Saucony Freedom ISO 2 Review

With the second generation of the Freedom ISO, Saucony has taken what they’ve learned from the first generation of Freedoms and made some design tweaks that slightly change the overall feel of the shoe. Overall, Freedom ISO fans should like the update and it should continue to win new fans with its lightweight, flexible upper and responsive yet soft midsole.

The Freedom ISO 2 follows the same formula as the original Freedom ISO – a full EVERUN midsole with a light and flexible sock-like upper. The fit and feel of the shoe is similar, but there are some slight changes:

Saucony Freedom ISO vs Saucony Freedom ISO 2:

  • The only big change with the 2 is that Saucony has brought the Freedom back to be much more “true to size,” so you don’t have to go up a half (or full) size
  • No significant changes to the midsole – the ride is almost identical in terms of softness/responsiveness
  • There’s a slightly more defined lateral heel bevel in the Freedom ISO 2, so the landing and transition feel is a little smoother
  • The tongue is softer and a little more rounded in the Freedom ISO 2, eliminating any concern of that digging in when using lower (or no) socks
  • Stability remains unchanged, although the addition of the heel bevel might make it a little more balanced (and not essentially biased toward the inside like the original Freedom)

Fit

While most aspects of the new Freedom ISO 2 are very similar to the original, the only major change in the Freedom 2 is the fit. The original Freedom was small – we often needed to go up a full size to maintain a proper fit. The 2 is now more in line with current running shoe sizing. Width is about the same as the original, and the Freedom ISO 2 maintains the flexible upper mesh that will accomidate a range of foot widths.

Feel

Saucony created a really unique shoe in the original Freedom with their full (Boost-like) EVERUN midsole providing a responsive, soft, and durable ride combined with a very flexible upper. The Freedom ISO 2 doesn’t deviate from that feel – providing a performance-feel that should last not only for the full duration of your runs but also over more lifetime miles than a traditional EVA midsole. The flexibility of the upper also continues to be a defining characteristic of the Freedom. While Saucony has slightly reinforced the upper on the Freedom ISO 2, it still is a sock-like, lightweight material which allows your feet to flex and breathe. The one difference in feel is that while the original Freedom ISO almost required a lateral footstrike due to its complete lack of support, the Freedom ISO 2 has beveled the lateral heel as well as taken some material out of the lateral side of the midsole to promote a more lateral landing and create a better transition.

 Function

The Freesom ISO 2 might be a little more versatile with the decreased support on the lateral side, but it remains a shoe that will work only for truly neutral runners. Without the heel bevel, the original really pushed runners and walkers to the inside. With the 2, Saucony is trying to keep your foot on the lateral side for a little longer than the original did.

Comparisons:

Saucony Freedom ISO vs Saucony Kinvara:

When evaluating the Saucony Freedom ISO vs Kinvara, its important to note that they are designed with very different audiences in mind and contain very different technologies. While the Saucony Kinvara is a lightweight trainer which uses standard EVA foam, the Freedom is more of a standard-wight shoe with a really flexible upper. The responsiveness of the EVERUN midsole and the barely-there upper does make the Freedom feel like a lighter shoe. Overall height on the Freedom is much lower, and the heel feels considerably lower due to the lower drop. The Freedom ISO 2 is softer than the Kinvara, but the EVERUN midsole does keep it responsive and playful. While the Kinvara is much lighter (8.4 vs 11 oz for a men’s size 11), the flexibility and minimal upper of the Freedom ISO 2 do a lot to minimize that difference on-foot. Both have minimal inherent stability and function as pure neutral shoes.

Saucony Freedom ISO vs Altra Escalante

Altra’s new EGO foam is designed to be a direct competitor to Adidas Boost and Saucony EVERUN, and the Escalante is the closest model to the Freedom in terms of having a full EGO midsole and light, flexible upper. The Saucony Freedom vs Escalante comparison is interesting because of how different the end-products are. While the Freedom feels pretty light and soft compared to some of its EVA foam competitors such as the Kinvara and Zante, the Escalante takes both of those to another level. Compared to the Escalante, the Freedom feels firm and pretty in-flexible. The Escalante’s are narrower overall, except in the toebox where the Escalante’s provide the typical Altra room. As each is designed as purely neutral trainers, guidance for each shoe is minimal.

Saucony Freedom ISO vs Brooks Levitate

The Levitate and Freedom both serve as flagship vehicles for Brooks’ DNA AMP and Saucony’s EVERUN, respectively. While Brooks has put their Boost competitor in a standard-weight, standard-drop neutral trainer, the Freedom deviates as a lower, more flexible neutral trainer that doesn’t really fit into a existing typical stereotype. The Levitate is much higher but firmer than the Freedom, but both feel about the same weight on-foot. The Levitate is wider and has a much roomier toebox.

Saucony Freedom ISO vs Nike Zoom Fly

While the actual softness of these two shoes feels pretty similar, the overall feel is very different. The overriding feeling on the Zoom Fly is the high heel, low toe, and nice rocker transition – which stands in stark contrast to the low drop of the Freedom. The Zoom Fly is much lighter than the Freedom, and it feels slightly lighter on-foot, but not as much as the scale would indicate. Neither shoe provides any noticeable guidance for runners who pronate.


Saucony Freedom ISO 2

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