I’ve had the opportunity to try out a pair of the Saucony Grid Type A5 for the last 4-5 weeks and here’s the rundown (hurhur, get it? Run-down…?). Ok, bad wordplay aside, here’s the review!
We had the Grid Type A4 in our store last season and it was a big hit. Lightweight and responsive, Saucony had a very understated but very good racing flat on its hands. This season, the Grid Type A5 retains the outsole and midsole design from the A4, but with an upper that utilizes its new Flexfilm technology, has managed to cut even more weight off.
I usually wear a men’s US8 for all my running shoes, but I went up half a size for the A5. At 155g, the A5 is the same weight as my current racing flat, the Lunarspider R. But that’s sort of where the similarities end. In terms of fit, the A5 isn’t as snug as some other racing flats I’ve tried on. Having said that, that isn’t to say that my foot was sliding all over the place in them. On the contrary, the breathable mesh upper with new FlexFilm bonded overlays was extremely comfortable and held my foot in place firmly. The absence of stitching in the upper makes this shoe very triathlete-friendly. No socks? No problem!
The finger loops at the heel ensure ease of entry, especially for those athletes looking to get these shoes on in a hurry. Another thoughtful design feature carried over from the A4 is the drainage holes in the sole of the shoe. If you perspire like a waterfall, these prevent your shoes from resembling a fish tank by the end of your race and reduces the incidence of forehead slapping when you accidentally throw water on your shoes as you race through the aid stations. The tongue also has elastic straps on each side to keep it firmly in the centre, no matter how much running you do.
When you pull these shoes on, you just want to run fast. The A5 has a 4mm heel-to-toe drop, which is now standard for Saucony’s performance range. Add that to the close-go-ground feel of this low profile racing flat and what you get is a responsive, lightweight shoe ready to take you to the races!
If you are using a shoe with a larger heel drop, you may feel some tightness in your calves initially as your body adapts to the A5. Another thing to note is that while the upper of the A5 does lock the foot in place well, it’s minimal design does mean that your foot will not receive as much support, so be prepared! Once that is out of the way, the A5 is a real joy to run in. It isn’t going to be your first choice for long runs, but Saucony’s Grid cushioning does provide a very comfortable ride for such a lightweight pair of shoes. Runners will be surprised by the comfort of the A5. The toe box is somewhat roomier than other shoes in its class. However, none of this takes away from the performance of the shoe.
The Grid Type A5 is a great option for speed work and racing. It is built for speed, but doesn’t do this at the expense of comfort for the athlete. This shoe will be especially popular with the triathletes thanks to its transition-minded features and seamless upper. Don’t be intimidated by the A5′s categorisation as a “racer”, runners should definitely give this shoe a a try.
Thanks again to Ruth from Royal Sporting House for arranging for this shoe trial, I’ve really enjoyed using them.
The Grid Type A5 will be available at The Runner’s Gait in the 3rd quarter of this year in a new colour way. We can’t wait!