Good light trail running shoe with low stack responsive cushioning
The Saucony Switchback 2 has many new and exciting features while retaining the
beloved elements of the original version. With its low stack height, low drop, flexible material,
and dynamic PWWRUN midsole technology, the Switchback 2 is an interesting choice for trailers looking for a nice ground feel while running. The PWRRUN midsole that blends EVA and TPU contributes to a soft and yet bouncy ride, which runners noted was a significant upgrade to the shoe. This technology replaces the EVERUN midsole found in the original Switchback and makes the Switchback 2 a bit denser for added stability. The PWRRUN midsole, combined with a woven rock plate, protects the foot and keeps it secure. Despite the rock plate addition, the Switchback 2 still molds nicely to the terrain and makes each stride snappy. The shoe's sock-like upper provides added flexibility and comfort; however, some runners remarked that they could feel sharp rocks and pebbles. One unique feature of the Switchback 2 is its BOA side lacing system. While at first glance, this type of lacing may seem to inhibit foot security, runners remarked that it works. The shoe stays snug all over the foot, without individual pressure points, and can be adjusted with a quick twist of the BOA. In terms of grip, the medium-size lugs (3.5 mm) provide excellent traction on moderate terrains. Trailers were surprised by how effective they were in comparison to their shallow profile. Though the Switchback 2 received a lot of positive feedback from users, there were a few notable pitfalls of the shoe. For one, the fit is secure, but not locked-in enough to perform on more technical trails. The upper also lacks breathability and absorbs the sharp edges of rocks and other terrain debris. Runners also noted that the Switchback 2 isn't soft enough for long runs and may prove uncomfortable after a while if you're not used to low stack shoes. To summarize, the Saucony Switchback 2 is a good low stack/low drop trail running shoe best suited for moderate terrain and short to mid distances.
Value for money
Soft, stable and snappy cushioning
Light trail shoe
BOA lacing system is easy to adjust
Effective grip on moderate terrains
Foot lockdown not secure enough for technical surfaces
Upper is not protective enough while lacking breathability
First, the PWRTRAC technology equips the outer part of the sole of the Saucony Switchback 2. It’s a dual density rubber designed to be very sturdy for maximum durability. According to Saucony, PWRTRAC is stronger than the rubbers traditionally used in trail running shoes. Also, the rubber is naturally grippy to tackle technical trails confidently.
Besides PWRTRAC, the outsole of this trail model also features 3.5 mm lugs that improve traction to run on the most technical terrains. These elements are made of rubber with an aggressive and multidirectional design.
The midsole features the PWRRUN+ foam technology. It’s a light and responsive TPU and EVA-based foam located along the entire length of the shoe. It protects against stones and other rough patches on trails. This technology also aims to provide a responsive ride with its bouncy nature.
Also, there’s a woven rock guard that acts as a shield against sharp obstacles on natural terrains. It also allows the shoe to be more robust overall.
The Saucony Switchback 2 upper translates into an engineered mesh. It’s designed to keep the foot securely locked-in during trail running sessions for optimal comfort. Also, ventilation holes are scattered throughout the mesh to increase airflow and prevent your foot from overheating during exercise, especially in the summer.
The BOA lacing system replaces traditional laces. The athlete can easily change the pressure around the foot with an adjustment wheel. This technology has been around for several years and has been adopted by many brands.
Finally, the seamless inner bootie construction is designed to wrap around the foot pleasantly and flexibly. Besides reducing chafing irritation, this configuration makes it easier and quicker to put on and take off the shoe.
Frequently asked questions (FAQ)
How does the Saucony Switchback 2 fit?
This trail shoe relies on a standard size system. To date, we have not seen any comments from runners suggesting this shoe may fit large or small. Therefore, you can order your regular size for running shoes. That said, if you can, it’s always better to try your shoes on in the store to avoid surprises.
Is this trail model suitable for heavy runners (85 kg/187 lbs or more)?
To our knowledge, only one scientific research study to date has investigated the relationship between stack height, risk of injury, and weight. According to the results of this study, minimalist footwear may increase the risk of injury for athletes weighing more than 71 kg/157 lbs. The Switchback 2 offers a 22 mm sole under the heel, which is thin without being minimalist. It should, therefore, be adapted regardless of your weight.
Are these shoes suitable for ultramarathon running?
With its low stack height, testers noted that this Saucony trail shoe is mainly suitable for short to mid distances as its cushioning is a bit limited. Nonetheless, when it comes to the ultramarathon, your choice of shoes should depend primarily on your preferences. Thus, if you manage to do long workouts comfortably with these shoes, then there should be no problem.
Is this model waterproof?
This trail shoe does not have a Gore-Tex protective membrane (or other waterproof technology). However, without being completely waterproof, the shoe effectively drains small amounts of water, such as fine rain and splashes, besides drying quickly. This configuration has the advantage of increasing airflow during exercise and is more flexible and lighter than GTX models.
1 review for Saucony Switchback 2
4.0out of 5
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