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Saucony Ride 17: New but Familiar
By Matthew Klein, David Salas, and Andrea Myers

The Ride series has been a flagship neutral training shoe from Saucony for years. For the longest time, it held its place with gradual changes that kept a similar formula to continually produce a lighter than average training shoe that maintained the versatility to handle both easy and faster runs. This was maintained with a somewhat firmer but snappy EVA midsole and a secure upper. While version 17 maintains the comfort in its upper with a new mesh, the midsole and outsole have seen complete overhauls. Now featuring full-length PWRRUN+ in the midsole similar to the Triumph 21, the new update provides a lot more bounce with a little more weight. While still maintaining the essence of the Ride 17, some of the changes certainly alter the shoe in ways that take this series in a new direction. 

Saucony Ride 17
Price: $139.95 at Running Warehouse
Weight: 9.9 oz, 282 g (men's size 9), 8.4 oz, 238 g  (women's size 8)
Stack Height: 35 mm / 27 mm
Drop: 8 mm
Classification: Daily Training Shoe



RUNNING SHOE SUMMARY

Matt: The Saucony Ride 17 is a neutral daily training shoe that has been completely redone from the prior versions. A new PWRRUN+ midsole provides a bouncier and slightly softer ride that improves versatility into uptempo paces. A new upper provides a similar normal to slightly snug fit with a little bit of stretch. Now a similar shoe to the Triumph series, the Saucony Ride 17 is for those who want a daily training shoe with an upgraded foam for daily miles and faster runs. 

David: The Saucony Ride 17 is a neutral training shoe that gives off a very traditional ride. The shoe has a pretty big foam update, now using PWRRUN+. This foam is a tad softer and does provide more bounce upon loading it. The overall ride is still on the balanced to slightly firmer side, but with enough cushion to be that workhorse trainer. Other updates to the 17 include a new upper and outsole pattern. The Ride is still the neutral workhorse trainer it has always been.

Andrea:
The Saucony Ride 17 is a higher stack, neutral training shoe that has plenty of cushion in the forefoot and a mild bounce from its updated PWRRUN+ midsole. The updated upper fits better for me than the Ride 16, specifically due to a slightly wider and higher volume forefoot. The high stack midsole has high resilience, but lower compliance, meaning that it has some bounce without compressing like a marshmallow. The Ride 17 will be a great neutral option for easy runs and even long runs.

SIMILAR SHOES: Saucony Triumph 21
PAST MODEL: Saucony Ride 16



FIT

Matt: The Saucony Ride 17 fits me true to size in my normal Men's US size 10. The fit is fairly normal with a slightly lower volume in the forefoot. Despite a slight taper in the forefoot, there is just enough room in the forefoot for my toes. The upper is an engineered mesh that provides a secure stretch and is quite breathable. It is on the thinner side in the forefoot and provides a ton of air flow. I have found this shoe to be better in normal to warmer weather, while colder weather may necessitate a SHIELD version. The midfoot fits fairly normal in width with a slightly thinner, gusseted tongue. The midfoot wrap integrates extremely well with the laces and getting a secure fit was easy. I did not have to tighten the laces or lace lock the shoe to keep my feet secure. The heel fits normal to slightly snug. The heel collar cushioning is moderate and there is a fairly stiff heel counter. The counter is rounded and did not bother me, but those extremely sensitive to stiff counters may not do as well in this shoe. I have tried sockless running in this shoe and it is totally fine except for some stitching around the inferior portion of the laces. Those who are experienced with this will be fine but most should consider socks, especially for longer miles. 

David: The Saucony Ride 17 fits true to size in my Men's 9.5. The dimensions throughout are quite good. The length is normal to perhaps a tiny bit long. The width through the heel and midfoot are normal with the forefoot being a tad wider. The volume is normal to slightly snug. The lacing system does a good job of getting a good lockdown throughout. The tongue is a mild to moderately padded and this one is a tad thinner than some of the other trainers. The engineered mesh is decently comfortable, though I wouldn't say it is anything overly soft, plush, or breathable. It feels pretty standard and has a slight amount of stretch initially. The midfoot does have a wrap system integrated both medially and laterally via a thicker overlay which does actually seem to keep the structure of the shoe through those regions. There is a decently thick and rigid heel counter that is pretty shallow in height and wraps around the medial and lateral calcaneus. This padded pretty well and I had no irritation. The experience of the upper was good and I found it reliable for all of the situations I needed it for. The only thing that seemed to happen to me was that I would get a small amount of biting or jarring at the very top of the tongue and last eyelet across the front of my ankle. I'm not sure if it is from my ankle creasing and hitting the tongue or the lacing system just having a slightly different pressure in that region than I am used to. That still wasn't a deal breaker for me I did enjoy the upper of this shoe.

Andrea:
The Saucony Ride 17 fits true to size in my usual women's 9.5. I have a full thumb's width from the front of my big toe to the end of the shoe, and the toe box is wide enough that I did not experience any pressure or irritation on my 1st or 5th MTPs (as I did in the Ride 16). The midfoot and rearfoot are normal width, and both fit securely without any pressure points. Midfoot security is enhanced by the well integrated, gusseted tongue, which wraps around the dorsum of the midfoot and is thick enough to prevent any lace irritation. The flat laces have some stretch to them, but maintain their tension throughout the duration of a run. I did not have to stop and retie the laces as I have had to do with other elastic laces. It was easy to achieve lockdown in this shoe and I did not experience any heel slippage. The heel counter is rigid in the lower half and flexible in the upper half, with moderate padding internally. The mesh upper is highly breathable and has a mild amount of stretch, making it ideal for warm weather runs. I have also done several runs in 30 degree temperatures in the shoe, and while I could feel the cold air on my feet, my feet did not get cold. I was very pleased with the improvement of the fit of the shoe as compared to Ride 16, mostly due to the improvement in the width and volume of the toe box.




PERFORMANCE

Matt: The Saucony Ride 17 is a performance daily trainer. While the weight has increased by over an ounce, the new PWRRUN+ foam adds a high level of resilience and responsiveness. The underfoot feel is slightly softer and bouncy once the foam has broken in. This makes the shoe feel lighter than its listed weight, especially when the pace picks up. I have found this shoe to work better during uptempo runs as the foam responds extremely well when loaded. The majority of runs in this shoe have been workouts until I finally got used to the bouncier midsole.

The transitions off the front of the shoe are fairly smooth but the heel is a little clunky initially. Despite the large bevel, it fairly central with sole flare on each side. I kept hitting the lateral sole flare, which made this shoe a little slappy at first. Once the midsole broke in after 10-15 miles, this feeling went away. From the midfoot to the forefoot, the transition is extremely smooth. There is a moderate amount of flexibility at the forefoot, which combined with early forefoot rocker makes it easy to move forward regardless of pace. The forefoot transition, combined with the midsole bounce, is what makes this shoe so excellent for moderate and uptempo paces. While this shoe does work as a bouncier trainer, it has the versatility to handle faster paces as mentioned. This is an excellent choice for the runner who wants something a little quicker that can also handle a variety of paces without being an aggressive supershoe.

Durability and traction wise this shoe has been a rock. This is a road shoe, but the outsole is fairly tough. I have 30 miles in my pair and have not made a dent in the outsole rubber. The exposed PWRRUN+ initially had me concerned, but I have been able to do mild trails without any issue. Anything more aggressive should probably be done with a trail shoe, but there is plenty of grip for dry and wet road. 

David: The Saucony Ride 17 has an interesting performance profile. The shoe has a weight of 9.9 ounces, though does have a decent amount of responsiveness. The shoes big update is the introduction of PWRRUN+ into the Ride series. PWRRUN+ does give a slightly softer and bouncier midsole to work with. With that said the experience still leans on the firmer side like most Ride models, but the foam does have a lot more bounce to it when loaded. I have done strides in these shoes multiple times now and have found that I can actually turn over halfway decent. I think I'd still lean towards other shoes for workouts, but this can still get it done.

The transitions of the shoe took some getting used to. The shoe does have a decent heel bevel and a gradual toe spring up front, but I would not call this a rockered shoe. This definitely fits a more traditional ride for a neutral running shoe. The heel bevel is centrally biased with a decent amount of outsole coverage. The midfoot has the outsole coverage laterally and exposed foam medially. There is a longitudinal groove that passes from the heel through the midfoot as well through the midline of the shoe. Initially I did find the heel to midfoot transition a bit "slappy", perhaps due to the central bevel and combination of soft foam with a lot of outsole coverage. This broke in better with more miles, but I do think a posterior lateral bevel would make that heel transition a tad smoother. The forefoot forward is pretty smooth. Once you are in the forefoot there is a nice wide and grippy platform to drive from. Despite having some forefoot rigidity, the forefoot flexes just enough to still have a pretty natural feeling toe off. This combined with some loading and speed make for a fun toe off in the Ride 17. This is definitely a shoe that can tackle workhorse mileage and even a little bit of workouts. I think the Ride 17 will still be one of the leading choices of the category is 2024. I do think the heel transition could be worked on a little though.

Andrea:
The Saucony Ride 17 is a daily trainer that becomes more responsive as you pick up the pace. I found that the shoe felt a little clunky on recovery runs due to a feeling of resistance in transitioning from initial contact to pushoff. It does feel like its stated 8mm drop, and the clunkiness in the heel could be improved with a larger heel bevel. On regular easy runs where I wasn't fatigued from a workout the previous day, the shoe definitely felt more alive and responsive at paces around 1 minute per mile slower than marathon pace. The PWRRUN+ midsole, which is TPU, felt bouncier and more responsive as I loaded the midsole a little more. This makes it a great shoe for long runs where you might run at a slightly faster than easy pace. The combination of the wide base and sole flare in the forefoot made this shoe comfortable for midfoot landings, and the moderate forefoot flexibility and later forefoot rocker make pushoff feel natural and not forced. I like the firmer midsole and never felt like the forefoot came close to bottoming out. I do not like high stack shoes that feel like marshmallows, and the Ride 17 is definitely not a marshmallow shoe. 

While I would personally only use the Ride 17 for easy-moderate pace runs, I can see this shoe being a do-it-all performance trainer for some runners. Due to its muted rocker profile and firmer ride, it is also a shoe that lets you use your mechanics, as opposed to the many highly rockered, aggressive riding performance trainers on the market. Runners looking for a shoe that provides sufficient underfoot protection, but does not feel like it forces motion, will find a lot to like in the Ride 17. 

The extensive rubber outsole coverage provides sufficient traction on wet roads. I would expect high durability from this shoe, both due to the rubber outsole and the fact that the midsole is TPU, which is known to be more durable than EVA or PEBA. I have 30 miles on my pair and there is almost no visible wear, even on the portions of exposed midsole. Another benefit of TPU is that its performance is consistent even in colder temperatures, whereas EVA firms up in cold weather. 



STABILITY

Matt: The Saucony Ride 17 is a neutral daily training shoe. There are some mild methods of guidance present but this series has changed from the previously stable neutral rating. There are still sidewalls in the heel and midfoot. However, due to the PWRRUN+, these sidewalls collapse more than they did in the past. There is still some solid sole flare in the forefoot and heel classic to Saucony, but the midfoot does narrow somewhat compared to the rest of the sole. The soft PWRRUN+ drives this shoe far more neutral, especially with the slightly narrow midfoot. Additionally, the firmer lateral coverage of outsole material and exposed medial outsole at the midfoot may mildly bias motion inward. The forefoot has some mild sidewalls and combined with the more significant sole flare does make this the more stable than the rest of the shoe. However, overall, particularly in the midfoot, this is a shoe for those with neutral mechanics. 

David:  Previously we have always said the Ride has been in this "stable neutral" category. This is because it has always been a neutral shoe that does a good job with implementing some stable elements to increase the experience. This is all still here in the Ride 17, but the addition of PWRRUN+ does make things more tricky. I do think Saucony did a pretty good job of stabilizing the platform, though I do feel it is a little less than the 16 (which isn't a knock on it, the 16 was very stable for a neutral trainer). What Saucony did well was that integrated a thick and grippy outsole, sole flaring through the forefoot and heel, and integrated that reinforced wrap on the midfoot both medially and laterally. There are also some gentle sidewalls upon step in. This does give you a more stable experience when you are on top of PWRUN+. I still feel the ride is very neutral though, which isn't bad because this is a neutral shoe.

Andrea:
 The Saucony Ride 17 is a neutral shoe that has some elements that help center the foot, but no significant stability features. The wide base in the forefoot extends behind the 5th MTP, making midfoot landings feel particularly stable. The sole flaring in the rearfoot and forefoot further help to center the foot, regardless of landing pattern. The sidewalls in the rearfoot and midfoot are not particularly noticeable and feel like they contribute more to foot security in the shoe as opposed to guidance. The heel bevel and forefoot rocker are small and do not feel like they force motion. The forefoot flexibility feels like it encourages forward motion more than the forefoot rocker. The firmer PWRRUN+ midsole does contribute some stability to this higher stack shoe, making it feel protective but not soft. Overall, this is a neutral shoe with a secure fit and some centering elements.




Thoughts as a DPT: The Impact of Foam Compliance/Resilience on Stability
By Matthew Klein

For the longest time, the Ride series had maintained a unique, versatile place as a slightly firmer, snappy, daily training shoe that was also light and responsive enough for workouts and uptempo running. The firmer ride, geometry and ongoing use of sidewalls have also made it a stable neutral shoe for several years. The change to a softer, more compliant and resilient foam does change this rating to far more neutral as mentioned above. This is something important to keep in mind as the entire footwear industry continues to move to shoes with softer midsoles. The fancy way to say this is that midsole hardness is decreasing across the industry. As this occurs, shoes will inherently become less stable. One of the unique reactions of the human body to softer soles is that the body tends to stiffen itself up (Kulmala et al., 2018; Baltich et al., 2015). My suspicion of why this occurs is that as soles get softer, the body has to adapt from trying to absorb shock to stabilize itself. These compliant/resilient foams compress enough that less shock absorption needs to be done by the body but the focus instead to keeping itself with its limits of stability. (This is something also seen in older individuals with balance problems as they tend to shorten their stride length and stiffen their limbs in an attempt to get more control over their balance).

The problem with this is that with increased stiffness comes increased muscle work and in some cases increased impact loading despite the increased cushioning (Kim et al., 2019; Kulmala et al., 2018). While many people will do just fine, companies need to continue to consider what they are doing to stabilize the foot within these softer foams. Due to this instability, some people may find themselves actually working harder in softer shoes due to additional muscle work (Kim et al., 2019). Other than adding more stable neutral components, I am not sure yet how to offset this or if it even can be. The solution may be beyond footwear, specifically that those who decide to use these increasingly soft foams need to spend additional time working on balance and lower extremity movement control. I tend to be biased in suggestion stable neutral components but those may not work for everyone. Whatever the solution is, I am curious to watch how this evolves. 

References:

Baltich, J., Maurer, C., & Nigg, B. M. (2015). Increased vertical impact forces and altered running mechanics with softer midsole shoes. PloS One10(4), e0125196.

Kim, E., Lim, K., Cho, S., & Lee, K. (2019). The Effect of Midsole Hardness of Running Shoe on Fatigue of Lower Extremity Muscles and Impact Force. Korean Journal of Sport Biomechanics29(3), 167-172.

Kulmala, J. P., Kosonen, J., Nurminen, J., & Avela, J. (2018). Running in highly cushioned shoes increases leg stiffness and amplifies impact loading. Scientific Reports8(1), 17496.



RECOMMENDATIONS

Matt: The Saucony Ride 17 is a massive update. The bouncy PWRRUN+ moves it away from the slightly firmer ride past and brings it to the land of newer resilient foams. My biggest suggestions to Saucony are to look at the heel transition and the weight. While I appreciate the large bevel, it would be helpful to have it be biased slightly laterally. The lateral flare does cause an early initial contact until it breaks in and if this is meant to be a shoe that can handle slower paces that might involve landing a bit more posterior, that may be a helpful addition. I completely understand that the foam compound does make the shoe more resilient/efficient, but a bit of the lower-weight magic of the Ride series has been lost. This may not be a bad thing but it could differentiate it further from the Triumph series. That is what I thought of immediately after my first run and looking at the specs. Currently, the Triumph 21 and Ride 17 share quite a bit. The Triumph 21 does have more heel cushioning, feels slightly softer and has more room in the upper. The Triumph 22 will need to differentiate itself more, but based on seeing info from TRE, it looks like Saucony is taking it in that direction.

David: The Saucony Ride 17 was a solid update to an already solid shoe. I do have some recommendations though. The first would be to clean up the heel transition at initial contact. The central bevel, soft foam, and thick outsole do create a bit of slappy midfoot transition. Even keeping all things the same and shifting the bevel posterior lateral bias could clean some of that up. The other is potentially padding the top of the tongue a tad more, as I did have some biting at the very top.

Andrea:
The Saucony Ride 17 is a great update over version 16, particularly due to the upgraded foam and better fit in the forefoot. To further improve the ride of the shoe, I would recommend that Saucony increase the heel bevel slightly, to make midfoot landings more comfortable at slower paces. Otherwise, I am really pleased with this update and have really enjoyed testing the shoe.

WHO THIS SHOE IS FOR


Matt: The Saucony Ride 17 is a neutral daily trainer with a bouncy midsole that works well for daily miles and faster/uptempo workouts. The PWRRUN+ midsole is the largest update that makes this shoe come alive when you pick up the pace. It does require some break in time for easier miles and pushes the shoe into the neutral realm, unlike its predecessors. The fit is pretty classic although features a little more stretch than previous. Despite the massive changes, it still maintains its place as a neutral daily trainer for those who want a shoe that is versatile into faster paces.

The Ride 17 is another example of "normal" daily trainers getting foam updates that give them far more bounce than their predecessors. Many of the premium daily trainers are getting super foams and all of this is an example of recent technology being integrated from super shoes into daily shoes. These foams are here to stay but hopefully companies keep in mind that some variety in feel is important for the variety of needs of the general population.  

David: The Saucony Ride 17 is a neutral trainer that will fit the need as the workhorse shoe in your rotation. The PWRRUN+ foam update does make this shoe more lively when the pace is picked up and does give some appeal to fartleks and tempos. The shoe does lean pretty neutral despite some stability elements implemented. The experience is that of a firmer cushioning, but with a decent bounce when loaded.

Andrea:
The Saucony Ride 17 is a neutral daily trainer that has the responsiveness to be a performance trainer for some. The updated PWRRUN+ midsole provides a protective and responsive ride and the improved forefoot fit will make it work for a greater number of runners. At $140, it is a great value, given the durability of TPU and the outsole. This could be a great shoe for new runners or those looking for one shoe to perform multiple roles.   


GRADING

Matt
Fit: A- (Comfortable upper that is on the performance side. Normal fit with slightly snug forefoot that opens with time )
Performance: A-
 (High-performance daily trainer with the versatility for faster miles and easy runs after the heel breaks in.)
Stability: B/B+ [Neutral] (Softer, resilient midfoot, slightly narrowed midfoot with lateral outsole coverage make this a solidly neutral shoe)
DPT/Footwear Science: B+ (Solid update that differentiates this from the Guide but makes it harder to separate from the Triumph. )
Personal: B+ (I have enjoyed this shoe most for workouts and walking. The heel design took a while to break in and still feels a little better moving faster, making this a better option for those who want a shoe that edges a little faster)
Overall: B+/A- 

David
Fit: A- (Well thought out. Good dimensions throughout with no wasted space. The tongue is on the thinner end at the top and I did have some biting however. Otherwise great upper throughout.)
Performance: 
A- (Slightly clunky heel due to heel bevel, but otherwise the shoe does what it is supposed to do well. Decent responsiveness for a training shoe too.)
Stability: B+/A- (It's difficult with PWRUN+ but the sole flaring, traction, sidewalls, and upper do a pretty good job of stabilizing the shoe)
DPT/Footwear Science: B+ (Small changes that added up to a pretty big update. Good integration of most parts of the shoe)
Personal: B+/A- (Now that the heel is breaking in it is winning more points, slightly clunky heel, otherwise a nice training shoe)
Overall: B+/A-

Andrea

Fit: A (Improved toe box width and volume makes the 17 much better fitting for me as compared to the 16. Secure and comfortable overall fit)
Performance: 
A- (Heel gets in the way at slower paces, making the shoe feel a little clunky when tired. Nice responsiveness on the faster side of easy. I really like that the forefoot does not come close to bottoming out.)
Stability: B+ (Neutral) (Some well done centering elements, particularly the balanced sole flare and wide base in the forefoot)
DPT/Footwear Science: B+ (Nice update with PWRRUN+ and better fitting upper)
Personal: B+ (Clunkiness at slower paces makes this shoe not as enjoyable when fatigued, but great for easy days on fresher legs)
Overall: B+


SHOP | SUPPORT DOR

Saucony Ride 17
Price: $139.95 at Running Warehouse

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FURTHER READING: TRAINERS!

ASICS Gel-Cumulus 25 - A big update to this daily trainer makes it the softness, most cushioned yet
Adidas Adizero SL - A remodernized daily trainer for the Adidas line
AltraFWD Experience - Altra's first non-zero drop trainer
Brooks Launch 10 - Huge value training for everyday runners
Brooks Revel 6 - At $100, a simple, but effective neutral trainer that fits well
Hoka Clifton 9 [Stable Neutral Trainer] - A change to the midsole shapes the change to this classic maximal trainer
Mizuno Wave Rider 27 - Retooled to feel a little lighter underfoot and with a greatly improved fit
New Balanace FuelCell Propel v4 - Version 4 adds a forefoot plate to this budget trainer
New Balance Fresh Foam X 880 v13 - A new update to this versatile "wogger" shoe
Nike Pegasus 40 - A light upper update makes this the most comfortable Pegasus to slip on yet
Nike Vomero 17 - More ZoomX midsole helps make this trainer excel
On Cloudflow 4 - Redesign of this firmer trainer offers a fun ride
On Cloudsurfer - The softest On yet ushers in a new redesign for the future of On
On Cloudswift 3 - A versatile run/everyday activity trainer with classic On elements
Puma ForeverRun Nitro - A new "stability" entry in the lineup that provides a cushioned ride
Reebok Floatride Energy 5 - Major changes to the popular training series, including a torsion system
Salomon Aero Blaze - A new lightweight trainer from Salomon
Salomon Aero Volt - An old-school flat that's light and versatile
Saucony Echelon 9 [Stable Neutral Trainer] - A wide-fitting, high cushion shoe that also fits orthotics perfectly well
Saucony Kinvara 14 - Higher stacked than ever, and lighter as well
Saucony Ride 16 - A light update that refines the daily trainer to its very best yet
Skechers GO RUN Ride 11 - New HYPERBURST ICE makes for an incredibly soft new entry
Topo Phantom 3 [Stable Neutral] - A daily training shoe with a fantastic upper and simple, functional ride
Tracksmith Eliot Runner - All-new trainer from the apparel brand, featuring a peba midsole

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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, Santa Barbara, Danbury and Stevens Point areas, we am currently taking clients for running evaluations.

***Disclaimer: These shoes were provided free of charge in exchange for a review.  We thank the people at Saucony for sending us pairs.  This in no way affected the honesty of this review. We systematically put each type of shoe through certain runs prior to review. For trainers and performance trainers, we take them on daily runs, workouts, recovery runs and a long run prior to review (often accumulating anywhere from 20-50 miles in the process). For racing flats we ensure that we have completed intervals, a tempo or steady state run as well as a warm-up and cool down in each pair prior to review. This systematic process is to ensure that we have experience with each shoe in a large variety of conditions to provide expansive and thorough reviews for the public and for companies. Our views are based on our 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.

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