I have run in all sorts of Saucony shoes now and more than anything, it’s clear that they offer a consistently diverse lineup that suit runners of all types. The Ride 9 is really a Saucony that is designed for the recreational runner, not a racer, and is meant to be supportive, comfortable, and durable. This really means it is non-aggressive, well proportioned, and not overly designed. Truly, it’s one of those shoes that hits dead on in that everyday consumer sweet spot.
Construction: The Upper
The Upper is pretty much the same as the 8 which is composed of Saucony’s Flexfilm mesh. It’s basically this with a heat molded now sew overlays for fit and stability. The breathability on them is great, and it allows you to maintain a solid amount of control throughout your run.
In terms of the Mid, this level of cushioning this is their softest to date. The biggest improvement here is the inclusion of Everun in the heel and this is really going in all of their shoes going forward. The Everun system is basically a molded pellet cushion design to give you more comfort and it works, they are plush and comfy. Its also designed to increase energy return which allows you to run longer and more efficiently.
Within the outsole, the inclusion of Triflex gives you more flex in the foot throughout and this is most noticeable with the new zigzag pattern in the forefoot. As you transition from heel to toe or mid to toe, this Triflex really encourages a proper toe off and is designed to help you maintain your pace. The out is also composed of blown rubber (iBR+) which should decrease the overall weight of the shoe.
Style and Aesthetics
The Ride 9 comes in 4 different color options and I think Saucony has done a really good job with the design of this shoe. Its a consumer driven shoe that feels very premium at a glance and really helps bridge runners visually into their faster shoes. I also definitely think its stronger visually than the Triumph ISO 2 which I thought was a great run.
Going into the run test with the Ride 9, I kind of already knew what to expect. Saucony makes, what I would call, the quintessential running shoe. I am not saying they make the perfect shoe, but they align so perfectly with what you expect from a running shoe. The profile, the stance, even the design are really what people have come to know. Saucony does not dramatically breakdown traditions when it comes to their shoes, but instead seeks to continually improve upon a really solid core. Coming off the recent Triumph ISO 2 test, I was excited to see what the Ride 9 brought to the table.
My first several runs allowed me to get a feel for the changes and the differences between something like the Triumph and the Ride. I would say the Ride offers slightly less cushioning, but it’s honestly very close. The addition of Everun to both midsoles has created a much closer relationship between the two. The Ride has a lot less structural elements in favor of a more synthetic mesh in the upper, which gives you a lot more feel in the shoe and allows your foot a bit more movement overall. After putting a significant amount of miles on the shoe, I would call it an all-purpose. It does great at shorter just distances, but you could just as easily use them for half marathons and marathons. It comes in at a nice middle ground from a cushioning perspective giving you enough to be comfortable, but not cushy and it’s also not dramatically affect performance.
I would say these aren’t shoes that you’re going to set any records in probably. If you are in the 8-11 minute pace, then you will see some minor improvements but below that, the shoes are heavy. While they’re great for keeping pace, they are not great if you need to dial it up. I did find I could retain pretty consistently throughout my runs, so while it’s not a shoe I would expect to see massive performance gains in, it is comfortable and definitely good for your more maintenance/easy days.
To sum it up, the Saucony Ride 9s are a well-built and well-thought-out shoe and really everything you have come to know and love from Saucony. They cover all the bases and provide enough cushion to go the distance, while remaining flexible and agile enough to do the job at shorter distances. Their weight makes it less a race shoe, but it’s not really designed for that. This is a shoe that’s basically good for the majority of recreational runners who are looking for a solid everyday shoe. With the addition of Saucony proprietary advancements like Everun, the shoe is only getting better with every release.
Technical Stats, Pricing & Availability
- Weight: 9.3oz (size 9)
- Drop: 8mm heel/toe
- MSRP: $120.00
- Surface: Road
- Category: Neutral
- Available: Now