In today’s comparison, I’m comparing the Saucony Triumph 19 vs 18. This is a shoe that I put in the best max cushion shoes of the year.
The Triumph is part of that new school of max cushion shoes where you’re getting all that cushion and comfort but you’re not getting mired down in extra squishiness. That is a trend in the max cushion category that I generally like.
However, on paper, the Triumph 19 is not a lot different than the 18. So, we’re going to dive into the similarities and differences hoping you could get a clear opinion on which one to go for.
But what could the Triumph 19 offer to convince you to pay the extra money for it instead of getting the discounted Triumph 18?
Well, that’s the question that we’re going to try to answer today.
So, after 100 miles in both shoes, it’s high time we put the Triumph 19 against the Triumph 18.
When you finish reading this comparison, make sure you read our Saucony Triumph vs Brooks Glycerin comparison.
Saucony Triumph 19 vs 18
As I said earlier, Saucony has kept all the best parts of the Triumph 18 and included it in the 19. Of course, I’m talking about the midsole and outsole because the upper is not exactly the same.
Related: Saucony Triumph vs Ride
In terms of their credentials, the Triumph 18 has got 32 millimeters of stack height in the heel and 24 millimeters of PWRRUN+ midsole foam in the forefoot for that 8mm heel-to-toe drop.
The Triumph 19 is a 32.5-millimeter stack height shoe in the heel and 24.5 millimeters of PWRRUN+ in the forefoot for that same 8mm heel-to-toe offset.
The amount of stack height in both shoes makes them pretty tall shoes.
In terms of weight, the Triumph 18 came in at 11.4 oz for men’s size 9 (324 grams) while the Triumph 19 did shed almost an ounce coming at 10.3 oz (293 grams).
So the Triumph 18 and 19 are considered to be luxury max cushion trainers, but with all that luxury comes a little extra weight because the 18 is the heavier of the two shoes.
But even though the Triumph 19 is lighter, it’s still on the heavy end of the spectrum.
Related: Running Shoe Heel Drop Chart
Type Of Foot
The Triumph series is a neutral road running shoe from Saucony and falls in the max cushion trainer category.
This means it’s going to be great for those who don’t need any control or guidance through their footstrike.
But I find it to be a stable neutral shoe because the heel counter and outsole rubber configuration do offer some stability for the neutral runner.
Is this a bad thing?
Our running form does break down, especially at the end of those long runs and so we do appreciate a shoe that could bring us to our natural position.
But I’m not referring to the amount of stability and control true stability running shoes offer.
Related: What is a Neutral Running Shoe
Who’s The Triumph 19 & 18 For?
If you’re a runner looking for a stable neutral shoe and you haven’t tried the Triumph series before, maybe this is the time to give it a try.
If you don’t already own either one of these, I would say you can skip the 18 and go right to the 19 because it’s definitely worth the upgrade in my opinion.
If you’ve tried the 18 and you felt like it wasn’t for you, you should consider the 19 because it performs really well and the upper feels really connected to the midsole giving you a slightly better lockdown.
If you’ve maybe come from a Brooks Glycerin, an Asics Nimbus, or a New Balance 1080 and looking for something slightly different, I would certainly consider giving the Triumph series a go.
Related: Saucony Triumph vs Brooks Glycerin
Why The Triumph Is Good For You
The Saucony Triumph is a bit of a goldilocks shoe when it comes to max cushion in terms of how much squish and comfort you’re getting.
I feel like you’re getting just the right amount of cushion, but it’s not so much that it feels like you’re getting stuck.
This is aided by the fact that while being soft, the material is still somewhat bouncy, but it’s not so bouncy that it ends up being a firm ride.
While this is a max cushion shoe and it’s really comfortable for those recovery runs, it also has a good amount of liveliness in it because of that PWRRUN+ which is a fun foam to run on.
Also, PWRRUN+ is an exciting foam that can pick up the pace just a little bit if you ever needed to do that.
So, what has it been like to run in Triumph 19 and 18?
Related: Saucony Triumph vs Hurricane
How The Triumph 19 & 18 Perform
I love using both Triumphs as recovery shoes and I love using them as easy long-run shoes.
But even though this is a max cushion shoe that’s a little bit on the heavy side, this midsole material still was up to the task for when I have some strides built in my long runs.
I had these shoes all the way up to a much faster pace than easy pace as I was doing some strides, and at that point when I’m at about that mile race pace effort, that’s where the Triumph still feels very well cushioned.
However, it also then starts to feel like the weight and squishiness of the foam is starting to catch up to me a little bit and it feels like the shoe is kind of holding me back.
But I think that for anything that’s in the easy or easy+ kind of range of paces, the Triumph is very eager to get laced up and go out there for those long runs and for those recovery runs as well.
I just don’t know if I can get the turnover fast enough for what my body is able to do. But lots of people can certainly run much faster than I was able to run in this shoe without any problem.
But for me, I just felt like I couldn’t get the legs turned over quick enough and that’s where I think some of the more relaxed nature of this shoe is starting to really kind of come to the forefront.
Again, I think the Triumph was intended to be used for those recovery days and those long-run days. It could even be used as a daily trainer by a lot of people and I think a lot of people are using it that way for sure.
The Triumph just loves to eat miles and it loves to get out there and run.
Running Uphill & Downhill
I had some uphill segments and some downhill segments just by the nature of the terrain that I have around me and I found that the Triumph loves running uphill.
I think it’s because of that bounciness and maybe that eight-millimeter drop as well. It just really enjoys running uphill, which is nice because I really don’t like running uphill and so it’s a good companion to have there.
But on the other hand, when I was going downhill, I found it really hard to reach those power numbers that I was shooting for for my strides. I’m thinking that it might be because of that weight.
The real story of the Triumph is this fantastic midsole foam…
For the midsole, both the Triumph 18 and 19 feature the exact same PWRRUN+ midsole foam and there’s a lot of it.
Saucony made some marginal updates to the midsole material in the previous iterations, but between the Triumph 19 and the Triumph 18, Saucony have kept the exact same midsole.
It’s not a bad thing when a brand gets it right and keeps what’s working well for them for the next 12 months.
PWRRUN+ is a TPU-based material. It looks like Boost and behaves like Boost, but Saucony say it’s supposed to be lighter and perform better.
Does the Triumph series back up that claim?
I think that Saucony is using the midsole way better than Adidas has been using Boost, at least when it comes to comparing the Triumph against the Adidas UltraBoost.
But while the Triumph 18 and 19 are max cushion trainers, they’re not the softest running shoes that I’ve run in, but they do have a lot of bounce or spring to them that helps get you moving through your gait cycle.
Overall, PWRRUN+ can handle a variety of paces and distances. If you want to go long and you want to rack up those big miles on your long runs over the weekend, this is definitely a shoe that you would have no problems reaching for.
The Triumph 19 and 18 have Saucony’s FORMFIT system.
This is a three-material system with the top layer being the insole that is designed to mold to your foot.
Then underneath that, there is a top layer that goes on top of the midsole which is nice and soft. It’s very soft and you can certainly squeeze it very easily and it contributes to the softness of the ride and especially that step-in comfort.
Below that, there is the PWRRUN+ foam that is the majority of this midsole.
There’s also this layer that serves as the border in between the upper and the midsole. While I think that this black band in the 19 and the gray band in the 18 is still PWRRUN+, I think, for the most part, it’s acting as a little bit of a rail system so that way your heel and foot don’t slide around too much laterally while you’re in the shoe.
On the Triumph 18, Saucony used a jacquard engineered mesh material with lots of perforations in the toe box.
Looking at the side of the shoe, they continue those perforations back around just about to the midfoot section of the shoe. Then, they have their Saucony logo as a plastic overlay.
Then in the back, you can see that they have these pretty stout heel clips that help stabilize your heel when you’re out running.
The biggest issue with the Triumph 18 is the material used on the upper runs really hot on foot.
The other issue that I had with this engineered mesh material is that it seems to retain water so much so that I’d kind of nicknamed it the “Soak-any” Triumph 18s.
When there was a little bit of rain or when my feet sweat a little bit, it seemed like my feet were just soaking wet, which was really not a comfortable feeling.
So, I enjoyed the midsole but not so much the upper material.
I think Saucony made some changes that have really brought some life back to the Triumph series in my opinion.
Again, the Triumph 18 was a winter shoe at best, and even then, it wasn’t all that comfortable to run in because the upper was holding it back.
For the Triumph 19, Saucony is using a mono-engineered mesh material that is very comfortable and borrows a lot of cues from the Saucony Endorphin Speed and the Endorphin Pro. I think that’s a very good move from Saucony.
I feel like there’s a lot of comfort in the upper. I like how toned down it is for a max cushion shoe and how much it is similar to the other uppers that I really enjoy from Saucony right now.
The upper has lots more perforations in the toe box, which makes the Triumph 19 a bit more breathable than the Triumph 18.
Also, because they used a different material, the 19 shed some weight. It’s maybe just a little bit more than an ounce lighter than the Triumph 18.
Looking at the side of the shoe, the Triumph 19 still has their Saucony logo as a plastic overlay, but it continues those perforations a bit further.
In the back, the Triumph 19 has some extra material in the heel counter area just to give a little bit of stability to your heel.
I did order both shoes true to size and I had no issues with fit.
In terms of the fit in the toe box, both shoes are exactly the same and I didn’t notice any difference at all in terms of the amount of room for my toes to splay.
Saucony did make some changes to the eyelet chain or the lace enclosure system. The Triumph 18 has a standard eyelet chain with some plastic overlays on the outside of the eyelets to give it a little extra durability.
On the Triumph 19, Saucony did add a loop down at the start of the eyelet chain. I appreciate this new feature because it does seem to reduce any kind of bunching that you might get up in the toe box.
Also, they changed the cut of the eyelet chain to give you a bit more of a snug or lockdown feeling across the midfoot section of the shoe.
On the outside of the eyelet chain, instead of a plastic overlay, the Triumph 19 has a more suede material, which gives a little bit of a lifestyle feel to the shoe.
I’m not sure that you’re going to want to wear these as a lifestyle shoe, but I think you could if you wanted to because they do add a little bit of flair or style to the shoe with that extra suede material on the eyelets.
Both shoes do have that extra eyelet in case you want to run with the runner’s knot.
Related: Running Shoe Size Comparison Between Brands
I was able to get locked in and secure across the midfoot section of each of these shoes.
I do feel like with the Triumph 19 and that zigzag pattern that they cut in that eyelet chain that it’s a bit more form-fitting across the midfoot section. I felt a little bit more locked in and secure across that area all the way back to my heel cup.
The tongue on the Triumph 18 is heavily padded. It does feature a gusset on each side so it is a semi-gusseted tongue and so you don’t have to worry about it migrating around.
I felt it was really comfortable but just really hot.
Thankfully, Saucony did make a change with the Triumph 19. The tongue now has a lot more perforations and they lost that suede material that was on the tongue.
The Triumph 19 still has that semi-gusset which is going to lay flat across your midfoot. I didn’t have any issues with the tongue migrating around on either shoe and I didn’t have any issues feeling any of the laces cutting across the midfoot section of either shoe.
Saucony did reduce the amount of padding in the tongue of the Triumph 19, which is pretty much standard for a daily trainer. It’s actually a light amount of padding when you think about it in the context of this being a max cushion shoe.
Heel Collar & Tab
On the Triumph 18, it just feels like that Saucony jammed as much padding around those areas as they could possibly get into the shoe, which creates a really luxurious feeling, but again, it does add a little bit of weight.
They reduced some of that padding in the Triumph 19, but the shoe still has plenty of it. The padding is just a little bit more concentrated up towards the collar of the shoe and there’s plenty back in the heel counter area where your Achilles can rest in.
I think that they still have maybe a little more padding than what they really need in the Triumph 19, but they did reduce it a little bit from the Triumph 18, which helped to reduce a little bit of the weight.
The 18 has a slight heel flare there, but the Triumph 19 definitely has a traditional heel counter and there’s no mini flare at all.
Neither shoe has a pull tab.
Looking at the heel counter, the Triumph 18 has these plastic clips both on the medial as well as lateral side of the shoe.
These plastic clips are covered in a material that is a little bit softer to the touch so it doesn’t feel plasticky at all. It’s a much more smooth feeling to it, but they added plenty of structure so it gives you some stability in your heel.
The Triumph 19 continues with that same theme, but they only just changed how they went about it a little bit.
The heel counter does have a more plastic feel to it but still has about the same, if not the same, amount of structure in the heel counter.
I found both of these shoes to be pretty stable to run in from a pronation standpoint. They have lots of stability in the heel to help hold your heel in place.
I found that each of these shoes has a nice well-defined heel cup, so I didn’t really have any heel slippage in either one either up or down or side to side.
Overall, I think Saucony did a terrific job in making changes to the upper on the Triumph 19 over the Triumph 18.
Old school vs new cushioned shoes in terms of padding
The old school of max cushion was super cushioned. Who cares how much slower you’re going because you’re going to be comfortable and you’re going to get your miles in.
The uppers on those shoes were also super plush and it feels like you’re just sticking your foot inside memory foam.
There’s a little bit of that still going on the Triumph, especially in the tongue. You’ve got it in the part that’s going to touch your Achilles tendon and the parts that are touching your heel.
Everything in the collar is puffy. It’s a little less puffy than it was in the Triumph 17 and even less puffy in the Triumph 19 but still really puffy and I just don’t think that that’s necessary.
When I want a long-run shoe or a recovery shoe, I don’t really care how much puffiness there is in the tongue. But because the shoe is on the heavy side, I feel like they could pare down some of that puffiness and switch out these big puffy laces.
On the Triumph 18, the material from the toe box forward is good, but the back has more junk there. I’m not saying that it’s a junky upper, but there’s just a lot more stuff that I tend to not love quite as much.
There’s a pretty substantial heel counter back and Saucony did a really great job of hiding it and making it look a little bit incognito, but it’s pretty stiff and there’s a lot of it.
I think that’s going to be a plus for a lot of people that want to be channeled inside the shoe a little bit more securely.
Related: Best Running Shoes For Achilles Tendinitis
Just like with the midsole, Saucony kept the outsole exactly the same. Both the Triumph 19 and 18 have their carbon rubber from the heel to the toe covering pretty much all that PWRRUN+ midsole foam.
It’s not exactly a full coverage outsole because we do see a couple of spots of exposed foam. But for the most part, we’re getting really good coverage on the outsole.
XT900 is Saucony’s premium carbon rubber which is relatively durable. There’s also a slightly denser rubber strategically placed at the back of the lateral column.
In the forefoot, Saucony cut away two vertical flex grooves to help provide a stable forefoot because going for horizontal flex grooves would have made the shoe a bit unstable and way too flexible because of that PWRRUN+ midsole foam.
I think Saucony’s thought process is if ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
But as much as I’ve been loving the shoe, now let’s talk about the long-term durability…
Upper & Midsole
In terms of the wear and tear, both shoes are very comfortable and everything fits really well. All the materials are holding up well in the upper and the midsole.
The PWRRUN+ material does about the same thing that I’ve seen when I ran in Boost shoes from Adidas. I’ve had experience with the Triumph 17 and it’s doing about the same thing that it did there as well.
I think the most visible areas of wear is in the discoloration on the midsole. It’s about what you’d expect from a shoe that’s been loved, worn, and actually run in, but that’s pretty much like the worst of it as far as what the ravages of time and the miles have been able to inflict upon the Triumph 19.
I feel like that PWRRUN+ material is still giving me that great feeling of squish but also bounce to make it so that it’s a really pleasant shoe to bring along for those easy runs and for those really long runs as well.
For the most part, the foam feels fresh and it feels like it’s straight out of the box still, which is amazing after 100 miles.
So, I would anticipate that you’re going to get a lot more happy miles running in this PWRRUN+ material that’s in the Saucony Triumph 19 and 18.
Moving to the outsole, there’s not a lot of wear that I can speak of when it comes to these shoes.
The rubber is wearing in the spots that I would normally expect to see it, but even in those areas, it’s really difficult for me to see any major areas of wear.
But in terms of the forefoot, there’s hardly any wear at all. So, if you’re mostly a forefoot striker, this is definitely going to last you a really long time.
So, as far as what I would expect to see from a 100-mile shoe, I think this shoe is doing much better than average, especially considering the fact that this is a shoe that I’m going to be wearing for slower paces and for longer runs and so there might be a little bit more shuffling at some of those easier paces.
But the fact that I’m not seeing any in my highest wear areas, I’m very impressed with how this rubber outsole has been holding up. I think they’re doing an absolutely fantastic job.
And all of you who are really looking for that price per performance, I really think that you’re going to get a really great value out of the Saucony Triumph 19 and the Saucony Triumph 18.
Related: Most Durable Running Shoes
Again, the Saucony Triumph 19…
- Is lighter and more breathable.
- Doesn’t retain water like the 18.
- Provides a little better lockdown and security across the midfoot.
Where can you buy the Saucony Triumph 18 and 19?
Saucony Triumph 19
Saucony Triumph 18
Saucony Triumph 19
Saucony Triumph 18
Thanks for making it to the end of this Saucony Triumph 19 vs 18 comparison. I hope you enjoyed it.