A shoe offers support, fundamentally. Despite the barefoot rage and the Born to Run ethos, a good running sneaker is there to help you achieve your goals: withstand distances, achieve speed. Further into our journeys, as our form breaks down and exhaustion takes over, the shoe can be the only thing that keeps you from turning an ankle or, worse, not finishing the race. You want a shoe you can depend on.
The Ride 15 from Saucony is an iconic piece of footwear. For a brand that launched in 1898, the Ride has become its cornerstone: synonymous with neutral training, stability, trustworthiness, value, and efficiency. Created to fill a gap in the market, the Ride is smooth, practically perfect for anyone, fool-proof, and the proper gateway drug for someone getting curious about our sport.
So what happens when a shoe like that meets modern innovation? It’s the Ride 15, which takes the great lines and assets of a legacy model and updates it with the bells and whistles of cutting-edge tech. The result is the comfort of an everyday trainer gifted with the lightweight, forefoot flexibility of a racing shoe.
First, the details: the Ride 15 has an 8mm drop and weighs 7.8oz in women’s, 8.8oz in men’s. (About an ounce more than the Alphafly Next% from Nike, and a hundred dollars cheaper and lasts about an extra six months). At BlackToe Running in Toronto, the Ride 15 costs $170, and it looks good. Ogling the new model, in Acid Lime, I couldn’t help thinking it looked like a purring Corvette. The foam employed is called PWRRUN, and while that name won’t mean much—all the shoe brands have foams titled with capital letters and lacking in vowels—just know that it’s what makes the feel of the shoe on the road almost cloud-like: the sensation is soft, plush, and cushioned, and the bounce of the street feels good. You want a sneaker that you can wear straight out of the box and the Ride 15, for me, is it.
Testing the shoe on a long run, perhaps a bit out of shape or else just tired and old, the Ride 15 felt almost like a saviour, a life raft. I have experience in marathon races and know how close I’ve come to twisting my ankle when, exhausted, my stride falls apart and it takes everything I have just to remain upright. This run in the Ride 15 wasn’t quite at that level (thankfully it was a straight 36K and didn’t involve strides), but I was able to appreciate my coverage. Protection. The shoe is light but sturdy. It feels significant without weighing you down. There’s also a mesh upper and a sewn-in tongue, which are just little modern touches that improves fit and feel from earlier Ride iterations, and make the comfortable shoe also fast.
The last thing to consider, when pondering your next shoe, is stack height. Currently there almost seems to be a competition to turn running shoes into platform boots. HOKA has been ahead of the curve on this, but ON has followed suit, and Adidas, too. These shoes almost look like Kiss boots, and I’m yet to be convinced of their efficacy, outside of making you seem taller than your running peers. I like the stack height of the Ride 15: again, it’s ample, without being over the top. You could wear your running shoes to the grocery store without attracting curious stares.
In conclusion, Saucony is a terrific shoe brand, timeless, and their Endorphin Pro 2 helped me achieve my most significant race time (which I won’t mention here but also never will achieve again). Like the Pegasus from Nike or the Kayano from ASICS, the Ride is a comfortable, iconic staple of legions of runners’ closets and it’s for good reason the shoes endure over time. They’re affordable, indestructible, and stable—a shoe almost any runner will like.