Raise your hand if you excelled at Math, but you're having a hard time keeping up with the Saucony Ride family of running shoes! You're not alone. Every time we turn around, the company debuts an "improved" Ride—though proof is found in the wearer who may not be as eager for a new version because she's perfectly content with the pair she owns. When the Saucony Ride 8 debuted recently, we felt compelled to take into consideration this model's dynasty to answer the question of whether an already-fab shoe can be improved upon or whether mistakes made with the Saucony Ride 7 continue to plague the brand.
When the Saucony Ride 8 recently made its society debut, the footwear manufacturer promoted it as the shoe that's "raring to go", courtesy of an all-new FlexFilm upper that holds the foot more securely than ever before without adding an ounce of weight. That alone is a blessing to both female and male runners who count on being fleet-footed when marathon win times come down to seconds.
The secret to this aerodynamic improvement is ingeniously compressed synthetic materials, and you can expect your new 8's to offer neutral pronation control. The height difference between the heel and forefoot gives the wearer the illusion of a slightly tipped forward pitch which could improve performance at the start line. This shoe is neither water-resistant nor waterproof, but if you don't expect to be jumping into any puddles, you might not care.
Apologies if we seem to harp on the whole weight issue, but Saucony is promoting the Ride 8 as being lighter than a cloud, so it deserves to top a benefits list in addition to the aforementioned features list. If your feet perspire a lot, you will welcome the open air mesh and “run dry” interior wicking properties. Stay safe during night runs, courtesy of silver decorative embellishments on the heels.
You'll like the SRC impact-absorb zones that cushion feet when they are challenged by rugged terrain. No traction worries too, thanks to XT-900 carbon rubber soles—thus for fans, the Ride 8 meets expectations and more. By the way, if you buy a pair in the colour "Slime", you will earn points with your kids if they find everything related to gooey green stuff "cool".
- The Ride 8 receives kudos for the revolutionary new cushioning feature Saucony fans haven't experienced since the Ride 6 was introduced by the brand. I'm particularly complimentary about the roomy toe box.
- If you had previous bad break-in experiences with its predecessor, you will not suffer heel pain woes again. Women suffering from heel pain when wearing earlier Saucony Ride models will be pleased with the new version 8, which are praised to be "immediately comfortable" for long and short runs.
- My friend found that the new 8 runs a size small; others complained it's a half-size small. Bottom line: if you plan to buy before you try, be prepared for the possibility of having to make an exchange if you order your usual size. Fit complaints also include width; women trying these on swear they're narrower than past models.
- If you won't run in anything but leather, you might not want to wear this synthetic shoe, but if you're an animal rights advocate and leather is on your verboten list, put this con into the pros column.
You'll have to rely upon our experience and a smaller universe of wearers on the subject of these new Saucony 8s because this version is so new to the market. We agree that you're more likely have to buy a larger size—we found them small—and this, in our opinion, is due to material changes made to continue to reduce the weight of this shoe classic.
As for price, expect to pay S$159 retail for the Ride 8 and S$179 for the Ride 8 GTX. In the end, shoe dynasties are fascinating to study. The Saucony Ride 6 earned rave reviews. The Saucony Ride 7 disappointed lots of faithful buyers. Now the Ride 8 is introduced to mixed reviews. If Saucony is your go-to shoe, how would you rate it?