By Kieran Alger
If you’re in the market for a cushioned, neutral do-it-all daily trainer that’s versatile enough to eat a wide range of your weekly miles, the new Saucony Ride 17 should be somewhere on your shortlist. The big headline in the latest update is the switch from regular PWRRUN to PWRRUN+ midsole foam – the same lively foam you find in the pricier (and popular) Saucony Triumph 21. The Ride has always been a happy easy shoe but that new midsole aims to boost its uptempo credentials, too. So does it work? Read my Saucony Ride 17 review to find out.
Stack Height, Drop, Weight and Price
The Saucony Ride 17 has a big midsole stack but it’s not a max stack by today’s standards. The stack height comes in at 35mm in the heel and 27mm forefoot, for an 8mm drop. That’s 2mm less in the heel than the higher-drop Triumph 21 and much lower in the heel than something like a Novablast 4 that packs a whopping 41.5mm in the heel and 33.5m in the forefoot.
The Saucony Ride 17 weighs 10.3oz or 293g in my US men’s size 9.5 test shoe. That’s about half an ounce heavier than the Triumph 21 and quite close to the weight of the ASICS Gel Nimbus 25. So it’s at the heavier end of daily trainers.
Pricewise, at launch the Saucony Ride 17 was $140. That’s now towards the cheaper end of the daily trainer shelves on par with the Novablast 4. But crucially twenty bucks cheaper than the Triumph 21.
35mm heel / 27mm forefoot
Weight (Size 10)
10.3oz / 293g
Suggested Retail Price
True to size
The biggest upgrade to the Saucony Ride 17 comes in the midsole. While Ride 16 had regular PWRUN, we’ve now got a big but-not-max stack of Saucony’s livelier PWRRUN+ foam. The same foam you find in the racier Triumph 21. There’s also a rocker and Saucony’s familiar Speedroll midsole set up.
Saucony also says they’ve improved the midfoot wrap and created better locked down comfort in the heel with a stiff internal heel counter. The heel collars offer medium padding that’s nicely balanced and there’s a medium padded gusseted tongue. There are heel pulls, too, not that this is a particularly hard shoe to get on.
Another thing to note, all but the top two lace eyelets are made from stitched-on fabric loops. These haven’t broken in my tests but they don’t look particularly durable.
Flip them over and there’s a good covering of outsole rubber for grip and durability in all the right places.
I did my test runs in my regular running shoe size – a US 9.5 if you’re interested – and I found the fit spot on. The Ride 17 are roomy but not baggy with good heel hold and lockdown across the midfoot. There’s enough flex and wiggle room in the toe box and good security across the midfoot without any restriction.
There is a wide version of the shoe that wider-footed runners might consider but I’d recommend going true to size here.
In my run tests I covered around 45 miles in the Ride 17 at my usual mix of paces and different terrain – including roads and off-road river paths. I also did a 120-minute long run test and an all-out treadmill 5km as well. So I’ve put the shoes through a good range of tests and it’s fair to say I’ve enjoyed these shoes a lot.
From the moment I put them on, they felt natural, easy, disappearing on the foot. You can tell quickly that this is a nicely balanced shoe. There’s an airiness and roomy flex from the uppers, giving your feet good freedom to breath. These are shoes you look forward to lacing up.
When it comes to the ride, the PWRRUN+ foam midsole provides a softness that takes the edge off your landings but it’s not too sinky and avoids being sluggish. It bites back at the right time and, along with the rockering in Saucony’s Speedroll midsole shaping, you get smooth transitions in a shoe that’s got a great clip-along flow across a wide range of paces.
The Ride 17 are heavier than shoes like the Triumph 21, the Novablast 4 and the New Balance 1080v13. And though I don’t think they feel heavy when you’re moving, they’re probably too heavy to select over sprightlier shoes for your fastest pace efforts. They’re generally geared more towards everything from slow and easy up to marathon pace.
But at the same time I battered out a sub-20 5km in them on the treadmill with relative comfort and ease. They’re not designed for that but they handled it ok. So there’s good versatility here
This is another great shoe for those runs where you’re either doing mixed pace intervals or you’re not sure how you’re going to run. There’s also a lot here for newer runners and beginners who maybe need protection but also want one shoe to cover a broad range of runs.
Saucony has a very good shoe here. There’s excellent disappearing comfort and a really good ride that balances cushioned landings with rolling response and springy energy.
For me it’s one of those shoes that feels natural straight out of the box. It’s not totally effortless but it’s very easy for covering long miles, whether you’re moving slow and easy or pushing things slightly more uptempo.
It coped with my marathon pace miles nicely and was protective enough for easy recovery plods and even handled a fast 5km.
For me this has all the hallmarks of a very versatile and fantastic all-rounder. It’s been a while since I enjoyed a shoe straight out of the box like I enjoyed this one. And overall I think this represents excellent value as a workhorse daily trainer.
If you’re looking for a more compact, cushioned daily trainer with a slightly lower stack, this is a fantastic option. I’d personally choose it over the heftier and softer Novablast 4 and the New Balance 1080v13 and the ASICS Gel Nimbus. Not just on price but on the performance as well.
As for the Saucony Ride 17 vs the Triumph 21. Well, the Triumph 21 copes better from the middle to the top end paces while the Ride 17 performs better from the middle to the lower end. However, you can run fast in the Ride 17 and you can run slow in the Triumph 21. The Triumph 21 is the lighter, faster shoe but for me, on value alone, I think the Ride 17 edges it.