A rarity in the running shoe market.
The Liberty ISO is a combination not often found on the running scene: a stability shoe that’s also fast. The newly-launched shoe, the first in the Liberty line, hits shelves just in time for base season – full of kilometres – as racing winds down heading into the new year.
Even with the added features of a stability shoe, the Liberty, a sister of the Freedom ISO, the first shoe to feature a full-length EVERUN midsole, doesn’t break the 10 oz-mark in terms of weight. (Other Saucony shoes have EVERUN in the midsole, but not full-length.)
The Liberty is not as stiff as most motion control shoes and instead features just a touch of medial support. Visually, that support can be seen on the inner portion of the midsole (see below) with a half-shoe-length plastic that aims to slow the breaking down of the shoe in an area that receives most of the pressure when pronating. (Pronation is the inward rolling of the foot upon impact and through until takeoff.)
What you need to know
Release date: Nov. 1, 2017
Type: Stability with moderate pronation control
Recommended surfaces: Road, track
Heel-to-toe drop: 4 mm (22 mm to 18 mm)
Weight: Men 9.7 oz (275 g) | Women 8.7 oz (245 g)
Price (MSRP): $210
With a 22 mm to 18 mm heel-to-toe stack height (the amount of cushioning underfoot), the Liberty is consistent with other well-known lines of Saucony footwear including the beloved Kinvara. It’s not a stretch to say that the Liberty ISO 3 is a hybrid between a neutral-cushioned shoe and a serious motion control shoe. (If you’re looking for maximal-cushioned and all-in motion control shoe, check out the Hurricane ISO 3.) The Liberty, to give you a sense that it’s more performance-geared than an everyday motion control trainer, is about 1 oz lighter than the Hurricane ISO 3.
A great feature of the Liberty is the ISO Fit upper, which is Saucony’s term for its unique layering system integrated with the laces. In this case, the laces connect with straps that run alongside both sides of the upper, locking the foot into place with a secure hold. As they’re more exposed, the system may be prone to ripping though that hasn’t happened in our experience.
In comparison with its sister shoe, the Freedom, the Liberty has 3 mm extra of heel cushioning and, as previously mentioned, a tad of medial support. So, if you’ve been an avid user of the Freedom, also a relatively new shoe in the Saucony line, and find your continually breaking down the inner part of the shoe, the Liberty ISO may be the shoe for you. The Freedom and the Liberty have similar soles geared more towards road running and track work than off-road running including the trails. The crystal rubber on the underside of the shoe though lasts well into the hundreds of kilometres.
If you found the Freedom ISO to be a bit too unstructured, the Liberty ISO, with a soft upper that seems to fit a tad looser than the Freedom, is definitely an option.
The Liberty ISO retails, beginning Nov. 1, 2017, for $210. See Canadian Running‘s list of running stores here.