For runners looking for a new cushioned and responsive shoe this spring and beyond, the Saucony Ride 9 arrives at a perfect time ahead of the upcoming season.
The Ride 9 is lighter than the previous version of the shoe (the Ride 8) and features Everun cushioning in place of the Powergrid. Simply, Everun means that runners will experience a more responsive feel and more durability compared to its predecessor.
In understanding how a shoe works, sometimes runners need a reference point. The Saucony Ride 9 is similar to one of the brand’s flagship footwear pieces, the Kinvara, but with more plush cushioning, an 8 mm offset, and a bit more durability than its lightweight counterpart. The Ride 9 is great for runners who mix in trail running with road training, especially for those who do higher mileage, as it’s versatile and responsive. It feels soft and bouncy underfoot, yet it offers enough support for runners who don’t like anything too, too minimal.
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What you need to know
Release date: Out now (released May 1, 2016).
Type of shoe: Neutral cushioning.
Drop: 8 mm.
Weight: 9.3 oz. (men’s), 8.3 oz. (women’s).
Type of cushioning: Plush.
Price (MSRP): $160.
Terrain tested: Asphalt, gravel, trail.
Kilometres tested by us so far: 425.
The only terrain that the shoe has yet to be tested on is the track. Still, after taking the shoe for a spin on asphalt, gravel, grass and trail, it’s safe to say that the Ride 9 is versatile regardless of whether you do your runs on the rural roads or in the downtown core of a major city.
The Ride 9 carries over many of the features from the Ride 8 including the RunDry insole, which helps prevent blisters, and the FlexFilm upper, which gives the shoe a sock-like fit. The Ride 9 provides a certain level of stability for runners who overpronate though the shoe is not listed in the stability category.
Below is what the men’s shoe looks like after 400 kilometres of running. The well-broken in shoe has maintained its cushioning, its fit and continues to feel like a shoe that has plenty of mileage left (minus maybe the smell). The Ride 9 can last as long as 800 kilometres, which can range from a couple of months to half a year depending on the amount of running one does.
Minus the mud, the shoe is about as responsive and cushioned as it was right out of the box even after extended use.
The plush cushioning is one aspect of the shoe which makes it particularly attractive for runners, provides a gentle ride and the shoe fits true to size. Beneath the inner sole is an added layer of foam, which helps the shoe maintain a snug fit, as well as acting as added material between the foot and the terrain.
Even with the additional cushioning, the Ride 9 is lighter than the Ride 8. The shoe is also a bargain at US$120.
If you’re unfamiliar with the Lexington, Mass.-based company, the Ride 9 is similar to the neutral cushioning shoe of other major brands including Nike’s Pegasus, Brooks’ Glycerin, and the Mizuno Wave Rider, though all with varying amounts of responsiveness and features.
When switching shoes or brands, it’s important to slowly transition the shoe into your repertoire to avoid injury and to help ease breaking in the footwear. That said, our testers were able to transition to the shoe quite quickly with no ill effects. Testers wore the Ride 9 on fartleks, tempos, long runs and easy runs.
For those looking for a durable and responsive shoe, the Saucony Ride 9 may be the shoe of choice for runners of all abilities, whether it’s getting into the sport or training for a PB this spring, summer or fall.