Saucony Triumph 22 Review: A Triumphant Return?

The men's Saucony Triumph 22.

All shoes are reviewed by the Fleet Feet tester team, which represents a wide variety of goals, foot shapes, running locations and terrains. Reviewers pound the pavement, climb the hills, tackle the trails, then come together to compare notes. Debates ensue over the feel of the cushioning, the purpose of the shoe, and how it compares to last year’s model. While each reviewer has their own individual preferences, we hope that capturing our debates will help you make an informed decision.

Most runners can relate to the sentimental bond created with their favorite pair of running shoes. They spend hours and hours together, conquering the miles that lead them to their goals. The goal may get checked off their list, but the love for their shoes never fades away. Once the pavement pounding has taken its toll and the shoes can no longer support the runner’s dreams, they’ll buy another pair of the same exact model…but what happens when their favorite shoe updates?

Last year, I wrote about the triumph of finding the perfect pair of running shoes. I loved the Triumph 20 and 21 so much, I’ve used them to train for my last 3 marathons. Naturally, I was nervous when I heard that the Triumph 22 would be getting some major updates.

With a brand new midsole foam and redesigned geometry, would the Triumph 22 live up to my fondest memories of its predecessors? I, along with the Fleet Feet review team, tested it to find out. Here’s what you need to know.

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Tech Specs

Saucony Triumph 22

Weight 8.8 oz (W), 10.1 oz (M)
Stack height (heel/forefoot) 37 mm/27 mm
Heel-to-toe drop 10 mm
Category Neutral
Surface Road
Price $160
Comparable to... Brooks Glycerin 21, ASICS GEL-Nimbus 26

Ride

Cushioning

Energy

PWRRUN PB midsole steals the show

The PWRRUN PB midsole in the Saucony Triumph 22.

The Saucony Triumph 22 has been updated with a new midsole foam, PWRRUN PB. This foam isn’t technically new, but it is new to the Triumph, which previously used PWRRN+ cushioning. PWRRUN+ cushioning is a Polyurethane-based foam, while PWRRUN PB is made up of PEBA foam. What does that mean for you? The newer foam offers more energy return and a lighter weight, which is why it’s also used in speedy race-day shoes like the Saucony Endorphin Pro 4 and Endorphin Speed 4.

While this sounds like a significant upgrade from the last Triumph, we weren’t completely sold on the new change. The Triumph 22 felt firmer and less bouncy than the 21, plus the men’s version is .2 ounces heavier.

“I tested the Triumph 22 for the first time on an 8-miler with one-minute fast, one-minute jog pickups,” says Kate, who’s base training for a fall marathon. “I was nervous during the warm up, because the shoe felt less peppy than it did in the past, and my arches were aching a bit as they got used to the feeling. Luckily that feeling didn’t last. By the time I was 20 minutes in and ready to pick up the pace, my feet had adjusted. I ran my pickups and was able to hit the paces I wanted, but I didn’t feel like the shoes were doing me any favors.”

To be honest, I’m not sure why Saucony swapped the PWRRUN+ foam for the PWRRUN PB foam. Since the PWRRUN PB foam is what’s used in Saucony’s speediest shoes, it doesn’t make sense that they’d also use it in what’s supposed to be a highly cushioned daily trainer. If it were up to me, I’d save the PB foam for my workout days and enjoy the softer PWRRUN+ foam for recovery miles–which is when I’d be pulling out the Triumph, anyway.

“I feel as if these shoes have an identity crisis,” says Mandy, who’s currently training for a 50K. “They have a thick, tall stack of foam, but they don’t feel super cushioned nor do they feel super energetic.”

Pillow-like upper offers plush feel

The men's colorway of the Saucony Triumph 22.

While the midsole may not have felt as soft and plush as I’d like, the upper certainly didn’t shy away from offering thick padding around the heel, ankle and tongue.

“As I slipped my feet into the new pair of Triumphs, the upper made me feel like I was wrapping a comfortable and cozy blanket around my feet—plush, soft and oh-so-comfortable,” Mandy says.

An extra eyelet around the ankles allows you to tie the marathon loop to further lock down the fit, and a handy pull tab on the back of the heel makes sliding into these shoes a breeze.

Max and Kate both found the Triumph 22 to feel a bit wide, causing some uncomfortable hot spots. I didn’t notice any extra roominess, but I did have a blister in the same area Kate did (outside corner of one of our big toes), so maybe my feet were moving around within the shoe more than I thought.

“I found the latest version of the Triumph fit a bit wide, although the length felt true to size,” says Max, who has narrow feet. “They felt so wide that after lacing them up and heading out the door, I actually turned back just to confirm that these were standard width and not wide. Despite the roomy fit, I was able to get a nice lockdown in both the heel and midfoot although it could have felt more secure and stable–so I cinched those suckers tight.”

The Triumph 22 is available in standard width (D for men, B for women) and wide width (2E for men, D for women). If you have narrow feet, you may want to try this shoe on in person at your local Fleet Feet to ensure correct sizing. Fleet Feet outfitters use 3D fit id® foot scanning technology to gather information about your feet and the support they need by taking precise measurements of your foot length, width and arch height, so you can learn a lot about your feet while you’re there.

Saucony Triumph 22 versus Triumph 21

Tech Specs

Saucony Triumph 22

Saucony Triumph 21

Weight

8.8 oz (W), 10.1 oz (M)

8.8 oz (W), 9.8 oz (M)

Stack height (heel/forefoot)

37 mm/27 mm

37 mm/27 mm

Heel-to-toe drop

10 mm

10 mm

Price

$160

$160

On paper, the Triumph 22 and Triumph 21 seem exactly the same, despite the fact that they look and feel quite different in person. The midsole in the 22 appears to be chunkier, and we were all surprised as we looked at the tech sheet and saw that the stack height remained unchanged.

The change in midsole foam from PWRRUN+ to PWRRUN PB creates a firmer ride, and a wider base adds more inherent stability.

The men’s version of the Triumph 22 is ever-so-slightly heavier than the 21, which could be due to the change in midsole foams or a change in upper material (flat knit in the 21 versus engineered mesh in the 22). Somehow, the women’s weight remains unchanged.

If you were a big fan of the Triumph 21, you may want to try the 22 on in person because of the major updates to the midsole. If you felt the Triumph 21 was a bit too soft for your tastes, you’ll probably enjoy the latest version.

The Saucony Triumph 22.

How does the Saucony Triumph 22 compare?

We took a look at some comparable models to see how they stack up against the Triumph 22. Here’s what we found.

Tech Specs

Saucony Triumph 22

Brooks Glycerin 21

ASICS GEL-Nimbus 26

Weight

8.8 oz (W),

10.1 oz (M)

8.8 oz (W),

9.8 oz (M)

9.1 oz (W), 10.8 oz (M)

Stack height

37 mm/27 mm

28 mm/18 mm

41 mm/33 mm (W),

42 mm/34 mm (M)

Heel-to-toe drop

10 mm

10 mm

8 mm

Price

$160

$160

$160

As you can see above, the Saucony Triumph 22, the Brooks Glycerin 21 and the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 26 are all incredibly similar when it comes to weight, heel-to-toe drop and price. The biggest differences come with the stack height, with the Nimbus being the most cushioned and the Glycerin the least (although this could partly be due to discrepancies in the way each brand measures stack height).

The Triumph uses a PEBA-based midsole foam while the Glycerin and Nimbus both use EVA-based foams, but we thought the three shoes provide a relatively similar firm-to-soft ratio.

Who is the Saucony Triumph 22 best for?

Because of its firm midsole foam, the Triumph 22 is best suited for runners who like a lot of cushioning that doesn’t feel overly soft. A wide base helps this shoe feel stable despite the high stack height.

“I think the Triumph 22 hits a unique use case,” says Max. “It feels like a max-cushioned daily trainer, but with more stability than others in its category.”

The Triumph 22 comes with a very thick sock liner, so it will work well for runners and walkers who need to replace the manufacturer’s liner with an insole or orthotic.

Lastly, if you have wider feet or just enjoy a bit of extra wiggle room, you’ll likely enjoy the fit of the Triumph 22.

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