Clinical Analysis of Running, Running Footwear, and Injury Prevention/Performance. The Doctor(s) of Running, using knowledge of human movement, clinical biomechanics and performance to bring you cutting edge reviews, science and knowledge.

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Saucony Ride Multiple Tester 13 Review

      Saucony's Ride is a classic and well-loved trainer among a variety of runners. The newest version returns as a far more refined Ride compared to the ISO "distraction." Losing the ISO upper and gaining a super comfortable mesh upper, the Ride returns better than ever.


Specifications (per Saucony)
Manufacturer Weights: 9.7 oz (men's 9), 8.6 oz (women's size 7)
Measured weight for Men's size 10 (Matt): 10.6 oz
Stack Height: 32mm / 24 mm
Drop: 8 mm
Classification: Daily Neutral Trainer

HIGHLIGHTS

    Matt: Back better than ever, the Saucony Ride 13 returns with a comfortable engineered mesh upper (No ISO!) and the addition of a PWRUN sole. Combined with a blown rubber outsole, the Saucony Ride 13 features a slightly softer ride (than previous), a MUCH more comfortable upper fit and a smooth transition. A trainer for long miles and faster miles, reach for the Ride 13 when you want a super smooth forefoot transition with a surprisingly stable ride for a "neutral" shoe.

    Nathan: The Saucony Ride 13 is simply a very pleasant trainer. This shoe incorporates Saucony's new PWRUN midsole material that is also found in the Endorphin Shift, a full coverage blown outsole rubber for durability, and is topped with a very comfortable mesh upper. The flex grooves make for an enjoyably smooth toe off.

     David: With one of the smoothest rides on the market for a daily trainer, the Saucony Ride 13 comes into the market. The shoe utilizes the PWRRUN midsole and an engineered mesh upper to create a fluid shoe that feels great for easy days and accumulating miles. Accompanying these features is a nice geometry with a posterior-lateral bevel and flex grooves throughout the shoe for flexibility. 



FIT

    Matt: The Saucony Ride 13 drops the ISO fit system and returns with a super smooth engineered mesh upper. My pair of size 10 fits me perfectly true to size (I am normally a men's size 10) The mesh is very comfortable with heel to toe and fits fairly average width. The heel is very comfortable and although fits fairly average, I did not have to lace lock the shoe until I started running faster. The midfoot is very locked down and I did not have any slipping issues. The forefoot mesh is breathable and stretches well while holding the foot. This is the kind of upper the completely disappears when you start running. Unlike most Saucony shoes I did not feel any taper at the toebox and my toes have always been comfortable no matter what the distance.

    Nathan: This is my first time in any Ride and never had the experience of the ISO fit, so you won't get comparison from me...sorry! What I will say is that the engineered mesh upper in this shoe is light, breathable, and secure. The shoe is certainly true to size and I did not experience any rubbing at any portion of the shoe. The toe box has ample room both in volume and width, and I had no issues with the internal toe guard. The midfoot is locked down well and I did not have any heel slippage without using a lace lock technique. Speaking of laces, they provide two colors for you, and it isn't just about the aesthetic. In my colorway, the green laces were longer to accommodate anyone who would want to utilize a lace lock with the final set of eyelets...a very nice touch. Heel is moderate in width and has adequate padding (thankfully not too much) to keep irritation off the achilles.

     David: So I am testing with Matt's pair meaning I am a half size up from my normal size. The Ride 13 appears to be TTS but still fits me pretty well due to a highly padded tongue and more snug midfoot. The toe box is slightly wider than normal and feels nice with no compression. The heel counter is lightly padded and gave me no problems with Achilles irritation. The engineered mesh still breathes pretty well even with as thick of a tongue as the shoe has which is nice. I had a little pressure  and discomfort at the navicular initially through the midfoot medially that I believe came from the topsole portion pushing up, though this faded after 2 runs and getting used to the shoe. 


RIDE

    Matt: After the firm and stiff ride of the Ride ISO 2, the Ride 13 is wonderful. The addition of PWRUN still provides a firmer ride, but it is softer than previous. The PWRUN runs the full length of the sole and provides good gently responsive cushioning. The heel has an improved bevel that makes for smoother landings. Rearfoot landings are still a bit stiff for me, but are far better than previous. Combined with some sole flare, the ride is surprisingly stable. The forefoot flex grooves make for a very smooth and fast transition at toe off. Overall, the changes make for a slightly softer and far smoother ride than previous. The Ride 13 is still a little firmer, but is forgiving enough for longer miles and daily training. The heel drop is listed at 8mm and feels right about there. It is integrated well into the sole and was not something I even noticed.

    Nathan: The Ride 13 has a simply pleasurable ride to it. Not exciting, not special, but certainly pleasurable. Smooth for me from back to front. The new PWRUN midsole is not a "superfoam" and doesn't provide notable rebound, but has some decent cushion to it (though still on the firmer end) which allows it to run true to the shaping of the shoe, which was the case for what makes the Saucony Endorphin Shift so special. The shaping of this shoe was built to be smooth. They created a posterolateral heel bevel to smooth out heel strike, and then transitions to a more flexible forefoot (thanks flex grooves) with a mild toe spring for a very smooth toe off. Given the more firm nature (though again, has a really nice amount of cushion), it rides true to an 8mm drop. There is a good amount of PWRUN underneath as well, so you feel a moderate gliding/floating sensation underneath instead of ground feel, which helps for longer miles.

     David: I'm in big agreement with Nathan. The ride of the shoe is incredibly smooth and I could feel my legs and feet almost relying on the shoe a little bit to help guide a smooth stride and cadence. The shoe has a pretty prominent posterior lateral bevel that kicks off initial contact with a quick transition into the midfoot where the flex grooves begin and continue through the forefoot. The result is a VERY smooth ride when running in a straight line. The foam is a little on the firm side, but the flexibility of the shoe helps maintain a smooth ride that is seemingly never clunky. Even though I love the bevel... it was almost a little too good to where it felt amazing in straight lines and gave me a little difficulty turning. Because of that I felt most comfortable taking the shoe on routes where I can get into a rhythm and relax. The shoe isn't the fastest shoe out there and doesn't handle technical turning or terrain the best. Don't get me wrong though, phenomenal ride. Potentially pushing the bevel just ever so slightly medially might help with that.


SPEED

    Matt: The Saucony Ride 13 is the first trainer I have used for workouts in a long time. The slightly firmer ride and responsive PWRUN cushioning make for a shoe that feels best when the pace picks up. I have used this shoe for both 400m repeats and a longer tempo and they felt like far lighter shoes. There is plenty of cushioning that these shoes could be used for much longer workouts, but the sole and flexible forefoot has a fast enough transition for shorter speed workouts. The stable ride also contributes to a a smooth forward roll that gets better as the pace picks up. Many looking for a more cushioned/traditional shoe as a marathon racer should also definitely check out the Ride 13.

    Nathan: This shoe hits the sweet spot for a trainer. It was smooth for me for slower/longer runs (10+ miles) but also given the nature of PWRUN being on the firm side, it really came alive as I picked up the pace. The shaping of the shoe with the flexible forefoot and toe spring really helped the shoe feel like it was rolling with me as the pace picked up, and I had no problem at 10K pacing in this shoe for some moderate distance tempos.

     David: Daily trainer, easy day, long easier runs. The Ride 13 is so smooth at daily paces it's pretty hard to beat. It can pick up the pace if you push it but begins to lose some of the magic with how flexible the forefoot is at faster paces. The shoe is responsive enough though to pull off some marathon or fartlek type workouts.


STABILITY

    Matt: For a supposedly neutral shoe, the Saucony Ride 13 is very stable. From heel to forefoot, the beveled heel, sole flare medially and laterally and the great forefoot flex grooves make for a controlled ride throughout the length of the shoe. Although this may not be enough shoe for those that need a high level of stability, those with mild stability needs will find plenty here. The only issue I had is that the heel bevel feels slightly off for my landing pattern, so running at very slow paces feel a bit jarring and feels like my ankles get a bit pitched. At normal to fast paces this is not an issue.

    Nathan: The Ride 13 is as stable as it gets for a neutral shoe, mainly aided by lateral flaring of the midsole, a wider midfoot platform (typical to trainers), and shaping including flex grooves that allow for seamless transitions that don't need stability to maintain proper motion. Unlike Matt, I didn't have any issues with the heel bevel in this shoe. For those who appreciate a high amount of stability built into a shoe, this isn't your choice, but for neutral runners and those with mild stability needs, this shoe has the stability you'd need.

     David: The Ride 13 is very stable in most conditions of running. I love to take shoes into various terrains and conditions and overall the shoe did very well maintaining its ride regardless of condition. Even on rocky trails the shoe did pretty well. My big thing as stated earlier is the turning though. Whether its trail or road, I was making some pretty wide turns or slowing down to make sure I could make them. Besides that, for a neutral shoe it has great stability. 


DURABILITY

    Matt: Durability of the Saucony Ride 13 is decent. The ride has remained fairly similar after 40 miles, although has broken in and smoothed out a little. There is some early wear on the forefoot rubber that I am just beginning to see and there is a seam loose on the inner part of the upper aspect of the midfoot. Other than that the shoe has remained in good shape and I expect a fairly average number of miles out of the Saucony Ride 13 (300-400)

    Nathan: Compared the the Endorphin Shift, I'm noticing earlier wear in the blown rubber of the Ride 13, particularly in the forefoot. Not anything super concerning since there is plenty of rubber there, but changes have occurred at 36 miles. I expect the midsole to last, particularly because of how the bevel in the heel and flexibility of the forefoot help negate compressive loading in typically high load areas. No issues in the upper for me.

     David: I agree with Matt. Decent is the word that comes to mind. I did take the shoe through some rocky and gravely trails that chewed up the outsole a little bit so there may be a little more wear than normal... but between me and matt (76 miles), the shoe is definitely showing some wear. The ride has maintained but the blown rubber is a little susceptible to breakdown. I could see it having average durability 300-400.


THOUGHTS AS A DPT

    The Saucony Ride 13 is surprisingly stable for something that is characterized as a neutral shoe. There has been a great deal of discussion in the professional world regarding footwear on whether the concept of traditional categorizations of footwear based on stability levels should be abandoned. The concept of pronation being bad has long been abandoned. It is a key component of shock absorption at the foot and ankle (Nigg et al., 2001). As I have discussed before, a lack of pronation may cause even more issues due to a lack of proper shock absorption. There is an optimal amount of everything, but clinically one of the most important things is having good control of pronation motion. This is especially true as we know that the foot will continue to move and do its own things regardless of what you put it in (Nigg et al., 2017). How people actually respond to "stability" features is very person specific and the concept of stability is changing. Instead of just posts and wedges, we now understand how many more things can be used to create stability in footwear. So this categorization of "Neutral, Stability and Motion Control" needs to change. That is far too simple and archaic, especially with super cushioned and soft stability shoes that feel unstable and "neutral" shoes that feel incredibly supportive and stable. There are way too many factors involved from both the shoe and individuals wearing them that a whole new method of categorization is needed. If any at all.

RECOMMENDATIONS

    Matt: The Saucony Ride 13 has brought about some great changes. My only real suggestion is to continue to improve the heel bevel. The bevel in the Hurricane and Triumph series is awesome. The addition of a more significant bevel in the Ride 13 would smooth out the heel and make for a near perfect trainer. I believe the heel bevel is a bit too lateral, and centering it a little more posterior may help. This obviously will depend on each person though....

    Nathan: The Ride 13 is an overall very reliable trainer. One small change, and yes this is based on my personal preference, is to switch the type of laces that come with the shoe. They provided tube laces that have good flexibility to them, but I prefer the laces that they used for the Endorphin Shift. Easy enough fix...just buy laces or transfer from another shoe.

     David: The Ride 13 is a great daily trainer and easy day option. I think the bevel could also be moved slightly more centrally like Matt, but still keeping some if it in a lateral direction! Only a small move. Also a switch to the outsole rubber in the endorphin line might make outsole wear much less noticeable and provide some good prolonged structure to the shoe. Me being picky... but thinning the tongue slightly might be nice from a breathability standpoint, though it still does a good job already.


CONCLUSION

    Matt: The Saucony Ride 13 is a great trainer that will work for a variety of workouts. From easy runs, to repeats, to tempo runs and long runs. This is a great shoe for the high school, college or recreational athlete looking for a stable, well fitting and responsive shoe. The new engineered mesh is incredibly comfortable throughout the length of the foot. The PWRUN midsole is slightly forgiving, but responsive enough for workouts and getting the legs turnover. The slight heel bevel and awesome forefoot flexibility make for a smooth toe off. A little more heel bevel could be added for smoother rearfoot landings, but overall the ride is great! The Saucony Ride 13 has improved in every way and is well worth a look. 

    Nathan: The Saucony Ride 13 is a very reliable trainer that will work for training runs of any kind as well as some tempo workouts. For those who enjoy a bit of floating feeling but still having a stable platform will really appreciate this shoe. Although not the most "exciting" shoe on the market, it certainly competes for being one of the staple trainers out there that can function as the only shoe in someone's rotation given its ability to handle some faster paces and also longer miles.

     David: The Saucony Ride 13 is a great daily training option for those who love a smooth neutral ride a little more on the firmer side but with enough protection to still put some long mileage in. Outside of the crazy smooth ride, the shoe does not have much "wow factor" but really doesn't need to. The foam is just good enough to be versatile in various conditions, but not a master in any specific conditions. The Ride is a very fun shoe and one of my favorite options for my easy days. 

GRADING

Matt

Fit/Upper       10 /10 (Super smooth upper, disappears on foot)
Ride/Midsole  9 /10 (improved heel bevel, super smooth forefoot. -1 for slightly clunky heel)
Stability          9.5 /10 (Great stability for a neutral shoe. -.5 for slightly off heel bevel)
Speed              9 /10 (Great for uptempo work -slight challenge at recovery miles)
Durability       8.5 /10 (-1.5 for early wear at forefoot and a seam loose. Good overall)

Nathan

Fit/Upper       10 /10 (Saucony is crushing their fit in all shoes lately)
Ride/Midsole  9 /10 (high grade for smooth ride, -1 for lack of responsiveness)
Stability          10 /10 (Stable neutral shoe without demanding motion of your foot)
Speed              8.5 /10 (Great speed for a daily trainer, high scores for ability to do some tempo)
Durability       8.5 /10 (-1.5 for early wear in outsole, but otherwise good)

David

Fit/Upper       9.75/10 (Really great job, just a really thick tongue)
Ride/Midsole  9.5 /10 (AMAZING at easy paces. Just not enough wow or pop in other paces)
Stability          9.25 /10 (Overall good stability. Turning is a little shaky regardless of terrain)
Speed              9 /10 (So smooth at easier efforts, but will get moving if you force it to)
Durability       8.5 /10 (Decent durability but definite wear somewhat early)

TOTAL: 92% (M), 92 %(N), 92% (D) 

TESTER PROFILES

Dr. Klein is a 140 lb male with notable PRs of 14:45 for 5k and 2:32:44 for the full marathon.  He typically runs 70-100 miles per week and trains at a variety of paces from 8min per mile recovery runs to 4:40 per mile 1k repeats.  He prefers firmer and responsive shoes with snug heels and medium to wide toe boxes.  He is particular to less cushioned shoes and close to the ground shoes, but can handle a little cushion when he gets beat up.  IG handle: @kleinrunsdpt

Dr. Salas is a 135 lb male with notable PRs of 3:54 1500m, 14:56 5k, 31:06 10k, 1:08 for half marathon. He typically runs 40 to 50 miles per week and trains from about 7:30 recovery runs to fast shorter efforts at 4:30 pace. He normally prefers neutral shoes with a firmer ride, but is completely open to other types of shoes.  He is a footwear enthusiast at heart and will always appreciate a high quality shoe when it comes around. For updates on training or testing, IG handle: @docsofrundavid

Dr. Brown is a 155 lb male with notable PRs of 18:18 5K, 39:25 10K, 1:29:01 half marathon, and 3:54 marathon. He typically runs between 20-40 miles per week at a variety of paces from 7:30-8:30 min/mile for recovery runs to 6-6:45 min/mile for tempo runs. He typically prefers shoes that provide some cushioning underfoot but still maintain a more firm and responsive feel. Current goals for 2020 are to break the 1.5 hour half marathon and 3:30 marathon. IG handle: @nate.docsofrunning

Thanks for reading!

Editor's Note: As always, the views presented on this website belong to myself or the selected few who contribute to these posts. This website should not and does not serve as a replacement for seeking medical care. If you are currently injured or concerned about an injury, please see your local running physical therapist. If you are in the Los Angeles area, I am currently taking clients for running evaluations.

Matthew Klein, PT DPT OCS FAAOMPT
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Board Certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist
Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapists

Nathan Brown PT DPT MS
Doctor of Physical Therapy 
Masters in Anatomy and Clinical Health Science
Movement Performance Institute Certified in Advanced Functional Biomechanics 

David Salas PT DPT CSCS
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist

***Disclaimer: These shoes were provided free of charge in exchange for a review.  We thank the  people at Saucony for sending us a pair.  This in no way affected the honesty of this review. We put at least 35-75 miles on trainers and 10-25 miles on racing flats prior to reviewing them. Currently I have 40 miles (Matt) and 36 (Nathan) on our pairs. Our views are based on my extensive history in the footwear industry and years testing and developing footwear. If you are a footwear rep looking for footwear reviews or consultations on development, we are currently looking to partner with companies to assist, discuss and promote footwear models. Partnership will not affect the honesty of our reviews.
References

Nigg, B. M. (2001). The role of impact forces and foot pronation: A new paradigm. Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine, 11(1), 2-9.
Nigg, B. M., Vienneau, J., Smith, A. C., Trudeau, M. B., Mohr, M., & Nigg, S. R. (2017). The preferred movement path paradigm: influence of running shoes on joint movement. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 49(4), 1641-1648.

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