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.
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.