By Kieran Alger
The Ride 17 drops into Saucony’s line-up alongside the Triumph 21 and now Saucony now has two daily trainers packing similar stacks of the same PWRRUN+ midsole foam, not dissimilar uppers and only marginally different drops. Which makes you wonder: with the Ride 17 coming in $20 cheaper is Triumph now old news? And can you save yourself a few bucks lacing up the Ride rather than the Triumph? I’ve put dozens of miles into both shoes to discover if either comes out on top. Read on to find out in my Saucony Ride 17 vs Triumph 21 review.
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Stack Height, Drop, Weight and Price
Let’s kick off with some key details. The Saucony Triumph 21 stack height comes in at 37mm in the heel and 27mm in the forefoot for a 10mm drop. The Saucony Ride 17 stack height is 2mm lower in the heel with 35mm at the rear and 27mm in the forefoot for an 8mm drop.
When it comes to weight, in our US test size 9.5, the Ride 17 weighs in at 10.3 oz or 293g. The Triumph 21 tips the scales at a slightly lighter 9.9oz or 281g.
On price, the Saucony Ride 17 is a chunk cheaper $140 to the Triumph 21’s $160. The Triumph sits alongside shoes like the ASICS Gel Nimbus 26 ($165) and the New Balance 1080v13 ($165). While the Ride 17 is priced in line with the ASICS Novablast 4 ($140), the Adidas Supernova Rise ($140) and the Altra FWD Experience ($140)
Saucony Ride 17
Saucoy Triumph 21
Daily training and faster efforts
Daily training / Tempo
37mm heel / 27mm forefoot
35mm heel /
10.3oz / 293g
9.9oz / 281g
Suggested Retail Price
True to size
True to size
The Saucony Triumph 21 offers a good balance of lively response, cushioned protection and great comfort. The newer Ride 17 clearly borrows from that successful blueprint but there are important differences.
When it comes to the midsole both shoes now feature a medium-to-max stack of responsive and lively PWRRUN+ foam. The Triumph midsole is tuned slightly firmer with a bigger stack for extra return. The slightly softer Ride 17 has wider midsole platform in the forefoot and the heel.
There’s Saucony’s Speedroll geometry across both shoes, with notable rockering to help smooth transitions.
When it comes to the uppers, the Saucony Ride 17 has engineered mesh uppers that have been tweaked to improve breathability, specifically across the toes with a good spread of air holes. There’s also a soft padded lining that cocoons the foot. The Triumph 21 uppers are made from a flat knit material. There’s not much to choose on the flex of both uppers.
The heel collars and tongues pack the same medium padding, though the Triumph2 1’s tongue is slightly thicker. The Ride 17 tongues are gusseted, the Triumph 21 are gusseted into a sort of internal half booty.
One thing to note, the Ride 17 features stitched lace eyelets that some runners have seen rip and break. The Triumph 21’s eyelets are more robust and traditional.
Flip them over and there’s a good covering of outsole rubber for grip and durability in all the right places. Arguably marginally more grip and protection on the Triumph 21 but the difference is minimal.
I ran true to size in my regular running shoe size in both shoes which is a US 9.5 if you’re interested. I found the fit great true to size for both shoes.
The Ride 17 are roomy with enough flex and wiggle room in the toe box, good heel hold and lockdown across the midfoot. There is a wide version of the shoe that wider-footed runners might consider but I’d recommend going true to size here.
The Triumph 21 fit a shade tighter and snugger across the midfoot for a racier feel overall. There’s maybe a little less room in the toe box than in the Ride 17. But unless you’ve got long toes or wide feet, I’d recommend going true to size.
In testing I’ve run many more miles in the Saucony Triumph 21 than the Ride 17 which has become one of my go-to every run shoes. But I’ve also done around 70 miles in the Saucony Ride 17.
I’ve done a mix of paces in both shoes and covered different terrain – including roads and off-road river paths. I’ve run up to 120 minutes as a long run test in each of these, too. I also did an all-out treadmill 5km in the Ride 17.
What I can say straight off the bat, is that both of these shoes are among the best I’ve tested in the past 12 months. Saucony has followed the success of the Endorphin Speed 3 with two very capable daily trainers.
They both offer excellent step-in comfort and disappearing feel on the foot, right out of the box. No fussiness in the fit and instantly natural on the move. When it comes to durability there’s not much (beyond those lace eyelets) to choose, either. They’re both well built and robust with plenty of outsole protection.
What it comes down to is the ride. Now if, like me, you were hoping that the cheaper Saucony Ride 17 would be an easy swap for the Triumph 21, it’s sadly not quite that simple.
Overall, I think there's more punch in the Triumph 21. You get some extra immediacy to the response from that bigger, firmer-tuned midsole. And that makes them a little bit better at the faster paces.
The Ride 17 are heavier than the Triumph 21 and, though I don’t think they feel heavy when you’re moving, you’d probably choose the sprightlier Triumph 21 for your fastest pace efforts.
Conversely, the Ride 17 offers a bigger, softer, more stable, cushioned and protective platform – the kind of midsole ride that’s great for easier miles.
The Triumph 21 has some of that cushioning and you can do easier miles in them. But it’s a bit more responsive, punchy, agile and precise ride. More energetic, more racy.
On the flipside, I bashed out a sub-20 minute 5km in the Ride 17, so they can handle faster paces but you have to work harder and frankly, the Triumph 21 does faster, better. Likewise I’ve run a slow, plodding 90 minutes in the Triumph 21 but the Ride 17 does that better.
These are two very good shoes that offer similarly pleasing levels of comfort and a good natural disappearing feel on the foot. Which shoe you choose here boils down to whether you want a daily trailer that’s tuned slightly faster. Or one that’s tuned to be slightly more protective.
Both shoes have the versatility to handle pretty much all of your daily miles from the slow and easy to uptempo efforts right up to marathon pace and even beyond. But the Triumph 21 cope better from the middle to the top end.While the Ride 17 cope 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. They’re still good for those things. Just not quite as good at it as each other.
So which would I recommend? Well if you’re on a budget, go for the Ride 17. If you own the Triumph 21 you don’t need the Ride 17. If you prioritize snappiness and speed, the Triumph 21 edges it. If you want more protection and stability go for the Ride 17.
I think the Ride 17 offers much better value. It’s a wonderfully versatile shoe at a really competitive price and if you’ve got shoes in my rotation to cover the faster, shorter miles that the Triumph might do best at
The Triumph 21 is probably the better shoe for my overall style (I can run easy in slightly less protective shoes) but money always comes into it and I think on balance the Ride 17 edges it based on the value it offers. I also think it’ll better suit a wide range of runners.