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Saucony Omni 20 Review
By Guest Reviewers Ryan Flugaur and Megan Flynn

The Omni 20 continues to carry over the tradition of being a robust stability shoe in the Saucony lineup. Becoming a model “20” is no easy feat and Saucony has continued to deliver a consistent, highly stable shoe with the Omni 20. As a mostly neutral runner I was a bit nervous to try a stability shoe, however, after putting nearly 50 miles on the shoe, I am pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. It offers a stable ride yet still provides some of that bounce that I typically enjoy thanks to the PWRRUN foam that was introduced in the Omni 19. The shoe has been updated with a new midsole geometry and width. This is a shoe I found to be very comfortable and will likely continue to run in even after the review. This shoe opened my eyes to a type of shoe I didn’t even know I would benefit from.




Specifications (per Saucony)

Weight: 11.7/ 332 g (men’s) 10.3/ 292 g (women’s)

Stack Height: 34 mm

Drop: 8 mm

Classification: Premium high stability Daily trainer


RUNNING SHOE SUMMARY

Ryan: The Saucony Omni 20 provides a stable ride without limiting too much of the natural pronation of the foot. The PWRRUN foam offers a well cushioned landing while providing a spring energy return. The upper is constructed of an engineered mesh that provides a comfortable lockdown of the foot and never feels too tight even during my longer runs where the foot is known to swell a bit. With new improvements to the width of the mid foot and continued soft ride thanks to the PWRRUN foam, Saucony continues to improve with the Omni line.

Megan: Marking it’s 20th anniversary, the Saucony Omni line has stood the test of time as a reliable stability shoe. A classic of Saucony, the Omni 20 returns with a slight increase in weight likely from the increased midfoot width added to provide more stability. Since the Omni 19s were released, the shoe has featured a FORMFIT mesh upper which continues in the Omni 20s and allows for adaptability and comfort throughout. With ever-changing shoe technology, the Omni 20s now have the comfort of PWRRUN cushioning combined with a Speedroll-inspired ride to facilitate forward propulsion. Any shoe that has been around long enough to reach model 20 speaks for itself in terms of reliability and adaptability.

The Saucony Omni 20 is a classic stability shoe returning with an improved midsole and outsole design, improving durability and efficiency. Saucony’s SPEEDROLL technology inspired some of the changes to the shoe, facilitating more forward-propulsion and a smoother ride. The outsole of the Omni 20s include a combination of the iBR+ in the forefoot (more cushioned) and the XT-900 in the heel (more durability). With the extended medial post and PWRRUN cushion combination, this shoe aims to provide a balance of stability and comfort.



FIT (LENGTH / WIDTH / COMFORT)

Ryan: The Saucony Omni 20 fits true to size for me in my normal men's US size 9. I found the width to be fairly normal throughout the length of the shoe. The heel feels snug without slippage thanks to the internal heel counter and the well padded tongue which holds the ankle into place. The upper is made of an engineered mesh with the Saucony logo on the side. There are multiple venting holes throughout the mesh over the dorsum of the shoe to help with breathability. I had no issues with excessive warmth even on my 10 mile plus summer runs. The toe box was slightly more snug when first putting on the shoe but stretched out nicely to fit well after my first run. The mid foot provided plenty of room and I had no issues with blisters or rubbing in the shoe.

Megan: I tested this shoe in a half size bigger than my normal trainers which was noticeable on the first couple of runs with some extra foot movement. After lacing up a bit tighter in the forefoot/midfoot and trying a heel-lock lacing, it improved the fit significantly allowing me to get a true feel for the ride of the shoe. The adaptable FORMFIT mesh upper and the increased elasticity of some Saucony laces ended up working in my favor to allow for a comfortable fit. A silver lining of having to make these slight sizing adjustments, is that it shows the adaptability of the shoe to fit a multitude of various types/shapes of feet.

The heel counter was firm and secure. The layer of PWRRUN cushioning throughout the midsole helped minimize the stiffness and improve the shock absorption and comfort. The midfoot felt fitted/snug with noticeable guidance through pronation. The combination of the firm heel cup and stiffness in the midfoot cause some irritation in my rearfoot, likely from more restrictions in motion than I’m used to. The thickness of the tongue may have contributed to more limitations in midfoot motion/mechanics. The forefoot was looser than the rest of the shoe, allowing for more motion. I was able to run a couple of miles sockless in the shoe, with only minor irritation from the tongue lining. However, I wouldn’t recommend running sockless due to the internal details and potential for irritation from the tongue insert.




PERFORMANCE (RIDE / SPEED)

Ryan: The Saucony Omni 20 is a high mileage stability shoe. Coming in at 11.7 oz, it is a very heavy shoe which is noticeable when first putting on the shoe. I used it mostly during recovery run pace however I did test it out over a few faster pace runs. It was able to hold up nicely over those faster pace runs but this would not be my first choice for these types of runs. This shoe performs best for longer recovery pace runs when your foot may need a little break.

When picking up the speed on the Omni 20 the transition from the heel to the midfoot felt a bit more clunky than I would have wanted and it was difficult to really push the pace. However, it performed very well at my slower recovery pace. The PWRRUN foam helped to cushion the long miles and increase the comfort of the shoe. After nearly 50 miles on the Omni 20, it displayed very little wear. I expect these shoes to last average to above average mileage for most runners.



Megan: As someone who typically runs in neutral shoes, the medial post was the most apparent. The additional pronation control was noticeable throughout the stance phase of gait, which (to be fair) is the goal of a stability shoe in the first place. Stance phase encompasses the time in which the foot is in contact with the ground and can be broken down into initial contact, loading phase (acceptance and distribution of forces), midstance (when foot is directly underneath center of mass), and terminal stance/push-off. The softer/cushioned midsole made the shoe more comfortable than other stability shoes, making it easier to become accustomed to and wear over the longer distances.

The responsiveness and forward propulsion was more apparent than in other stability shoes that I’ve run in (Asics GT-2000 series and Saucony Guide), possibly from the cushioning of the midsole and the use of speed-roll structure/technology. A huge positive about this Saucony shoe that differs from many previous ones I’ve run in – the outsole’s traction was great. Even in rainy conditions, there was no slippage on pavement which has been a problem in shoes without the TRIFLEX outsole. Weighing in at 10.3 oz., this would be a great daily trainer for easy runs, but after trying some faster-paced intervals, it’s clear that this shoe would not be suitable for any faster/harder runs.



STABILITY

Ryan: The Saucony Omni 20 provided a relatively stable ride for me without being overly stiff. The PWRRUN foam does a good job of cushioning the ride while the more stable midfoot and post provide the stability needed during a long run. You will likely not even feel the post which is different from most classic support shoes I have worn in the past. The laces and padded tongue also help to provide a more secure fit. Saucony increased the width of the midfoot this year with the Omni 20 to help give your foot a little extra support.

The posting in the midfoot was not noticeable during my runs and actually provided me some relief for my tibialis posterior tendon issues I have been having on and off for a year. Following most of my runs in other shoes, I would have some lingering soreness over the posterior tibialis tendon the next day. After wearing the Omni 20 for a few weeks, I no longer noticed this pain. Maybe a little guidance was just what I needed and the reason I may continue to add these shoes to my collection.

Megan:
The Saucony Omni 20 lives up to it’s “stability” classification. The extended medial post in the midfoot adds more pronation control and the firm heel cup maintains ankle alignment and stability. With increased stability through the midfoot and rearfoot, there’s more flexibility in the forefoot which allows for a comfortable transition through stance. The combination of increased midfoot stability and increased forefoot flexibility added in the Omni 20s results in a smoother and more comfortable ride compared to other stability shoes.




THOUGHTS AS A DPT / FOOTWEAR SCIENCE

Ryan: As I mentioned above, I have had lingering tibialis posterior issues that I have been working through for the past year. The tibialis posterior tendon is located on the inside of the foot and ankle that moves the ankle inward as well as assists with holding up the natural arch of your foot. An injury to this tendon could happen for a variety of reasons including but not limited to overtraining and a strength deficit of the muscles that help to stabilize the foot and ankle. I believe mine was likely the combination of the two. Currently, research does not suggest that pronation itself can cause injury but having some guidance from a shoe may help support the foot musculature and prevent breakdown. There are a variety of exercises that can be performed to strengthen the muscles on the bottom of your foot to assist with the tibialis posterior and hopefully avoid injury. For a list of recommended exercises and more information on this topic, Matt wrote an excellent post titled: Running Injury Prevention: Midfoot Arch Support and the Posterior Tibialis.




Megan:
The Saucony Omni 20 is a true stability shoe that successfully merges comfort with stability. The foam in the midsole combined with the flexibility in the forefoot adds to the comfort of the ride, while the extended post and firm heel cup contribute to the stability. As someone who is not accustomed to running in a stability shoe (I normally run in neutral shoes), it took an adjustment period to get a true feel for the shoe. While the extended medial post served it’s purpose to increase guidance through pronation, it ended up causing irritation to my talocrural joint and midfoot.

This makes sense when you breakdown the mechanics of the foot/ankle during stance phase of running. At initial contact, the foot is in a supinated position and begins to pronate for shock absorption and accommodation to the surface you’re landing on. This motion includes subtalar eversion, ankle dorsiflexion, and forefoot abduction. Collectively, this allows for movement in the midfoot tarsal joints, as well. When normal joint motion is restricted, surrounding joints tend to compensate. In my case, the limitations in the midfoot throughout pronation led to an unfamiliar restriction and ultimately irritation. The subtalar joint was also limited by a combination of the post and heel cup, resulting in compensations at the talocrural joint. As I ran more miles, this resulted in some pinching and dull pain along the talocrural joint line.

Another consideration is that pronation is important in shock absorption. When the foot accepts forces upon landing and loading, the posterior tibialis muscle is responsible for eccentrically controlling navicular drop. This controlled drop allows the midfoot to adapt and distribute forces evenly and gradually. When this is restricted by an excessive medial post, this gradual force acceptance is limited and forces may not be distributed evenly leading to a focal point of absorption elsewhere. In my case, the natural midfoot motion during pronation was blocked by the post, therefore not allowing for my normal distribution of forces. For me, the forces accepted on loading were shifted to the talocrural joint because the midfoot was not going through its usual mechanics. However, there are some cases in which this limitation is beneficial. If someone is experiencing pain related to the posterior tibialis, likely due to poor eccentric control and strength in the muscle, a medial post could serve as an appropriate way to decrease strain on this muscle.

References:
Nielsen, RO. (2013). Foot Pronation is not associated with increased injury risk in novice runners wearing a neutral shoe: a 1-year prospective cohort study. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 61(4)

Lynn., S., Padilla, R., Tsang, K. (2012). Differences in Static and Dynamic Balance Task Performance After 4 weeks of intrinsic foot muscle training: the Short Foot Exercise Veruss the Towel Curl Exercise. Journal of Sport Rehabilitation, 21: 327-333.



RECOMMENDATIONS 

Ryan: A change in the Omni 20 that I would love to see is for the shoe to drop a couple ounces of weight which may open it up to quicker paced runs. At 11.7 oz, this is a very heavy shoe which is very noticeable when first putting on the shoe. The Omni 20s large full contact outsole, wider midfoot, dense foam, and thicker mesh upper are the characteristics that make it a stable ride but also add to its weight. It may be challenging to decrease the weight without sacrificing some of the stability the Omni 20 offers.

Megan: The Saucony Omni 20 serves its purpose as an everyday, high-stability shoe. The forefoot flexibility and speedroll-inspired design was a great addition to the 20’s and should remain in the next model. However, the increased midfoot width resulted in a slight increase in the weight of the shoe. As a heavier shoe as it is, an area of improvement could be to somehow decrease the weight slightly in the next model, aiming to get back to the weight of the Omni 19s.


 


WHO THIS SHOE IS FOR (Conclusion)

Ryan: The Saucony Omni 20 is for anyone that is looking for a stability daily trainer that can be used for high mileage running but offers a more springy ride. The posting as well as the increased mid foot width from the previous model does a great job of adding stability without sacrificing the bounce. The lower cost of the shoe, $130, is also a good entry point when comparing it to other stability shoes.

Megan: Overall, the Saucony Omni 20 is great for someone who is looking for a shoe that provides comfort and stability. The midfoot stability coupled with a cushioned midsole makes for a great combination, adding to the comfort level of the shoe. A bit on the heavier side, this shoe would serve as a daily trainer to log some easy, slower miles. The forefoot flexibility and speedroll made this shoe stand out from other stability shoes since it helps to propel toward the forefoot through stance. The Omni 20s are on the higher end of the stability spectrum. As a comparison, this shoe offers a greater level of stability versus the Saucony Guide line just given the extended medial post and wider midfoot. For someone looking for a higher level of stability, the Saucony Omni 20 could be a perfect fit.



GRADING (SHOE CATEGORY)

Ryan
Fit: B+
(Good heel lock, a bit snug in the forefoot at first but easily breaks in after the first run.)
Performance: B-
(Great recovery long mileage running shoe. Shoe is a bit heavy for faster runs and it is noticeable during uptempo runs.)
Stability: A-
(Overall offers good stability without the shoe feeling stiff or clunky.)
DPT/Footwear Science: B+
(Shoe companies are beginning to change how stability shoes function. They are beginning to rely less on a true post and more on stability through other components of the shoe. This allows the shoe to be more comfortable and soft while still providing the support someone needs. This shoe is a good example of that.)
Personal: B
(I was pleasantly surprised by this shoe. It provided a stable yet well cushioned ride that also helped with some long-standing tibialis posterior pain I have been having.)
Overall: B
(The B score is mainly due to the fact that I feel it is just a bit too heavy. If you will be using it mainly for recovery, long distance mileage, this may be the shoe for you.)

Megan
Fit: B- (I probably should have had half a size smaller, a little loose in the forefoot and heel)
Performance: B (great flexibility in the forefoot, great traction, and breathable upper mesh. The weight of the shoe was higher than the previous model, but is explained by the wider midfoot)
Stability: A (This shoe does exactly what it sets out to do – increase midfoot stability and decrease pronation)
DPT/Footwear Science: A- (The added stability in the midfoot/rearfoot definitely could cause complications for someone who does not need that. The reason this score is higher is because the sole purpose of the shoe is to serve as a high stability shoe, in which case it should not lose points for accomplishing the goal)
Personal: C+ (As someone who runs in a neutral shoe, this high stability shoe was tough to fall in love with)
Overall: B+ (A great choice for someone looking for a lot of stability. It serves its purpose and achieves its goal as advertised)


SHOP | SUPPORT DOR

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FURTHER READING

Compare Premium Stability Trainers
Asics Kayano 28 -
A bit change for the Kayano as it incorporates Flytefoam Blast to soften the ride
Saucony Hurricane 23 - Combining PWRRUN+ with a smooth ride, the Hurricane takes a big leap forward in comfort and stability in the long running line
New Balance 860v11 - Fresh foam fans will enjoy the ride of the 860 which rolls along nicely. For those who want a heavily posted shoe that can run high mileage
Mizuno Wave Horizon 5 - Those looking for a very stable, non-posted shoe may want to seek the Horizon 5, with it's unique wave design to help guide runners
Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21 - The long running stability favorite of many continues to develop it's Guide Rail technology which helps propel runners forward
Hoka Arahi 5 - The J-frame system wraps around the runner to help guide them forward in Hoka's unique stability design, and provides some firmness to help cut the traditionally soft Hoka ride

Recently at Doctors of Running
NEW: Guide to Stability Shoes
Mizuno Wave Rider 25 Review - The Rider reaches a landmark year, now featuring soft full length Enerzy foam for a next generation ride
Adidas Boston 10 Review - Boston gets revolutionized as it leans into its racing sibling the Adios Pro 2 with Lightstrike Pro midsole and energy rods
Coros Apex 46mm Review - David Salas checks in on the Coros Apex which he's used extensively for track and trail running these past few months

Thanks for reading!

ABOUT RYAN FLUGAUR





Ryan Flugaur, PT, DPT, TPI Certified

Ryan Flugaur is a Doctor of Physical Therapy at Point Forward Physical Therapy in Stevens Point, WI. He works with variety of orthopedic conditions but specializes in treating injured athletes including runners, throwers, and swimmers. Dr. Flugaur graduated from the University of Wisconsin- Stevens Point with a bachelor’s degree in biology. He attained his doctorate from Concordia University Wisconsin. Since becoming a physical therapist, Dr Flugaur has completed advanced training through the Movement Performance Institute in advanced biomechanics of running, Washington University (St. Louis) in movement system impairment syndromes, and the Titleist Performance Institute in golfing biomechanics.

Dr. Flugaur began running four years ago when he was looking for a change to his current exercise program of body building. He continues to do some light strength training but running has become his true form of exercise to stay healthy. He has met some great friends through running and loves the comradery that the running community brings. He typically runs 20-40 miles a week depending on his training schedule. Dr. Flugaur lives in Wisconsin with his wife Oliva and 2 kids, Lucy and Jack. When not running he enjoys mountain biking, fat biking in the snow, camping, and cheering on the badgers, brewers, and bucks.

PRs Include: 5K:20:05 (2021) 10 K: 43:36 (2021) Half-Marathon 1:42:22 (2021)


ABOUT MEGAN FLYNN



Megan Flynn PT, DPT, MS
Custom Performance Physical Therapy

Megan Flynn is a Doctor of Physical Therapy at Custom Performance PT, located in New York City. While she treats various orthopedic injuries, she primarily specializes in treating injured runners. At Custom Performance, Megan has the unique opportunity to continue working with and coaching runners after they successfully return to pain-free running.

Megan graduated from The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) in 2014 with a bachelor's of science degree and went on to the University of Delaware (UD) for her doctorate of physical therapy degree.While at UD, Megan also earned her Masters of Science in Clinical Anatomy & Biomechanics.

Megan began running competitively as a freshman in high school (2006) and it has been a major component of her life since then. She was a member of the cross country and indoor/outdoor track & field teams for TCNJ and one season for UD while a first-year PT student. In college, she focused on the 3k/5k for TCNJ and the 10k at UD. Megan continues to train at a competitive level putting in ~70 miles/week and is a member of Leonia Track Club based in Leonia, NJ. She recently completed a track season in spring 2021 and will be transitioning to marathon training for the fall with California International Marathon being the goal race. Outside of running, Megan enjoys hiking, traveling, going to the beach, reading, and playing with her two adorable cats!

Editor's Note: As always, the views presented on this website belong to myself or the selected few who contribute to these posts. This website should not and does not serve as a replacement for seeking medical care. If you are currently injured or concerned about an injury, please see your local running physical therapist. If you are in the Los Angeles area, I am currently taking clients for running evaluations.

Matthew Klein, PT DPT OCS FAAOMPT
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Board Certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist
Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapists

Nathan Brown PT DPT MS
Doctor of Physical Therapy 
Masters in Anatomy and Clinical Health Science
Movement Performance Institute Certified in Advanced Functional Biomechanics 

David Salas PT DPT CSCS
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist

Bach Pham MS
Marketing and Social Media Manager
Master of Arts in Cultural Anthropology

***Disclaimer: These shoes were provided free of charge in exchange for a review.  We thank the  people at Saucony for sending us a pair.  This in no way affected the honesty of this review. We systematically put each type of shoe through certain runs prior to review. For trainers and performance trainers, we take them on daily runs, workouts, recovery runs and a long run prior to review (often accumulating anywhere from 20-50 miles in the process). For racing flats we ensure that we have completed intervals, a tempo or steady state run run as well as a warm up and cool down in each pair prior to review. This systematic process is to ensure that we have experience with each shoe in a large variety of conditions to provide expansive and thorough reviews for the public and for companies. Our views are based on our extensive history in the footwear industry and years testing and developing footwear. If you are a footwear rep looking for footwear reviews or consultations on development, we are currently looking to partner with companies to assist, discuss and promote footwear models. Partnership will not affect the honesty of our reviews.

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GUIDE TO STABILITY SHOES

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