The Saucony Ride has been around for sometime and has been an increasingly popular road shoe for many. The current incarnation, Ride 6, gets a radical update this Autumn and is perhaps better viewed as a new shoe. Here’s why…
For, Saucony, making changes to how they do things is nothing new. They were one of the first companies to develop the 4mm drop shoe with the Kinvara. Perhaps, a more bold move, was to take the whole of their range down to an 8mm drop, sighting the latest research into human movement as the reason. So the campaign of ‘Find Your Strong’ began. Never once did they consider sacrificing cushioning in their footwear lines, despite a lowering of the heel height.
Yes, for me everything they have done has been spot on, the Kinvara was a long awaited introduction to the footwear market. Justifiable in terms of human running mechanics and more than capable of handling the everyday demands of high mileage training. Others followed and with it came the new terminology of ‘inherent stability’. That is, the stability of the shoe comes from the materials used to wrap and protect the foot, whilst the sole unit offered complete contact with the ground. Additional to this is the fact that you will not find any additional plastic shanks or medial posts to ‘supposedly’ change our gait for the better.
Simply, this is where the New Saucony Ride 7 has been taken. OK so what stays? The last (shape) and fit of the shoe remains unchanged in both the Men’s and the specific ladies-fit version. The midsole compound and 8mm drop is also unchanged so the responsive and cushioned nature of the Ride should feel the same. So boxes ticked here.
Yet, the change on the face of things may seam to be a small one, yet for some it could be time to change shoes. Turn the shoe over and on the 7 you will notice the midfoot stability shank has gone. This was originally there to help stabilise a rapidly inwardly-rotating foot and slow it down. What Saucony have done is mould the midsole to give it full sole contact with the ground. Saucony believe that with the slight flaring of the midsole unit, you should see the same response to the old ‘6’ sole unit. Yet, to twist the shoe through the midfoot, all be it by hand you get a completely different torsional stiffness between the old 6 to the new 7. It is now offering far greater flexibility and is inherently stable.
Is this a good thing or a bad thing? Well that really will depend on the runner. For some it will be a great step forward for others a case of time to change. I can see runners simply upgrading from the 6 to the 7 and it all going wrong. For such, a straightforward change to a shoe, one which on the face of things is seemingly not that great, it could be more a case of the Ride 7 being less of an update and more of a new shoe altogether.
So welcome to the Ride 7, which remains in my humble opinion, a new shoe and not an update, although one which I suspect will still perform very well. Overall the Ride 7 gets the thumbs up and is a welcome contender for a place on any runners feet.
The Saucony Ride 7 hits Accelerate’s shelves sometime next month, in both the Men’s and Women’s styles, although if you are really keen we do have a sample pair you can take a look at.