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Dec 13, 2023

Shoe Review: Saucony Xodus Ultra 2

Earlier this year, a representative from Saucony reached out to offer a trial pair of shoes for review. Those shoes served me well on my road runs, and I happened to mention to the company that I liked trail and ultrarunning as well.

I was in luck. They had just launched a new trail shoe made just for ultrarunning – would I like to give them a try as well? (Would I? You don’t have to ask me twice!)

Saucony and Black Girls Run! have a great partnership, and that’s how I got my hands on the new Xodus Ultra 2, designed for the rigors of running on trails for long periods of time. I had an ultra (defined as a race longer than the 26.2-mile marathon) coming up in the fall, so I decided to use the Xodus Ultra 2 for all of my summer training and the race itself.

I’m not an expert shoe reviewer like others might be, but whenever I get a new pair, I’m always looking to make sure my shins and feet stay injury-free after running. I also want to make sure the shoes offer enough stability, as I tend to overpronate when running. That means that my knee turns inward and causes my arch to flatten with each step.

For trail shoes, however, it’s a given that we’ll be running on unstable surfaces, and we can’t often control how our legs and feet will strike a rocky surface or a muddy one. Trail shoes usually have neutral support, and doing exercises to strengthen your ankles is highly recommended to help prevent injury.

What I loved was the light feeling of this shoe, comparatively speaking. Trail shoes are generally clunkier and heavier because of the rocky, uneven surfaces you run, but you don’t want to feel your shoes dragging you down either. On my training runs, the Xodus Ultra 2 felt no different than my usual trail shoes – I even forgot I had on a pair of new shoes, which meant these were doing great.

After about three months of training, it was time for my ultra. I surpassed the 50K mark to hit 37 miles overall, making this my longest race ever. The Xodus Ultra 2 never failed me during a 12-hour day of constant movement, with my worst pain being sore arches at the end of the day. I recovered quickly from my soreness and had no lingering leg or foot injuries.

Maybe it was the high of finishing an ultra or I’m just a glutton for punishment, but I signed up for another trail race a month later. It was “just” 17 miles, but this race felt even more difficult because of its significant elevation and very rocky and rooty terrain. My Xodus Ultra 2 shoes really were tested then, but once again, the shoes felt light on my feet and I finished pain- and injury-free.

The Xodus Ultra 2 will stay in my rotation of trail-running shoes, and I’m excited that Saucony created this model for those of us who like to take our running off road.

By Shannon Shelton Miller /Twitter: ShannonSMWrites, Instagram: shannon.shelton1

Shannon Shelton Miller is a longtime writer and journalist who enjoys writing about sports, fitness, health, beauty, and parenting. She has been running for 27 years, starting from joining her high school cross-country team. She has run a marathon, two half marathons, and countless 5K and 10K races.