Saucony built the Xodus trail shoe specifically for running over gnarly terrain—rocks, roots, talus, loose gravel, boulders … you name it and this shoe can handle it. The most recent update to the Xodus has three key parts that make it a trail fiend of the highest order, but the most important is the aggressive, sticky rubber Vibram outsole that provides confidence-instilling grip and secure traction on loose, sloppy mud and all rock shapes. (This shoe won the “Best Traction” award in Competitor’s October 2015 trail shoe review.) Two other key elements are the shoe’s firm but flexible rock plate built into the outsole of the forefoot, and the smart-fitting upper enhanced by both an internal arch-support system and thin flex film overlays that help with a comfortable, locked-down fit and smooth ride over the roughest terrain. A solid amount of overlays protects the tops and sides of feet from rocks and roots, while not bogging down the shoe. Despite the protection and grip of the Xodus, it still runs fairly light and allows notable agility. We didn’t love this shoe on moderate, non-technical terrain because it’s major toothiness felt like overkill. But since this shoe is built to charge on rugged terrain, we think it does its intended job well.
This shoe is for you if … you crave a burly and protective shoe yet agile shoe to charge technical terrain.
Price: $120 ($140 for the Gore-Tex version)
Weights: 11.4 oz. (men), 9.9 oz. (women)
Heel-toe Offset: 4mm; 27mm (heel), 23mm (forefoot)