Coming off of the six-day TransRockies Run, my body was beat up and fatigued. My mind, however, knew that movement is often the best medicine. So in order to get my legs and feet to agree to a run, I had to pull out the big guns, something my feet could seriously appreciate. Enter the Saucony ProGrid Cortana.
The ProGrid Cortana is like a cushion shoe without all the baggage. It treats your legs to a luxurious landing without the wasteful or harmful lateral movement that typically comes with it. As a forefoot runner, I especially appreciate:
- the responsiveness that lets me feel both the road and the rebound
- the modest heel drop of only about four and a half millimeters
- the slight extension on the sole around the interior ball of the foot that acts as an additional stabilizing feature the flexibility; its ability to bend so that my foot is well accommodated regardless of angle (e.g. no heel slippage!)
- the grip (sticky feeling)of the outsole, increasing the sense confidence at every foot strike
The net-net: the PowerFoam and PowerGrid combination in the midsole gives a flexible, pillowy feel that doesn’t sacrifice stability and efficiency.
Especially on my long runs, I focused on the fit. The toe box feels right-sized (neither crowded nor sloppy) and proportional to the width. The forefoot has room to spread out upon striking, without swimming in space. The overall width feels narrower than many models, which I appreciate, and is designed to surround and envelop the foot to provide a snug, secure feeling.
There are several features working together in the shoe’s upper that are responsible for the ‘foot hug’: a flexible (and cool-looking) airmesh covers the toebox; the soft, breathable sockliner and collar liner surround the foot contours; and the Sauc-Fit system keeps the foot (including the heel) securely in place.
My only criticism of the ProGrid Cortana is the selection of color combinations. I love a fast-looking color splash, but Saucony could have done better for the women than the Black/Pink/Gray and Pink/Green options. Thankfully there is a more neutral Blue/White alternative.
The ProGrid Cortana, regularly priced at $145.00, is an excellent choice if you are a forefoot runner who desires some cushion. Whether you are a minimalist but like to mix it up with some well-designed cushion on occasion (like me), or you are not ready to make the leap to a flatter shoe, the ProGrid Cortana will take good care of you.
Lori Lyons has over twenty marathons to her name, including Boston, and with the addition of trails to her training repertoire, has recently entered the smaller community of ultrarunning. She is an occasional triathlete with the half Ironman as a favorite distance. Lori is an LA-based, independent consultant in the automotive industry, and dedicated mother to her three year old son and four year old bulldog (neither of which want to run with her).