Review Saguaro Running Shoes

Posted by Evolved Inspired on Sunday, June 30, 2024

A few months back I took a chance on some cheaper minimalist shoes as backup for my regular shoes as they were on sale. It took a few visits of the website to finally hit the buy button as Saguaro wasn’t a brand I’d come across before and in New Zealand would be shipped from overseas. A few months later, after clocking up around 600km on my Saguaro Journey 1 shoes so far, they seem a great minimal option, especially if you snag them in one of the regular discount sales.

600KM in Saguaro Journey 1 running shoe
600km in Saguaro Journey 1 running shoe

Durability and Wear

The shoes are holding up well, showing only my usual wear on the outside of the heel. They might even outlast my previous Merrells if they continue at this rate. The Journey 1 design avoids the typical ‘toe’ features seen in other minimalist shoes, giving them a more conventional running shoe look.

Fit and Comfort

I went with my usual size, and the fit is spot on. The is a sizing guide on the Saguaro site. There’s ample room in the toe box, even with toe socks. Initially, I thought they were a bit too big, but adjusting the laces snugged them up nicely without being too tight at the top. They’re lightweight and flexible, though not as flexible as some Vibram-type minimal soles. The soles have a bit more tension, partly due to the grip block design.

There is no noticeable arch support, and the inners are thin and functional, rather then providing any noticeable cushioning.

The shoes dry out pretty quickly, as I found out being caught out in a heavy rainstorm. As usual they dry quicker if you loosen up the laces and remove the insoles.

Saguaro Journey 1 running shoe
Saguaro Journey 1 running shoe

First Impressions

The upper is open and breathable. As I do with pretty much all my running shoes, I gave them a light spray on the uppers with camping waterproof spray to help with light rain and splashes. The sole material is firm but not uncomfortable; you will feel it if your running form slips, especially on tired legs. Most small obstacles on paths are manageable, though larger sharp rocks are noticeable. Despite this, nothing has penetrated the shoes, they provide good protection and feedback.

I was initially skeptical about the laces—they seemed cheap compared to the rest of the shoe. However, they’ve held up well, staying firmly tied during runs and walks. I’ve come to the conclusion they just look and feel a bit ‘different’ to the laces on my previous shoes.

I’ve felt confident in the Saguaros on road and trail. The only surface where I’ve felt any kind of slip way a polished marble hotel frontage in the rain, I think the grip would have let go had I not anticipated it. Still that is the kind of surface where I’ve had a Huarache slip under itself breaking the strap - hence my anticipation on that surface in the rain.

More About Saguaro

Saguaro shoes are inspired by the resilient Saguaro cactus. The brand aims to promote natural walking and an unrestrained lifestyle, mirroring the adaptability of the cactus. Known for their sustainable and comfortable designs, Saguaro shoes feature wide toe boxes, zero-drop soles, and flexible thin soles.

Designed for outdoor enthusiasts and those seeking a natural walking experience, Saguaro shoes cater to men, women, and children. They’re available online worldwide, Europe and have spread worldwide in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, New Zealand, Irish, Australia, Philippines, Singapore, Germany, Spain, Italy, Japan, Austria, France, Finland and Saudi Arabia.


Will buy again, I like this design, not sure about the other designs with the ’toe’ look to them. Best to check their websites regularly, as not all sizes are available all the time. I’ll likely buy 2 pairs of the same style next time they are on sale.

If you want to grab 10% off an order use code EvolvedInspired at the Saguaro store