Saucony and BOA Technology are American Trail Running Association (ATRA) corporate members.
I’m the type of trail runner who likes to wear my kicks right out of the box, no walking around the house to get them “broken in.” Since I wear test a lot of running shoes, I can tell pretty quickly whether I like the shoe, or not. I don’t typically need to run a lot of miles before I have an evaluation.
Of course, over time, I may learn some new likes, or dislikes about a shoe when I test them in different environments, or on different trails. However, I don’t typically do a long run in a brand new pair of shoes unless I am getting the same brand and style, I tend to stick to shorter runs of 30-45 minutes for the first few test rides.
Not so with the new Saucony Switchback 2. Right out the gate I ran just over 10 miles – it was after all, my long run day. Truth be told, had I felt discomfort or concern about the fit or feel, I would have done a few miles and made haste back to my house and changed into another pair of shoes to finish out the run. Why did I keep running? Simply put, this shoe is terrific. Read on to learn what makes this shoe a winner.
I have worn numerous Saucony shoes over the years – from road to trail – and during the past few years I have tested several different brands with the BOA® Fit System and even visited BOA headquarters to learn about their technology. Having these two trusted brands collaborate on a trail running shoe equals a winning combination.
The Mono-Panel configuration provides support, comfort and hugs your upper like a glove, especially after dialing in the BOA® Fit System for the desired snugness. Along with the bootie construction, the design is intended to keep debris out of the shoe. I personally like a snug fit from heel to toe, but I also like having the ability to wiggle my toes a little bit so I know they won’t fall asleep.
The Saucony Switchback 2 allowed me to wiggle my tootsies enough, while still keeping my foot in place whether I was running uphill, on flat terrain or downhill. Additionally, I felt stability in my ankle and security on the trails. Although I didn’t need to dial in the fit during the run, there is the ability to do so. The shoe’s fit can be easily and quickly adjusted during the run using the BOA® Fit System. I did use a shoehorn to put on the Switchback as I do for most of my shoes. I find unlacing shoes to take too much time. One great advantage of taking off the Switchback is the quick-release on the dial.
I tested the shoe on a mixture of terrain including grass, pavement, sidewalk, dirt, sand, and rock-strewn trails. When going uphill, the shoe was light enough that I didn’t feel encumbered by a heavy shoe (the women’s size 8 weights 7.8g and the size 7 I tested may be a smidge lighter).
On the downhill, my foot didn’t shift so my toes didn’t hit the front of the shoe. On the flats, it was a playful ride, and throughout, I felt a connection to the trail. With the added rock-guard, I didn’t worry about encountering an errant stone underfoot. As well, no annoying stones got stuck in the tread pattern. Finally, the precision cornering is a testament to the shoe’s namesake – Switchback.
I highly recommend adding the Saucony Switchback 2 to your shoe collection. It performs well on a variety of surfaces and thus, is a good transition shoe from road to trail, especially important if you don’t live right at a trailhead to start your run. I haven’t yet tested the shoe in water, or in rainy weather as it was bone dry for this initial test on a hot and sunny Colorado afternoon, but that is something I look forward to in addition to spending more miles on the trail outfitted in the Saucony Switchback 2.