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Simpson's Shoe Review

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Hey Morgantown...and surrounding area, I've got a new shoe review for you. This may seem redundant being my last review was the Saucony Cortana 2 so I apologize, but not really, for bringing you my review of the Saucony Cortana 3. Let's get to the updates first. Saucony has reduced the weight slightly in this new version, it's coming in at 9.5 oz for men and 8.4 for women. Saucony has also added a support frame to the heel counter which secures the heel better than its predecesor. The big change,however, is in the upper. Saucony has added Flexfilm which makes the shoe lighter weight and have a more seamless feel. You can see variations of this upper in the Kinvara and Mirage but this one feels slightly different. What about things that have not changed? Well....the shoe still has a 4mm offset. The heel is coming in at 22mm and the forefoot 18mm. So it is still very smooth in transition from midfoot to forefoot. Another thing not changed is Saucony's Powergrid cushioning. This is probably my favortie cushioning system out today as it is amazingly soft yet responsive if you want to get up and go. action is it still King?/Queen? Answer at the bottom....

Feel in Action: The Saucony Cortana 3 is a dream on ones foot. This is a shoe you won't mind slipping out of bed and going right into a run or rather once you get them on your feet you'll want to go for a run. Once you get going you will see what I mean about the soft ride, yes this shoe has a 4mm drop but it will go way further *comfortably then you will actually go. I have done 20 mile long runs in these and am quite sure they would go 100 if I wanted (I dont). It's hard for me to put into words what this shoe actually feels like....It's natural, smooth, soft, fun,'s what you want and need in your training arsenal. 


Basic Issues: As I stated earlier the upper is brand new..The Flexfilm tends to really hug the foot which has caused some issues with runners who have bunions. It's a real shame a couple of people I know can't wear this shoe beacuse of a rebelliant Big Toe but that isn't really the shoes fault but it is an issue for some, so i'll state it. 


Conclusion: What Saucony has done here is create a series of shoes that shows the rest of the world that an amazing shoe is possible, yes other brands have gotten it right here and there but then they go ahead and mess it up again and again instead of staying true to what people liked(Take the Brooks Pure Cadence for instance)...The Cortana has gotten better everytime and this new update is my favorite of the series..It's a long run shoe, a workout shoe, a race's your omni tool for your running closet. Like I stated earlier, a shoe that makes you want to go for a run. Can there be better praise? I don't think so..... Still King??.... Hail Cortana!

Notice the heel counter that locks your heel in place and the beveled heel that slows pronation.
The heel is nicely protected with IBR+ coverage and the medial black foam offers a bit of support for longer runs
Flexfilm upper
With great comfort comes great looks. Well done Saucony

Long time no see Morgantown Running community! I have a new shoe to talk about, and it just so happens to be one of my favorite shoes of all time. It is the Saucony Cortana 2! The Cortana was originally a shoe that Saucony created to showcase what they could do if they put all their technology and running prowess together...the Cortana 1 was born and it was not intended to be mass produced but something happened; People LOVED it! Including yours truley. The Cortana weighs in at 9.8 oz *8.6 oz for the ladies* and has a 4mm heel to toe offset. Great specs for a shoe that runs like a normal cushioned heavy mileage shoe. Saucony uses a Sauc-fit upper which wraps the foot nicely and Powergrid foam in the sole that is just the right amount of responsive/cushioned in your ride. In all honesty people this shoe is probably the most versatile shoe I have ever had. If I have a 25 mile run to do, the Cortana is what I grab. It will protect your joints and muscles just fine over such a long distance. But let's say you need do some speed work, at 9.8 oz and with the 4mm offset you will have no problem getting up on your toes and lighting up the track or your local 5k/10k. Step in comfort is there as well. I recently did my run in my pair without socks and it was amazing! So run as free as you wish in these shoes. 


FEEL IN ACTION: The Saucony Cortana runs smoooooth. There is no *clip clop feel that I get like with the Mirage series do in pt to this shoe being much more flexible. You don't get that feel to the ground that a true minimal runner would like but it is just as natural. For someone really putting in the miles it works better. I can't run 115 miles a week in the Brooks Pure drift, as much as Id like to try. So that is where a shoe like this comes into play, my long runs especially. Go Long..go Fast should be the moniger of this trainer


Basic Issues: Other than price...this shoe may not have any faults. Unless you have bunions or any issues with wide wide feet this shoe is exactly what a shoe should be. *msrp 150$....but still better than the new Nike Lunar fly knit 1. 


Conclusion: If you want a running shoe that can possibly do everything for you then you should atleast check out the Saucony Cortana 2. The shoe has earned atleast the respect of being tried on. It's'll be brainer!





The Saucony Cortana 2 has an open mesh toe box that lets the foot splay out naturally and will cause less rubbing. the Sauc-fit helps keep the foot held snug tho giving the shoe a very ride. 

The Saucony Cortana 2 uses powergrid foam that is responsive and well cushioned. This pair here has about 200 miles on them and is wearing quite nicely. I've never had a pair wear out too soon. The Sole has good traction and is quite soft. 

This shoe can be used by Neutral to mild overpronators. The black piece of foam shown here on the medial side will slow pronation a touch. 

Lateral side of the shoe. Let's just make one thing clear here...The Shoe looks Great! It's fast, it's comfy, it's awesome! So again, let me ask this question...Do you want to be awesome? 

Hello Morgantown Running community! Something exciting has come out....straight from the desert! A "Mirage" of a fact it's the New Saucony Mirage 3. And I have the personal rundown of this newly updated "natural" series show, so let's jump straight into it. The Mirage 3 is an update of the Mirage 2, a shoe I really wanted to like, as much as I wanted to like the Mirage 1, but neither of those shoes made the grade; they were stiff, UNnatural, and not any fun to run in. Neither the Mirage 1 or 2 flexed well and the tongue always seemed to slip down way to far. So did the updated version fix these issues? Partially, yes. The upper has been completly re-done as they scratched the old upper for their Flex-Film uppers in their performance shoe line. This is a Huge plus!!! The Flex-Film uppers are probably my favorite fitting shoes I have ever worn. They seem to conform to your foot in just the right way, plus it's a lighter material. Saucony has also added more flex grooves to the forefront to make the shoe extra flexible...Now here is an issue. Is it more flexible? Yes..Is it flexible? Not really. If you are used to anything like the Kinvara, Brooks Pure shoes, any NB minimal with a vibram sole, etc etc...You will not think this shoe is "natural" and flexible. Now if you are coming from any stability shoe/traditional trainer then the answer changes to YES! This shoe is crazy flexible. depends, and that isn't necessarily a bad thing. There are plenty of flexible options out there and Saucony gives you two in the Kinvara 3 and their new Virrata! Anyway...let's continue. The shoe is a 4mm drop (my favorite!) so it seems to be working well for people who want to run more midfoot. WAIT WAIT WAIT! ... Disclaimer * The new Runner's World has the Mirage 3 at a 7.3 ish heel to to offset. I wrote to Saucony, on fbook, and asked them whether their 4mm claim was correct or the Runner's World claim of 7mm was correct...and! I got no answer haha. So I'm going to stick with 4mm cause that is what Saucony is saying; regardless its a low drop. Now onto some more specs - The shoe has a beveled heel just like the Kinvara does; this helps with the transition from heel to toe, a nice addition. It also has a slight roll bar to help control pronation to a degree, so it fits a wider variety of runners. For those wanting some slight support for longer runs, but still want the low drop and lighter feel (8.3 oz for men) that a "minimal shoe gives you the Mirage 3 is a must try. 


Feel In Action: The shoe kind of feels like you are in a stiletto while standing in it. It's a unique platform that's for sure, but that feel isn't really an issue once you get moving. It's a fun shoe..I can say that much. The Flex-Film is very comfortable on the foot and the bottom is cushioned enough. Runner's who are wanting a marshmallow feel be warned; you aren't getting that. What you get is a more responsive ride while still being protected from many many miles. This shoe is quite a bit more durable than the Kinvara and you can kind of tell that while running in's tough. Runner's new to speed work will enjoy the security of this shoe but appreciate the fact the lightness and 4mm drop will let them get moving quicker than usual. 


Basic Issues: As already stated I don't believe this shoe is flexible enough for me. But don't get that comment confused by my thought for the overal populace. I am not the norm...Im the "freak"...This shoe is marvelous for alot of runners. The only other issue I have with the shoe is the transition from the medial/lateral part of the foot rolling in; as I got moving faster it would kind of horse shoe clunk from the outside into my toe off. But when I jogged it was 100% fine. 


Conclusion: The Mirage 3 works for so many runner's; it's lighter than normal trainers and lets us run more natural; while still providing a lot of protection from the pavement. If you are a runner looking to get out of your clunky trainer and into a lighter, faster, more fun shoe..than the Mirage 3 is definitly a shoe you need to try on and check out. With that said, if you are a runner used to something like the Brooks Pure Drift, NB minimus anything, altra etc...then this shoe is a good choice for your big mileage days. The Mirage 3 will work for just might fit a unique slot in your running repertoire.



Roll Bar with the Mirage 3. Will help with slight pronation control
From the lateral side you can see the flex grooves in the forefoot and the decoupled heel.
The bottom of the Mirage 3 looks nice and is more flexible than its predecessors. Note the Flex grooves and my hand
My favorite part of Saucony; The Upper! Try this shoe with the flex film and try not to love it.

Josh Simpson

Manager @ Morgantown Running

*Disclaimer: I received these shoes as seed shoes. I do not work for Saucony and the opinions stated are those of my own.



Hello again Morgantown Running area! It's time for a new review! This week I will change gears a little bit and go from the minimal universe to the somewhat traditional stability shoe in the Mizuno Inspire 9.

The Inspire 9 wouldn't typically be a shoe I would personally seek out for all my running miles. I tend to stick to the light and flexible, the shoe without a posting or a shoe with to much going on with it. I believe simple is better with running, but that was before this new one was created. The New Inspire 9 is lighter (check)! It goes from 10.9 oz in Men (Women's 8.9 oz) to 10.1 oz and 8.3 oz. You'll tell with pictures listed below that they have taken out quite a bit of material on the medial side of the shoe. The mizuno logo is now much smaller and I've heard adjectives like "sleek" being thrown around. Ok, so that's one check..The next great thing is the shoe is not stiff, atleast not in the stability world. The toe flex works very well and unlike the Adrenaline it doesn't feel like there is a brick on your foot (I hear most of you hissing and preparing your pitchforks at this point). Side note: I have worn the Adrenaline quite a bit and think it is an unbelievable shoe but in comparison to the Inspire it's a big boy and for my 130 lb frame isn't the most fun thing to lug around. Anyway, flexibility (check)! And number three would be the posting mass. Mizuno uses a Wave technology which is very hard to distinguish between its neutral versions, but trust me the stability is there. But it is not as heavy or so easily seen as the Dual Density postings that you see in most stability shoes. This helps them cut down on weight and sort of separate themselves as a company. Think of the Mizuno plate as a wave; when you come into contact with the ground the energy will disperse along the wave instead of jolting up through your leg. Pretty neaty, eh? So! on my checklist we just hit 3/3. It's a lightish shoe with good flexibilty for, it's category, and its not bulky. Oh...wait! A new addition to my check list is heel to toe offset. As I stated last week I like a 4mm drop, but am encouraged by all the company's taking atleast some of the heel out. The Mizuno WaveRider is still 12mm but the Inspire is knocked down to around 9 mm. And to me that's a fair deal Mizuno is giving us. 


Feel In Action: The Mizuno Inspire 9 feels great! For being a stability shoe its very close to an extension of ones own foot. Mizuno prides themselves on the fit of their shoes and this one fits just right. I am still amazed at how level the shoe is with a very stable platform. It has a bit stiffer cushioning than some of your traditional "pillow" shoes but trust aren't losing cushioning, in fact I believe you are gaining responsivness. Unfortunatly, with a super soft shoe a lot of energy is lost on contact, leaving your body to do more work for pushoff. With a slightly stiffer bottom the show more easily rebounds energy, making it less stressful on your lower half to get moving. To date the shoe feels the most natural on my foot than other stabiltiy models (minus the brooks cadence...but that's a different conversation). Also, before I forget Mizuno has taken a lot of seems out of the forefoot of the shoe. This provides greater toe movement and less chance for bunyon pain. Huge Plus!

Basic Issues: As with most every shoe we have a problem. The biggest one for Mizuno is the HUGE canyon that is the bottom heel portion of the shoe (pic below). This has never led me to not enjoy Mizuno but I hear a lot of rumblings about it. If you want to hit some trails with this shoe RUNNER BEWARE! you will accumulate many rock buddies. Some of which may be of the boulder size. And stay away from chipmunks...they'll get lost forever. 

Conclusion: The Inspire 9 works! With it's stability component pleasing many a runners arch yet flexible responsive ride..How can you go wrong here? For a high mileage shoe on or off the road (This shoe has pretty damn good grip) you have a great shoe here in the Inspire 9. Try it out...make up your own mind but you will not hate this shoe. And think of the canyon underneath as a cute beauty mark. It's a defining characteristic of Mizuno that won't be going anywhere. So Get out! Enjoy every Run! and make sure to give me a high five when we cross paths on the trails!


Josh Simpson

Manager @ Morgantown Running


*Disclaimer: I received these shoes as seed shoes from Mizuno. I do not work for the company and the opinions above are that of my own. 


*Watch the USA XC Championships on Feb 2nd

Seems in the Toebox have been removed..Giving the Inspire 9 greater flexibility for your toes
The medial side of the shoe has been sleeked out. Making it lighter and more comfortable
Great tread here for traction! But notice the Canyon in the back.... cute, no?
Good Heel protection, stable heel counter, and a very attractive shoe.

Hello Morgantown Running community! We here at MorgantownRunning have decided to start doing a weekly shoe review for our customers and basically anyone who ventures onto our website and/or facebook page. And I, Josh Simpson, have been given the lucky task of heading this idea! Luckily for everyone I have quite the fair opinion on running shoes. I also will be giving out my e-mail at the end of each review incase you had any extra questions about a shoe I've reviewed or maybe you want to hear my opinions on a shoe I have yet to get to. I'd love to hear what you have to say! So, without further ado....We start with *drumroll.... 



New Brooks Pure Drift! 


I wanted to start with this particular shoe for a few reasons. 1: It's brand new to the world, as of this month! So we have to talk about it. 2: It's part of a series that has caught fire since 2 October's ago but is a bit different than its bigger bro's and sis in the Cadence, Flow, and Connect. 3: My personal love for the shoe! duh. 

So to begin, obviously this shoe is a "minimal" shoe, but as with a lot of the minimal shoes out it has different characteristics than others. I hear people daily categorizing all the minimal shoes in one group and I feel that's a bit unfair; It's a little more complicated than that. Not only with the dimensions but with how personal a shoe is for an individuals needs and expectations, but we can get into that a bit later. This shoe weighs in in a svelt 5.6 oz for Men and 5.1oz for women. You will automatically feel a few things stepping in to this shoe. One being the low stack height, the shoe still has a 4mm offset like its siblings but it is far lower to the ground than the others. "Pure" runners will rejoice with the actual feel to the ground that you get from this shoe. *cough *cough Forgot to mention with the insole out it is a 0mm drop. Choices Choices! Don't we all love those! Another thing you will notice is the roomy toe box. I personally love this because it's one of the defining characteristics of a minimal or natural shoe. But with that big roomy toebox comes a "problem"...You'll notice that when you grip your toes that part of the upper will buckle in. This isn't really a problem persay but the nitpickers will have a field day with it and i'm sure it is something Brooks will correct in the next installment. And the last big thing I felt stepping in was the lateral rubber. It's beefed up along the entire lateral side of the foot for durability and just standing in the shoe it was maybe...slightly uncomfortable, but I urge all of you to actually run in the shoe. Don't just stand in it and make up your mind. Cause we are runners! Not standers, right? 

Feel in Action: First of all, you will feel how impossible it seems to strike your heel in this shoe. A good thing! It's very natural, much more so than some of the other "minimal" shoes I have run in before. But the nice thing with this shoe, unlike the NB minimus trail or rd, for instance is that you aren't giving up cushion. I've taken this shoe out for many 10 milers through town and have been simply amazed at how responsive and soft the shoe is on pavement. In no run that I have done, so far in this shoe, have I woke up feeling beat up because of the lack of protection underneath. (Warning: Don't go run 10 miles and be pissed at me because I said the shoe was magically taking away the pain and suffering we experience as runners. I run 100+ miles a week, so please take in your own personal ability to account) It's quite a nice thing in such a minimal shoe. Also, the 2 long flex grooves that Brooks has placed at the bottom of this shoe work quite well. It's a very flexible shoe..*Downside: rocks getting stuck in there. Get ready to pick them out. (pics to come at the end of the page)

 Basic issues: I'm finding from others that the the new burrito wrap that Brooks has implented in the new Pure line isn't quite working as well as they would have liked. For someone with a narrow foot it is making it hard to sinch up the bottom laces of the shoes, again something that'll probably be looked at in the near future. But it is nothing that detracts to much from this show. Another one, as I've stated earlier, is the flex grooves catching rocks or any small rodent you may step on...again not a problem but may be an annoyance on trails etc. 

Conclusion: The Brooks Pure Drift is a lighteight trainer/racing flat that is both very flexible and soft. If you want a "minimal" shoe that you will get a lot of feel with, but not do as much damage to your joints, I think the Pure Drift is a winner. I have full confidence that this shoe will get you to the finish line faster or simply make you want to get out the door for a run even when it may seem like we live in Quebec. It's not a perfect shoe but it's a great 1st outing for the Drift as was the Cadence and Flow. I hope Brooks keeps up with this trend of shoe as I feel we all benefit from the switch over to a lighter world. Thanks for reading!



Josh Simpson

Manager @ MorgantownRunning


*Disclaimer: I am not an employee of Brooks. I received the Brooks Pure Drift as a seed shoe from their company and have used my personal thoughts on the shoe from my ~90 miles I have placed on them to date. 



The Brooks Pure Drift is 4mm with the insole and 0mm without. Love the choices!

The Brooks Pure Drift is Flexible but def not sloppy! Perfect blend on your foot

Two flex Grooves/ Ideal Heel/ Good protection on lateral side and midfoot

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