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Reviewed: Saucony ProGrid Paramount by Tawnee Prazak

Posted Apr 19 2009 11:02pm

Saucony For the longest time, I didn’t know how to pronounce Saucony. I was even embarrassed to ask to try on a pair in a running store: “Uh, can I have those shoes over there?”

But, really, pronouncing “Saucony” isn’t that hard, it’s just like “sock-a-knee.” And, no, that isn’t some cryptic clue implying that the running shoe will make you feel like you were socked in the knee.

I recently tried out the ProGrid Paramount, and my knees felt great, actually. And that’s just the beginning of what this versatile shoe offers.

The Paramount met my comfort standards right off the bat: a wider shoe with ample toe space, plenty of support for my high arch, as well as good flexibility at the ball of my foot—a good indicator of having an efficient toe-off.

Additionally, there was just enough cushion—I can’t stand shoes in which it feels like you’re wearing memory foam. Plus, too much cushion means sacrificing stability, too little means not enough foot support.

Next test: running. Before my first outing, I’ll admit, I was weary that there was too much heel on the shoe. I’m a midfoot striker, and I’ve adopted a “less is more” policy in shoe-buying. So after running in the Paramount, here’s what I observed: 1) There’s substantial heel support for a heel-toe runner, which is the stride most people have; 2) but there’s not so much heel that you feel dragged down. 

In fact, the Paramount’s lightweight and springy feel gives it that minimal-shoe quality I like but with the added support of being a solid stability shoe.

If you want to get technical about it, Saucony lists off a ton of features that you’ll find in the Paramount (see below). I guess you could say the company’s expertise has come a long way when they can put out a shoe that practically has more technical features than it does total ounces (the women’s Paramount weighs in at 9.9 oz.).

Progrid But to keep it simple, here are five features that sold me. First, the shoe is responsive, meaning there’s a smooth transition though the gait, which helps running speed. Second, it’s flexible, which gives it amazing lift-off. Third, it has quality temperature-regulating material; my foot was cool when it needed to be but warm enough during early morning cold runs. Fourth, it’s lightweight. Fifth (and possibly most important) the shoe is good-looking. Not that looks matter, but the Paramount is hot!

There’s another feature that makes this shoe extra worthy and uniquely Saucony: impact deflection technology known as Full-Length ProGrid with Respon-Tek. Heel-strikers will especially benefit from this. Basically, it absorbs impact, dissipates shock and provides a seamless transition from heel to forefoot. You may not notice this when you’re running, but your body will thank you later when your muscles and joints don’t have to suffer so much.

The only downfall to the shoe might be the cost. It’s $165, but with all the features packed into one little, light shoe, the investment may be worth it.

Here are some additional features in the ProGrid Paramount:

-Flexion Plate: Allows runner to quickly get up on their toes.

-Dual Density SSL EVA Midsole: Maximizes rebound and durability while minimizing weight.

-HRC Strobel Board: Increases cushioning and comfort.

-Arch-Lock: Provides snug midfoot fit.

-SRC Impact Zone: Provides shock attenuation and sets the foot up for a smooth transition.

-External TPU Heel Counter: Locks in the heel seamlessly.


Retail Price: $165.00

Editor' s Note:Tawnee Prazek is journalist, model, a triathlon junkie,  fitness-health-sports nut, and kinesiology major, and soon to be personal trainer. 

You can find her training for her next race on her Blog.

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