Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Gear Review: Saucony Ride 7

 The reviews I read when this shoe was brand new on the market were astounding. Trusted sites were saying this was the best version of an already great shoe. I read it was lighter with more cushion and could take a pounding for 500 miles. This sounded exactly like what I wanted for my fall/ winter marathon training and racing. Now that I have put 200+ miles on this shoe and I have done five 20+ mile runs on them I think I have my mind made up on these. In my opinion they are "uuuhhhhhh whatever". In other words I have nothing bad to say about them but for some reason I don't love them or feel the need to dump praise all over them. I am just middle of the road neutral on this shoe.

 Lets look at the stats that are being heralded as stellar by the shoe reviewers out there. First the weight of the shoe has been reduced from previous versions down to 9.3oz. That's great but 9.3 is not super light in my opinion. 10oz is where shoes start to get heavy and sub 9oz is where they start to get light. This shoe at 9.3oz is just okay. I will admit that when I first put them on they felt light and cushy and I was really impressed but as time went on I realized they didn't feel much lighter or much softer than my Saucony Xodus trail shoe. In reality they are lighter by about 2 oz! The second most praised aspect of this shoe is that it has been lowered down to an 8mm drop. That's great for people who are trying to work their way down to a more minimalist shoe. I highly encourage people to get out of the standard 12mm drop by starting with an 8mm and then going to 4mm and then to a zero drop. I'm running in 4mm or less 99% of the time and for me to go back to an 8mm was surprisingly strange. I did not realize just how different this higher heel would feel after an hour out on the road. Don't get me wrong. It's not a horrible feeling just different then what I am used to. One thing is for certain. When you shorten your Achilles tendon by raising your heel you risk Achilles tendinitis when you return to the lower heel height. So I'm not doing myself any favors by running often in this shoe, so I don't. I've owned the shoe since October and I barely have 200 miles on them.

 To sum it up, most of the reviews you will read on this shoe will convince you that it is a really great shoe and it is for some people but perhaps not me. It was Runner's World Magazine's Editors Choice award winner for whatever that is worth. I like the shoe. I don't love it. It's nice to rotate this in every once in awhile and if my legs feel beat up this is a good recovery shoe. I will probably explore other shoes in the future so buying a second pair is not on my radar for this model.