Saucony Triumph 20 VS Triumph 21: What Should I Buy?

The Saucony Triumph series is a favorite for neutral runners seeking a responsive yet cushioned trainer. The Triumph 20 delivered plush PWRUN foam for bouncy comfort.

The Triumph 21 keeps the soft feel but adds the new PWRRUN+ foam for better energy return. Small updates to the upper, midsole and outsole create noticeable performance differences. Read on for a detailed comparison so you can decide if the Triumph 20 or 21 better fits your needs.

Similarities And Differences Between Saucony Triumph 20 And Triumph 21:

FeatureTriumph 20Triumph 21
Launch Date20222023
StabilityNeutralNeutral
FlexibilityFlexibleFlexible
SizingTrue to sizeTrue to size
Weight9.7 oz (M), 8.6 oz (W)10 oz (M)
CushioningPWRUN foamPWRRUN+ foam
OutsoleRubberXT-900 carbon rubber
MidsolePWRUN foamPWRRUN+ foam
UpperEngineered meshSoft engineered mesh
Retail Price$160$160

Features Comparison:

Materials:

The Triumph 20 utilizes a flexible, breathable engineered mesh for the upper to provide a secure yet sock-like fit. The airy mesh allows for ventilation during hot weather running and conforms smoothly to the foot without irritating seams or overlays.

In the midsole, Saucony’s PWRUN foam delivers a lively, cushioned feel that maintains responsiveness even over hundreds of miles. This proprietary EVA blend bounced back faster than previous EVA versions for a springy sensation. The high-abrasion rubber of the outsole grips surfaces well and is strategically placed in high-wear areas for durability mile after mile.

Saucony Triumph 20
TRIUMPH 20

Saucony Triumph 21
TRIUMPH 21

The Triumph 21 features an engineered mesh upper as well but it uses a softer flat-knit material designed to be smooth and comfortable against the skin. Testers noted the upper had a sock-like sensation right out of the box with no break-in required.

The midsole incorporates Saucony’s next generation PWRRUN+ foam which provides the same plush cushioning as regular PWRUN but with even better energy return for a propulsive toe-off.

This gives the shoe noticeable bounce while retaining softness. The outsole utilizes XT-900 carbon rubber in critical areas for enhanced traction and longevity compared to standard rubber.

Durability:

Both the Triumph 20 and Triumph 21 have proven durable during testing, with minimal outsole wear and consistent cushioning over hundreds of miles. The outsoles resist abrasion well, maintaining traction even after high mileage.

The engineered mesh uppers also keep their structure and flexibility over time rather than deteriorating. Additionally, the midsole foams retain their responsive properties and plush cushioning as the miles add up, resulting in a consistent, comfortable ride.

A potential advantage of the Triumph 21 is the XT-900 carbon rubber outsole which should be more resistant to wear than the standard rubber of the Triumph 20. However, both models are built to last through extended use.

Realistically any durability differences would only emerge after high mileage. With smart construction, the Triumph 20 and 21 will provide reliable performance before the foams lose responsiveness.

Fit:

The Triumph 20 and 21 share nearly identical true-to-size fits in medium widths. Both have roomy toe boxes to allow natural forefoot splay while running long distances. Despite the spacious toe area, the midfoot areas provide a secure lockdown that prevents slipping inside the shoe during runs.

Saucony Triumph 20 Top View
TRIUMPH 20 TOP VIEW

Saucony Triumph 21 TOP VIEW
TRIUMPH 21 TOP VIEW

Additionally, both models incorporate Saucony’s FORMFIT technology for a contoured fit that adapts smoothly to the foot shape without pressure points. The engineered mesh uppers cradle the midfoot without restricting forefoot flexibility. This results in a glove-like fit that accommodates swelling on long runs.

One distinction is the Triumph 21 uses a slightly softer engineered mesh upper material, but the difference in fit is minimal. Both offer a dialed-in fit ideal for neutral runners logging daily miles.

Stability:

As neutral trainers, neither the Triumph 20 or 21 have pronation control features, making them best for neutral runners not needing extra stability. The midsoles provide cushioning without interfering with the foot’s natural motion cycles. But this makes them less ideal for overpronators who benefit from integrated medial support.

While the platform remains stable due to the wide base, it does not prevent overpronation. The plush cushioning absorbs shock effectively for neutral pronation but does not prevent the foot from collapsing inward if someone tends to overpronate severely.

So those needing stability for overpronation or flat feet would be better served by motion control shoes with firmer corrective elements. Both models are intended purely as neutral cushions best for high arches.

Cushioning:

The Triumph 20 incorporates PWRUN foam technology which provides a lively, bouncy cushioning feel that maintained responsiveness over miles. Testers praised the smooth transitions.

The Triumph 21 uses next-gen PWRRUN+ foam to achieve the same plush underfoot cushioning with even better energy return. Reviewers noted the extra bounce reduced fatigue on long runs. The additional midsole height also enhances shock absorption compared to the Triumph 20.

Value:

With $160 retail pricing, neither model is considered budget-friendly but rather falls into the premium trainer category. When first launched, the Triumph 20’s advanced midsole foam justified the price for serious runners.

The Triumph 21 with its updated PWRRUN+ foam provides modern performance to match its high cost. Both deliver impressive comfort and responsiveness to warrant their positions as top-tier neutral trainers worthy of the investment for high-mileage runners.

Performance Comparision:

Walking:

The ample cushioning and flexible uppers of the Triumph 20 and Triumph 21 make them suitable for walking and casual use. The smooth engineered mesh uppers prevent irritation while the cushioned midsoles remain comfortable for short strolls. However, the soft foams are less ideal for all-day wear.

Running:

As expected for the Triumph series, both models provide an enjoyable, cushioned ride for neutral runners across distances. The bouncy midsoles and molded heels make each stride smooth and comfortable. The Triumph 21 gets a slight edge for responsive running due to its next-gen PWRRUN+ foam generating snappier energy return.

Plantar Fasciitis:

The soft cushioning and arch support of the Triumph 20 and Triumph 21 accommodate those with plantar fasciitis well. The 10mm drop also encourages smooth transitions through the gait cycle to reduce heel pain.

The extra midsole height of the Triumph 21 may relieve slightly more pressure in the heel. Those with severe symptoms could add orthotics for more support.

Standing All Day:

The compressible foam midsoles of the Triumph models are less ideal for all-day standing. Their soft cushioning works well for running but lacks the firm densities needed for long hours on your feet. Nurses, retail workers and others needing supportive standing shoes would be better served by firmer options.

final verdict:

For neutral runners seeking a cushioned daily trainer, both the Saucony Triumph 20 and Triumph 21 are great options. The Triumph 20 offers plush PWRUN foam in a lightweight, breathable shoe.


The Triumph 21 incorporates the next-gen PWRRUN+ foam for extra energy return. While the Triumph 21 gains an edge with its advanced midsole and carbon rubber outsole, the difference isn’t big enough to make the Triumph 20 seem outdated.

Since both cost $160, choosing comes down to personal preference on cushioning feel. Try them on to decide if you like the PWRUN or PWRRUN+ better for your training needs. Either way, you’ll get a high-quality, comfortable neutral trainer built to go the distance.

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