The Saucony RFG is a more planet-friendly version of the Saucony Triumph 21, our 2023 Cushioned Shoe of the Year.
The more sustainable approach to the Triumph RFG sees changes in the upper, midsole and outsole. The aim remains the same, to deliver a shoe that’s built for those long, easy comfortable pace runs.
Tester Mike has put in some early running time to see how the Triumph RFG matches up to the Triumph 21 and see if Saucony is onto a sustainable shoe winner here.
(Note: The outsole on the Triumph RFG is made from 80% natural rubber, not 8% as stated in the graphic used in this vid. Small typo!)
00:00 – Intro
00:10 – Price and What’s Different from Saucony Triumph 21
02:15 – How do they fit?
03:55 – The Run Test
07:52 – Initial Verdict
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Hey this is Mike from the Run testers And this is our first run review of the S Triumph Rfg okay so what exactly is the sakon Triumph rfg with the rfg stands for run For good and this is essentially a more Sustainably made version of the S Triumph 21 the shoe we name best cion Shoe of 2023 in the recent run testers Awards now it's designed for the same Types of runs as the 21 it comes in at The same price as well the Heel To Toe Drop for and the heel are exactly the Same as the Triumph 21 as well too there Is a little bit of difference in the Weight as we found in our UK size 8 But Ultimately we getting here from the Upper the midsole even inside the shoe And the out so are materials that are Much Kinder on the planet and this is Approach we're seeing from All Brands Striving to make more sustainably made Shoes and it's whether it's kind of Smaller kind of appic BR or birds or the Kind of established kind of players like Mauno as well too we're seeing it from All Brands so this is s's most Sustainable shoe to date what makes it More sustainable than other shoes Previously or more than the standard Triumph 21 we'll start with the upper so You're getting this mesh upper which is Made from cotton which is based from Plant-based dyes then you go inside the
Shoe you are also getting a power run Plus bio sock liner as well to give you That kind of softness but also do it in A more kind of eco friendly way when you Get into the mid You're getting this power R bio plus Mids cell foam and so TR 2 you're Getting the power R plus midell foam the Aim is to offer the same kind of feeling In terms of that midell but ultim you're Getting something that's corn-based and It's over 55% corn-based in terms of That kind of Mido F that you're getting Here on this shoe when you get down to The outo you're getting kind of more Natural kind of gum rubber used here It's the same kind of design in terms of That outo but ultimately it's used or Made from 80% of natural r Rob so as I Said from the upper the midsole and to The out Sole and even inside this shoe This is aiming to be a more sustainable Version of the so Tri 21 so what is it Like to run with let's get into It so I'll start with fit and i' say has Been pretty good for me in the couple of Runs I have done with the Triumph rfg I Think ultimately saky is striving to Deliver as close an experience in terms Of the fit to the tri It's not identical but I think there's Plenty of similarities here what I have Noticed is and I threw the Triumph 21 on Is that this upper definitely has a bit
More volume to it doesn't necessarily Change the experience of how the shoes Feels because ultimately it's about Delivering that kind of comfort but I do Think maybe the tri 21 uper kind of Maybe sucks in a little bit more around Your feet now I'm pretty happy with the Space up front I've got here in the toes In my one I wouldn't want to go um half A size up half a size down I didn't find It too snug level of pad in in the Tongue and the kind of Hill color here Is pretty similar to what we' got on the TR 21 as well so I would say it's a Similar experience there too s has Changed the kind of nature of the or the Feel of the kind of heel tab here as Well it's a stretcher once it's closer To the back of the shoe whereas I think It's a little bit looser on the Trum 21 So if you like a shoe that you can kind Of throw off you know it's easier to Kind of take off then I'm probably Getting a little bit more of that on the TR 21 But ultimately it's not something I massively care about I think in terms Of lockdown I think it's pretty good Overall I do think because as I said There's a bit more volume to this upper You do maybe need to pull in those laces A little bit more against that tongue But ultim it's been very comfortable Overall so I would say my UK side a Having run a lot in a UK size8 in the
Triumph 21 it's very similar as I said a Bit more volume in the upper but I don't Think necessarily changes the nature of The fit in the Triumph rfg Overall so I've actually done a couple Of runs runs in the S Triumph rfg Yesterday I did a 5k treadmill run very Slow easy really my way of trying to Make sure that the fit kind of works the Lockdown is going to be all good I don't Have to really play around with it too Much and then today I did just over 10 Miles and that was very easy Pace you Know the types of runs that I would use A soy trium 21 for ultimately I think You know the rfg is designed for the Same types of runs and that's kind of What I aim to do for those first couple Of runs in it now I talked a little bit About the upper in the fit side of Things I do think the upper is slightly Different in it U but ultimately it's Geared to deliver the same thing and That is comfort and you are getting Comfort here now the weight of the shoe Has picked up a little bit we do see That with sustainable running shoes or Sustainable versions of other kind of The standard running shoes where it has Picked up a little bit of weight but it Hasn't altered I don't think what this Shoe is designed for and ultimately is For this kind of slow Long Easy kind of Pressure off type of runs now the mid so
Is different this is a different Mido This is a more sustainable Mido it's got That kind of kind of Corn based uh foam Here over 55% that s says now what I Would say is in comparison to the tri 21 I don't think it is as plush but there's Some softness to it um I definitely Think it sits between kind of plush and A bit firm it's not overly firm I think It almost kind of hits The Sweet Spot There I do think ultimately but that's What I felt on my couple of runs with it I do think there's a nice Rebound in There it's not maybe pronounced maybe as The S Triumph 21 but it's been pretty Good and when I wanted to slightly pick The pace up in this shoe you know in Places where I could then it felt Absolutely fine I do think there's a lot Of the same kind of characteristics in Terms of the ride and feeling of the so Tri 21 in the rfg but I would say that Maybe the trip 21 does feel a lot Plusher and if that's something that you Like in a shoe then that's something What you're going to get here and that's Kind of extended what you're getting Here and the kind of sock line here as Well too where where you do sink into it I don't think you sink in as much as you Do in the one that's used the TR on but I think it does a good job of Replicating that feeling of the midsole And kind of sitting your foot inside
This shoe compared to the kind of Standard Triumph now the other thing I Would say kind of noticed here is the Outside see there's a little bit more Outso here it's that kind of it's this Kind of gum style rubber and it Definitely feels a little bit more Pronounce I do think you feel it a Little bit more on the runs it's not Uncomfortable or anything like that but Ultimately I do think you feel this out Soole a little bit more underneath um But I think in terms of the um the Gripping side of things it feels very Similar to the Triumph 21 now I was in Pretty rainy conditions I went when it Was a bit calmer at the end of the run It started to pick up and it was a bit Heavier I was on Pavements and rows Generally fine when I did have to trudge Through some kind of wetter kind of Boggy leaves on Pavements it did slip Around a little bit so it wasn't perfect In that run but I think generally dry Pavements dry roads slightly wet Pavements it should be absolutely fine But I do think it's going to work for The same types of runs as a so Tri 21 as I say I don't think the added weight Massively changes what it feels like I Do think you can slightly pick the pace Up in it a little bit but it's you know We're not talking speed stuff here speed Work or kind of faster kind of uptempo
Running but you could slightly kind of Up that kind of speed in these shoes and It would be absolutely fine but Ultimately those kind of slower longer Easy Pace runs is what the shoe's Designed for and in that 10m run it felt Absolutely fine from that point of view I didn't feel it was a heavy shoe a Clunky shoe um I so there Characteristics here of the Triumph 20on One in this shoe and ultimately that's What saky wants to deliver here I say It's not identical but I definitely do Think gives you enough of that Fe of a Saky trium shoe that makes it feel very Familiar and familiar definitely in a Good Way okay so some initial thoughts on the Sakon Triumph rfg and I think there's a Few ways to look at this now how does it Compared to S TR 21 I think first and Foremost and how well does it replicate The feeling of running in the tri 21 and I would say Pretty good overall it's not Identical uh but it's pretty good I Think at Essence it's still going to be Built and designed or be a best fit for The same types of runs as the trium 21 The upper definitely feels different but I think it's geared towards offering That kind of comfort which is exactly What we have from the sakon TR 21 I think the midsole gives you some of That feeling of the kind of power run
Plus midsole you get on the TR 21 but I As I said I don't think it feels as soft And as plush it probably sits a little Bit above that uh but UL I still think The ride and the feeling of it feels Very similar and it feels similar enough To feel like you're getting a similar Experience and again it's same with the Outsole as well though as I said find a Little bit slippy in place and it is Does feel like there a bit more of that Rubber there ultimately as well too Another way to look at this I think is Is this another important step in terms Of sustainable running shoes that can Really match the performance of shoes That aren't as sustainable aren't as Friendly on the planet in terms of Materials that are being used I think it Is a positive step I think the another Thing it's still holding things back a Little bit is the extra materials do Seem to add a little bit more weight Overall and that's kind of what I've Seen in the kind of the sustainable Running shoes that I've running in General so that's something that still Needs to improve I like the fact that The price has matched what we you know The tri 21 cost as well where I think Before or some other shoes they have Been a little bit more expensive um so I Would definitely say this is a good step This marks a good um example and
Showcase of a sustainable running shoe That's getting close to what those you Know the shoes at it's kind of Replicating uh but in a more kind of you Know eco-friendly way I think in terms Of other stainable running shoes that I've tested or that are out there I do Think is a lot nicer than something like Uh what kind of alls kind of delivers I Just think those shoes can still feel a Little bit on the heavy side and I think In terms of delivering or matching some Other Road running shoes I don't think Quite is quite there yet it's close but Not quite there yet I think in terms of Shoes that I've tested from myuno where There sustainable running um you know Shoe approach I think has worked really Well I think that sits there with things Like this where you're starting to see Shoes that kind of replicate or feel Like you are you know you're running a Shoe a normal a normal running shoe but It is something that is made in a more Eco-friendly way and that is another Good example so I think as I said I Think this is a step in the right Direction I think it's a good Showcase Of sustainable running shoe still think There's little things that need to Happen kind of mirror there and I think What I really want to see is I think it Almost feels a little bit easier to do It at this kind of category of shoe it's
More those kind of performance-based Shoes where we still need to see things Happen a little bit more uh in terms of Matching what we get from standard kind Of performance running shoes but in Terms of a kind of cushioned shoe and Mirroring what we got in s TR on out I Think the Triumph rfg so far seems to be Doing a good job as I said I want to see How the midsole holds up and the upper Kind of works and you know it's taking a Bit of a beating in the rain today um Kind of holds up over longer term use But I think this is a it's a good first Impression so far um and you know I'm Looking forward to running a bit more on The Triumph RSG can it match and Effectively replace the Triumph 21 in Terms of the types of runs that I'd want To use that shoe for that's to be seen Uh but yeah as said looking forward to Spending a bit more time in the Triumph Rfg and pretty positive overall so far Okay so there have it some initial Thoughts on the sakon Triumph rfg Obviously plenty more running to do in This sh before we get to a full review If you got any questions do let us know As always like And subscribe hit that Little bell to find out about our latest Videos and yeah we'll see you the next Run Test's Video