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Shoe Of The Week: Saucony Xodus 5

The Saucony Xodus 5 is a super durable trail shoe for rocky, rooty trails.

The Saucony Xodus 5 is a super durable trail shoe for rocky, rooty trails.

The latest version of the Saucony Xodus blends cushioning, aggressive outsole lugs and a form-fitting upper into a shoe capable of tackling the gnarliest terrain out there.

The first thing you notice when you lace it up is a new upper that’s lighter, more form-fitting and more supportive, features that help give the shoe a twinge of agility on more rugged terrain. But the most obvious thing about this shoe is its top-end protection from big and small obstacles out on the trail. A full-length rock plate, a modestly reinforced toe bumper and the robust Vibram outsole—with jagged directional lugs throughout the heel, midfoot and forefoot—do an excellent job of keeping a runner’s feet out of harm’s way. But those protective features, combined with the thick, double layer of cushioning (one softer layer, one firmer layer) create a decidedly stiff sensation.

It’s a burly shoe that can tackle very rugged terrain, but it really only has one speed. The traction is exceptional on all types of terrain, from large rocks to small pebbles, wet, muddy or dry. (However, a few testers did report the outsole collecting sticky mud on occasion.) It’s not light or particularly agile, which is fine on the rocky, root-strewn trails it was designed to tackle. But our wear-testers unanimously agreed it was too much shoe on smooth trails.

This shoe is for you if … you want a durable, protective shoe with aggressive traction for sloppy terrain or semi-technical to very rugged trails.

Price: $120 (A Gore-Tex version, Xodus 5 GTX, has a $140 price tag.)
Weight: 10.8 oz. (men’s), 9.3 oz. (women’s)
Heel-Toe Offset: 4mm; 23.5mm (heel), 19.5mm (forefoot)
Info: Saucony.com

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