This Beloved Saucony Shoe That Won the Podiatric Seal of Acceptance Just Got Updated—With Ideal Cushion and Bounce
This versatile daily training shoe is the sixteenth update of the popular Saucony Ride running shoe that's beloved by runners and podiatrists alike. After extensive wear testing, here’s why I believe they make great everyday trainers for beginners and competitive runners alike.
Saucony Ride 16: The fit, feel, and performance
I found that the Saucony Ride 16 basically fits true to size, which means there’s no need to size up or down a half-size in these. And the width is pretty standard through the heel and midfoot.
But the toe box is wider than other popular brands. As someone who has studied running gait and biomechanics extensively, a wider toe box is generally ideal for most runners because it permits natural foot splay—the spreading out of your toes and the ball of your foot when you push off and when you land.
The only downside of this is that if you have a particularly narrow foot, there might be too much wiggle room in the forefoot, causing you to slide around a bit at toe-off, and increasing the risk of blisters at the end of your toes or bruised toenails.
Additionally, one of the things I like most about the Saucony Ride 16 is that it has a nice sockliner and a soft interface within the shoe with very few seams. Though if you wear slick running socks, you may need to tighten the laces to keep your foot in place. (I got around this by wearing a slightly more textured sock.)
Overall, the Saucony Ride 16 has a very soft landing yet it is firm enough to be highly responsive. This is ideal for a run that’s quick and fast on your feet without feeling like your feet are slamming right into the pavement—there is still a nice amount of give when you land. And it does this at a remarkably lightweight 7.8 ounces.
The cushioning feels balanced and the shoe is flexible enough to guide a smooth transition from heel strike to toe-off. It’s like the shoe becomes just an extension of your foot and does not compromise your natural stride at all. In fact, I often completely forget about them while I’m wearing these shoes, which allows me to focus just on my training (and is exactly what you want when you are running!).
Heel-to-toe drop: 8mm (35mm heel/27mm forefoot)
Weight: 7.8 oz
Sustainability: Vegan and contains recycled materials
Fit: True to size, though wide in the toebox
- Provides a comfortable, smooth, soft ride
- Lightweight yet cushioned
- Responsive with a nice “fast feel”
- Versatile daily trainer works well for longer runs as well as faster speed work like intervals
- Surprisingly durable despite being lightweight
- Wider forefoot accommodates natural toe splay and can be ideal for runners with a bunion, wide feet, metatarsalgia, or a Morton’s neuroma
- Attractive colorways and design
- Not much traction in the forefoot: The shoe feels a little slippery on wet grass and is not ideal for trail running
- The inner sock lining is very smooth and comfortable but if you are wearing slick socks that don’t offer much friction, your foot might slip up and down in the shoe or in the wider toe box
- The wider forefoot may be too wide for people with narrow feet who prefer a tapered toe box
Who is the Saucony Ride 16 running shoe best for?
The shoe strikes a nice balance of being cushioned and smooth yet firm and responsive, helping you feel quick on your feet without experiencing uncomfortable joint impact. Many of the running shoes that I’ve tried that provide a similar level of cushioning are significantly heavier, which can make you feel sluggish and slow.
On the other end of the spectrum, shoes that feel as responsive and firm as the Saucony Ride 16 do not usually provide as much cushioning, which can lead to joint pain or achy legs after long runs. I don’t experience either of these issues with this shoe.
Of course, the Ride 16 is a neutral running shoe, so it won’t provide enough stability if you have trouble with over-pronation. Nor does it have the traction necessary for off-road surfaces if you’re looking to head out on the trails. And, as mentioned, if you have a very narrow forefoot, this shoe may be too wide in the toe box for you.
Otherwise, this is a pretty darn versatile shoe. Although more advanced runners may want to have a racing flat to use as an adjunct just for speed workouts, for general training runs, the Saucony Ride 16 can handle a variety of paces.
Plus, it doesn’t hurt that they are super cute. Happy running!
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