Treadmill and road runners are hitting the trail. In fact, over 20 million people around the world are currently trail running, according to World Athletics. With that number on the rise and more people opting to venture outdoors for their daily run (even in the cold temps!), popular sneaker brand Saucony recently released its new Saucony Ride 15 TR ($140), which aims to welcome new and seasoned runners to the trail.
The trail running version of the American Podiatric Medical Association-accepted Ride 15 takes beloved and trademarked features from the brand's current assortment of sneakers to create a supportive shoe that is meant to propel its user as they run outdoors. When searching for a trail running shoe, especially if you’re new at the outdoor experience, traction and comfort is key to having a motivating run.
Touted as a must-have brand by outlets across the industry, I was excited to test the much-loved technology woven into the newest Saucony shoes on concrete, a treadmill, and the trail.
- Cushion-y midsole that absorbs shock
- Breathable, protective mesh upper
- FORMFIT design hugs feet for a snug fit
- PWRTRAC outsole with tons of grip
- PWRTRAC socklining gives you more protection and extra cushioning
- The outsole lug is height is 3.5mm
- Made with all vegan and sustainably-sourced material
- Heel-to-toe offset is 8mm
What makes this trail running sneaker so supportive?
The Saucony exclusive PWRRUN foam sole combined with a PWRTRAC outsole, FORMFIT design, and PWRRUN+ sockliner come together to create a running experience that’s meant to conform to the foot of the runner while simultaneously aid them in taking dynamic strides as unique as the trails they choose.
My test runs with the Saucony Ride 15 TR
Most of my running takes place in the gym so that was the first stop for these sneakers. I run on my local gym’s commercial version of a Woodway treadmill. It has traction on the belt that always gives me peace of mind that I won’t slip in any running shoe, and has a bit of shock absorption built into it. (Just FYI: This review isn’t actually a treadmill ad—I just want to let you know exactly what kind of equipment was used during the test.)
Taking my usual pre-programmed HIIT-style run in these sneakers already won me over. My usual running sneakers are very bouncy so I consciously have to be aware of how my foot moves with the shoe. But with the Saucony Ride 15 TR, I didn’t feel like I had to make sure my feet and ankles felt stable while running—the shoe did all the work.
The trademarked FORMFIT design and inner sockliner held my foot in place with every step. Confidently making strides without wobbly Bambi ankles, I could feel the curvature of the lightweight PWRRUN foam sole propelling me forward instead of just bouncing along. The shoe maintained a stable feel without being rigid the entire time. I’d say these sneakers are definitely meant for running. Was I running like Allyson Felix? No. But I was running in the most stable shoe I’ve worn in years.
The next surface I tested these shoes on was none other than New York City’s finest: concrete. As a native New Yorker, even I was nervous to take them out on the road, but I must say, these sneakers can handle a concrete run. The shoe’s ability to lessen the impact of running on the solid city streets for my joints was near-perfect. The sole is incredibly supportive, and there’s enough shock absorption to disperse the impact of stomping on concrete. Post-run my shins and quads did feel a bit more sore than when I wear my usual bouncy sneakers but my knock knees and lower back felt no pain at all, so I count that as a win.
Lastly I tested these sneakers on the type of ground they were designed for (a trail). New to trail running, I read over this beginner’s guide and then literally hit the trail. I should note that I ran a day after it rained in the city, so the ground was a bit softer than it usually is. None the less, the traction sole, mesh upper, and extra elastic strap on the upper stood out in performance. I wasn’t slipping on any grassy patches. The elastic strap ensured that my foot didn’t budge as the elevation changed and journeyed through the trail’s curves.
I also intentionally put my foot over a twig and a rock to test whether or not I could feel the ground beneath me. While I did have a "Princess and the Pea" moment, I didn’t feel like the textured ground was puncturing my foot by any means. Taking the shoes off after the test, I found that my foot (which was covered by a sock and the sneakers) were dirt-free. All in all, while I don’t suggest running over something sharp (not sure why you would want to anyway), I will say that the Saucony Ride 15 TR sneakers will keep your feet protected from the usual trail elements.
If you have wide feet…
You might want to try the men’s line of the Saucony Ride 15 TR, since the shoe does conform to the foot. I wear a size 14 in women’s and have a foot that can fit into a medium or a wide shoe with ease—so I went for a size 13 men’s and my foot wasn’t swimming at all. (Shout out to my other former ballet dancers with shape shifting feet.)
What activities are the Saucony Ride 15 TR best for?
These sneakers are definitely meant for the trail. The stable-yet-cushioned soles have enough traction to allow a trail-running newcomer to go for a run without worry of slipping on slightly wet ground. Off the trail I’d say these Saucony sneakers are great for running on the treadmill and on the sidewalk, too. The heel of the shoe provides enough shock absorption to prevent the knees from feeling most of the impact from concrete.
As for each of the elements that I put these sneakers through, I feel that these sneakers performed best on the treadmill and the trail. I weigh over 300 pounds, so finding a shoe that can handle all of me isn’t easy to come by, yet these shoes came through with the support. The only disappointing thing about these sneakers, for me, is the color selection. While these shoes are available in women’s and men’s sizing, no matter the gender, the colors are pretty muted: in the usual variety of gray and soft blue hues—which is not uncommon for a trail running sneaker, but at least one more colorful option would be greatly appreciated by this writer.
Overall, did these sneakers make me fall in love with trail running? No, because I’m not really a nature person (I’m truly a concrete jungle gal). But, the Saucony Ride 15 TR sneakers have the honor of being my official go-to treadmill running shoes for my usual gym sessions.
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