Staff Review: The Saucony Ride 15
Written by Michael Hamilton, Footwear Lead, SB Stonestown
The Ride has been a staple shoe for Saucony for some time now and promises to continue to be a great daily run shoe, if my experience counts for anything. Let me give you a quick background on me: I'm Michael Hamilton. I work as the Footwear Lead at Sports Basement's newest store in SF's Stonestown Galleria, and I've been running in Saucony since 1994. In 47 years of competitive running, regionally and nationally, I’ve always found Saucony (and Brooks, but we're talking about Saucony here) to deliver the most consistent performance.
Past upgrades to some of my old favorite shoes have been heartbreaking - I recall the utter disappointment of major changes to some of my favorites in the late 90s (we won't name names here, but come to Stonestown and ask me in person). With those memories still fresh in my mind, I was quite apprehensive when I learned that the Ride 15 is over an ounce lighter than the Ride 14. I've loved this shoe for 5 years, and I didn't want my heart broken again. Was I right to be apprehensive? Is the suspense killing you yet?
Before I let the other shoe drop (see what I did there), here's some more background. A couple years ago, a bad fall during training eventually led to a gradual loss of cartilage in my right hip. My 90 to 120 mile weeks no longer seemed feasible. But with some form improvement I somehow managed to stay in the 50s to 70s per week. Other shoes were inconsistent, but the Ride’s mix of moderate drop, stability and cushioning was a perfect balance for me, whether the run was 5 miles or 33.
I was staring down the road to an eventual hip replacement, and not feeling very confident about it. But in the end, I decided to continue to run up until the surgery, and cross train as much as I could. In the end I basically destroyed my Ride 14s - sorry, Saucony!
14 weeks ago I had the hip replacement surgery done, and took 3.5 months off from running. I was very nervous about starting up again, and I really wanted to wait until I was absolutely sure that I was ready. Then the Saucony Ride 15 came in. Here's where that other shoe drops!
Putting the Saucony ride 15 to the test
Initially, I was fearful that the changes to the shoe would not play well with my new hip. So I started in the gym on a treadmill, to minimize impact and give me an easy out if I needed to stop suddenly. 20 minutes later I was shocked to discover that my initial training run was over - I felt perfectly capable of running more! So far, so good.
But an easy run on the treadmill doesn't mean much; in 47 years I’ve learned the road can be much less forgiving. I picked a light 2 mile stretch to work. At first I held back, trying to give my hip an easy time of it, but toward the end I decided to pick it up a bit. I was surprised that what had felt effortless and slow was actually an 8:10 pace.
Eventually, a few runs later, temptation struck and I did a 4.5 mile run, peaking at a 7:33 pace. That was quite a change after months off but again, the Ride 15 had my back (my sole?) and did me justice. I mentioned that I am the footwear lead at Stonestown - that means that I spend a lot of my day recommending shoes to customers that come in, and helping them find options that work for them. I often compare the Ride to the Brooks Ghost in conversations like that, but after my experience, the Saucony Ride has edged out the Ghost entirely. Well done Saucony!
THE SAUCONY RIDE 15 IN REVIEW
- Despite the overall stack increase, the drop feels the same.
- The extra ounce less certainly helped in late stages, without making the shoe unstable.
- The inside “sock” of the shoe makes the fit cleaner, without abrasion.
- At a fast or slow pace, the overall feel was consistent - same with hills or flats.
- If you land closer to the heel and are on a track you might prefer the Endorphin - the heel strike on the cushion is a tad soft.