Grippy, cushioned and versatile trail and ultra running shoes, perfect for summer with breathable uppers and a roomy toe box.
Regular toe box feels roomy
Grippy 4.5mm lugs
Contain recycled materials
Padding a little firm on first wearing but soon molds to foot
Laces a bit silky smooth, so triple knot them for security
You can trust Advnture Our expert reviewers spend days testing and comparing gear so you know how it will perform out in the real world. Find out more about how we test and compare products.
Saucony Xodus Ultra 2: first impressions
Great news for fans of the previous edition – the Saucony Xodus Ultra 2 trail running shoe is thankfully very similar to its predecessor. It’s nice and light at 504g / 17.8oz for a pair of UK size 6.5s with a 6mm drop from heel to toe. The toe box is nice and roomy so would suit regular to wide feet, and while it’s robust with a protective rubber rand all the way around it, the shoe is kept nice and breathable for summer running with the mesh upper.
• List price: $149 / £145 (UK)
• Weight (pair UK 6.5): 504g / 17.8oz
• Colors: Women’s: Nebula / Fossil & Soot; men’s: Nebula / Fossil & Basalt
• Drop: 6mm
• Best for: Muddy and mixed terrain, ultra distance
The PWRRUN PB foam provides excellent cushioning for running long distances, while the rock plate protects you from sharp rocks underfoot. The 4.5mm lugs on the PWRTRAC outsole are really grippy on all types of terrain except for super-squashy, wet bog or mud where you’ll need football stud-style soles. If you’re used to a less padded shoe the cushioning in the midsole might feel a little firm at first, but still with a good bounce to the ride, and after a couple of runs your foot nestles in well (and if any of these terms are losing you see: The anatomy of a trail running shoe).
New for this model are extra lace eyelets near the ankle to dial in the fit with even more precision. This, combined with the neoprene gusset tongue and dirt-catching lower lace gaiter, makes the Saucony Xodus Ultra 2 a very strong contender for one of the best ultra running shoes out right now.
Saucony Xodus Ultra 2: on the trails
We took the Saucony Xodus Ultra 2s to Bradgate Park, a tiny slice of the Peak District just north of Leicester (who knew?! Midlands trail runners, visit immediately!) to test it out on the rocky paths, muddy puddles and steep, gritty descents. It was a hot day but we still managed to find some muddy sections for the 4.5mm lugs to bite into, which they did with ease.
The breathable mesh uppers allowed our feet to feel cool as the mercury rose, and the rubber rand was handy in deflecting flying rocks as we sped down the rocky outcrops around the folly and war memorial at the hill top.
The cushioning was a little more than we’re used to for trail running but the feet soon settle into it and the shoe feels like part of your foot (in a good way) once you’ve worn it for a few hours, keeping you bounding along with ease. The laces are a little on the slippery side so we did a triple knot and they stayed put nicely, and the additional eyelets are a nice touch so we’ve been experimenting with them to get the best fit around the comfy neoprene tongue.
The fit is also nice and roomy in the toe box so we’ve really been enjoying these and are thinking of them as a contender for the Montane Lakeland 50 race later this summer…
The co-founder and former editor of Trail Running magazine, Claire now runs the YouTube channel Wild Ginger Running, creating films packed with trail- and ultra-running content. An award-winning journalist, writing for outdoor and adventure sports magazines and websites, her first book The Ultimate Guide to Trail Running 5k to 50k is out in January 2021. Claire also speaks and presents at events and races.