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Saucony Xodus Ultra 2: The Ultimate Ultra Shoe?
By Senior Contributor Andrea Myers

The Saucony Xodus Ultra 2 is a long distance trail shoe with a moderate stack of PWRRUN PB, which is the same foam Saucony uses in its super shoes. Version 2 has lost 0.7oz from the prior version while maintaining its exceptional performance on a variety of terrain and gaining a much better fitting upper. The Xodux Ultra 2 will be a great long distance training companion to the Endorphin Edge as well as a top choice for ultra distance racing. 

Saucony Xodus Ultra 2
Price: $149.99, releasing Mid-April
Weight: 9.6oz, 272g (men's size 9), 8.5oz, 241g  (women's size 8)
Stack Height: 32.5mm/26.5mm
Drop: 6mm
Classification: Ultra-distance trail shoe


The Saucony Xodus Ultra 2 is Saucony's ultra-distance trail shoe that provides exceptional cushioning thanks to its PWRRUN PB midsole. I enjoyed testing the original Xodus Ultra last year, but felt that the upper material and overall fit could be improved (it felt loose in the midfoot and a little tight in the toe box). When v2 arrived, I was pleased to find a more refined upper that felt secure, while providing a little more room in the toe box. The PWRRUN PB midsole provides ample cushioning while maintaining sufficient ground feel for technical trails. Coming in at 9.6oz for a men's size 9 and 8.5oz for a women's size 8, the Xodus Ultra 2 is surprisingly light on foot for such a cushioned shoe. This shoe will be a great choice for ultra distance training and racing, as well as for any trail runner looking for a more cushioned, but still responsive ride.


The Saucony Xodus Ultra 2 fits true to size in my usual women's size 9.5. They fit a little longer than the Peregrine or Endorphin Edge in the same size, but not so long that I would go down a size. The extra length would be much appreciated in longer races or on steep descents. The redesigned mesh upper hugs the midfoot nicely while still having some stretch to accommodate individual foot shape. Saucony says that v2 has an "internal midfoot brace" which appears to be an internal overlay on both sides of the midfoot. There is more width in the toe box at my MTPs and I experienced no irritation at my 1st or 5th MTPs. The rearfoot fits snug, but the fit is comfortable thanks to the moderately cushioned heel collar.

The gusseted tongue is medium-thin and has a neoprene feel to it (although I do not think it is actually neoprene). It has a little bit of stretch to it, which you can feel when donning the shoe. The tongue material immediately conforms to the dorsum of the foot and contributes to the locked-in feel of the midfoot. The lower half of the heel counter is rigid and wraps around the heel on both sides. The padded heel collar keeps the heel counter from feeling overly stiff, and also helps comfortably lock in the rearfoot. The laces are flat, do not stretch, and attach to the shoe through loops of fabric as opposed to traditional eyelets, except the two lace holes closest to the ankle, which are traditional eyelets. These loops are one continuous piece of fabric that runs the whole perimeter of the tongue and is reinforced with extensive stitching to the upper. This looks quite robust and secure, unlike other lacing systems that use loops instead of eyelets and have been known to break.

While I do not run sockless, I would not recommend doing so in this shoe due to exposed internal stitching on the tongue. I have tested every Saucony trail shoe in the past year except Excursion TR and Cohesion TR, and I can definitively say that the Xodus Ultra 2 is my favorite fitting of their trail shoes thanks to the secure fit and slightly increased toe box width.


The Saucony Xodus Ultra 2 provides a cushioned ride that maintains sufficient ground feel and excellent traction. The PWRRUN PB midsole provides the cushion and light bounce that we have come to expect from Saucony's super foam, without the rockered and rolling feeling of the Endorphin Edge (the Edge has a carbon plate and more aggressive forefoot rocker as compared to the Xodus Ultra 2). The Xodus Ultra 2 has a PWWRUN frame which potentially helps secure the foot inside the shoe. At 8.5oz for a women's size 8, the shoe feels like a moderately light training shoe and does not feel significantly heavier than the Peregrine 13, which comes in at 8.1oz for a women' size 8. The shoe feels like its stated 6mm drop and midfoot landings feel comfortable, without the heel getting in the way. The forefoot has moderate flexibility, which I found helpful on steep sections of trail. There is a moderate forefoot rocker with some toe spring, which also helps with the transition to push off. 

The shoe feels best at easy to steady paces, but definitely responds when accelerating up a hill or navigating a technical descent. I would not use this shoe for short races, but I would definitely consider it if I ever did a trail marathon or ultra. The 4.5mm multi-directional lugs provided confident grip on every trail surface, except deep mud. I tested the shoe on technical singletrack with rocks and roots, mud, sand, grass, wet wooden bridges, and a couple of stream crossings. I became very confident in the shoes the more I ran in them, being particularly impressed with their grip as I crossed a stream on wet rocks. The only time I experienced any loss of grip was in deeper mud. I have found the Peregrine 13 and Peregrine 13 ST to both perform better in deeper mud as compared to the Xodus Ultra 2 (thanks to their 5mm and 6.5mm lugs respectively). Like other Saucony trail shoes, the outsole durability will depend on how much pavement running you do. I have run minimally on pavement in my pair, so the lugs show almost no wear. Knowing the durability of PWRRUN PB in other Saucony shoes, I would expect higher than average durability out of the Xodus Ultra 2 if you stick to trails.


The Xodus Ultra 2 is a great example of a stable neutral trail shoe. The redesigned upper provides almost unparalleled foot security, thanks in large part to the internal midfoot brace and the secure tongue and lacing system. Foot security is important on the road and trails, but arguably more important in a trail shoe due to the severe and frequent changes in terrain and running direction. There are medial and lateral sidewalls in the rearfoot as well as a medial midfoot sidewall that provide additional stability. The shoe also has moderate medial and lateral sole flare that runs the entire length of the shoe (with some narrowing in the midfoot), providing a wider base and increased stability, regardless of where a person makes initial contact. The forefoot rocker and toe spring provide mild guidance to pushoff, which is important in a shoe with a higher stack height. The PWRRUN frame may also act as a stabilizing element to the softer PWRRUN PB that sits under the center of the foot.

The Xodus Ultra 2 is a great option for runners who like stable neutral features that center the foot and encourage forward motion, but do not need significant stability in any particular direction. 

Thoughts as a DPT: Super Foam, No Plate Needed
By Andrea Myers

We are seeing more shoes, both road and trail, with super foam midsoles and no plate. Examples include the Topo Cyclone 2, Nike Invincible Run Flyknit 3, Asics Superblast, and the Saucony Xodus Ultra 2. One of the benefits of PEBA and similar high performance midsole materials is their light weight, which allows a greater stack height of it to be used in a shoe (to provide greater cushioning and spring space) without the weight penalty of EVA or TPU.

A potential drawback of higher stack shoes is that a greater height of midsole material can make the shoe feel too soft and unstable. This is why most high stack shoes have significant rocker geometry and a plate, both of which help stabilize the midsole. Shoes with super foam midsoles and no plate need to rely on other shoe design features to provide stability to the midsole. The Topo Cyclone 2 does this with a somewhat lower stack height (28mm heel/23mm forefoot) and an aggressive rocker geometry. The Invincible Run Flyknit 3 has a higher stack (40mm/31mm) and utilizes a wider base and aggressive rocker geometry for stability. The Superblast, with its massive 45.5mm/37.5mm stack, also uses an aggressive rocker geometry, significant sole flare, and is both longitudinally and torsionally stiff due to its outsole design.

The Xodus Ultra 2, with its moderate 32.5mm/26.5mm stack, utilizes its rock plate, sole flare, and moderate forefoot rocker for stability. As super foams and higher stack heights become more and more common in non-racing shoes, we will see shoe companies use different strategies, besides plates, to stabilize the foams.


I am really happy with the updates Saucony has made to the Xodus Ultra 2. It is lighter, has a significantly improved fit, and still has the cushion and bounce of PWRRUN PB. The only recommendation I would make from a performance standpoint is to consider widening the midfoot to provide addition stability for midfoot strikers. Otherwise, I think Saucony did a great job with this update and I look forward to many trail miles in the shoe.


The Saucony Xodus Ultra 2 is one of two Saucony trail shoes with PWRRUN PB - the other being the Endorphin Edge, which has a carbon plate and is advertised as their racing trail shoe. I love running in the Endorphin Edge, including long trail runs, and I think the Xodus Ultra 2 is a ideal training companion to the Endorphin Edge. It has the cushioning and potential energy saving benefits of a super foam without the more aggressive ride of a heavily rockered and plated shoe. At $150, I think it is a good value for a shoe with PWRRUN PB and such a refined and well-fitting upper. I have had the great opportunity to run in most of Saucony's trail line, and I think that the Xodus Ultra 2 is the best choice for longer distance trail runners. While I also enjoy running in the Peregrine, the lower stack and PWRRUN midsole make it better for shorter runs. I remain highly impressed with Saucony's trail lineup and think the Xodus Ultra 2 will become a runner favorite.

Fit: (Excellent midfoot fit thanks to the internal midfoot brace and gusseted tongue, increased toe box width, and sufficient length to avoid toenail damage on descents)
Performance: A 
(PWRRUN PB provides super foam performance without an aggressive ride, will be ideal for long runs or any run where you want more underfoot protection)
Stability: (stable neutral) A (Xodus Ultra 2 provides several examples of stable neutral features: sole flare, sidewalls, forefoot rocker, and the foot stability benefits from a well fitting upper)
DPT/Footwear Science: A (Nice use of stable neutral elements to provide stability to a moderate stack height of PWRRUN PB)
Personal: A (A well-done, high cushion trail shoe with exceptional fit and performance)
Overall: (One of the best ultra distance trail shoes on the market)


Saucony Xodus Ultra 2
Price: $149.99, releasing Mid-April

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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.

***Disclaimer: These shoes were provided free of charge in exchange for a review.  We thank the people at *** 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 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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