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Tested: Saucony Bullet

saucony bullet shoe

If you have ever heard of Chi Running, Pose Running, or the whole ‘barefoot running’ movement, you may have looked at your options for minimalist running shoes. In other words, lightweight running shoes that have a thin sole (like racing flats.)

During my search for such shoes, I came across the Saucony Bullet. This is an old school track shoe that came out in 1985!

Other shoes were rather expensive and/or hard to find, but I was able to find these in my size (11.5 for Saucony) on eBay for $33 (including shipping!) Other places had them for $48, which isn’t a bad price for track shoes, but you can’t beat $33.

I have been using these shoes for about a year (I’m on my second pair now,) and here’s what I think:

First Impressions.

When I put these on for the first time, I considered them very cushy and comfy, especially for a shoe with little to no support.

Actually, I considered them too cushy in the heel thanks to the super thick insole. (For barefoot style running you generally want the heel as thin as possible.) So I pulled out the insole altogether. This gave me a much better feel, but it felt weird and didn’t fit as well. Plus the sole would then eat away at your socks.

My solution was to take a utility knife and shave off the extra cushioning on the heel. That left a smooth insole that was nice and thin all around. That feel turned out to be great. It became a good and tight shoe with a thin enough sole, and even lighter weight now.

For Running.

This is a pretty good running shoe because of one thing – it feels like a running shoe! If you’re trying slippers and stuff for barefoot running, it can be a pain in the butt, but this is a real shoe.

The extra padding that comes from having an outsole and insole is nice for running on varied terrain, such as gravel roads that have some sharp pointy rocks.

While I’m not an expert in this area, I’d say these are good shoes if you’re getting into Pose running (Pose runners favor lightweight shoes like the Puma H. Street and whatnot, and these seem similar.)

For Walking.

The Saucony Bullet makes for a decent walking shoe if you leave the full insole in for cushioning. It also works well as a casual shoe due to the good looks and cheap price.

I wouldn’t want to stand around in them all day though. When I did wear them all day, especially if I was not only walking but also standing on ladders and getting up on my tip-toes, my feet would feel the pain later!

The best use though – I love these for driving! There’s more support than with the Zinetic slippers, but they’re not bulky. It’s a good feel on the pedals.

Durability.

Durability-wise, these shoes held up fine when used as track running shoes. Even road running seems like no problem for the shoes.

Do not use them in the woods though! The upper portion is not durable whatsoever. The leather is great, but the thin nylon will rip to shreds in no time.

So if you’re not dealing with sticks and brush that will rip the uppers, the sole seems like it will last without issue. My old Bullets (going on a year old) that are totally ripped apart still have a great sole!

In Comparison to Barefoot and Other Lightweight Shoes.

Going completely barefoot feels much better than wearing these shoes. Even a lightweight shoe like this will take away some of the barefoot sensation that feels so good and natural. So if you can, I would encourage you to try running completely barefoot to see what it’s like.

If you’re casually walking around for a short time, Zinetic pocket slippers are probably better than the Bullet (since they’re lighter and thinner.) But the Bullet really works better than the Zinetic pocket slippers since they actually stay on your feet!

The Bullets are way lighter and give me more freedom than my bigger Saucony Grid Stabil running shoes. After wearing lightweight shoes, wearing something bigger makes me feel like I’m running in concrete shoes. And I feel less in control.

Weight-wise, the 7oz Saucony Bullet is similar to modern racing flats (the exception being the kick ass Mizuno Wave universe which is only 3.8oz!)

My final verdict is…

At $33 total per pair, these shoes rock! Great for casual wear and some running. Just don’t use them for trail running, or they’ll rip.

They’re awesome for a cheap casual shoe or driving shoe as well!

Official website: www.Saucony.com

Product Review Details
Company: Saucony
Product: Saucony Bullet
Reviewed by: Coach Levi
My Rating: 3.9 out of 5
Date last updated: 2010-06-22
Obtained Product: Purchased at retailer.
CoachLevi.com Advertiser: No.

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coach levi
Hi, I'm Coach Levi. I'm a USA Cycling Certified Level 3 Coach as well as Level 1 Certified with Precision Nutrition. Want to feel better, ride faster, and look great? Let's work together!

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Coach Levi is my favorite child and favorite cycling coach. I'd choose him over Christoper McCarmikael even. Did I mention that Levi can coach you to a healthier lifestyle where you look and feel your best?
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Hometown, PA