Saucony are one of my favorite running shoe brands. They continue to deliver in the running department and outperform its competitors.
Saucony has won many awards and have proven time and time again that they are one of the best running shoe companies in the world.
Does that mean this swagger of a shoe is going to do exactly that?
I’ve seen cheap shoes absolutely wreck competitors.
And I’ve seen expensive shoes flop.
So it doesn’t matter what the brand is, there are many things that come into play.
I’m here to figure out what the Saucony Excursion TR12 offers and how to get the best out of them.
Without further ado, lets get right into this review!
At a Glance
Product Name: Saucony Excursion TR12
Designed for: Trail running
True to size: Yes
Expected lifespan: 1 – 3 years
Price: $60 – $70
My Rating: 4.1/5
This shoe is best used for beginners looking to get into hiking the trails or running flat surfaces. And they are definitely worth the cheap price tag. However, they are not good for rocky/uneven terrain and should be kept to flat ground at all times.
The Saucony Excursion TR12 is a trail running shoe, an updated version of the TR11.
Customers found the previous version too narrow, so Saucony updated the TR12 with a wider design for a more nautral fit, as well as wide sizes for people with wide feet.
It boasts a rugged but durable appearance.
It includes a mesh upper with overlays to strengthen weak areas that are prone to ripping easily, as often found on other mesh running shoes.
The triangular lug patterns on the outsole is what makes it a trail running shoe. They grip the uneven surfaces so that you can continue running without slipping.
The special technology in the heel is called GRID and it works by cupping the heel as it compresses and rebounds upon liftoff.
It strikes a balance between responsiveness and cushioning so you don’t have to worry about it being stiff.
As with all products, there are going to be flaws.
The first thing wrong with them is the weather-resistance.
They are not waterproof and the mesh material means they are not even water-resistant.
Although not a huge deal, it does raise some concerns for people that like to run the trails in the rain.
Not that you should be anyway as that is incredibly dangerous.
But if you’re caught out in the rain it is going to be an issue.
This also makes it unwearable for people that like to run on muddy trails.
The shoe is going to get saturated and your feet will get wet.
Low quality and slippery sole
Secondly…and the problem that may be a deal breaker for you…is the slippery sole that’s weak and wears out fast.
This is one of the biggest issues I could find with this shoe.
Your feet may slide around inside the shoe, even with the right fit.
Because of this slippery sole it’s unknown to wear down fast.
I don’t know what they are using for the sole but it has clearly become a common problem.
Not a rocky running shoe
Someone “damn near broke their ankle” while running on rocky surfaces.
He stated that these shoes should strictly be used for flat surfaces or road running as they do not have the right amount of stability for uneven terrain.
Also the heel sometimes slips out of the shoe when running up and down hills.
It’s a trail running shoe at the end of the day, it should be able to handle these conditions but it simply cannot.
Things They Are Actually Good At
So now we have the flaws out of the way, there are still some things they can be used for.
They are good road running shoes.
The lug patterns on the outsole provide immense traction for the road.
Because of this extra durability in the outsole, the traction will last much longer than traditional running shoes.
If you decide to use them for trail running and don’t know the conditions, maybe test out the trail first with a different pair of running shoes before using these.
The last thing I want is you breaking something because you stepped on a rock.
But other than that, they are still good trail running shoes as long as it’s flat and you know what you’re getting yourself into.
In saying that, they are still great hiking trail shoes EVEN if the surfaces are uneven or rocky.
Walking is a low-impact activity. You’re able to watch your step and the chances of rolling an ankle are much less likely.
They don’t provide enough stability for running, but for walking, it’s a no-brainer.
The Pros and Cons
- They still make good running shoes, as long as they’re used for the road or flat surfaces
- Good for walking hiking trails
- Great traction abilities
- Very comfortable shoes. Saucony never fails in this department
- Lacks stability for running on rocky or uneven surfaces
- Slippery sole; feet may slide around
How Long Do They Last?
They’re pretty cheap trail shoes.
They cost about $60 – $70 on Amazon.
So they obviously have the average consumer in mind.
They are not made for professionals, they are made for beginner trail runners, someone who will be using them on easy trails.
A customer walks in them every single day for 10 miles and they last a few months.
Others say they “last forever”, or “last a long time”.
Someone also said theirs lasted 1000 miles.
It’s not uncommon for these shoes to last a year which is a common number I’m seeing
After compiling all the evidence together I am happy to give my answer on longevity.
The expected lifespan
For your job: 1 – 3 years.
Walking/hiking: 1 year
Road running: 6 – 12 months
Advanced trails (rocky/uneven terrain): A few months
That is actually really freaking good for a shoe that only costs 60 bucks!
Who Are They For?
I think Saucony wanted to create an affordable trail running shoe that the average person could benefit from.
And to be honest they have done a pretty good job.
However, they’ve got everything right except for a few major things.
The slippery sole is a problem and they don’t perform well on hills or rugged terrain.
This rules out running up and downhills, and terrain where rocks and vegetation are present.
They still have everything else right such as hiking, road running or working a job.
If you’re a beginner to the outdoors, and you want something cheap but still does the job, these shoes are for you.
Do I Recommend Them?
People continue to buy pair after pair because of how good they perform for low-impact activities.
And that’s something I need to emphasize.
Even though they have some flaws, they still perform for other things, and they do it incredibly well.
They’re not good for running through uneven terrain, but if your sole purpose is hiking or road running, then these are certainly recommended.
The slippery sole is only a problem for some people.
My guess is that the fit was too loose and the socks played a big part.
But apart from that, they are really good hiking shoes and I highly recommend them.
This review did start off rocky (no pun intended) but after discovering more about them, the more I grow to like it.
Not love, like.
And that should give you an indication about my final opinion.
Verdict: A Good Hiking Shoe For Beginners
I can’t believe I ended up liking this shoe.
There were a lot of bad things that raised some red flags in the beginning, but at the end of the day this shoe has alternative uses.
And that’s why I think they’ve built up a good reputation.
They are not for advanced trail runners (and if you are, check out the Altra Superior 4)
They are best for beginners new to the hiking game.
And that sums up the Saucony Excursion TR12 in a nutshell.