Saucony Zealot ISO vs. Saucony Kinvara 5 review

Saucony Zealot ISO provides a smooth ride with a very cushy forefoot. Saucony Kinvara 5 is good for performance runs by runners who want a light shoe on their feet.

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The Saucony Zealot ISO and the Saucony Kinvara 5 are both neutral cushioning running shoes from Saucony for runners who want to feel closer to the ground.

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The Saucony Zealot ISO The preceding link takes you to Amazon.com and the Saucony Kinvara 5 have a no-sew upper with the Saucony Zealot ISO having a couple of stitches to keep the ISOFIT overlays in place around the collar and at the bottom of the saddle.

And there lies also the biggest difference in the upper between these two running shoes. The Saucony Zealot ISO has an ISOFIT upper that hugs your foot like a sock and allows the shoe to move with your foot.

However, the Saucony Kinvara 5 does not lack support around the midfoot, since it has a triangular band that runs from the top of the saddle to the midsole on both sides of the shoe, thereby providing you with a good lockdown around the midfoot.

Another difference in the upper is that the Saucony Kinvara 5 has very light films of overlays running especially over its toe box to keep the weight of the running shoe down.

The fit at the back of the shoes is similar, although the Saucony Zealot ISO has a Support Frame to lock the heel in place, while the Saucony Kinvara 5 does not.

Similarities continue in the midsole, where both running shoes have a PowerGrid midsole that provides heel-to-toe cushioning.

However, this midsole has been updated in the Saucony Zealot ISO and is called PWRGRID+ with the plus added because it provides 20% more cushioning than the PowerGrid midsole found in the Saucony Kinvara 5.

But this does not automatically make the Saucony Zealot ISO more cushy than the Saucony Kinvara 5. While the Saucony Zealot ISO has a thicker midsole than the Saucony Kinvara 5 for both men and women, running shoe lab tests have shown that the Saucony Zealot ISO has a more cushy forefoot, but that the Saucony Kinvara 5 has a more cushy heel.

Another difference in the midsole is the heel-to-toe drop. This drop differs by around 1 mm with the Saucony Kinvara 5 having a steeper drop than the Saucony Zealot ISO. What this means is that the Saucony Zealot ISO brings you more to a level plane than the Saucony Kinvara 5.

Steep drops are good to take pressure off the Achilles tendon – especially for women – but if you prefer a more level plane, the Saucony Zealot ISO would suit you better than the Saucony Kinvara 5.

Steep drops can also give you the feel of going fast, especially when combined with lightness and a low profile height. So if you are looking for a more performance running shoe, then the Saucony Kinvara 5 would suit you better than the Saucony Zealot ISO.

One final difference in the midsole is the fact that the Saucony Zealot ISO has a crash pad under the heel to soften your landing, while the Saucony Kinvara 5 does not.

However, because the Saucony Kinvara 5 provides more heel cushioning than the Saucony Zealot ISO, it is still the better running shoe for heel-strikers.

The outsoles of the Saucony Kinvara 5 and the Saucony Zealot ISO are pretty similar at the back of the shoe towards the midfoot. They provide good segmentation and full ground contact, thereby allowing them to provide you with smooth transitions from heel-strike to toe-off.

The big difference between the outsoles is the amount of rubber in the outsole. The Saucony Kinvara 5 hardly has an outsole, since the amount of rubber pods under the shoe has been kept to a minimum – mostly in high-wear areas.

This means that the Saucony Zealot ISO is a more durable running shoe than the Saucony Kinvara 5.

But due to the thinner midsole and the better side-to-side flex grooves in the forefoot, the Saucony Kinvara 5 turns out to be an extremely flexible running shoe when compared to the Saucony Zealot ISO.

The women's version of the Saucony Zealot ISO weighs about 7.2 oz (204 grams) and the Saucony Kinvara 5 for women weighs approximately 6.3 oz (178 grams).

The men's versions of the running shoes weigh approximately 8.5 oz (241 grams) and 7.8 oz (221 grams) with the Saucony Kinvara 5 being the lightest of the two.

Both the Saucony Zealot ISO and the Saucony Kinvara 5 are relatively light neutral cushioning running shoes, but if you are looking for a very light, flexible, and performance-driven running shoe, then the Saucony Kinvara 5 could be the one for you.

And if you want a little bit more durability and are looking for a running shoe that will allow you to run on a more level plane, then the Saucony Zealot ISO could meet your needs.

Note: The weight of a running shoe depends on the size of the running shoe, so any weights mentioned in this review may differ from the weight of the running shoe you choose to wear. Running shoes of the same size were compared for this review.

The two links above will take you to Amazon.com where you can read more about the running shoes.


This review falls under: Saucony

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