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Impressions of the Saucony Hattori LC (Shoe Review)

Now that I’ve had a few weeks to tryout the new Saucony Hattori LC I wanted to share some of my initial impressions. The LC is a 4.4 oz, zero-drop shoe, and is the successor to the original Hattori that came out in mid-2011. I was a huge fan of the original, and initially started running in the Hattori as a means to improve my bio-mechanics and strengthen my feet.

It has been said on my blog many times that since adding these Hattori runs to my schedule one or two days a week, I have been able to get rid of all my orthotics and also make the lightweight Saucony Kinvara my full-time training and racing shoe. I really only had two criticisms of the original…

(1) The heaviest wear on the outsole seemed to be just inse the small ovals of rubber under the big-toe. It seems like a slight modification to the positioning of the rubber sections could greatly improve the durability without adding weight to the shoe. However, even with this I was able to get approximately 250-miles out of my initial pair, which is WAY more than I expected.

(2) The material in the upper is so thin that my big toe in each shoe eventually wore a hole through the top. This was partially exacerbated by the fact that the size I selected was very snug on me. I’m actually right in between a 10 and a 10.5, and decided to go with the 10 in the original. This put a little more pressure on the material over the toe than was intended.

The new Hattori LC made two significant changes to the original, though the outsole remains unchanged…

(1) The upper now contains laces to provide a more secure fit, rather than the velcro strap on the original. I know this was a frequent complaint on the original, though the velcro strop seemed sufficient for me.

(2) The material over the toe has been reinforced to provide extra durablity.

I was initially skeptical about the laces, since the fit of the upper worked really well for me in the original. However, I ultimately decided to give them a shot instead of simply re-ordering another pair of the original. For the new LC, I went with the size 10.5 to see if that would also help with the “big toe” problem in the upper.

While this has nothing to do with performance, the LC is a much better looking shoe than the original. I loved the original Hattori, but it does look a bit more like a water shoe than a running shoe. The new LC definitely looks more like a running shoe. With that being said, it is a bit disappointing that Saucony only offers this shoe in one color for men and one color for women. The original Hattori was available in a plethora of color options.

Like the original, the upper is made of a very thin, stretchy material with flexifilm overlays to provide a little more strength and structure. This material hugs the foot like a glove, and is very comfortable while running. This shoe can be worn sockless, though I generally prefer running with socks. The new re-enforced material over the toe is a bit disappointing, because it is really more in front of the toes than over the toes. However, moving up to a size 10.5 has taken a lot of the pressure off the upper material in the toe box, so this may end up being a moot point anyway.

As for the new laces, during my first run in the LC one of the shoes came untied about 2-miles into the run. This was a bit frustrating since I had not dealt with this in the original. However, now that I’ve completed several runs in the LC, I really appreciate the laces. The fit is a lot more customized to my preference, and it is actually a lot more comfortable than the original.

The outsole is made of EVA+ foam with strategically place rubber under the heel and big toe for added durability. As I mentioned early, it is unchanged from the original. This is good and bad. It is good because it retains exactly the same feel. It is bad because it does not attempt to improve the durability of the outsole based on overall wear patterns from the original.

All-in-all, the Hattori LC is a solid update, and a great option for those wanting to slowly introduce more minimalist or barefoot type running into their training. As with the original, this is a shoe that forces a forefoot or mid-foot strike, and should be incorporated gradually to prevent injury. The laces in the LC are a great addition to what was already a well designed, zero-drop shoe.

Quest for Boston - Cowboy Running

This morning I got in the first run in my new Saucony Hattori LC shoes during a 40-minute easy effort through the streets of Bellevue and on the new section of the Harpeth River Greenway. As we were texting back and forth yesterday to organize the run, Nathan told Josh that he would have to make sure and be there to see my new shoes. Josh responded that he would also have some new running shoes called “Brown 4-Minute Milers.”

When Josh got out of his truck this morning, he was wearing cowboy boots (he did change back into running shoes). This led to Nathan saying that Josh would have to write a book about running in cowboy boots, and that it would be the next running sensation. After talking through all of the possible benefits of running in boots, I suggested that it should be called “Cowboy Running,” so be looking for it soon at a book retailer near you…

In all seriousness we had a very good 4.25-mile run this morning at a chill 9:22 average pace. Overall the new Hattori LC felt similar to the original Hattori, though it was weird to have to stop during mile 2 to retie my shoes. I’ll have a full review of the Hattori LC once I’ve gotten a few more runs under my belt.

Beast Mode….ON! Cowboy!

New running kicks…@Saucony Hattori LC. Plan to take these babies for a spin in the morning. #FindYourStrong (Taken with Instagram)

New running kicks…@Saucony Hattori LC. Plan to take these babies for a spin in the morning. #FindYourStrong (Taken with Instagram)

Saucony Hattori vs. Hattori LC? Decisions, Decisions!

My current Saucony Hattoris are just about at the end of their useful life, and I’m facing the dilemma or re-ordering the exact same thing again (which they will continue to offer) or trying the new Hattori LC (with laces) that was just released today…

Per Saucony, the laces were added to provided a more snug and secure fit than the velcro overlay from the original model. However, this has never been a problem for me with the original. The other change Saucony made was to re-enforce the material over the toe to reduce wear. This was by far my biggest complaint with the original, but is only addressed in the new LC version with the laces.

What to do? What to do? I think I’m leaning toward trying the LC, but probably won’t order until next week.

My Current Running Gear

Last Updated October 12, 2012

Running Shoes - All Saucony, All The Time (Find Your Strong!)

Training Shoe - Saucony Kinvara 3

Considering how much I LOVED the Saucony Kinvara 2, I was extremely nervous about all of the changes in the Kinvara 3. However I now think that the K3 is even more perfect for me than the K2. The new features I like best in the 3 include:

  • Single layer upper. The 3-layer upper in the K2 sometimes would catch against my big toe, and was not a comfortable.
  • Larger toe-box - It is only a touch wider than the K2, but feels much better.
  • Sock-like fit is very cozy
My only complaint is that they did away with the loop based speed lacing system of the K2 and replaced it with traditional eyelet lacing. The reason for this change was to spread out the lacing area (and reduce pressure), but it results in a little bunching of the upper near the botton when cinching the laces. Not a big deal.

Minimal Shoe - Saucony Hattori LC

About a year ago I started running one day per week in the very minimal, original Saucony Hattori (4.4 oz) with the goal of strengthening my feet and lower legs. Since adding these “barefoot” type runs to my schedule I have been able to get rid of all my orthotics and have moved from the bulky Nike Vomero to the Saucony Kinvara as my day-to-day training shoe. Now I usually run one or two days per week in them. The Hattori LC improves on the original with the addition of laces and a little more reinforcement on top of the toe (which was a problem for me in the original).

Trail Shoe - Saucony Peregrine

The Peregrine is made on the same last as the Kinvara, so this seemed like the perfect trail shoe for me when it came out last spring. Just like the “barefoot” runs mentioned above I also try to get in at least one trail run per week to help with lower body strength and balance. The only problem I have with the Peregrine is keeping the laces tied (I need to change them out), but otherwise love this shoe. Great traction and stability, even on rough terrain. Even though the Peregrine 2 came about this spring I probably will not need another trail shoe until next season. I’m curious about the Kinvara TR, but I wonder if it will be substantial enough to handle the trails at Percy and Edwin Warner Parks.

Apparel

Shorts, Tops, & Tights - Pearl Izumi & Lululemon

      

While I wear lots of different brands while running, by far my two favorite are Pearl Izumi and Lululemon. If I had to pick between the two I’d probably choose Pearl Izumi for two reasons (1) They have lots of colors for men (2) Their fabric tends to be a little lighter and dry faster. As much as I love Lululemon, it baffles me why they don’t have more colors for men. Most everything is only available in various shades of gray.

Socks - RRS DryMax Dry-As-A-Bone Medium Low


I LOVE these socks. Have been running in them almost since the beginning and have NEVER had a blister while wearing them. One pair tends to last me for about two seasons as long as I have several pair in the rotation.

Accessories

Sunglasses - Tifosi Tyrant

I switched from Oakley to Tifosi last year for three reasons (1) They are super lightweight and do not slip (2) The red lenses work well in lots of different light conditions, even when running trails under a tree canopy. They are also fototec lenses that get darker as the conditions are brighter. (3) There is a slit at the top of each lens which helps to prevent fogging up.

GPS Watch - Garmin 405


I have a love/hate relationship with this watch. The “touch bezel” is just horrible. It will not work when it is wet so I’m forced to keep the bezel locked while running. If I don’t lock it, it will just start doing random things as my arms move. Over time I’ve learned to manage the bezel, though it is frustrating to not be able to manually change screens during a run. Other than the bezel, it has a nice feature set, and does just about everything I need a running watch to do. It is much more comfortable and lightweight than my previous Garmin 305. At one point I was having trouble with the battery life, but corrected this by charging it only when it is fully drained. Note….The 410 corrects the bezel problem.