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Saucony Mirage 4 Reviews (Spring 2014)
First impression after 5.5 miles: A really nice, responsive shoe for how thick it is. Because the foam is on the firmer side, some lighter runners might find it too firm. I have a feeling bigger runners will love it. I'm 160 pounds and found it on the firmer side of what I'd prefer in a thicker training shoe. But that also made it quick springy and responsive, so it felt easy to run strong.
The drop is 4-mm, so the heel stays well out of your way. The midsole is pretty thick — still waiting on stack heights — and honestly I'm not sure I understand thick shoe that are also really firm. You'd have to be really big to substantially compress cushioning this thick and firm. It seems like you could get the same effect with slightly thinner, slightly softer foam, but that's for another shoe.
Security of Fit: 9
The fit is really secure. My foot felt locked in place, but quite comfortable.
There's a pretty thick tongue padding to protect from the laces, and I never sensed any numbness, despite the narrow fit through the midfoot. The toebox seems adequately roomy.
For me, the firmness underfoot took a few points off of the overall comfort score. It definitely wasn't as comfy or lux as the GT-2000 or ASICS Kayano 20, though it is much more responsive.
Note, I usually fit in a M9.5 and I fit perfectly in a M9, so these may run half a size small.
Energy Efficiency: 10
You cant get more spring out of a shoe this thick.
For a thicker trainer, this is a pretty speedy shoe. That's half due to the responsive foam, and half due to the quick turnover from a being pretty low weight for how high it is. The weight is kept low by Saucony's flexfilm welded overlays and spare use of rubber.
Best for: Midfoot strikers who prefer thicker midsoles for added pavement protection, but don't want to be stuck with a soft, sluggish, mushy, or overly decorated trainer weighing them down. Heavier runners will certainly appreciate the firmer tune to the foam, but I bet lighter runners will appreciate the extra responsiveness to.
This shoe was a nice surprise. At first glance I was blinded by the inch-thick foam midsole. I'm usually a fan of more minimalist-inspired shoes, so I was a bit skeptical. They won me over immediately, however.
Although the midsole looks chunky, it felt quite firm and responsive to me. At about 110 lbs, I didn't feel my weight sink into the foam, like I do with most thick-soled shoes (I'm interested to hear how heavier testers and men responded to the midsole). I was impressed by how energetic they were. I did feel as though they were a bit more luxurious than my favorite minimalist shoes (see the Nike Free Flyknit), in that they provided a nice big buffer between my foot and the road. Great for my longer, slower runs; probably not my go-to shoe for speed. They provided a very smooth transition, and I like that they're not as heel-oriented as they appear to be (4mm drop).
The upper was a great fit for my narrow foot. There was no slippage or sloppiness in the heel cup or the toe box (which seems to be a common issue for me) and I never felt like I had to crank down the laces for a more secure fit.
Overall Comfort: 8
Overall Speed: 5
Energy Efficiency: 6
I'm a huge Saucony fan--ever since they've dedicated themselves to a lower heel drop, their shoes have overall been a great fitting and great feeling shoe. The Mirage 4 is the perfect shoe for the pronator who still wants a lightweight, speedy shoe. While others on this site have pointed out the larger outsole, what stood out for me was the medial posting that just about finished me off. It looks harmless enough, but if you don't need that post, it will most likely bother you. There will be no arch rolling in this shoe. I made the mistake of wearing the Mirage all day to work and by lunch time, I was barefoot.
The upper is nice and light, with lots of welding instead of stitching, helping make this shoe one of the lightest in its class. Like the Virrata, Kinvara, and Cortana, the outsole of the Mirage is mostly lightweight midsole, but with some judicious placement of carbon in high traffic points.
For heavier runners or serious overpronators who want to play in the minimal sandbox but need more motion control this could be a great shoe.
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Saucony Mirage 4
- smooth, great transition
- outstanding for long runs or tempo runs
- excellent fit
- doesn’t look like a freakshow
- it makes one not appreciate other shoes…
Easily in my top 3 for the fall of 2013. Don’t judge a book by its cover – wait – this shoe is called the Mirage – arrrrrgh – I’m so dumb. Yes, the Mirage looks like a stomper, but it burns rubber. The more I ran in this – the more I loved it. My easy runs in the Saucony Mirage quickly turned into negative split runs. I like the Saucony Triumph, but 10 out of 10 times I’d chose the Mirage. The only downside – if you’re just getting into running – this might not be the shoe for you…
Smoothness and Fluidity = 10
Killer. At first, my thoughts were – eh. But as I progressed, the Saucony Mirage rolls. I found the transition to be flawless and the forefoot to have just the right amount of spring. It is rare to find a shoe I can tempo 10 miles and also enjoy running 200m repeats with – Saucony Mirage -hello!
Comfort = 10
Great fit and great feel.
Speed and Responsiveness = 10
Yes, there are lighter and more responsive shoes, but for the beef – nothing compares. For me to match the speed, I’d have to drop down to a minimalist shoe.
Value = 10
I highly doubt this is the most expensive shoe on the market, therefore – 10.
Structure = 10
The Saucony Mirage doesn’t offer the stability of the Kahru Fluid, but it does offer quite a lot of beef in the mid-foot. This is a great help to those of us who have a bit of inwards roll, but aren’t willing to go to a controlling shoe.
Firm or Soft = Not too soft, not too firm – perfect for Goldilocks
Wide or Narrow = Very accommodating for all types of feet.
Arch = 5
Supportive and Stable = 8
Quite supportive for a neutral shoe.
Take the medial post out of this shoe an it would be close to perfect. For me anyway. Half an hour into a run and I was ready to hobble home thanks to that post. Yuck.
But for runners who need some serious arch support/motion control the Mirage is your shoe! It provides that stability while embracing characteristics of other successful Saucony shoes (high quality, lightweight, simple seamless upper, low drop, etc.).
The Mirage is super lightweight; I could see it being a great longer distance race shoe for someone who needs stability.
Energy Efficiency: 7
Serious pronators, heavier runners
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I'm curious as to how you'd compare the Mirage 4 to the adidas Adios Tempo 6. For me the Tempo 6 is lighter, but in terms of structure, I found them to be quite similar. The posting and medial curvature are very similar. I find running in shoes such as the Saucony Hurricane or NB 860 to be challenging due to the immense control, while the Mirage 4, for me is just a hint of stability, much like the Tempo 6, making it much closer to a neutral trainer than the stability found in the Asics Kayano.
I found the overall feeling of the Mirage 4 comparable to the North Face Ultra Smooth due to the great ride. I would agree the posting of the Mirage 4 provides a tad more stability, however, the Saucony Virrata has less stability than the Ultra Smooth, in my opinion, due to the flex/give of the lugs.