With a wide mid-foot and lower-than-standard heel-to-toe drop, the Omni shouldn’t be overlooked, says runner and coach Tim Jones
RUNNING SHOE: Saucony Omni 12
Category: Moderate stability
Best for: Training, Racing
Weight: 10.5 oz. (men’s size 9), 8.9 oz. (women’s size 8)
Heel-to-toe drop: 8 mm
By Tim Jones, Road Runner Running Store manager
The Saucony Omni is the unsung hero of the Saucony stability stable. Though it is a lightweight, responsive, comfortable option in the category, it often lives in the shadow of the heavyweights such as the Brooks Adrenaline and Asics GT-2000 series. Even its lighter, mild-support brand-mate, the Guide, steals some of its spotlight. Look closer, however, and you will find a truly unique shoe that you never even knew you wanted.
In terms of cushioning, the Omni 12 features Saucony’s PowerGrid, which is an EVA foam that is not “squishy,” but rather it gives the impression of a solid barrier between your foot and the ground. Much has been said about Saucony’s move from 12 mm to 8 mm heel-to-toe offsets in their line, with the common misconception being that they just cut 4mm of cushioning out of the heel. In terms of stack height, the Omni is only 2 mm thinner at the heel than the Brooks Adrenaline, yet it is 2 mm thicker in the forefoot. This ratio facilitates a mid-foot strike and provides a smooth transition from heel to toe.
The key characteristic of the Omni is its SHAPE. As stated earlier, when it comes to stability shoes from Saucony, the Guide more often gets top-billing. To compare the two is not necessarily fair. The Omni’s stability post is larger, reaching more from the heel to toe, and MOST importantly, they are designed for two unique foot types:
The Guide (on the left) is built on a more traditional, curved last, which is wide in the heel, narrows at the arch, and again widens out at the toe box.
The Omni is built on a semi-straight last, which stays wide under the arch, and widens again at the toe box.
As seen in this graphic, the Omni is a full 2.5 cm — that’s more than 33 percent WIDER under your arch.
This is why the Omni would be a great shoe for them, despite so many runners being unaware. Often those with low arches are told that they need a stability shoe, and that is more than likely true. But if they end up in a shoe that has an arch that is significantly higher than their own, they will undoubtedly feel increasing pressure in the arch which could lead to supination, or a roll onto the outside portion of the foot.
This wider platform also gives the shoe increased inherent stability and makes it better at accommodating arch supports and orthotics!
So in summary, the Omni 12 is a fantastic option for someone with a broader mid-foot or low arches that needs stability in his or her shoe. Not only will it provide superior support for over-pronation, but since it uses lightweight, responsive cushioning, it can be a versatile shoe for long days, tempos and races.
I’ll leave you with a word from Saucony about the update and a little on Sauc-Fit.