Au Revoir, Hattori
I heard from Saucony earlier this month that they are discontinuing the Hattori. This came as a massive shock to me, as I am a massive Hattori fan – often using this super-lightweight minimal firecracker for my 5K’s. Having raved on about it to many friends and colleagues in the past, many others also use this shoe as their weapon of choice.
Today, I met with Matt from Saucony, who brought with him two huge luggage bags full of shoes. Jaw-dropping stuff.
The Saucony Virrata
I am pleased to say that, although we’re sadly going to see the last of the Hattori and the laced-up Hattori LC, the shoe that will replace this is right on par. This, ladies and gentlemen, is the Virrata.
Now I know this isn’t groundbreaking news – but this was my first in-person view of the Virrata. Slightly similar to the popular Kinvara 3, the Virrata weighs less (184g for a men’s size 9). If I had only looked at the sole I would have bet my money that it was the sole of a Hattori – same colour, material, and very similar tread pattern (a triangular lug design). Very flexible too…
The Virrata offers a good deal of room in the toe box, which is essential for good, natural running form. There is zero drop (0mm) from heel to toe making it a good option for barefoot and minimal running shoe lovers. The upper is also very breathable, with its mono mesh, and looks the part too with its reflective details.
Saucony’s full range of shoes could almost be classed as psychedelic. There are barely any sensible colour options (black/black). Triathletes will love this colour-pumped ‘look-at-me’ range (as do I), but I do wonder if the distinct lack of ‘sensible’ colour schemes may put a number of people off. Time will tell.
The Kinvara TR2
For me, the star of the show was the Kinvara TR2: Very easy on the eye, looks geared for maximum performance on the trails, and features a minimal 4mm offset from heel to toe. Can’t wait to get my hands on a pair in my size!!
Another One To Watch: The Saucony Unleash SD
This is not one I have seen in the flesh – but the Saucony Unleash SD looks realy nice. Although it is a shoe designed for shot put, discus and hammer throwers, I think this shoe looks really cool, similar in style to the Hattori. I wonder if it’s suitable for running? What do you think?
I’ll post some post-run reviews of these beauties in the near future. In the meantime, stay tuned: Facebook and Twitter