I have been a loyal Saucony wearer for years now.
When I first started running 10 years ago I was so green. I had absolutely no idea what kind of shoes to wear, whether or not it really even mattered, and definitely didn’t know about sizing up. I had a huge learning curve. I quickly learned that there’s such thing as gate, that sizing up at least a 1/2 size is a must if you don’t want to lose a toenail, and different companies appeal to different types of runners.
I have learned over the years that I am what’s considered a “neutral” runner. My feet don’t necessarily turn inward nor outward when I run. I also realized I like lighter shoes, and my preference is to go up at least a full size if not a size and a half now when I buy new running shoes.
I have tried nearly all the heavy hitters in the shoe industry. I won’t mention them by name, but if you can think of a name known for running shoes, I’ve probably purchased them and tried them at one point.
Once I tried on Saucony’s Kinvara neutral-running shoe, there was NO going back or desire to try another shoe brand. Period.
I have worn their Kinvaras for my last 3 marathons – both Boston 2011 and 2013 and then NYC in 2014. I have worn them for several other shorter distance races and countless runs in between. I have rotated easily through 6 or so pair over the years. I love them.
So when Saucony offered me the opportunity to test their new RIDE 9 neutral running shoes I was all in but reluctant. Why? I’m super loyal to their sister model, the Kinvara. But after doing some research online, I quickly learned that their RIDE shoes have a loyal following. People love them. They say they are incredibly cushioned and lightweight. People who previously loved Kinvaras were switching over to the RIDES or at least adding them in to their mix.
So, curiosity got the best of me, and I knew I had to at least give them a try. They were made by Saucony after-all, so why not?
My first impression? Straight out the box they were beautiful. Seriously like fashionably beautiful. I opted for the Marl grey/black ones. The materia is a knit cotton fabric. Usually when Saucony releases a new model they’ll offer at least a few color options to choose from. They’re all stunning, but I wanted the black ones because I knew they would go with EVERYTHING – including whatever I might choose to wear for my next race.
They are so pretty!
In my hand, they felt really light. It’s crazy how lightweight running shoes feel now – at least the ones I typically like.
The weather’s turned here in Utah, so now it’s freezing cold again, so I decided to test them on the treadmill at the gym the next morning. The shoes fit like a glove. Prior to my run, I wore them during my workout to kind of “get used to them”. I didn’t experience any negative rubbing. Sometimes shoes tend to rub on my right pinkie toe. No rubbing though. I sized up to the same size I wore for NYC too – a 9 1/2. When I first started running I’d run in an 8 1/2, so this is a pretty significant increase for me. However when Saucony sized me at the NYC marathon expo (btw I bought the NYC edition Kinvaras the night before the marathon and wore them the next day FOR the race – I don’t recommend that. But I did it), they recommended a 9 1/2 or even a 10. I went for the 9 1/2. So, for my new RIDE 9’s I decided to order the same size. I was a little worried about my heel slipping out, but again it wasn’t even an issue. I wear Wright running socks – lightweight double layers to help avoid blisters, but even with two layers my socks are really thin, so it’s not like the thickness prevented the slipping.
The shoes simply fit. They were solid. Secure. Comfortable.
And the cushion? Yeah, that’s something I’d read about. There’s definitely more cushion in the RIDE 9’s than in the Kinvaras, and these old almost 46 year old joints of mine really liked the extra padding. The additional cushioning didn’t add any weight that I noticed, so it didn’t affect my run at all.
Oh yeah, so the run. After lifting weights I hit the treadmill (dreadmill – I really do not like running inside. My friend Sarah and I trained for Boston 2013 indoors all winter, and it was awful! Let’s be honest. It sucked. Have you ever tried to run 17 miles on a treadmill? It is NOT fun. At all. It was the worst marathon training I’ve ever experienced, but that winter in particular was terribly cold and icy, and I’d rather suffer indoors than go out, freeze my butt off, or slip and twist and ankle). That day I tested my new Ride 9 kicks for 6 miles, and I felt light on my feet throughout my run. No pulling. Easy smooth transitions. No rubbing.
They were every bit as comfortable if not more so than my Kinvaras, and that’s saying a lot.
I’ve since worn them a handful more times (I’ve only had them for about a week), and each time its been a great experience – reinforcing my initial impression. I like them. They are a solid choice. Another option. A great alternative.
By the way, about a year ago I tried on an old pair of running shoes made by a different manufacturer that I’d started out on 10 years ago. I could not believe I ever thought they were comfortable. My feet have never felt so heavy, so constrained, and so uncomfortable.
Finding the right pair of running shoes is so important. I don’t know if you are a Saucony user or not, but regardless whether you try Saucony, the Ride 9’s, or don’t be sure you test enough different shoes to find the ones that speak to YOUR feet. You’ll be using them a lot. Considering most shoes last 300-500 miles they’ll be kicking around your closet for some months if not years to come. Make sure you like them.
I think you’ll like the Ride 9’s. I do!
#saucony #saconyride9s #ride9 #sauconymarlpack #neutral #neutralrunning #sauconykinvara #kinvara #neutralrunner #runningshoe #shoereview #findyourstrong
BTW I want to fully disclosed that I was asked by Saucony to review their new Ride 9 running shoes, so in essence this is a #sponsored #ad. Enjoy!