Its weight could place it in either category, but the performance-oriented Azura is more like a protective racing shoe than a lightweight trainer, because it sits low to the ground, with a fast, responsive feel and an emphasis on flexibility rather than cushioning. That said, it is smooth and relatively soft, and its low ride and midfoot shank give it some stability (though its still not a shoe for anyone with biomechanical problems).
Saucony is capitalising on its longstanding popularity with triathletes by fitting a continuous loop lace with a built-in lace lock for speed (which frankly is too long and best cut down). Its certainly a decent fast-paced marathon racer for efficient Ironman athletes, though it would be too heavy for most runners considering a sub-38 10K leg.
If youre familiar with the previous Azura, youll notice the addition of forefoot GTO cushioning material to complement the existing rearfoot GRID; plus a vented midsole to let air in (or water out) from underneath the foot.
The essence of the Azura stays the same a racer for tired legs or long distances, or a second shoe for speedwork . Now it has improved forefoot cushioning.
Try it if you liked
Asics Gel Lyte DS (£70); Nike Air Skylon (£60)
; Mizuno Wave Precision (£60)