Saucony Mens Powergrid Cortana Running
I purchased the silver/black/red Cortana as it was being phased out. I wanted to be able to experience the Cortana at a reduce price before potentially buying the Cortana 2's. I would say that this particular color scheme of the Cortana is the best looking running shoe out there. It looks great in the pictures here, but even better in real life. In the pictures, the medial side looks aesthetically a little busy, but in the actual shoe it looks sharp. Looks-wise, you can't go wrong. When I retire these from running, they will probably become my shoes for general use.
The fit is simply amazing. I normally do not tolerate any hint of heel slippage and tend to cinch my laces very tightly (lock-lace very tightly) when I run. This shoe felt like it was almost completely secure even before tying the laces. The upper fits snugly over the midfoot and heel with no pressure points or hotspots. You don't feel any seams whatsoever inside the shoe. In fact, you hardly feel the inside of the shoe at all. It feels like a very snug compression sock. I knew it was going to be an unobtrusive forefoot fit seeing that the toebox has zero overlays (sewn or ironed on) on top of it. The mesh on this shoe is breathable; more so than a Guide, but less so than a Fastwitch. This shoe does run a little small. I normally will wear a 10 1/2 in most Asics and most Saucony's. In this shoe, I purchased an 11 and it fits perfectly, if not a tiny bit snug. Overall, I would say that if you have a wide foot, you might reconsider.
This is not a light shoe by any stretch of the imagination, but its proximity to the ground and good forefoot flexibility make for a decent turnover. However, it is definitely not as fast as the Mirage, and no need to mention Fastwitch as it is essentially a running flat. The cushioning is very good without being mushy. You get a decent amount of road feel for the amount of cushioning (somewhere between Mirage and Guide). Depending on where you look online, this shoe is touted as strictly neutral in some places and neutral to light guidance in others. Being a slight to moderate over pronator, I would say this shoe is more towards neutral. The black rubber on the medial midsole is more to flatten out the bottom than for pronation control as it is EVA of not much different density than the rest of the mid sole. However, there is enough of heel counter and wide enough platform that it is much more structured than a Kinvara, but less so than even a Mirage. The outsole pattern grips much more than other Saucony shoes I have owned recently (Fastwitch 5, Guide 5, Mirage 2, Guide 6).
Overall, I am happy with this shoe; looks great and feels amazing on your foot. It is a bit on the heavy side for me as the Guide 5 is currently the heaviest shoe in my lineup, however, the Cortana 2 addresses this by streamlining the upper and getting down sub-10 oz on a men's size 9. I am using this shoe for recovery runs and base mileage runs under 10 miles. Due to my over pronation, I will probably not use this neutral of a shoe for over 10 miles in the near future and have Guide 5/6 for this role. Also, due to the weight, I will continue to do speed and tempo work in my Fastwitch and Mirage, respectively. If this shoe holds up well, I will probably give Cortana 2 a shot and give it a go to make it my long distance shoe.