Saucony Hattori: 4.4 oz, Zero-Drop Shoe Revealed at The Running Event

saucony_logo_web The Running Event, a conference and expo for running specialty stores, was held last week in Austin, Texas. A reader (thanks Benjamin!) alerted me to a photo that was tweeted by Runner’s World UK of an interesting new shoe coming from Saucony. The Saucony Hattory is a 4.4 oz, zero-drop shoe that is described as follows on the Running Warehouse blog:

Another interesting model is the Saucony Hattori.  A 4.4 Oz. Zero heel drop trainer that offers a velcro strap closure, and not much in the way of a midsole.  The Hattori will be the most minimal model in the Saucony line.  Given Saucony’s distribution, this should prove a formidable challenger to the smaller brands making Minimal products by virtue of the sheer number of running specialty doors Saucony has open.  Saucony should be a serious player in this category right out of the gate.

Here’s the picture of the Saucony Hattori from Runner’s World UK:

Saucony Hattori

The Hattori follows many of the more minimal offerings we have seen so far in replacing a lacing system with velcro straps, and though it’s hard to tell, the upper looks very minimal. One puzzling thing regarding this shoe, if I’m interpreting the image correctly, is that the lateral midsole on the forefoot seems to lack any form of rubber protection (the midsole construction in the forefoot appears very similar to the popular Kinvara). For a zero drop shoe, it would seem that this would be essential since midfoot/forefoot striking is going to be encouraged. It will be interesting to see what the midsole composition is and how this might play out in terms of durability in this shoe. Exciting times ahead for minimalist runners!

Update 4/25/2011: Just put up a post with my preliminary review of the Saucony Hattori.

About Peter Larson

This post was authored by Peter Larson. Pete is a recovering academic who currently works as an exercise physiologist, running coach, and writer. He's also a father of three and a fanatical runner with a bit of a shoe obsession. In addition to writing and editing this site, he is co-author of the book Tread Lightly, and writes a personal blog called The Blogologist. Follow Pete on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and via email.



Comments

  1. It looks like a great shoe to transition to after getting used to minimal drop shoes (like the Kinvara). It looks like Saucony wants to be a player in the minimalist shoe world!

  2. It looks remarkably similar to the aqua socks that I used to wear before I bought my KSOs. They were very minimal but were guaranteed to give you blisters being that proper fit was never their goal. If it wasn’t for that I would have stuck with the inexpensive aqua socks. These look to be great for longer runs as compared to Vibrams.

  3. So many shoes. So little money. Thank God for birthdays and Christmas!

  4. More pictures of these now:
    link to achillesheel.co.uk

  5. hey pete i was wondering if anyone can test this shoe,I wear a 9 and would love to try them

    • Pete Larson says:

      Chris,

      They may have filled the program already – sounds like they got a big
      response pretty quickly. I’m not sure though, just guessing.

      Pete

  6. David Malkin says:

    I don’t know if you know anyone at Saucony because the Hattori has a major flaw: the high-wear rubber is at the heel, medial/inside of the forefoot, and big toe. As you probably already know – and I have found from logging 50 miles per week in Vibrams – these are the areas on the sole of the shoe that wear the LEAST. When you forefoot strike in a truly minimal shoe, the wear pattern is the exact opposite of what Saucony anticipates. Obviously, this was designed without real-world knowledge of minimal running.

    If you can, please notify Saucony. Doh!

  7. Hmm a velcro closure? Seems like a regular minimal lacing system like employed by the Nike Free (or any number of ultralight racing flats and spikes) would be lighter and more secure.

  8. Looks like the high wear areas are designed for heel strikers (heel and big toe). Does this seem accurate? If so, any idea why?

    In general doesn’t seem like Saucony has midfoot striking in mind during design (e.g. this promo for the kinvaras: link to youtube.com…. Is it a fluke that they are making such great shoes for midfoot strikers?

    • Pete Larson says:

      Interestingly, my Kinvaras have very little wear, so it’s going to vary from
      person to person. Wear happens more from friction than from direct impact,
      so scuffing causes it. Could be either upon landing or at pushoff. I just
      picked up the Hattori at the Boston expo and I like it a lot – super light
      and hugs the foot.

      Pete

      • Sorry, by high-wear area I was thinking about the wear guards, what looks like rubber over what looks like the EVA sole.

        • Pete Larson says:

          Yeah, I know what you meant. I agree that there should be something on the
          lateral side as well, but wear on the inner side can also occur on pushoff.
          The tradeoff to rubber is weight. Wondering if wear testing showed more wear
          in the areas they put it?

        • PS, the Kinvara video explicitly mentions heel striking, that’s what I was thinking about there.

          • Pete Larson says:

            Yeah, the Kinvara video was a bad one. I think they are coming around, but
            the reality is that a lot of people will continue to heel strike unless they
            consciously work on form. This may even happen in a zero drop shoe if there
            is ample cushion. Also, walking in the shoe before/after a run will scuff up
            the heel good, so retaining some protection in back makes sense.

          • good points, definitely insightful. thanks.

  9. Anything about the arch support? Or hopefully the lack thereof?

  10. Steve Purcell says:

    Looks like a velcro Evo. Fantastic!

  11. Richard Laburnum says:

    I had been training in Grid A3s but just did my first run today in my new Kinvaras. The padding on the Kinvaras is nice but the heel is more than I’d like as a forefoot striker. If the Hattori has the comfort of the Kinvaras but without the weight and the heel, I can’t wait to give them a try!

    • I heard a rumor there are Kinvara 2′s in the work. Hopefully these will have a lower heel toe drop

      • Pete Larson says:

        I’ve heard that the Kivara 2 will have improved durability for forefoot
        strikers with some added rubber under the lateral forefoot, but that’s the
        extent of my knowledge.

        Pete

  12. XLNT name ! Must have a “Kill Bill” fan working for Saucony.!

  13. Fredrik Petersson says:

    Very interesting shoe. Saucony was my favorite brand before I switched to running in fivefingers and Inov8. Hope this one will arrive in europe aswell and hopefully before the racing-season starts next year.

  14. Yes, these can replace my aqua socks, thank you Saucony!

  15. Any idea on availability if this one?

  16. These look amazing. I’ve been wishing someone made a shoe like the Nike Free 3.0 but with zero drop. Hopefully the foam will be half as durable as what’s on the Frees.

  17. Hi Pete,

    FYI there is a recent entry about the Hattoris on the Running Warehouse blog, along with new pictures. Apparently the shoes will be available over there May 1, 2011. They also write that “The midsole is made up of compression molded EVA that features XT-900 outsole compounds in key wear areas”. Very interesting!

    Details are here: http://blog.runningwarehouse.c

    BTW congratulations for your blog. I’ve been an avid reader for a while.

  18. Jamieofthenorth says:

    Looks really sweet! Hope you get your hands on a pair soon. Glad to see so many shoe manufacturers putting out more minimalist options.

  19. they look squishy

  20. Neal1027 says:

    Is there anything similar to this out already, not the five finger

    • Pete Larson says:

      Somnio Nada might be the closest.

      Pete

      • Neal1027 says:

        So i went forefoot/midfoot striking in my nike free runs and i got a pain in my knee,isnt the total opposite suppose to happen? and i feel like my forefoot is getting too much pressure.Ideas?

        • Pete Larson says:

          First, don’t force a forefoot strike – if you are running on your toes it is
          too much. Also, you need to be very gradual, let yourself adapt slowly.
          Focus on increasing turnover and shortening stride rather than pushing a
          forefoot strike, think about putting your foot down behind you (doesn’t
          happen, but a useful cue). Pain is a signal that either something is off or
          you are forcing things too fast – hard to say for sure without seeing how
          you run.

          Pete

          • Neal1027 says:

            Well im 15,a soccer player and i usually runn 7 to 8 miles everyday and going “gradual” isn’t the easiest thing.Can it be the shoes,should i just buy the 5 fingers
            Oh and have you seen these!
            link to zemgear.com check the products and go to, New Zem 2011

          • Pete Larson says:

            I would tell you that if you plan to switch to a flat shoe like a Vibram and
            continue to run 7-8 miles per day in them, you will likely wind up hurt.
            Some things can’t be rushed, and the body needs time to adapt. Wait until
            you have time to make a slow, gradual transition.

          • Neal1027 says:

            Another runn and still feeling it man,sooo is 2 miles slow enough,this time my right knee was in pain sometimes while running and the right forefoot feels too used,why not my left?

          • Pete Larson says:

            Gait asymmetries are not uncommon, I suggest that if you are concerned
            that you consult a physical therapist.

  21. It seems to be a great minimalist option. Looking forward for it!
    Regards,
    Sergio

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