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Saucony is cooking up a new racing flat

As the Olympic year approaches, the race to design the fastest shoe continues

In the past three months alone, three shoe companies have come out with a new carbon-plated shoe. New Balance released the FuelCell 5280, Hoka One One released the Carbon X, and Nike came out with their newest carbon-plated shoe, the Next%, which was released to the public this past week.

RELATED: Krista DuChene wore a mystery shoe at the Ottawa Marathon

While Saucony has yet to officially release their latest racing flat, Canadian marathoner Krista DuChene wore a prototype at this year’s Ottawa Marathon and 2:09 marathoner Jared Ward has been working with the company on a new shoe for a year.

Krista DuChene’s Ottawa shoe. Photo: Maxine Gravina

The discreet shoe DuChene wore in Ottawa didn’t have any Saucony branding, and the midsole was cut with a black band that’s likely a carbon plate. The shoe is much taller than Saucony’s other models, with a stack height similar to the Nike Vaporfly and Next%.


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Ward is an Olympic marathoner and worked at BYU with a group of researchers who examined exactly how much of an advantage the Nike 4% provides. Their answer: 2.7 per cent.

Ward told Podium Runner this week that he used to be solely focused on the weight of a shoe, but lately he’s more interested in a cushioned midsole. “The shoes [Saucony’s first prototype] felt so much better than the minimalist racers I had been using. I particularly noticed it on the downhills. They absorbed so much more shock. I could really let loose and go hard without worrying about beating up my legs.”

The shoes pictured in the Podium Runner story look nearly identical to DuChene’s Ottawa racing flat. While there are no specifics about a shoe name or release date, we wouldn’t be shocked if it came out in the Olympic year, potentially ahead of the Olympic trials.