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Posted: April 26, 2013  

Athletics: Saucony® Virrata Named ‘Gear Of The Year’ In Outside Magazine Buyer’s Guide

Redefining the idea of natural running, the Virrata is 'the first shoe we’ve seen that makes zero-drop running seem almost … easy.’

LEXINGTON, MA (April 26, 2013) -- Engineered to deliver a fusion of performance enhancements, including dramatic weight reduction, increased flexibility and greater underfoot cushioning, Saucony today announced that the Virrata, part of the brand’s award-winning Natural Motion Series, has been named an Outside Magazine "Gear of the Year" award winner. The Virrata, a natural motion running shoe that combines a 0mm heel-to-forefoot offset with an 18mm EVA+™ foam midsole, stands as one of the most cushioned shoes for its weight on the market. The award is announced in the Summer Outside Buyer’s Guide, which hits newsstands April 30th.

"This year’s 'Gear of the Year’--winning Saucony Virrata is a flat-striking, zero-drop shoe with enough padding to give a fundamentalist barefooter seizures," said Sam Moulten, executive editor of the Outside Buyer’s Guide.

"The Virrata is a gateway shoe---and a potent one," said the Outside Buyer’s Guide review of the shoe. "On one hand, it’s a zero-drop trainer, meaning it’s perfectly flat for midfoot strikers, and the upper is built like a minimalist slipper---almost no overlays, just a touch of a heel counter, and barely anything but laces and mesh. But unlike other zero-drop shoes, this one has a thick midsole, much more like a traditional road shoe or Saucony’s 2010 'Gear of the Year’--winning Kinvara. That means it encourages the biomechanics of flat-foot running without stinging on concrete. It’s effortlessly smooth, light---a mere 6.5 ounces---and supremely comfortable. The first shoe we’ve seen that makes zero-drop running seem almost … easy. And value? You can’t get a better shoe at this price."

"The whole Saucony team is ecstatic to again be recognized by Outside for our ongoing commitment to creating the products and experiences that resonate with runners," said Patrick O’Malley, senior vice president of global product for Saucony. "Our evolved approach to natural running allowed us to engineer a zero-drop running shoe with plenty of protection from the road, while still delivering one of the most cushioned shoes for its weight on the market. The result is the brand’s fastest, lightest, and most cushioned natural motion shoe we’ve ever produced."

The Outside "Gear of the Year" award marks the latest in a series of notable accolades for the brand’s three-shoe Natural Series™, a cutting-edge collection of lightweight performance running footwear that includes the Virrata, the Kinvara 4 and the Mirage 3. Runner’s World magazine, the world’s leading authority on running information, awarded the Kinvara 4 "Best Update" in the publication’s 2013 Summer Shoe Buyer’s Guide and the Mirage 3 as "Best Update" in the 2013 Spring Shoe Guide. The Mirage 3 was also recognized as "Best Performance Shoe" by Running Network in their 2013 Spring Shoe Review.

Virrata: Natural Motion Redefined

The Saucony Natural Series introduces the all-new Virrata, a featherweight, natural motion running shoe that weighs in at a mere 6.5 ounces-1.2 ounces lighter than the Kinvara 3. By combining a 0mm heel-to-forefoot offset with an 18mm midsole of high abrasion EVA+™ foam-a lighter alternative to rubber-the Virrata stands as one of the most cushioned shoes for its weight on the market.

The cumulative effect of the Virrata’s lower offset with increased midsole foam and optimal flexibility helps create a more powerful running stride with plenty of protection from the road. Twenty-four ultra-springy pods on the outsole along with accentuated flex groves allow the runner’s foot to move naturally with an effortless transition. Engineered with an internal bootie construction for a precision fit and a HydraMax™ collar lining for superior moisture wicking, the Virrata is the most advanced weapon of choice for natural motion runners.

The Virrata, available at select specialty run retailers, comes in men’s sizes 7-13, 14 and 15, and women’s sizes 5-12. The suggested retail price of the Virrata is $90.00. To find a retailer near you, call 800-365-4933 or visit www.saucony.com.

The Buyer’s Guide, published by Outside, America's leading active lifestyle magazine, highlights the very best collection of some of the most thoroughly tested gear in the outdoor industry. A designated test group of 20 dedicated runners with a variety of foot types logged hundreds of miles in dozens of new models of road and trail shoes. Testing was conducted across the country over a period of four months.

For more information, please contact Sharon Barbano at Saucony (617-824-6126), Sharon.Barbano@Saucony.com or Kerry McLaughlin at Saucony (617-824-6504), Kerry/McLaughlin@Saucony.com.

About Saucony: Saucony, a division of Wolverine Worldwide, is a leading global running lifestyle brand that fuses performance, innovation and style to create compelling footwear and apparel with its widely recognized brands Saucony and Saucony Originals. Founded in 1898, Saucony continues to inspire runners everywhere with its award winning innovations, including the "Geometry of Strong(TM), ProGrid(TM), PowerGrid(TM) VIZIPRO® and AMP PRO2(TM) apparel. At Saucony, a good day is when we get to run. A great day is when we inspire someone else to run. For more information, go to Saucony.com.


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