Saucony Xodus 11 Review Analysis (2021)
Last update: January 2022
The Saucony Xodus 11 are very good trail running shoes combining comfort, cushioning, and versatility for long runs.
There is no major evolution compared to the previous version; only the upper improved for more durability and a better fit.
This new version remains a bit heavy (still above 300g), although runners note that the weight does not affect the run’s responsiveness.
The upper is roomy and ensures comfort for runners with wide feet.
There’s a lot of stability in this model with its subtle combination of enhanced PWRRUN+ cushioning (31.5 mm heel stack height), PWRTRAC outsole, and 4 mm low drop.
The grip is one of the shoe’s strengths, with aggressive multi-directional lugs that adapt to all types of terrain, even the steepest. A few trail runners have expressed doubts about the effectiveness of the outsole on really muddy terrain, however.
Finally, this shoe features high-quality materials to be durable. It’s a very good trail model suitable for ultramarathon running.
Read our full review of the Saucony Xodus 11 for more information.
- Versatile trail running shoes that adapt to all terrains
- Soft but responsive cushioning
- Effective grip
- More durable and better fitting upper
- Good protection against rocks
- Still a bit heavy; it hasn’t dropped below 300 g/10.6 oz yet
Saucony Xodus 11 Complete Review Analysis
The Saucony Xodus 11 is the latest version of the American brand’s flagship model. Its DNA remains identical to its illustrious predecessors: to offer a comfortable and responsive shoe for ultramarathon running (but not only!).
The 2021 version offers few changes compared to the previous one. It takes all the formulas that made the success of the earlier versions: an identical look, a soft and pleasant midsole, an outsole that you can rely upon. You don’t change a winning team! However, the upper has been significantly improved, with a more resistant and breathable mesh.
Trail runners who have tested this shoe are unanimous: for long runs on rough terrain, the Saucony Xodus 11 remains a safe bet, offering a versatile, comfortable protective, and cushioned ride!
Let’s take a closer look at the highlights of this iconic shoe.
Nothing changes on the midsole side either. Saucony once again relies on its innovative PWRRUN+ technology, which testers say packs many qualities into one piece of expanded TPU.
Their feedback was unanimous in the genre of rave reviews: a full-length performance cushioning that is flexible and bouncy, soft and durable, stable and responsive. Unlike some other Triumph or Adidas Boost shoes, the softness felt offers excellent stability without compromising proprioception.
The sole is a bit thicker than the previous model: 31.5 mm heel stack height vs. 29 mm for the Xodus 10 (27.5 mm under the toes). The heel-to-toe drop of the Xodus 10 remains the same (4mm).
Some runners who tested the Xodus 11 were pleasantly surprised by its responsiveness and relative speed on rocky climbs or technical descents, despite its weight. It almost makes you forget how rugged the terrain is, as the shock absorption is so efficient. Also, the rock plate underfoot enhances the protection not to let any sharp obstacle spoil the fun.
In summary, the midsole is a perfect balance between too much and too little material. It does the job by offering beneficial protection and maximal comfort of the run. Like the testers, you’ll be able to run for miles with peace of mind!
Foot lockdown (upper)
The upper is the only significant change in the Saucony Xodus 11. An all-new, more durable engineered mesh upper replaces the old one that tended to wear out quickly and wrinkle, especially in the flex area of the foot during takeoff. Some runners also noted a slight improvement in the shoe’s breathability during exercise.
Do you like being able to splay your toes in the shoe? The Xodus 11 has a generous, dare we say universal, toe box to fit all foot shapes. The wide toe box does not affect the foot lockdown, which remains effective. This space allows for swelling during long runs or training sessions without compromising the runner’s comfort or safety.
The midfoot and heel fit is excellent.
Finally, we still find the sturdy toe bumper on this 11th version of the Xodus. Its durability has been tried and tested over the years, and it was once again very popular with trail runners. It offers optimal protection against stones, shocks, or sharp objects on the most technical and rocky trails. A real guarantee of safety for your little feet!
To sum up, there is no notable revolution in the upper, except for a more robust and breathable mesh.
Grip and durability
If there’s one thing that all testers can agree on, it’s that the PWRTRAC rubber outsole is a key highlight of the Xodus 11. It has already proven itself in terms of strength and durability on the previous version. It’s both rock-solid and flexible, giving the outsole surprising and welcome responsiveness on the most technical terrain.
With its multi-directional 5 mm arrow-shaped aggressive lug pattern, the grip is excellent. This aggressive pattern makes it possible to confidently tackle steep terrain and tricky situations with significant serenity. It also provides adequate grip on various surfaces (rocky trails, dry or wet terrain, snow…). As a result, the support is much better, no need to develop balancing skills!
Runners were pleasantly surprised to find that these lugs also react well to contact with more modest terrain, including asphalt (no, you can’t always avoid it!).
However, we note a downside from some trail runners who tested the Saucony Xodus 11: they note a less effective grip on really muddy grounds: the sole was quickly overwhelmed, which limited the grip. It’s something to consider if you live in a humid area with often muddy trails (obviously, we won’t name names!).
Trail runners who tested these trail running shoes praise their overall performance: versatility, agility, comfort, cushioning, protection.
The PWRRUN+ midsole provides flexibility to allow the trail running shoe to follow the foot in its every movement. The brand seems to have found the right balance between the expanded TPU and rubber outsole, providing just the right amount of cushioning.
Weight is the only slight complaint runners have about this shoe: 341g for men, 299g for women.
However, runners unanimously found the ride excellent, even on the most unlikely terrain for ultramarathon running (the road!). The shoe has appealed to some trail runners fans of other lighter profile models such as the Hoka Torrent, Saucony Peregrine, or Nike Terra Kiger.
It’s the ideal shoe for ultra distances at a moderate pace on various surfaces.
The Saucony Xodus 11 remains a safe bet for an (ultra) trail runner looking for a comfortable, reliable, durable, versatile, and protective shoe. Underneath its clunky design, it’s an impressively efficient shoe. While the grip of the previous versions has sometimes been subpar, the Xodus is now a full-fledged ultramarathon running shoe that competes with the best in its class. Testers gave it a very high rating. In short: it’s a long-distance trailer’s best friend and a solid contender for the 2021 podium!
|Heel stack height||34 mm|
|Forefoot stack height||30 mm|
|Weight (men)||337 g/11.9 oz|
|Weight (women)||292 g/10.3 oz|
|Softness (1-5)||4 – Soft|
|Bounce (1-5)||3 – Moderate|
|Outsole||Flex grooves, PWRTRAC|
|Distance||Mid, long, 10k, half marathon, marathon, ultramarathon|
Reference: Saucony’s official website
Comparisons – Saucony Xodus 11 vs.:
Saucony Xodus 10
Same stack height, same lugs, same foam… same shoe? As we saw in the analysis, the Xodus changes little in 2021 compared to the previous version. The weight remains high, with more than 320 g/11.3 oz on the scale! However, the upper is better fitted and more robust, which is a significant improvement. From there, to justify the purchase of a new pair, if your Xodus 10 are still in good shape, there’s a step (a stride?) that we will not take.
Saucony Peregrine 11
See the detailed side-by-side comparison.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Yes, it does. So you can pick your regular size.
Yes, the Xodus offers a high level of protection and grip combined with comfortable cushioning for long-distance running.
Kevin is the founder and editor of Runner’s Lab. He started running in 2015 and completed his first marathon in Rotterdam in 2016. He’s also worked for Under Armour from 2016 to 2018 and helped launch their running collection in Europe (in particular the HOVR shoes). In addition, Kevin is a 300-hour certified yoga teacher (Sivananda) and uses this experience to run more mindfully with a focus on well-being over performance.