Jessie Peterson is the Senior Product Line Manager for Saucony, based in Boston. This weekend, as runners from around the world gather in his hometown to welcome racers, Peterson took a moment to get inside the details of the awesome new Ride 15, the newest iteration of one of Saucony’s most popular shoes. iRun editor Ben Kaplan spoke with Peterson right after the launch.
Ben Kaplan: What was the thinking behind the very first Ride?
Jessie Peterson: When we first created the Ride, our sole focus was to bring a product to market that was completely distraction free. Distraction free means once it is on the foot you are not thinking about it for a second. You are free to go about your run and fully focus on the run itself. No irritations, no break in time, just out of the box comfort. Distraction free comfort has changed over time. Firm to soft, responsive to energy efficient, and we flow with what the runner needs and wants.
BK: When the RIDE was first launched, what was the problem the shoe was trying to solve?
JP: Through out the years, the RIDE has been built around our purpose: for this shoe has to create a distraction free experience where the runner feels great from mile 1-300.
BK: Over the years, how has the shoe changed?
JP: We’ve updated the foam, fit, and aesthetics over the 15 iterations. Runners change in more than 15 years, and we change with them!
BK: Trends come and go but makes the RIDE the RIDE?
JP: Distraction free comfort! We make this shoe for everyone and every run. This shoe works for our professional athletes all the way to the consumer who is using this shoe to go to the grocery store.
BK: Can you talk specifically about this new iteration, the 15, does it share any DNA with the original model? Can you talk specifically about the updates to this new version?
JP: In the past few years there has been a drastic swing towards comfort and full cushion. We know that the RIDE has always delivered on this promise, but with the RIDE 15 we double down on COMFORT from the moment you put the shoe on. We got there with a three-prong approach.
- First we reformulated the foam. PWRRUN has always been a great experience but maybe in the past few iterations a little on the firmer side. This season we were able to soften the foam a little bit while making it more energy efficient and lighter. We also added a PWRRUN+ sockliner to the overall midsole to give that extra plushness right next to the foot. Not only did we change the foam compound but we added more to it underfoot. We have about 18% more total volume in this product. While the overall offset remains the same the stack heights have increased 3mm in both the heel and the forefoot.
- Second we considered fit to be a 360 experience. Usually fit is an upper conversation but we started to look at fit from the ground up. The sidewalls of the foam is higher and that give the runner a feeling of being in the platform rather than insecurely on top of the platform.
- Third we smoothed out the ride. With greater bevel angles from the heel and the toe the runner has a smooth transition as they are moving through their gait cycle.
BK: Lastly, and thanks for your time, but look in your sneaker crystal ball—can you envision a RIDE 50, a RIDE 250? I mean, why not. . . . . ?
JP: OF COURSE! This is a do it all shoe that works for many runners. We will continue to service this runner with whatever they need.
To check out the new RIDE 15 from Saucony, please click here.