Low drop and light weight meet premium features in the Saucony Cortana 2, a cushioned trainer with a performance edge.
Saucony’s Cortana 2 is a unique shoe. It features the technologies of a premium trainer, yet its 4mm heel-to-toe offset is more similar to the offsets found on more elemental performance trainers like Saucony’s own Kinvara or the Brooks PureFlow. It stands alone in a category of high-feature, low-offset daily trainers.
And how does a shoe like this run? Our testers reported a responsive and resilient underfoot feel, and though the cushioning may be firmer than a typical max-feature shoe, it offers more than enough protection to handle long runs. With its low drop platform, the Cortana 2 was built to accommodate a forward footstrike, which is reflected in its ride. Though some testers compared heel striking in the shoe to driving with a flat tire, fore-to-midfoot landings resulted in an effortless transition through toe-off.
Testers had plenty of praise for the upper. The shoe lacks overlays around the toebox and the sides of the midfoot, and the result is a roomy, accommodating fit that will easily form to any foot shape, while the Sauc-Fit and lacing system do a good job of keeping the foot in place. Another benefit of the overlay-free upper: plenty of breathability.
With the use of lighter upper materials in this update, the Cortana 2 rivals the weight of many lightweight performance trainers. Fittingly, testers reported a more nimble and performance-oriented feel. The Cortana 2 is suitable for a variety of applications, from long runs and everyday training to speedwork and even racing for some runners.
“I have a narrower foot, and though the heel fit nicely, I had trouble filling the spacious toebox and midfoot. This shoe should easily fit anyone with a wider or higher volume foot.”
“I was impressed by the breathability of the upper. Premium trainers typically trade off breathable mesh for a more plush feel, but the Cortana 2 does a good job of feeling both plush and airy.”
“With the low drop, responsive cushioning, and light weight, I was almost tricked into running at a pace reserved for tempo days. This shoe feels a lot faster than you would expect.”