Saucony Virrata Review

Over the years, I have dabbled with zero-drop shoes on more occasions than I can remember.  I SO wanted to wear a lightweight, more natural shoe.  But each time I have had to sadly return to my previous training shoe because my foot felt too naked, too unsupported for anything more than a mile or two. They just didn’t feel right on my foot and I couldn’t get used to the feeling of having NO support from the pavement.

So, understandably, I was intrigued when I heard about the new Saucony shoe – the Virrata.

The Virrata is Saucony’s lightest and most flexible training shoe which allows your foot to move naturally.  But Saucony did something different with this shoe – something I hadn’t seen in other natural 0mm drop shoes. Rather than completely strip down the shoe and leave a 0mm drop shoe with no support or cushioning, they ADDED 18mm of cushion at the bottom. GENIUS. 

I loved this concept because it addressed my biggest issue with lightweight, 0mm drop shoes – the lack of protection and support. 

More details on the Virrata

I received the Virratas in the mail just over four weeks ago.  I was tempted to do a review right away but really wanted to get some miles on them before I shared my opinion.

I felt a difference the first moment I tried on the shoe.  My foot felt extremely flexible in the shoe BUT supported.  It didn’t feel like I was running barefoot on the pavement (like other shoes had felt like to me).  I actually felt the cushioning of the shoe – similar to the cushion of my everyday trainers – but the shoe was significantly lighter (6.0 oz for the female shoe).

For the first two weeks, I wore the Virratas on my short, easy recovery runs.  Since I wasn’t used to a 0mm drop, I didn’t want to overdo it.  I started with 3-4 miles…

And gradually worked up to 6 easy miles:

They felt lightweight, comfortable, and supportive – the THREE things I was hoping (and praying) they would feel like.

I did my last speed workout before the NYC Half Marathon in the shoe – 9 total miles including 5×1 mile repeats.  I felt like I was flying.  I knew after that workout that I would want to wear the Virratas for the race this past Sunday.  I ha already logged close to 40 miles in the shoes and felt that making the jump from 9 to 13 miles was a safe one considering how many runs I had already worn them on.

Do you know how you know a shoe is right for you and is doing it’s job?  When you can run a 13.1 mile race and not think about your shoe or your feet ONCE during that time.  No hot spots, no aches, no pain from pounding the pavement for 92 minutes (and 23 seconds).

The Virrata has definitely made it’s way into a top position in my running shoe lineup.  I plan to wear these for my speed and tempo runs as well as my upcoming races (and I have every intention to rock them for the NJ Marathon n 6+ weeks!).

I would highly recommend the Virrata if you are a neutral runner looking to try a lightweight, natural shoe – and especially if you have been turned off by the lack of support in other 0mm drop shoes.

Disclaimer: Saucony sent me the Virrata shoes in part of the FitFluential Ambassador Program. The thoughts and opinions are completely my own. 

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    33 thoughts on “Saucony Virrata Review

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      Tessa recently posted..TessaMy Profile

    2. Hi,
      I know I am late to this conversation, but I was wondering if you have used these for a marathon, and if so, how they worked. I have just signed up for my first road marathon in a while, and I am terrified because I currently have no shoe that works well for long road runs. I need flexible shoes with lots of forefoot cushioning. What do you think?
      Lori Bufka recently posted..Is It Time to Replace My Running Shoes?My Profile

      • Hi Lori,
        I stopped wearing the Virrata after the half marathon I raced in b/c of some foot pain. I wear them occasionally for super short recovery runs or cross training days but that’s it. I think that this shoe would be fine for you if you feel you don’t need a lot of support/cushion on long runs. There are some other shoes out there, however, that are flexible and can provide more support for the longer distances if you start to feel like they aren’t working for you!
        nycrunningmama recently posted..Weekend Happenings and Training Catch UpMy Profile

    3. I have to admit, these are one of the coolest running shoes I’ve seen. The added 18mm cushion at bottom sounds great! Gonna try to get my hands on these. I use NB minimalist shoes at the moment but they’re pretty worn out so I’m looking for a new one.
      Sally recently posted..Minimalist Running Shoes ReviewsMy Profile

    4. I had the same experience with the Virratas… the first time a zero drop shoe felt so good! I’ve been wearing them for longer distances too, and am thinking I might race in them Saturday… just a 5k, so that should be doable. Great review!
      Laura @ Mommy Run Fast recently posted..Crock pot Chickpea CurryMy Profile

    5. What a great review! I am till working on building my mileage up on my Virratas, because I’m the one that will find a way to tweak or injure something, somehow. They don’t “feel” like minimalist shoes at all, but seriously feel like I’m flying. Then reality hits and I’m no where near flying compared to you. 😉
      Melissa @ Melissa Running It recently posted..My Double Green Weekend {Race Recap}My Profile

    6. Thanks for the review. I am hoping to try a shoe just like this after I deliver my baby in May and can get back to running (my plan to run through my pregnancy didn’t work out so well.) I might have to try this shoe and see how I like it as I ease back into a training schedule. I am a very neutral runner and typically wear brooks, but I’ll be trying these. Always been afraid to try minimalist shoes because I usually like the support of more cushioned shoes.

    7. This is quite a vote of confidence for these shoes. Congrats on being so committed to trying them out and giving them an honest review. I can say of all the ones that I’ve read for this product yours has has the most effort, time, and mileage behind them. It’s the first one that makes me want to think about trying them out as a minimal option. I wear light stability shoes, though. Do you think they would work for me, or are they more for neutral runners? Thanks for your honest opinion. It’s very clear that you’re committed to the products you write reviews for.
      meghan recently posted..Random Wednesday: money, bikes, and yogaMy Profile

    8. I am a huge supporter of Saucony, and currently run in the lightweight Saucony Kinvara’s and have been for a few years now. I have looked into the Virrata’s and think they are on my list to try. I love the idea of staying with Saucony, but still trying something new.
      Laura recently posted..Ten Things TuesdayMy Profile

    9. Thanks for the review! Would you say the toe box is snug, average or roomy? This is an important point for me and my long toes :)

    10. Great review, and love the feedback. I am looking to make a couple of shoe changes in the next couple months and will be testing out lots of options! I hope that my running store is ready for me to take several runs around town trying them out! I switched to Mizuno’s and Asics a couple of years ago, but Saucony seems to have a lot of really impressive shoes out there and I might dabble back in them as they were my first true love for shoes when I really began distance running.
      Gianna @ Run, Lift, Repeat recently posted..Spring?My Profile

    11. Just ordered these! Im pregnant, in my second trimester, and need to get moving again while ive got my energy back and im hoping these will be that touch of motivation I need to do so! Love your blog!

      • Thanks so much, Lisa!!! Hope these shoes give you the motivation you need!! Just one word of caution (b/c I learned the hard way): I tried to transition to a more natural shoe during my last pregnancy and ended up developing PPP (posterior pelvic pain – I wrote a bunch of posts about it). My chiro thought that the transition to those shoes likely played a part in them – he had said that there is so much going on with our bodies that I shouldn’t have tried to add another change at that time. If you have already worn natural-type shoes, I doubt you will have any issues, but soon after I started wearing mine, I developed some pretty nasty pain that lasted for 5-6 weeks :/
        nycrunningmama recently posted..Saucony Virrata ReviewMy Profile

      • Hehe…I think you should too!!! I’m definitely going to be cautious about doing too many runs in them though – I don’t think I’m ready for the majority of my runs being in natural shoes…but at least one or two a week will hopefully be!
        nycrunningmama recently posted..Saucony Virrata ReviewMy Profile

    12. They sound awesome! I went straight into zero drop shoes when I returned to running post-baby #2. I wear the Altra Intuition. I totally agree with you that I need some cushion and support if I’m going to go minimalist. I really think zero drop shoes are the way to go and the way our feet are meant to be when we run.
      Kristen recently posted..I have a new loveMy Profile

      • I have a pair of Altras and just haven’t had the time to try them out. Glad to know that you like them…I wore them on a few runs and felt like I needed to get used to them a bit more before I really started wearing them.
        nycrunningmama recently posted..Saucony Virrata ReviewMy Profile

    13. I like to think the term “minimalist shoe” will go out of style soon and like hearing it called “natural” better. It seems many of the shoe manufacturers are starting to fine tune this concept more, giving us the lower heel to toe drop we probably all really need (who should run in high heels anyway?) but protecting us from the pavement (who should really need to feel asphalt?) :)
      Christina recently posted..Mental toughness in distance runningMy Profile

      • Christina, I agree 100%. Altra has developed the same thinking too – just haven’t gotten around to really testing out their shoes like I did with the Virrata. The idea of nothing supporting under your foot baffles me. My feet get so torn up from doing that :/
        nycrunningmama recently posted..Saucony Virrata ReviewMy Profile