Sunday, June 14, 2020

Saucony Ride 13 Multi Tester Review: Wildly Good & Improved in Every Way! More Versatile, Better Fitting, More Cushioned, & Still Fast

Article by Mac Jeffries, Peter Stuart, Ryan Eiler, Joost de Raeymaeker and Sam Winebaum

 

Saucony Ride 13 ($130)


Stats

Estimated Weight:: men's 10.15 oz/ 288g (US9)  /  women's 8.8 oz / 244g  (US8)

     Samples: men’s 9.88 oz / 280g (US8.5)  women’s 9.63 oz / 273g (US9.5)

Stack Height: 32mm/24mm, 8mm drop (full stack height)

Available June 15, 2020.  $130


Introduction

Sam: The Ride 13 is the classic up tempo trainer in the Saucony line up. Recent versions had a 8mm drop and the characteristic responsive forefoot but drifted into “crystal rubber”, ISO Fit uppers which for me proved particularly problematic in ISO 1 with poor medial support and an increasingly dated...ride. 


Well the Ride 13, as with all 2020 Saucony from road to trail, has gotten a  major update which is still true to its heritage as a responsive up tempo trainer:

  • New PWRUN EVA/TPU midsole and more of it as the stack goes from 28mm /20mm to 32mm/24mmmm with still a 8mm drop

  • Forefoot outsole is now blown rubber instead of the ISO 2's “crystal rubber”

  • The upper is a more “conventional” engineered mesh replacing the ISO Fit of v1 and v2




Pros:

Joost: Stable, firm, great grip, nice “ride”

Sam: Stable, firmer ride with some rebound from new PWRUN foam

Sam: More cushion than prior Ride but still same general uptempo ride character

Sam: Upper mid foot hold, medially improved over Ride ISO 2 and dramatically improved over v1

Sam: Copious forefoot firm blown rubber (replacing crystal rubber), delivers noticeable response and overall expected strong durability. Commenably flexible. 

Mac: Great upper: secure midfoot hold and plenty of room in the forefoot

Mac/Ryan: Works well at a variety of paces: cushion for the long stuff, bounce for the fast stuff

Peter/Ryan: Upper fits like a dream

Peter: Surprisingly fun

Peter: Feels lighter than it is

Hope: Firm, fast, comfortable, plenty of reflective trim


Cons:

Joost: Warm upper, bottom heavy, stable but wide forefoot base sometimes feels a bit “clunky”, especially on sharp turns, weird laces.

Sam/Peter/Ryan: Not particularly breathable upper

Sam: Weight gain to slightly over 10 oz not a tragedy given increased cushion but might have  been avoided with thinner forefoot rubber or a touch less midsole and a lighter upper?

Mac: Would love to see this come in an ounce lighter

Mac: Round laces probably need to be double-knotted

Mac: Insole glued in fairly heavily

Hope: Upper might be a touch warm for summer running in some places, but I was OK


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Tester Profiles

Joost is a Belgian in his 50s living in Luanda, Angola, Africa, where he faces the heat, humidity and general chaos to run anything between 60-100 miles per week. He’s on a mission to win in his age group in the 6 Marathon Majors and has completed half of his project, with a 2:26:10 PB in Berlin in 2019 at 51. He ran in primary school, but then thought it would be a lot cooler to be a guitar player in a hard rock band, only picking up running again in 2012, gradually improving his results. His Strava is here: https://www.strava.com/athletes/reimaka

Mac is a former 275 lbs American foot ball defensive lineman who took up running at age 30. Now, at 6’4” (193cm) 200 lbs (91kg) , he has PRs of 19:19, 1:33:xx, and 3:19:xx. He runs 50-70 miles per week.

Peter lives in Austin, Texas and has been a sub 3 hour marathoner as well as a 1:25 half marathoner in recent years

Sam is the Editor and Founder of Road Trail Run. He is 63 with a 2018 3:40 Boston qualifier. Sam has been running for over 45 years and has a 2:28 marathon PR. These days he runs halves in the just sub 1:40 range training 30-40 miles per week mostly at moderate paces on the roads and trails of New Hampshire and Utah. He is 5'10" tall and weighs about 165 lbs.

A hopeless soccer career led Ryan to take up running, and after taking a decade-long break from competing, he is back racking up mileage whenever he can.  He calls the 2018 Boston Marathon the hardest race of his life, where he finished in 2:40, barely remembering his name at the finish line.

Ryan decided to forego his Wall Street job to be a gear junkie, and is currently the fledgling entrepreneur behind his company, Bridger Helmets.  Most days, you'll find him loping along the Charles River in Boston.  Of all the places he's run, Central Park NYC and the New Hampshire coast top his list.

Hope is in her 20’s and after several ultras is now more on the road. She has a marathon PR of 3:47. She trains about 50 miles per week with many of her runs in the (broad) 8:00-10:00/mile range. She is happy to hit 7:30 miles on tempo days.



Read our Full Review!


First Impressions and Fit


Joost: I was looking forward to these. To be honest, I hadn’t run in a pair of Saucony’s since training for my first Comrades in 2015. Coincidently, they were also a pair of Ride, but quite a number of versions behind. I bought the Ride 7 online, relying on a couple of reviews, in order to rotate them with two pairs of Pegasus (30 and 31). Saucony must really like the word Power, because the Ride 7 came with something called PowerGrid, sitting in between the midsole and the insert, supposedly helping you with running easier and faster. This time, it’s the whole midsole, with a foam called PWRUN. The Saucony 7 was lighter than it looked, the 13 feels as heavy as it looks and has a very different ride. It’s quite firm, but springy, a good ride for my easy days. Right now, I’m basically rotating between the Ride 13, the Pegasus 37 and the Salomon Sonic 3 Accelerate for easy running. My pair of Ride 13 came in the Glade/Black colorway, somewhere in between the subdued grey version and the bright yellow/orange one. I put 1228km (763miles) on my Ride 7 and with the amount of rubber and wear I’m (not) seeing on this pair so far, they will probably last me just as long, which is great for a daily trainer.

Mac: What a happy accident! So, full disclosure: I meant to sign up for a different shoe, and so I was somewhat bummed when I opened up the box (in the same way that someone who thought they were getting a new Avalon gets a new Camry instead, mind you). “Ride 13? THIS isn’t the successor to what was widely proclaimed as 2019’s Trainer of the Year: the Saucony Triumph… oh well, I guess I am duty bound to give it a fair review anyway…”

(tries on shoe)

“Oh. Huh. Wow.” 

Spoiler: we are halfway through 2020 - thank goodness (I mean, how messed up is a year in which Murder Hornets are a mere footnote?) - and the Ride 13 is my pick for Sleeper of the Year. This isn’t just a Camry; it’s a Camry with leather interior, free XM Radio, a sun roof, and a cup holder big enough for a Big Gulp. It has gotten a complete overhaul - new midsole, new upper - and this thing is just sweet! 

My 13.5 E foot was accommodated by the new FORMFIT upper on the size 14s with no problem. I sometimes really need a wide in 14s, but not the case in these: there is plenty of forefoot room for my Tailor’s Bunion, and I have experienced exactly zero discomfort. (There is a Wide offered, but as someone who sometimes prefers an EE in New Balance and sometimes cuts slits on the metatarsals of D width shoes, you should only order the wides in these if you REALLY need a wide.) 

Peter: I’m sort of with Mac here. I opened the box and thought, oh man, I keep getting disappointed by the clunky Ride from Saucony. I always think it’s going to be a great daily trainer and, well....it isn’t. But this time is different! The ISO Fit is gone, the upper is mesh and the fit is just perfect. Unlike some other shoes I’ve had to break in recently, the Ride 13 just laces up and feels like a shoe I’ve been running in for months. I’ll admit that I’m bummed I didn’t get the flashy bright colorway, but overall it looks great. 

Sam: A true to size fit with a stout (quite unlike ISO 1 and 2) front to back hold. The mesh is pliable and thin but quite dense although there are some ventilation holes up front. 

Of note is a high relatively stiff toe bumper which raises volume yet at the same time keeps the front of the foot locked down through the side of the toe box. The stout heel counter has a solid secure hold. 

There were two sets of laces in the box: a stretch tubular lime set which came on the shoe and a somewhat thinner, flatter less stretchy black set. Trying they are there for more than for cool looks. The black should work better for a narrower foot and the lime a wider foot but both suit my medium width feet fine.


And the Citron Mutant colorway is striking both classic throwback look and modern. The Mutant color way will also see its way into other models such as the Guide and Triumph 18  in 2020 as we saw at the Running Event.


Ryan: I opened the box to a chunk of dreary grey, uninspired foam and rubber, and felt no excitement to take them for a spin.  But as Mac noted, these are the sleeper sneaker of the year.  

The upper’s fit is oh-so-buttery, and there wasn’t any of the “hmm, that’s a new sensation” experience that comes with trying on new shoes.  In hand, it’s clear that they’ve been thoughtfully engineered, and have revolted against their beleaguered ISO Fit lineage.  There was truly no tweaking required to take these from being stuffed with paper all the way up to tempo speed.


Hope: I’ll make another car comparison: pull up to a stoplight and you see a VW Jetta next to you. Not surprising since it’s a solid daily driver. Nothing to see here, right? 

Next thing you know, it’s absolutely CRUSHING you off the line. You missed that the unassuming little commuter car was the turbo model. That’s the Ride 13 in a nutshell. It’s a shoe that looks like an “old reliable” but that runs like a demon. Like Ryan, I let these sit a couple of days in favor of the flashier looking Rincon 2 which I had in the review pipeline. Don’t be fooled by the understated looks (well, the neon colorway is hardly understated) and the traditional styling. This is a serious performer. I have a few older models I return to despite being lucky enough to try new shoes regularly including the New Balance 1080v9 which I’ll probably never get over and a few others. The Ride 13 is going to join that short list.


Upper

Joost: The whole ISO Fit era passed me by without running in Saucony shoes, so I can only comment on this version of the upper, which feels really comfortable at step in. It locks my midfoot down without any sore points and the toebox is roomy enough for my wide feet. The Ride 13 actually looks a little more compact than it is, as compared to some other brands or models, but there’s plenty of room inside. My very sensitive achilles (chronic insertional achilles issues) feels fine, without any pressure from the heel. The upper is quite thick and I don’t know if it’s ventilated enough for running when the dry season/winter (current avg. daytime temp. of around 27C (80F)) is over. The laces are a strange stretchy and tubular design. They seem to be working fine, but I think the tongue is thick enough to use a normal pair of laces.


Sam: ISO Fit is gone. It is replaced with an engineered mesh upper with a more conventional lacing arrangement. 


The tongue is a bit puffy with the outer top layer a suede leather material with the logo also providing some structure. There is no lace bite and how could there be with the stretchy soft and tubular laces!   


The tongue is connected to a soft stretch mesh bootie gusset with the result a solid pressure free foot lock down. 

In the picture above I had difficulty “stretching” tongue and bootie far enough to take the picture. On the foot the stretch wrap from bootie, tongue and upper really pulls the foot down to the Form Fit insole and midsole side walls for a consistent interface between foot and what is above and below. Very foot friendly very secure the whole arrangement!

Mac: Last generation’s ISO fit was hit or miss for me: it worked in the OG Freedom, but got a little cavernous in later models. The new FORMFIT may be the best upper on the market today: secure across the midfoot, ample toe room, but without the funky shape of some wide-toe box brands. This particular upper on the Ride 13 consists of a double layer mesh: a light, porous-but-secure outer layer over a stretchy inner layer. (On mine, the coral inner layer really pops through the pores of the neon yellow outer layer.) 

The heel counter has good structure at the bottom, but is flexible at the top; it is very Achilles-friendly. Finally, the semi-thick tongue is strapped down by a semi-bootie that keeps it in place nicely. The end result is a thoughtfully simple design that just works; it is honestly one of the best uppers I have tried.  


Peter: Once again, Mac nails it. The whole ISO Fit thing felt like an over-engineered solution to a problem that didn’t really exist. The problem with running shoes wasn’t that we needed a complicated lacing system to really lock us down--we just needed well-designed decent fitting uppers. 


The Ride 13 upper is exactly that. It’s a well-designed and beautifully fitting upper with excellent materials and a mid-foot lockdown aided by the elastic bootie holding the tongue down. 


The laces are very puffy and round and for some unknown reason, they make me smile. 

They are very plush laces that give the shoe a luxury feel--and stay tied. I haven’t had them come untied on a run yet. The upper is a tiny bit thick, but not claustrophobic. 


Ryan:  Saucony, if you’re listening: please don’t screw up the great thing you’ve created here!  I’m in agreement with my fellow reviewers, in that this is certainly one of the best uppers on the market. Pressure is incredibly even throughout, and despite an ostensibly simple mesh/bootie system, lockdown is fantastic. My one and only knock is on the ventilation. The density of the mesh, paired with the underlying bootie limits airflow.  But it’s a tiny price to pay for sublime comfort!


The heel counter is very solid, rising about ⅔ of the way up the heel, which leaves the top still feeling plush. While the toe cap is more robust than average, I appreciate the way it shapes the entire forefoot. The laces’ fluffy structure feels like they’d be functionally inadequate, but they tension nicely and distribute pressure amazingly well.

Hope: I’m in the minority as a fan of ISOFIT, but I don’t miss it here. The Ride 13’s upper is secure and feels like it molds to my foot. That’s probably the work of the inner bootie. Those with narrow heels should note that I didn’t need to use the last row of laces to achieve lockdown, so there’s extra room for you to do heel-lock lacing if needed. I’m a fan of the soft laces. I don’t mind the tongue being on the thick side since it prevents lace bite, but at the cost of some weight and ventilation. I took the Ride 13 out in a torrential rainstorm and it drained admirably for having such a substantial upper. I never felt weighed down. 


Midsole

Joost: I remember the Ride 7 was quite soft, but very comfortable to run in. The PWRUN foam is completely different. It is quite firm without every feeling harsh, while at the same time also feeling springy. I’m not the heaviest of runners (63-64kg, 140lbs), so I imagine the foam probably feels a lot softer for heavier runners, without ever risking the feeling it’s bottoming out. 

The Ride 13 moves to PWRUN as in Kinvara 11, Guide 13 and Peregrine. PWRUN is a TPU EVA blend.


Joost: I remember the Ride 7 was quite soft, but very comfortable to run in. The PWRUN foam is completely different. It is quite firm without every feeling harsh, while at the same time also feeling springy. I’m not the heaviest of runners (63-64kg, 140lbs), so I imagine the foam probably feels a lot softer for heavier runners, without ever risking the feeling it’s bottoming out. 


Mac: This is my first exposure to PWRUN, and it is legit. It is a blend of TPU (think: Adidas Boost) and EVA (think: the lightweight foam that it used in the majority of running shoes). The TPU/EVA blend might be a little heavier than traditional EVA, but it has a lot more spring and should provide some longevity. I feel like a broken record, but this midsole is one of the best surprises so far of 2020. I see zero compression 50 miles in, and I have enjoyed those 50 miles (more on that in the RIDE section).  


Peter: Not a reinvention of the wheel, but a solid traditional feel with a hair more pop than your old-school trainer. 


Sam: The PWRUN midsole foam and the geometry really shine here. Sitting somewhere between the prior version firm EVA and the bouncier new PWRUN + which is all TPU the midsole has some lively rebound while maintaining structure and support from its geometry. I see that the overall stack height of the Ride 13 is 32mm heel, 24 mm forefoot whereas the Ride ISO 2 was 27mm/19mm. When also considering the thick outsole the Ride 13 is clearly a more cushioned shoe than its predecessors were and that is for sure felt yet at the same time it retains an uptempo personality, 

The lateral side (top) is beveled for landings while the medial side has more vertical sidewalls in similar fashion to the Kinvara for some mellow stability, 

Underfoot one can see a deep crash pad groove, decoupling, 5 grooves in the forefoot for a long any pace feels good flex and then  backed up for stability and response by a brilliant outsole design particularly up front.


Ryan:  Saucony chose the right type of foam for this shoe, and distributed it properly from heel to toe. It’s not the life of the party, but it’s not trying to be. You won’t hear complaints about stability, despite the noticeably generous amount of forefoot cushioning. While Saucony’s PWRRUN+ (e.g. on the Freedom 3) is highly energetic and less stable, the PWRRUN here provides mellower, confidence inspiring cushion without feeling lethargic.


I’m still struggling to understand why these shoes feel lighter than their actual weight, given how liberal Saucony were with their use of materials throughout. This is the type of midsole on which I’ll happily rack up an unhealthy number of miles.


Hope: Best application of PWRRUN to date. Where the Kinvara 11 felt just okay, the Ride 13 has pop and personality. While this compound may have been designed with Boost in mind, it feels firmer and zippier to me. Combining the TPU with EVA allows for softness immediately underfoot and rebound from the road.


Outsole

Blown rubber in the forefoot instead of the prior ISO 2’s crystal rubber


Joost: There is definitely a lot of rubber on the outsole, probably adding to the overall weight of the shoe, making it feel a little bottom heavy, but also providing durability. The traction is great, and even some burst water pipes on an oily patch of road didn’t throw them off course. The base is very stable and wide, making it a little clunky on sharp turns for me, but that might also have to do with the fact that I tend to “protect” my very sensitive achilles tendons, especially at the beginning of a run. 

The strips of rubber on the forefoot make for a flexible shoe.

Mac: So, I had a nice chat with the grand puh-bah of RTR, the man, the myth, the legend, Sam Winebaum today, and he mentioned something that really stuck out to me: the outsole is more than a function of Traction and Durability. How the outsole is segmented has a profound impact on the flex points and overall feel of a running shoe. I am happy to report that the Ride 13 checks all of the boxes: Traction and durability both are promising, and the shoe flexes just right so that the gait is super smooth. A good outsole is like a good referee in that hopefully, you never even notice them, and the Ride 13 is just that.  


Peter: Plenty of rubber coverage, plenty of flex. I agree that the transition and road feel are super smooth. A hair firm for my tastes--but a hair. 


Sam: I often find a shoe is made great or lost where the rubber hits the road. Overly soft or thin rubber over a softer midsole leads to mush, a poor toe off or instability, unsegmented overly thick rubber to a harsh inflexible ride, to much rubber where it is not even needed to weight gains, to little rubber in key places to durability issues

In the Ride 13 the outsole design and its interface to the midsole truly makes the shoe great. At the rear we have plenty of firm heel rubber but a deep decoupling groove to soften landing and start you moving forward, The black rubber of the same firmness at the heel is slightly thinner and provides a touch of stability on the medial side but is also separated front and back by the deep grooves so no sense of over stabilizing element. 


It is up front that the big magic for me happens. 

Dull crystal rubber is replaced by a 4 thick but deeply embedded chevron shaped zones of fairly firm blown rubber, separated by decently deep flex grooves into the midsole.

I find the whole arrangement provides a nice long flex, some forefoot stability from the thick rubber zones and most especially really at any pace lots of toe off response. Unlike the Nike Pegasus 37 where the air bag intended to provide the pop is right below the foot or “top loaded”, in the Ride the response is “bottom loaded”. This means the cushion from the midsole does its job and then when you need the pop on transition from midfoot and then toe off that thick rubber kicks in and launches you. The sensation is distinct: plenty of forefoot cushion then the rubber kicks in, firmly but flexibly as well.


Ryan: Outsoles are frequently an eye-roller for me, as they’re often overlooked, or seemingly designed by a marketer who runs 12 miles/year. Not the case here. I feel the need to reiterate what’s already been said: that the thick, mountainscape of rubber works fantastically in conjunction with the midsole. Pardon the oxymoron, but the firm flexibility of the forefoot rubber is a beautiful thing. In contrast to most other shoes, the outsole truly affects the ride. The islands are purposefully designed for their respective locations, and their geometry puts the finishing touch on what would have been a great shoe anyway.

I did notice a bit of fuzzy-ish wear on the rubber after my first tempo run, but I suspect that it may just be part of the initial break-in phase.


Hope: I’m still on my “outsole contributes to cushioning” soapbox. The blown rubber is dreamy here. It doesn’t shred like I’ve seen on some models (past iterations of the Launch had to be retired far too soon, for instance), but it’s still soft and grippy. Applied liberally here, the rubber should help the Ride 13 last longer than your average trainer. I prefer it over the crystal rubber (I didn’t run in a crystal rubber Ride, but I did use the OG Freedom ISO) which was mighty durable, but was also slippery on wet pavement. This outsole design is thoughtful and performs well -- this isn’t using last year’s tooling to  keep costs down! 


Ride

Joost: I’m with everyone on this one. Springy, smooth, heavy, but it doesn’t get in the way. Transition is great. While I wouldn’t use it for uptempo work myself, it is one of those shoes you can take with you on a weekend if you’re only allowed to bring one pair

Mac: Smooth. Springy. Feels lighter than its weight. Thirteen aerobic miles? No problem. Combo Tempo + Rep workout? As good as you could expect from a 9.5oz shoe. 

I may not be romantically in love with these shoes, but I definitely like them as more than a friend.

Peter: The Ride 13 runs like a much lighter shoe. The transition through the gait cycle is nearly effortless and it feels good at most speeds. I find the forefoot just a hair firm, but that’s mostly because I’m nursing a tender foot at the moment, and I feel it more in the Ride 13 than I do in a couple of softer shoes at the moment. The shoe pretty much disappears on my foot and lets me run. 


Sam: I agree with Mac and Peter 100%. I will take that slightly firm forefoot feel from the thick rubber any day as it provides response at any pace. The ride is here blends plenty of cushion with get up and go while unlike its predecessors any pace adaptability. The 10 oz plus a bit weight up there is un noticeable because the design and materials  of midsole and outsole never gets bogged down, never is disconnected from moving along smoothly at really any pace.


Ryan:  The brightest spot here is how well it transitions from initial contact through toe-off, at both recovery pace as well as at tempo speed. What an impressively dynamic package, that works for anything short of a HR-maxing track workout. I’m again perplexed as to why the inertia feels so low on these, but I’m clearly not the only one who noticed this. Here’s a shoe you pick on those days that you don’t want to think about what shoe to pick!


Hope: Wildly good. Running 10 miles in the rain in a >9 oz shoe? Didn’t expect to feel like I was floating the whole time. How about 10k at marathon pace? No problem. Maybe everyone’s scale is on the fritz? Surely these aren’t really that heavy when they feel this light. I find myself running fast in the Ride 13 when I’m supposed to be taking it easy. When I can force myself to slow down, recovery miles feel good too. The responsiveness from the fairly firm EVA and TPU underfoot keeps my cadence high. This is a great long run shoe for putting in hard efforts. The abundant, plush materials have kept me from feeling too beat up so I’m able to throw down six days a week. The Ride 13 has handled everything I’ve thrown at it.  


Conclusions and Recommendations

Joost: Highly recommended. It leaps to the eye when picking a shoe for my daily easy runs, and not because I got the flashy colorway. It’s just everything working together to make it a very very good shoe, especially for the money.

Joost’s Score: 9.2/10

Ride: 9.5 (40%) Fit 9 (30%) Value 9.5 (20%) Style: 8 (10%)


Mac: Link to my comprehensive list of shoe ratings HERE

The Ride 13 was an absolute delight, and I am so glad I accidentally signed up for it. Fifty miles in, it is simply the best lightweight trainer that I have tried. I don’t have it as a 10 in any one category, but it just doesn’t have any weaknesses. RIDE: it doesn’t have the magical pop of a carbon-plated rocketship like the N% or even that of a proprietary foam like Hyperburst, but the TPU/EVA blend of PWRUN is JUST a tick below the best that I have tried, both in terms cushion and energy. FIT: FORMFIT is just great, and if it will fit my wonky feet, yours will be snug as a bug in a rug. VALUE: Obviously, I would love to see this at $100 instead of $130, but with the high Expected Durability of the PWRUN foam, you will get your money’s worth out of these. 


Sam: A delightful Ride! Each of the three big updates here: PWRUN foam and more stack than before for some rebound and for more forgiving cushion, blown rubber for front response, and the new non ISO Fit upper improve the Ride without moving it away from its origins as a more uptempo oriented trainer. Basically you still have that heritage but now the shoe can easily do double duty as a fine daily trainer for many. 


I wish the super fine fitting upper was lighter and more breathable, along the lines of the Endorphin uppers but that might cause the fair price of the Ride to rise..


Yes it gains a bit of weight to 10.1 oz, a number over 10 is up there these days, but I didn’t notice it as the sum of the whole: midsole and outsole materials and their geometries, solid value at $130 and overall execution moves the shoe to the front of a crowded category of versatile, durable, any pace trainers. 

Sam’s Score: 9.4/10 

Ride:9.5 (50%) Fit: 9 (30%) Value: 9.5 (15%) Style: 9.5 (5%)


Peter: The whole is greater than the sum of its parts here. The shoe runs lighter than its weight and more fun than its history would have you expect. It’s a really fun and solid daily trainer and could easily get you through some fartleks or tempo stuff if you wanted to. I agree with Sam that the upper could be more breathable, but it’s fine. I really like the Ride 13. I don’t love it the way I love a couple of other shoes in my current rotation, but it’s in the rotation for sure. 

Peter’s score 9.4 / 10

Really excellent work shoe. Could do with it being a tiny, tiny, tiny bit softer--but I wouldn’t want to give up any of its efficiency in the process.



Ryan: Saucony has impressed me several times in the last year, and this shoe definitely keeps that streak alive. The Ride 13 is a cohesive, finely-balanced package meant to handle a large percentage of your mileage. This is far from a spellbinding, head-turner of a shoe -- it’s meant for folks who appreciate quality of fit, and high performing cushion. While ventilation isn’t as necessary here in the Boston climate, breathability is the only reason not to consider these. My Pegasus must be glad to know that they’ll be clocking in a lot less from here on. One can only hope that Saucony keeps these as a template for years ahead.

Ryan’s Score: 9.5/10


Hope: This is an outstanding everyday trainer that could flex into marathon racing duty for runners that want a bit more protection. It runs far lighter than the number on the scale and is built to last for 400 miles or more. Highly, highly recommended.

Hope’s Score: 9.75/10

Ride:10 (50%) Fit: 10 (30%) Value: 9 (15%) Style: 8 (5%)


WATCH SAM'S INITIAL VIDEO REVIEW

Comparisons 

Index to all RTR reviews: HERE


Saucony Ride ISO 1 & Ride ISO 2 (RTR Review)

Sam: Some of us, including me, found the deep and flimsy medial ISO Fit band at lace up led to poor hold in ISO 1. Much improved in the ISO 2, the Ride 13 does away with the gimmicks and has a solid hold worthy of the...ride. 


With 4mm more overall stack (about 3mm more in the midsole), more rebound from PWRUN and that great forefoot outsole rubber (crystal rubber of v1 and v2 is gone) the ride here is more cushioned and with more rebound from the PWRUN and on  top of that more response from that front outsole. 


Although 0.3 oz heavier,  the sum of the changes should make the Ride 13 for most both an uptempo trainer and a daily trainer adding greatly to the versatility of the shoe while still retaining its traditional up tempo vibe


Peter: Much improved from any Ride in memory. 


Saucony Kinvara 11 (RTR Review)

Sam: The Kinvara 11 shares the same PWRUN midsole foam with the Ride 13 so a ride with some rebound and some inherent stability from the geometries. The Kinvara 11 is considerably lighter in part due to having less rubber and  somewhat lower stack and has a 4mm drop vs. 8mm for the Ride 13. 

The Ride can be a trainer for all while fewer will pick up the K11 for that purpose these days. Kinvara can serve as a race complement to the Ride 13 but personally I would lean towards the new Endorphin Speed or Pro for that purpose.


Peter: I think the Ride is an overall more versatile shoe than the K 11, but I like both and feel like Saucony has figured out how to deploy PWRUN well in both of these shoes. 


Hope: The Kinvara might be cuter, but the Ride 13 has a way better personality, so it’s my pick.


Saucony Guide 13  (RTR Review)

Sam: Take the Ride 13 at the same stack heights and add a medial side stability plate and more extensive rubber and essentially you get the Guide 13, a light stability model. With the Ride 13 quite inherently stable on its own, and more flexible and lively, only those really needing more serious pronation control will lean towards the Guide. I will stick with the Ride.  


Hope: The plastic plate on the Guide 13 was overkill for me. Try it if you need the support, but the Ride 13 is better suited for neutral runners and is more fun for uptempo efforts. 


Saucony Triumph 17  (RTR Review)

Sam: Many of our testers had the Triumph 17 as one of their top trainers of 2019, me less so. An overwrought and complicated upper and the dreaded crystal rubber up front under bouncy PWRUN+ made for a somewhat mushy if pleasant ride. While the T17 was about comfort, the Ride 13 is about moving along lively and snappy, in comfort. Stay tuned for the Triumph 18 . It also ditches the crystal rubber for blown rubber up front and simplifies its upper.


Hope: I agree with Sam. Overengineered and a bit too soft. I look forward to the T18. Easy win for the Ride 13 here.


Saucony Endorphin Shift  (RTR Review)

Sam: The Ride 13 is a flexible up tempo trainer.  The  Shift is max cushion trainer with a massive 38mm/ 34mm stack of the same PWRUN foam (so more cushioned), a lower 4mm drop  and a stiff rocker based profile and distinct Speed Roll toe off. It is heavier, more cushioned, somewhat more stable, and as with the Ride 13 no slouch for all its massive protection and cushion. Comes down to ride preference and feel: flexibility and 8mm drop vs more cushion, a rocker profile, and 4mm drop. While the Shift can move along it focuses more on long miles, inherent stability, and somewhat slower paces, the Ride 13 is a faster paced while still very well cushioned daily training option. 


Hope: I think the distinct forward lean of the Shift might be something runners either love or hate. It’s not quite as flexible as the Ride 13 either. While I loved the Shift and I appreciate where it fits in the Endorphin line, I think the Ride 13 has better broad appeal, so it’s my pick. It’s also $10 cheaper. Very close though! 


Saucony Endorphin Speed  (RTR Review)

Sam: More than 2 oz lighter with a higher stack (3mm more) of all PEBA PWRUN PB and a nylon plate, the rockered Speed represents the future, if a somewhat pricier future. The Speed naming is accurate--the shoe leans more towards up tempo training and racing than the Ride which leans daily training and uptempo. For sure one could daily train in the Speed but it is not as forgiving as the Ride. I like both. I would  race and do faster workouts in the Speed, and train in the Ride as both have a lively responsive feel and the snappy toe off I like.


Peter: Pretty different categories here. Would do faster tempo and race stuff in the Speed for sure. The Ride is a nice workhorse trainer cousin of the Speed. 


Hope: I agree with Peter 100%. Same brand, but vastly different shoes. I like apples and oranges and there are times when I want one and not the other -- same thing here.


Saucony Freedom 3  (RTR Review)

Sam: With its bouncier PWRUN + midsole the Freedom 3 is much improved for me over the prior firm and at the same time sloppy predecessors. Freedom 3 still has crystal rubber up front while the Ride has that responsive snappy blown rubber which is also more stable. Sorry Freedom no contest for me with the Ride.

 

Peter: Not a fan of Crystal Rubber. For some reason it just doesn’t feel good under foot for me. Ran them back to back and prefer the Ride for sure. 


Ryan: I’m in agreement that the crystal rubber is inferior, and feels like it’s trying too hard. It gave the Freedom 3 a distinctively gummy, scratchy feel underfoot. The Freedom’s PWRRUN+ is also a more rambunctious, less stable version of what you get in the Ride. While the Freedom shares many of the redeeming qualities of the Ride’s fit, the Ride is certainly a more refined, well-behaved package.


ASICS Cumulus 22  (RTR Review)

Sam: Very close these two. The Cumulus 22 has a superior lighter and more breathable upper, no question. The Ride 13’s is fine but not at the level of the 22’s. Underfoot they have a similar heel feel. It is up front that the Ride 13 pulls ahead with more cushion, more flexibility and a longer flex, and more toe off snap from its thicker blown rubber. 


Hope: I like the Cumulus 22, but its midsole lacks the personality of the Ride 13. It’s an above-average legacy trainer, but the Ride 13 outclasses it. I agree with Sam’s comment that the Cumulus 22 has a more breathable upper.


ASICS Novablast  (RTR Review)

Mac: Even though the Ride 13 has a higher overall score for me, the Novablast is one of my all-time favorite trainers, due to its fantastic midsole. I am honestly torn here. If you are looking for a super high mileage shoe, go with the Novablast, but if you are looking to do more speed stuff, grab a Ride 13. But you really can’t screw this one up ;-) 


Ryan:  While the Novablast is undoubtedly a fun shoe, the Ride 13 has a level of understated refinement which the Asics lacks. For that reason, I’d reach for the Ride for more serious bouts of training. On a run for the sake of pure enjoyment, grab the Nova -- but for anything else, my preference is the Ride for its superior upper and inspiring underfoot feel.


Brooks Launch 7  (RTR Review)

Sam: a dull dinosaur in comparison to Ride 13 but a durable value at $100


Peter: The Launch 7 should be the swan song of the Launch series. B’bye launch, hello Ride 13.


Hope: Brooks took a great shoe (beloved by many, yours truly included) and brought it back from the dead only to suck all of the bounciness and fun out of it. If you’re gonna stick with Brooks, buy the Revel and leave the Launch in peace. The Ride 13 is plenty fast and durable to please fans of the OG Launch.



Brooks Ghost 13  (RTR Review soon)

Mac: The Ghost 13 is another one that I liked more than I expected. It didn’t blow me away like the Ride 13, but it is certainly a solid, capable trainer with good shock absorption and a great upper. Still, unless your mother-in-law works for Brooks, roll with the Ride 13. More pop and better expected durability with the TPU blend in the midsole.


Peter: The Ghost felt disappointingly clunky for me compared to the Ride 13.


Sam: The Ghost 13 gets softer than the 12 and is softer than the Ride 13. It too has an outsole that is thick but not as well matched to the midsole as the Ride’s is. The Ghost’s toe box fit is spacious, yet more spacious than the Ride’s but my toes seem to swim around more vertically and overall my foot just isn’t as well locked down. Easy miles only in the Ghost, everything in the Ride


New Balance 890v8  (RTR Review)

Mac: This is another tough one for me. Both have a great fit (I went with the EE in the NB, however). I would say that the Ride is just a touch softer with a little more pop than the 890v8, but this one is going to come down to personal preference. 


Peter: The 890 V8 is lighter and more of a speed shoe. For faster stuff I’d go 890, for day in, day out training the Ride.


Sam: I agree with Peter and Mac. The 890v8 for me suffered from an incomplete and overly stiff forefoot geometry limiting its potential and versatility. 


Nike Zoom Pegasus 37 (men’s and women’s)  (RTR Review)

Sam: The women’s version of the Peg with its softer React foam (than the men’s) and  lower PSI front air bag has a very smooth transition, smoother even than the Ride 13’s. Its forefoot cushion feels thinner and a bit firmer likely due to its lower stack and the more continuous outsole rubber. The women’s version upper is lighter, more breathable and lighter than the Ride 13 or men’s Peg. I give the nod, barely,  to the Ride 13 for its slightly greater overall cushion and pace versatility despite its somewhat higher weight.


The men’s version is a study in contrasts. Fimer overall than the Ride 13, and stiffer ,with a narrower landing and a noticed 20 PSI air bag directly below the foot whereas instead of “top loading” the response via the air bag below the foot, the Ride 13 “bottom loads” the response via its thick blown rubber outsole which unlike the Nike approach “activates” when you need it instead of being always present and felt until either the runner’s weight or a harder effort gets it really working. Clear choice Ride 13.


Peter: The Ride 13 is what I would hope the Pegasus 37 would be. The ride is smoother and more fun than the stiff and clunky feeling Pegasus 37.


Hope: I can’t get over how heavy the Peg 37 feels. I like it for occasional surges when I really stomp on the Zoom bag, but those moments of fun can’t overcome the overall clunky feeling of the shoe. Not fun for double-digit runs. I appreciate its somewhat more stripped down upper and its classy looks, but otherwise the Peg 37 doesn’t hold a candle to the far more dynamic and lighter feeling Ride 13.


Joost: I must be the only one feeling the Ride 13 has a firmer ride than the Pegasus 37, which I find very soft. The Ride has, well, a smoother ride than the Pegasus. Both are quite heavy and warm shoes. If I had to pick one, it would be the Ride.



Nike Zoom Pegasus 36  (RTR Review

Ryan:  Maybe a fairer comparison is to the Peg 36 (and because I haven’t tried the 37s yet). I’ve been a long time Pegasus aficionado, burying my head in the sand when people validly claimed it was too stiff, harsh, and narrow. While I’m not putting my Pegs out to pasture, I am quickly seeing the potential for the Ride 13 to overtake them as my highest mileage shoe. The Peg 36 wins when it comes to breathability, and it might be preferred by folks who weigh it’s slipper-like, narrow fit above other factors. But in other categories, the Ride 13 is at least as good, if not better. The Ride is more forgiving, provides a better heel-to-toe transition, and to me, feels just as willing to go fast. In my mind, these Sauconys are a more modern, refined version of the Peg 36s.


Salomon Sonic 3 Balance (RTR Review)

Sam: The Balance one of my early 2020 favorites is stiffer and firmer overall but more vibration absorbing than the Ride 13 at the heel. The Ride’s ride is more pleasant and can handle a somewhat greater range of paces.

 

Salomon Sonic 3 Accelerate (RTR Review)

Sam: Considerably lighter at almost 2 oz light, not quite as cushioned as the Ride and very decently flexible,  the Accelerate reminds me a lot of older Rides as it leans more  towards uptempo than trainer as the new Ride does. Somewhat firmer than Ride 13 there is plenty of cushion and vibration absorption but not quite the plusher Ride feel. The Accelerates upper is snugger and more performance oriented. If the weight of the Ride 13 bothers you, and it is for sure a factor, if not noticed on the run,  go for the Accelerate. Otherwise Ride 13 is a more versatile and somewhat more polished and plush option.


Hope: I think of the Accelerate as a racer for 10 miles and up -- it feels a bit like the OG Launch, but a touch firmer. The vibration attenuating foam seems to work! It’s lighter and techier, so it feels a bit unfair to put these two head to head, but the price points are comparable. I would give the slight edge to the Ride 13 since its more conventional upper is probably universally comfortable while the somewhat stiffer upper and heel pods (instead of a heel cup) of the Accelerate might prove tricky for some runners. 


Joost: The Ride 13 actually reminded me a lot of the Accelerate on my first run. A slightly dampened but still springy feeling and lots of outsole rubber that make them both very silent shoes. I agree with Sam, with the Accelerate being more performance oriented and the Ride more comfort oriented. Tough choice, and probably depending on the need. If I had to choose one for a race, it would be the Accelerate, but otherwise, the Ride would be my choice.



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8 comments:

skim1124 said...

Question for anyone: for a flat, mostly hard-surface 100-mile race, would you choose the Ride 13 or Novablast? Or something else? I don't think I'm too concerned about the instability that some have mentioned regarding the Novablast.

Jimmy said...

How do these compare to the NB 1080 v10? I have and like both the Saucony ISO 2 and 1080 v9, with the ISO 2 feeling more responsive at faster speeds and the v9 more comfy at slower speeds and a great walking shoe as well, but the ISO 2's pace versatility wins out for me. Does the Ride 13 and 1080 v10 change the comparison at all?

Buck said...

Hi Sam,
a couple of quick questions - how does the toebox of thr Ride 13 compare to the Sonic 3 Balance? and how does the Ride 13 compare to the NB 880 v10, seeing as though they are both around 10oz?

Sam Winebaum said...

@Jimmy
The Ride is clearly more responsive for me with close to the cushion of the 1080v10. I found the knit upper of the v10 not so much to my liking in the toe box. Made the shoe stiffer. I was not much of a fan of the v9 compared to v10 yet stiffer but OK at slower paces, Agree for sure either Ride clearly a faster yet very well cushioned shoe over 1080 for me,
@Buck
The Ride 13 toe box is a bit lower and more structured than Balance but also I think a touch wider. The Balance mesh is lighter over the toes and also a touch less secure. Balance is also stiffer flexing
880v10 is an easier going shoe with its FF is a touch firmer. I like 880 a lot but Ride 13 is more polished, faster, and livelier while about the same cushion
Sam, Editor
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Anonymous said...

Hello friends! First time commenter here. I am wondering whether you think this shoe would work for forefoot strikers, considering the bottom-loading you mention seems to be geared towards rearfoot strikers?

Sam Winebaum said...

Hi Anonymous,
I think the substantial forefoot outsole should be great for mid to forefoot strikers as it provides a stable responsive platform up front even as the shoe is quite flexible.
Sam, Editor

Matt F. said...

Hey guys,

How would you compare these to the Nimbus Lite and the Hoka Rincon?

Wes Arnold said...

Real tough one - these or the Shift for daily and long runs. Endorphin Speed for tempo and race day. Triumph for easy and recovery. Just need the shoe for daily runs and mid paced long runs. Hard choice between Shift and the Ride.