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SHOE REVIEW: Saucony Mad River TR 2

With the second iteration of the Mad River TR, Saucony continues to update its lineup of trail shoes

Photo by: Canad

The Mad River TR 2 is the final item on Saucony’s list of trail shoes for 2020. As the name suggests, it’s the second edition of the Mad River TR, which came out in 2019. Runners who liked the original Mad River TR will find a similar ride with the TR 2. It’s a reliable shoe that provides a smooth run regardless of terrain. The TR 2 will perform well in any conditions, whether it’s wet and cold, dry and hot or some other combination, which is a great feature to have in a shoe as we say goodbye to summer and move into the fall and, soon enough, winter. 

Photo: Saucony

Category: Neutral

Stack height: 28.5 mm heel, 24.5 mm forefoot (4 mm offset)

Weight: Men 298 g (10.5 oz.), Women 269 g (9.5 oz.)

Sizes: Men 7-14, Women 5-12


Available: Now

MSRP: $139.95 

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Mad River TR 1 vs. 2 

The second iteration of the Mad River TR is a bit heavier than the original. At 298 g for men and 269 g for women, the TR 2 sits between the lighter Switchback 2 and the heavier Canyon TR, Saucony’s two other new arrivals in the trail department. There’s also much more cushioning in the Mad River TR 2s compared to the original, with an added 5.5 mm of space between you and the trail. That cushioning is also different this time around, as Saucony added the company’s PWRRUN foam to the midsole, which is 25 per cent lighter than EVERUN, which was featured in the first Mad River TR. 

Photo: Canadian Running Magazine

The upper 

The Mad River TR 2’s engineered mesh upper makes for a breathable and comfortable fit. The TR 2’s tongue adds to its already-snug fit and prevents debris and rocks from popping into the shoe. The wide toe box is another great feature, with a roomy yet secure feel that’s perfect for long days on the trails. 

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The midsole 

The shoe’s PWRRUN foam provides runners with a comfortable and soft ride. The extra cushioning underfoot compared to the first Mad River TR could be why this shoe is slightly heavier than its predecessor, but the PWRRUN is still quite light in general. If you’re a runner who loves to hammer long and hard runs, this midsole is perfect for you, and its durable design will keep you comfortable no matter how long you’re on your feet. Unlike the Switchback 2, the Mad River 2 doesn’t have a rock plate built into the midsole to add a protective layer, but it does have an extra 6.5 mm of cushioning between your foot and the ground.

Photo: Canadian Running Magazine

The outsole 

Like the Switchback 2 and the Canyon TR, the Mad River TR 2 has Saucony’s PWRTRAC rubber on the outsole, adding great grip to the shoe. But the shoe’s grip doesn’t stop there. Like the first Mad River TR, the TR 2 has with screw and drainage holes for a customizable outsole. Instead of being committed to a single stud setup, you can add or remove screws as needed. This way, if it’s a particularly slippery day on the trails, you’ll be set, and if you’re in for a dry run, you’ll be good to go, too. 

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Photo: Canadian Running Magazine

Final thoughts 

The Mad River TR 2 is a great option for trail runners, especially as the weather starts to turn and we drift toward colder months. It’s a comfortable and breathable shoe that provides a smooth ride, regardless of where you’re running. Whether you’re out for a quick 5K on the trails or heading for a monster ultra-distance run, this is a good shoe to consider for your next run. 

The Saucony Mad River TR 2 is available now.