by Pro Triathlete Alex
The run leg during a triathlon is where I find myself most comfortable—not because I come from a running background, but because it’s the part of the race where I feel I can really push myself past my limits. Something about the pure exertion of running combined with the race effort coming to its climactic end really lets me unleash all I have left within. So when it comes to a weapon of choice on the run, I tend to be a little picky.
The Saucony Virrata is a speedy, lightweight, training/racing flat. There isn’t much to this 6.5 ounce, super-flexible, breathable shoe.
With a 0 mm drop from heel to toe, these shoes may take a little getting used to. Like any 0 mm drop shoe, watch out for over stressing your calves when you're getting started.
Not a pure racing flat, the Virrata has little bit of cushioning making this a great option for someone looking for a minimalistic shoe feel that is easy on the joints. There’s just enough cushion to the shoe to make it feel comfortable without the "running on pillows" feeling that comes with some overly cushioned shoes.
The Virratas have no posting and are a 100% neutral shoe, so if you are someone who tends to over pronate this is will probably not be your best option. With such an aggressive drop and an extremely flexible body, you get an amazing feel for the road, and the neutral composition of the sole allows your feet to do what they were designed to do.
I have a long narrow foot and find it hard to find a shoe that’s big enough while also being tight enough that I don’t slide around losing traction and giving me blisters. The Virratas have a narrower foot bed that hugs my foot and gives the shoes a very fast feel, but if you have a really wide foot this may not be the shoe for you.
The best part of the Saucony Virrata is the upper mesh. It’s quick drying and incredibly breathable so that if you’re running in wet conditions or dumping water on yourself to stay cool during a race, your feet don’t slosh around in wet shoes and blisters don’t have a chance to develop.
After 200+ miles of racing and fast running sessions, the shoes are still in great shape. My only complaint is that sometimes little pebbles get jammed into the treads, but this is just a minor annoyance. Available in a wide variety of color options, the Virratas are basically a well cushioned racing flat ready for race day, for hard track sessions, or even as a speedy everyday trainer.
The way a shoe feels on your foot can be one of the most important aspects to how it performs for you on race day—if you feel fast you’ll go fast! During the 2013 season I’ve gone through a few sets of race flats, either because the shoes couldn’t hold up against the pavement or they just didn’t feel fast. You spend money on quick bikes, faster wheels, and slippery wetsuits, so why not get yourself some shoes that are light on your feet and give you a little spring in your step?
Discount Tri Supply has the Saucony Virrata.
Read about Alex's success with these shoes in his Life Time Tri Minneapolis race report.