Will Renwick tries out the American footwear brand’s ‘Run Anywhere’ trail shoe
Saucony describes its Nomad TR as the ‘Run Anywhere’ trail-to-road shoe. It’s an adaptation of the brand’s running trainer, the Kinvara.
The changes and updates are mainly to the outer and mid sole. Instead of the more traditional, smaller lugs of the Kinvara, the Nomad TR is layered with stiff hexagons each with a good depth to them, and at the front and back of the outer sole there are thin horizontal strips. This design provides an impressive amount of grip both on and off-road and at walking and running pace, feeling more dependable than some of shoes with traditional lug patterns that I’ve tested.
What’s also impressive is the amount of cushioning the shoe has. The sponginess of the mid sole is immediately noticeable. Both on flat and uneven surfaces the mid sole certainly helps to minimise impact. It’s made of a material called Powerfoam which is designed to not only absorb impact but distribute pressure. The drop from heel to toe is also worth noting, its minimal at just 4mm – similar to ‘barefoot running’ shoes.
Unfortunately, when updating the Kinvara running shoe to a trail one it looks like Saucony only focused on the sole. The upper part of the shoe doesn’t seem to have any kind of adaptations to make it more suitable to the trail. First of all it would have been useful if some water resistance had been added. On a wet day you can be confident that you won’t slip in these shoes, but not confident that your feet will stay dry.
Secondly, it would have been useful if the upper had a bit of reinforcement added. The use of the brand’s Flexifilm ‘exoskeleton’, a rubbery layer of thin strips, isn’t enough to make the upper feel rigid and supportive around the foot. There is a toe guard, but it is an extremely thin one. On the plus side, the thin top makes the Nomad TR light – 261g for half a pair.
It comes in two colour choices, the eye-catching orange and black pictured, and the slightly less eye-catching dark blue and bright green.
I’d say if you are looking for a shoe for low-level trail walking or running, then the cushioning and grip make the Nomad TR a great option. But if you’re looking for a shoe for use on steep, off-road inclines, I don’t think it’s quite hardy enough.