The Saucony Hattori is an exciting shoe for minimal runners. It presents us with one of the first major shoe companies entering the market of minimal running. The Saucony Hattori is a 4.4 oz minimal running shoe with a zero heel to toe drop. For many minimal runners who are looking for a little protection from debris on the roads they run on, the Hattori looks to be the holy grail of minimal running.
Saucony has tip toed into the minimal running realm with the Saucony Pro Grid Kinvara and the soon to be released Kinvara 2. The Kinvara had a slight 4mm heel to toe drop but had a pretty high ride off the ground and was described as a little squishy and soft for most minimal runners. Despite those few shortcomings, the Kinvara became a huge hit for Saucony, not with hard core minimal runners but with more people who were thinking of transitioning into minimal running. The Kinvara is a great lead in shoe to minimal running to help runners start getting that forefoot strike they need to be successful at minimal running.
More hard core minimal runners looked past the Kinvara and would run in the Saucony A4. The Saucony A4 was designed as a long distance racing shoe for half marathons and marathons. The Saucony A4 was light, low to the ground, and had a 4mm heel to toe drop. A great minimal running shoe that just lacked ground feel. The one major problem for the Saucony A4 users was the fact that the sole wore out way to quickly to use it for training in every day on high mileage.
Forefoot strikers will land on the forefoot and roll in toward the inside pushing off from the big toe area. On my Saucony A4’s the whole area under my big toes on both the left and right shoe wore out crazy fast. I love the Saucony 4 as a shoe, but its sole could not put up with the mileage I was placing on it.
The Saucony designers behind the Saucony Hattori have definitely listened to their runners complaints on the A4. Before we get into great design foresight in the Saucony Hattori watch this quick look video of the Saucony hattori:
If you were an observant shoe freak while watching this video of the hattori, you will have noticed that the sole seems to be made up of two different rubbers in different locations. While most of the sole seems to be made up of one rubber there are small pockets of another rubber. The other rubber looks to be of a stronger rubber and is conveniently placed under the big toe, and right behind the big toe on the forefoot. These are the areas where a forefoot striker is going to push off from with the most force, thus making sense to cover it with a stronger sole material. Saucony seems to have put a lot of thought into this shoe, and it will be very exciting to get a pair on my feet to test and review here for you all!