. A short strip of Flexfilm over the toebox, a fused logo and with some reinforcements over the lacing area, there's really not much Flexfilm on the rest of the upper. The rear of the Zealot ISO 3 also gets a facelift with molded mesh being used instead of synthetic with the hard internal counter staying put. A soft 'Rundry' lining is used for the heel collar with a little more padding than before and provides a nice lockdown heel fit.


The tongue doesn't feel as padded as its older sibling and consists of a mesh top and a softer lining below. The tongue is part of the full inner sleeve and has absolutely no slide whatsoever. I prefer this version's tongue compared to the older version.

The midsole of the Zealot ISO 3 is made of a single density injection molded foam and is similar to the Kinvara 8. The Zealot ISO 3 has done away with the SRC crash pad that was found on the Zealot ISO 2's midsole and comes with an EVERUN topsole just underneath the removeable insole and is basically one of the reasons why the Zealot ISO 3 is a full ounce lighter than the Zealot ISO 2.

The outsole is made of soft blown rubber molded into Chevron shaped strips, a design similar to the Ride and Triump. The flex grooves are a little deeper than its predecessor and loses some outsole coverage under the inner heel which now has a smaller rubber piece and the rest just being exposed foam. 


The Zealot ISO 3 is a 4mm drop shoe with a heel stack height of 26mm and a forefoot of 22mm which makes its midsole run a little thick and provides the cushioning while the softer blown outsole runner makes the forefoot landings more muffled and provides great grip throughout your run.

I've put in close to over a 100 kilometers in the Saucony Zealot ISO 3 and have really come to love the shoe. Like I mentioned much earlier, it's like a cushioned Kinvara and I love the Kinvara as well. For me, the Zealot ISO 3 is great for those longer runs when you want a little more cushion under your feet than what the Kinvara can offer yet still want to be able to up the pace whenever you like and the Zealot ISO 3 will let you do just that. Be it a slow, long easy run or a faster paced run, the shoe delivers!


I've taken it out on various surfaces, road, track and even on grass, covering various distances and in all kinds of weather, well we only have three types of weather here anyway which is hot, really really hot and rain and they came true it with flying colours. The upper was so breathable that I hardly felt any hotspots and when it got wet in the rain, it didn't become water logged and drained out real fast. 

I run very early in the morning when it's still pretty dark and my model, which was the Reflex edition, was designed with fully reflective midsoles and 360 degrees of reflectivity all round kept me pretty visible from all sides. And the reflectivity really works cos from afar, it looks like I have lights on my shoe which gives a whole new meaning to being light on your feet!


Would I recommend the Saucony Zealot ISO 3? Yes, I most definitely would. If you're looking for a nice daily cushioned trainer that is light but still offers a decent amount of cushioning, then you can't go wrong with the Zealot ISO 3. Even my wife, who hates bulky looking shoes really likes the Zealot ISO 3!

The Saucony Zealot ISO 3 Reflex edition is available at Running Lab 1Utama, TopMan World, Studio Sunway Carnival, Key Power, Stadium KLCC, Stadium Pavilion, Stadium Mid-Valley and RSH 1Utama and retails at RM499.00. The Saucony Zealot ISO 3 Reflex is currently only available in the men's version.

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