words // Nick Engvall
images // Zac Dubasik
If you’ve run anywhere, other than a treadmill that is, then you have most likely at one time or another experienced the incredible discomfort that can be caused by any kind of debris that finds its way between your foot and your footwear. Because of those instances, I find the name Saucony Progrid Razor rather ironic, especially for a uniquely designed shoe that’s most poignant design element is aimed at keeping rocks and other debris from entering the inside of the shoe. Mainly because I’ve experienced those rocks the size of boulders, that sometimes actually feel like a razor. Thankfully, however, the design of the Saucony Progrid Razor prevents any type of annoyances from making its way inside the sockliner.
The design of the Progrid Razor uses a bootie-like upper made of eVent fabric material. No, it doesn’t vent electronically. It actually keeps water and debris out while the mesh underside of the eVent material allows your feet to breathe despite being wrapped up and protected from the elements. After my first few runs, although the upper does a great job of keeping things out, I found one thing that could be improved upon. Typically I run in very minimalistic socks, meaning as thin as possible, seamless, and as low cut as I can get without them being constant “quitters.” For the Saucony Progrid Razor, that simply won’t work.
By having the zipper design on the front of the eVent upper, the Velcro strap that covers the zipper and wraps the two pieces together, simply doesn’t get tight enough around the ankle. It stays just slightly loose, which in turn rubs against your skin right above the ankle.
After reluctantly switching to a taller, which by design, all seem to be thicker, the ankle strap became a non-issue. For future designs, if Saucony could add a bit more contact patch on the Velcro Strap, I think wearing short socks would still work well. Which would address, what was practically the only downside to running in the Progrid Razor.
Underneath the eVent upper resides one of the most comfortable step-in comforts I have ever experienced in a trail shoe. The Progrid Razor inner lining, which also uses eVent technology to keep moisture out, is a soft yet durable nylon material. The fit and feel is very sock-like, and void of nearly all stitching, which really is my own personal preference for any type of running shoe.
Aside from the comfort, the Razor is also quite impressive in terms of support. Even though the carbon fiber you see on the outside heel area is not actually the functional part of its design, underneath is a supportive heel cup that many brands should take note of. Running in areas where the ground is covered in obstacles, or on trails of varied elevation, having that support just in case of an expected step is priceless.
The heel cup design isn’t the only thing that made the Saucony Progrid Razor a pleasure to run in. One of the most impressive aspects of the design is the aggressive Vibram sole. Not only is the traction amazing, but the Vibram outsole is rather bulky in appearance, is extremely lightweight. To the point that the weight of the Progrid Razor is the most impressive part about running in it. Compared to many of the other trail shoe designs, the Saucony Progrid Razor feels a normal running shoe, and I don’t think you can ask for more.
All in all, I’d give the Saucony Progrid Razor a high “B” to low “A” rating. Cushioning and transition is top notch. Fitment and comfort is impressive as well. The only downside to the Progrid Razor is its greatest asset. The zippered upper keeps everything that could be come an annoyance out of the interior of the shoes, but at the same time it just needs some minor tweaks to be perfect. If by chance you’re the type of person that likes to run in higher cut socks, you might even find it to be better.
Available now: Saucony Progrid Razor