Saucony Ride 9 Review

The Saucony Ride 9 is Saucony’s primary trainer for runners with a neutral stride. Featuring Saucony’s new EVERUN technology, the Ride boasts “a breakthrough in cushioning.” Retailing at MSRP $120, the Ride 9 offers a quality shoe with high-end durability for a great value.

Function

The Saucony Ride 9 is a moderately cushioned, neutral shoe meant for most every day runs. It is primarily a road shoe but can be used on trails as well. It is a bit lighter than most of its competitors and its cushioning system suits a forefoot runner better than a runner who heel strikes. It has many of the same technologies that are featured in Saucony’s Kinvara, but with the increased weight, it is able to offer more cushioning and durability than the Kinvara. Do not be fooled, however, the cushioning of the ride is by no means intrusive, keeping the Ride 9 as one of the lightest and most responsive shoes in its class


 The #1 Best Insoles for Foot Pain

If you have plantar fasciitis, high arches, flat feet, or other foot support issues, but would rather not purchase a new pair of shoes – add the Tread Labs Stride Insole to your existing shoes. The Stride Insole is biomechanically designed to support your arch and cure/prevent plantar fasciitis. Simply remove the factory insole from your favorite shoes and replace it with the Stride. The Stride comes in four different arch heights for each foot size, offers a lifetime guaranteed arch support and has a removable top cover. Take the Tread Labs Fit Quiz now and get THE BEST possible support for your feet.

#1 Best Support - Tread Labs Stride Insole

  • THE BEST support to prevent/cure Plantar Fasciitis.
  • Lifetime Guaranteed Arch Support.
  • Replaceable Top-Cover
  • Free shipping both ways.

Read Why Stride Insoles are the Best


Runners on the lighter side, especially those who primarily land on their forefoot, will find the Ride to be a responsive and durable trainer that allows them to run at decent speeds without sacrificing cushioning. While this is a lighter and more responsive shoe than most in its class, it is by no means a racing flat or lightweight trainer. Therefore, for those who find lightweight trainers a little lacking in the cushioning department, but don’t quite want the solid cushioning of a shoe like the Brooks Ghost, the Ride 9 is an excellent choice.

The Specs

General

There are quite a few upgrades in the Ride 9 from Saucony’s previous version
The Ghost 9 boasts some of the best features on the market for one of the lowest prices. The main features of the Ride 9 is the EVERUN technology mentioned earlier, placed in the topsole, along with FlexFilm in the upper, IBR+ rubber and tri-flex landing pad in the outsole.

The Saucony website advertises the 9 as “our signature neutral running experience with more energy return than ever before. It truly makes every mile feel as effortless as your first.” While you should obviously take that with a grain of salt, as these “energy return” technologies, started mostly with Adidas’s Energy Boost foam are, while solid foams, advertised as a little more than they’re worth. Also, anyone who has ever put on any pair of running shoes knows that no shoe can make every mile feel effortless. But, the Ride 9 has definitely made a lot of improvements, providing some stiff competition to Saucony’s competitors.

Saucony classifies the shoe as a neutral shoe with neutral pronation, construction, and moderate cushioning. The shoe is engineered for the road and track and is best suited for runners with a normal to high arch. It is neither waterproof nor water resistant and is on the high end of moderate cushioning. The shoe also has an 8mm offset and, according to Saucony, “feels like the perfect blend of cushioning and responsiveness.” While perfect may be a strong word here, the Saucony Ride 9 definitely pushes the boundaries of what we expect out of a cushioned everyday trainer by giving a little less cushioning that allows for a much more responsive shoe.

The Men’s shoe, as measured by Runner’s World, weighs in at 9.5 oz, dropping .2 from last years shoe, reducing both the heel and the forefoot profile of the shoe as well with a 32.4mm profile in the heel and a 23.6mm profile in the foot, giving the shoe an 8.8mm drop. The Women’s Ride 9 weighs in at 7.9oz with a 31.2mm heel profile and a 23mm forefoot profile giving it a similar drop to the men’s shoe at 8.2mm. Both shoes weigh in significantly lighter than most of their competitors in this category, sacrificing a bit of cushioning for the lighter weight and increased responsiveness.

While the heel profile isn’t too different from its competitors, Saucony is one of the few that have stayed with an 8mm drop in their neutral trainers, arguing that staying at an 8mm drop allows for better distribution of the cushioning. They further say that this better distribution keeps the body more balanced and comfortable during running. Personally, I’d argue that this will not make much a difference to heel strikers, but forefoot strikers may notice the difference quite significantly.

Upper

The main feature of the Upper of the Ride 9 is Saucony’s FlexFilm described on their website as “a strong, lightweight material.” Some wearers of the shoe have complained that the FlexFilm breaks down a little too early for their liking, and when it does not break down, still takes some time to be broken in. Saucony has also followed the same general trend as most of their competition, removing some overlays in the shoe, replacing them with FlexFilm to make the shoe thinner and potentially lighter.

The laces are also one of the major deviations in the Ride 9 from most of the competition. Instead of standard laces, the Ride 9 uses laces with a bit of stretch in them, which has the advantage of allowing a more flexible fit to the foot as the laces expands during the run, avoiding too much smugness, but it may feel like a looser fit than some of its competition.

The heel of the shoe is also a bit different, using a moisture-wicking material that does an okay, but not excellent job of keeping the shoe breathable.

The Ride 9 is also a better-looking shoe in my opinion than the Ride 8 with the removal of the overlays and looking a little less clunky than the ride 8. I still wouldn’t consider the Ride 9 to be a great looking shoe, but it certainly isn’t terrible.

ALSO READ:  Best Budget Running Shoes

Topsole/Midsole

The topsole of the shoe features Saucony’s EVERUN foam. EVERUN is advertised as “a breakthrough in cushioning. Livelier and more responsive, with smoother landings and stronger takeoffs” in addition to having 83% energy return. Keep in mind, however, that all of these “energy return” technologies, while they are usually solid cushioning systems, are not some magic material that will make all of your runs feel like unicorns and dandelions. But the EVERUN foam seems to hold up pretty well, and many have compared it to Adidas’s Boost technology.

The EVERUN is combined with Saucony’s Super Rubber Compound and EVA foam to give the most amount of cushioning possible with the least amount of weight. Again, though, this cushioning system suits forefoot runners better than heel strikers.

The midsole of the Ride 9 features Saucony’s iBR+ blown rubber cushioning system and PowerGrid foam, allowing for significantly more cushioning than they offer in the Kinvara’s but not quite as much cushioning as many of their competitors.

Outsole

The outsole has a mixture of Saucony’s XT-900 and iBR+ technologies. XT-900 is a carbon rubber and iBR+ is a blown rubber that are put together to make the cushioning unit as efficient as possible. The iBR+ is advertised on Saucony’s website as “a supremely lightweight but durable outsole rubber that enhances your shoe’s other cushioning elements.” The rubber definitely adds cushioning to the shoe and gives you more than the Kinvara, but the Ride 9 remains relatively lightweight and responsive.

On the bottom, Saucony uses their Tri-Flex technology, which Saucony claims “increases force dispersion over a greater surface area while also delivering optimal flexibility and traction.” This aspect of the shoe won’t make much of a difference on your everyday runs. But if you plan on going for a run on wet trails or other slick surfaces, you may notice that the Tri-Flex technology will give you slightly better traction than you had in the earlier editions of the Ride.

The outsole seems to be relatively durable, getting through about 400-450 miles (I’m a relatively light runner with years of competitive running experience) before breaking down beyond what I would prefer.

Awards

Considering that the Ride 9 doesn’t have any features that are super high end and seems to be overwhelmingly average, it is not surprising that it did not take home any major awards. Although, Saucony seems to be moving in the right direction as they took home 3rd in the category of “Shoe Brand” at the 2017 running awards, only losing to ASICS and Brooks respectively.

Similar Shoes

One of the biggest market spots for a shoe is the niche of a “cushioned neutral” shoe. The Ride 9, although a little lighter and more responsive than most of its competition, seems to fit into this category. But at the same time, the Ride 9, with its slightly different construction, is a lot more versatile than most of the shoes in its category and can, therefore, be difficult to compare.

As we’ve already compared it to a few shoes, I’ll use those and compare the Saucony Ride 9 to Saucony’s lighter weight Kinvara 7, the ASICS fuzeX, and the Brooks Ghost 9.

As we’ve been using the Kinvara 7 as a comparison point for most of this article, it makes sense to continue and go into a bit more depth. The Ride 9 is basically a more built up (and significantly better looking) version of the Kinvara 7. It has almost 2 full ounces on the Kinvara, a 1.7mm increase in drop, and a higher profile. Both shoes feature Saucony’s EVERUN technology, but the Ride 9 has much more, offering much more structure and cushioning but less responsiveness and more weight.

Compared with ASICS fuzeX, the shoes weigh in around the same and have similar profiles and drops. While they are similar in forefoot cushioning, the Ride 9 has a lot more heel cushioning so would suit a runner who heel strikes significantly better than the fuzeX. Both shoes are also very stiff with not much stability features. Both shoes, it seems, are engineered towards faster moving runners that have taken more time to refine their form.


 The #1 Best Insoles for Foot Pain

If you have plantar fasciitis, high arches, flat feet, or other foot support issues, but would rather not purchase a new pair of shoes – add the Tread Labs Stride Insole to your existing shoes. The Stride Insole is biomechanically designed to support your arch and cure/prevent plantar fasciitis. Simply remove the factory insole from your favorite shoes and replace it with the Stride. The Stride comes in four different arch heights for each foot size, offers a lifetime guaranteed arch support and has a removable top cover. Take the Tread Labs Fit Quiz now and get THE BEST possible support for your feet.

#1 Best Support - Tread Labs Stride Insole

  • THE BEST support to prevent/cure Plantar Fasciitis.
  • Lifetime Guaranteed Arch Support.
  • Replaceable Top-Cover
  • Free shipping both ways.

Read Why Stride Insoles are the Best


The Ghost 9 is quite a bit heavier than the Ride 9, with more cushioning elements but a heavier weight. It has a bigger drop and would suit a heel striker more than the Ride 9 but is a less responsive shoe. The Ghost 9 is also a more durable shoe by a significant margin and offers more cushioning features for the same price as the Ride 9.

How Does It Work for Plantar Fasciitis?

A runner who suffers from plantar fasciitis is going to want to look for more stability in a shoe but, especially if you do not overpronate, you are going to need to be careful in finding a balance between a fully supportive shoe that is really designed for someone who overpronates, and a neutral shoe. I’d argue the Ride 9, especially if you are a forefoot striker, will offer a solid amount of stability features for a neutral runner, and paired with the right insole, may be helpful towards handling the soreness of your plantar.

Summary

The Ride 9 is a tough shoe to classify. While Saucony calls it a neutral cushioned everyday trainer, it is really somewhere different. I’d argue that Saucony’s description of what the shoe feels like is the most apt description, a “blend of cushioning and responsiveness.” The shoe definitely has a lot more cushioning elements than most lightweight, responsive shoes, but it is also significantly more responsive than most cushioning shoes. I would recommend this shoe to someone with solid form, with some running experience under their belt, who doesn’t want to deal with the weight and lack of responsiveness of most cushioned trainers but finds lightweight shoes to be lacking in cushioning.

ALSO READ:  Adidas Adizero Tempo 8 Review

 

Buy Saucony Ride 9 on Amazon

 

2017-05-26T07:15:17+00:00

Leave A Comment

Shares