Saucony Cortana Named "Gear of the Year" By Outside Buyer's Guide - SNEWS

Saucony Cortana Named "Gear of the Year" By Outside Buyer's Guide

Award marks the latest in a series of notable accolades for the brand’s most technically advanced shoe to date. Praised the Outside testing team: “It’s just about perfect.”
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Continuing to reap industry accolades for innovation and performance, Saucony, Inc., a leading global supplier of performance athletic footwear and apparel, today announced that the Cortana has won the coveted Outside Buyer's Guide “Gear of the Year” award. Perfect for the neutral runner doing high mileage or tempo training, the Cortana, which was also named “Best Debut” by Runner's World, combines the premier attributes of minimalism with three of the brand's newest innovations: POWERGRID™, IBR+ Outsole™ and SAUC-FIT™. The award was announced in the Winter 2011-2012 Buyer's Guide which hit newsstands October 2nd.

"For most of our testers, the Cortana was just about perfect," said Buyer's Guide editor Sam Moulton. "It feels like a traditional high-mileage trainer, but, thanks to its minimalist construction, it also encourages more of a fast, midfoot-striking gait. The Cortana offers the best combination of minimalist principles and cushioning in a shoe that the average runner will love,” added Moulton.

“The entire Saucony team is extremely honored to be recognized by Outside Buyer's Guide,” said Patrick O'Malley, senior vice president of global product for Saucony. “The Cortana is really an incredible shoe: it was inspired by our continued commitment to push the boundaries of innovation and performance. By doing so, we've been able to deliver an unprecedented running experience that allows for a lower impact stride and outstanding energy return. This award confirms that we've succeeded,” added O'Malley.

“Finally, a midfoot running shoe for the masses,” said the Buyer's Guide review of the Cortana. “With a pillowy tongue, exceptionally soft and accommodating midsole foam, wide forefoot, and wear-it-all-day comfort, the Cortana feels like a traditional high mileage trainer. What's missing? Only the built-up heel: there's a scant four millimeters of drop between the heel and marshmallow-soft forefoot, so the flexy Cortana gently fosters a more barefootlike midfoot-striking gait without the harsh impact on the feet.
It's probably just about perfect,” praised the reviewers.

The “Gear of the Year” award marks the latest in a series of notable accolades for the Cortana. Runner's World magazine awarded the Cortana “Best Debut” in the publication's 2011 Fall Shoe Buyer's Guide. The Cortana was also named “Best New Shoe” in the Running Network's 2011 Fall Shoe Review.

In the Fall/Winter 2010 Outside Buyer's Guide, the Saucony Kinvara, a minimally constructed, lightweight performance training shoe was also awarded “Gear of the Year.”

The Cortana's new technologies and technical features are as follows:

POWERGRIDâ„¢
Award-winning technology delivers optimal cushioning and responsiveness
In 1991, the brand's GRIDâ„¢ technology was introduced to the performance running category, forever changing the future of Saucony footwear. This innovation delivered a cushioned, responsive ride and became the foundation for ProGridâ„¢, ProGrid LITEâ„¢ and now POWERGRIDâ„¢, making its debut in the all-new Cortana.

POWERGRID™ is a combination of Saucony's award-winning GRID® technology and the brand's new proprietary POWERfoam™, providing unparalleled cushioning and responsiveness with every stride. More resilient and cushioned than traditional EVA, POWERfoam™ reduces layers, while providing an exceptionally plush ride.

IBR+ Outsoleâ„¢
Proprietary compound provides remarkable road feel
Working in harmony with POWERGRID, Saucony's new injection blown rubbercompound is 33 percent lighter in weight than traditional blown rubber. IBR+ is also proven to absorb twice as much energy than traditionally blown rubber, providing amazing and long-lasting forefoot cushioning.

SAUC-FITâ„¢
Dynamic fit system ensures an ultra-secure ride
Securing the foot to the midsole platform is the brand's unique SAUC-FITâ„¢ technology,an advanced fit system in the upper that not only locks the midfoot onto the platform, but also keeps the heel secure and comfortable. SAUC-FITâ„¢ was designed to allow the upper of the shoe to actively adjust to the runner's foot shape, delivering a better fit while reducing unwanted motion. SAUC-FITâ„¢ also offers the runner additional lacing options to dial in the perfect fit for the individual foot.

Cortana's additional performance features:
4mm Heel-To-Toe Offset
The Cortana's midsole height differential (difference between heel and forefoot heights) of just four millimeters helps promote the foot's natural movement, encouraging the runner to midfoot strike, resulting in a lower impact stride.

Comfortride+ Sockliner
Not only does an open cell foam sockliner construction wick moisture away from the foot, but a soft memory foam layer conforms to the foot when stepping into the shoe, delivering exceptional comfort and performance.

Medial Post & SRC Impact Zone
For mild pronators or neutral runners that need a little extra support, the Cortana's medial post, made of a slightly denser foam than the midsole, will help slow down unwanted movement during foot strike. The SRC Impact Zone provides shock attenuation and sets the foot up for a smooth transition from heel to toe-off.

Engineered Air Mesh
The Cortana's air mesh upper is specially designed with function in mind. By engineering the support into the mesh design, the upper layers of the Cortana are reduced to create a more minimal shoe.

The Cortana, now available at participating running specialty retailers, comes in men's sizes 7-13, 14 and 15, and women's sizes 5-12. The suggested retail price of the Cortana is $145.00. To find a retailer near you, please call 1.800.365.4933 or visit www.saucony.com.

The Buyer's Guide, published by Outside, America's leading active lifestyle magazine, highlights the very best collection of some of the most thoroughly tested gear in the outdoor industry. To read the entire review, check out the Winter 2011-2012 issue of Outside Buyer's Guide.

For interviews, please contact Sharon Barbano at Saucony (617-824-6126), sharon.barbano@saucony.com or Jeff Lawrence at Mullen (617-226-9945), jeff.lawrence@mullen.com.

About Saucony, Inc.:
Saucony, Inc., a subsidiary of Collective Brands, Inc., is a leading global running lifestyle brand that fuses performance, innovation and style to create compelling footwear and apparel with its widely recognized brands Saucony and Saucony Originals. Founded in 1898, Saucony continues to inspire runners everywhere with its award winning innovations, including ProGridâ„¢, PowerGridâ„¢ and ViZiPROâ„¢ apparel. For more information, go to www.saucony.com.

Collective Brands, Inc. (NYSE: PSS) is a leader in bringing compelling lifestyle, fashion and performance brands for footwear and related accessories to consumers worldwide. The company operates three strategic units covering a powerful brand portfolio, as well as multiple price points and selling channels including retail, wholesale, ecommerce and licensing. Collective Brands, Inc. includes Payless ShoeSource, focused on democratizing fashion and design in footwear and accessories through its nearly 4,500-store retail chain, with its brands Airwalk®, Dexter® and Champion® and designer collections by fashion designers Christian Siriano, Lela Rose, Isabel Toledo and Silvia Tcherassi; Collective Brands Performance + Lifestyle Group, focused on lifestyle and performance branded footwear and high-quality children's footwear sold primarily through wholesaling, with its brands including Stride Rite®, Keds®, Sperry Top-Sider® Robeez®, and Saucony®, among others; and Collective Licensing International, the brand development, management and global licensing unit, with such youth lifestyle brands as Airwalk®, Above The Rim®, Vision Street Wear®, STRIKEFORCE™, Clinch Gear™, Sims®, Lamar® and LTD®, World Snowboarding Championships™ and Hind®. Information about, and links for shopping on, each of the Collective Brand's units can be found at www.collectivebrands.com.

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