I have been using the TYPE A lineup for a very long time. Starting out with my favourite from 6 years ago the A4. Then the A5 was out, what was still looking like an old’s school running shoe. I did not get into it as the drain holes were kept and they picked up just so many rocks and road dirt. The mesh was still that foot rubbing hard fishing net. The A6 was already a new-wave looking, thermowelded, light, coloured shoe. The A(7) had a very different textile. It was a closed mesh one, with zero stretch. The flexi overlays are already high quality, but the drainholes were still there. Funky colours are present.
The A8 went through a lot of changes for its better. It has a near full PowerTrac outsole, with no drain-holes finally. It grips and resists even on wet surfaces.
The upper is this very fine and comfortable stretch mesh. Flex-knit I would say. The tongue is not gusseted but stays in place surprisingly well. The heel-counter is very small and extremely flexible. It is there to give you a little bit of extra lock in, but won’t propose any extra stability or compromise ankle mobility. Way smaller than we could see in the A(7) .Great package.
The Fit is performance oriented narrow and still pointy. I ran near exclusively in Altra shoes in the last 2 years. I am not sure why, maybe because of the current speed aspect of my training, I kind of lost interest and enjoyment in them, from one day to another. The only model I still pretty much highly rate is the King MT, but the rest just freaks me out. Too wide, too sloppy, too rigid in places, badly placed overlays, incorrect lacing.
The Saucony is the opposite. Functionally light ! Feels flatter and more dynamic with its light incline. Holds my feet fantastically and supports high-end speeds and cornering.
The only negative and the only thing I would change in the shoe is the toebox. It curves inwards on the inside way too early. The stretch mesh, 80% compensates this, so the big toe is not that pushed inwards, but still. I would love to see, like in Brooks, La Sportiva or Inov 8 shoes. The inner curve should be starting a little later to keep that very important BIGTOE straight and unaltered ! We talk about a couple of millimetres. Also, I blew out all of the models since the A4, just over the little toe. The forefoot should be – for me personally – maybe 0.8 to 1mm wider. The curve should be starting later, maybe 4 or 5mm should be enough, and should be of course finished more on the inside, giving a less sharp of a curb.
(Stretchy sausage laces would be also better ! However the lacing system is improved a lot and got lighter with the new 5 eyelet system ! )
These might add around 10grams to the shoe, but would worth it ! To have a more powerful push-off and to provide more suitable platform for the bigtoe. Functional weight gain lads !
TIPS: Get your big toenails filled downwards at least once a week. The shoe is flat and feet hugging. This is to avoid rubbing the mesh and poking through from the inside out. I file mine kind of diagonally from the outside towards inwards and from top to bottom. This will increase shoe life ! Use not too thin and not too thick socks. The Drymax HyperThin did not work for me, nor any of the X-Socks models. Finally I found my sweetspot with the BV-Sport Trail and a pair of Brooks Glycerin running socks.
167g – 4mm Drop – Performance package
The Saucony Type A8