Friday, February 17, 2023

Saucony Guide 16 Multi Tester Review: 6 Comparisons

Article by Sam Winebaum and Allison Valliere

Saucony Guide 16 ($140)


Sam: The Guide is Saucony’s moderate pronation support trainer. It is very similar to the Ride 16 (RTR Review) having the same 35mm heel / 27 mm forefoot stack of the same PWRRUN foam At 9.35 oz / 265g US8.5 the Guide weighsabout 0.5 oz more as it includes more extensive rubber coverage for its stability purposes and a single plastic Hollow Tech support arc at mid foot.

As with the Ride and, as far as we can tell, the entirety of the update here is to the upper. And that is OK as the Guide 15 and Ride 15 were both huge updates with more stack, new geometries and lighter weights than before.

The Guide 15 had a very dense thin upper that while fine was not exactly the softest, most pliable or most plush on foot but it for sure was supportive. Here, right away, we notice a softer more pliable mesh upper and on step also the plush PWRRUN+ TPU sockliner. Sometimes, in addition to improved comfort uppers can change the ride feel. Let’s see what we discovered in test.


Well cushioned, smooth running daily trainer with a subtle clearly present support element: Sam/Allison

Moderate simple pronation support that does not get in the way of transitions, even for neutral shoe fans: Sam/Allison

Comfortable plush upper that is supportive without overdoing it (as Guide 15’s tended to do) :Sam

Excellent value: Sam/Allison


Hollow Tech plastic support could be tuned down a bit in stiffness to be less noticed and to give more forward: Sam

Both models needed? Ride 16 is almost equally as supportive underfoot and even more supportive at the upper level: Sam


Official Weight: men 9.5oz (269g) US9, women 8.4oz (221g)

 Sample Weights: men’s  9.35 oz  /  265g US8.5, women’s  8.6 oz  /  247g US9

Guide 15: men's 9.38 oz / 266g (US8.5)

Stack Height: men’s 35 mm heel / mm 27 forefoot, 8mm drop

$140 Available now.

First Impressions, Fit and Upper

Sam: The update here is to the upper so let’s focus on that. Guide 15 (below) had a very supportive, dense mesh upper that was a bit rough in feel on foot. 

The 16 gets a for sure softer more pliable mesh that is equally as supportive. The support straps are more seamless in feel (and more seamless in feel than the thinner ones on the Ride 16) What’s not to like?  

While the Ride 16 is the neutral flavor of the platform (RTR Review) its upper is yet more supportive to the rear of the shoe with a non-stretch panel and different gilly strap arrangement. Its upper is not as comfortable as this one but yet more secure. 

 I am puzzled why Saucony did not put the same upper on both shoes or swap them .

The fit is true to size for me with no issues. The toe box is broader in fit feel than before with a softer, more comfortable and pliable mesh. Guide 16 is also available in wide sizing.

Allison:  Sam describes the upper well.  I find the upper to be exceptionally comfortable, light, supportive and breathable, while providing just enough security for my daily runs, walks and standing on my feet all day as a nurse.  

Fit for my slim, low volume foot is a perfect true to size with just enough form fitting security in the heel and midfoot that feels comfortably enveloping.  As Sam mentions, the toe box has just enough room and a pliable mesh such that it does not feel confining.


The midsole is Saucony’s PWRRUN EVA/TPU blend in the new lighter and softer flavor introduced in 2022. It is unchanged from the Guide 15’s midsole foam as far as I can tell.

The full stack height is 35mm heel / 27mm forefoot so generous for the overall 9.5 oz / 269g weight. There is plenty of cushion and vibration attenuation here with a somewhat dense feel with a touch of bounce. A reliable solid riding midsole at a wide range of paces and distances if not a super bouncy or springy one.

As the Guide 16 is a “support” moderate pronation control shoe it includes a Hollow Tech TPU arc at midfoot. 

Unchanged from the 15 in feel, this arc provides a “thin” vertical sense of support on the medial side. There is no firmer midsole foam post or top of midsole “rails”. There is a clear sensation of the support and a clear feeling of rolling forward over the arc towards the flexible forefoot so there is no “hang up” at midfoot or overly firm medial side feeling here. For sure the support is present but as a runner who usually steers clear of support shoes I found it in no way over done or in the way. 

Also in the support picture is the unchanged outsole with its more extensive medial rubber coverage bridging between either end of the Hollow Tech Arc. 

Allison:  Sam sums up the midsole perfectly, as the PWRRUN EVA/TPU feels well cushioned with a touch of bounce.  It is a bit on the dense side, though very predictable and supportive.  While not outwardly quick or responsive, the light weight of the shoe helps it to feel quick enough for moderate paced training runs and even short distances of slightly more up tempo running.  The guide arc at midfoot is supportive, without being overly noticeable and is welcome for long days on my feet, be it walking, running or standing on my feet for 8-10 hours per day as a nurse.


The outsole has 2 densities of rubber. The rear through the midfoot is Saucony XT 900 firmer rubber with the front a softer blown rubber. It should prove durable and has great grip on road.

I will note that the flex point is quite far back just ahead of where the Hollow Tech arc ends. 

Despite the 27mm forefoot stack, the Guide due to the underfoot geometry and outsole is quite flexible, something I find important in support shoe to initiate toe off after the more rigid rear support elements.

Allison:  I don’t have much to add to what Sam said, as the outsole is grippy, effective and durable for road use.

Ride, Conclusions, and Recommendations

The Guide clearly has a support shoe ride with the medial support noticed but as said above not in the way or blocky in feel or stiffened in transitions by “rails” or hardened by firmer medial foams. And if you take the Hollow Tech out and change the outsole you get the Ride 16 also supportive and very stable but without “overt” support elements. 

Taken further if you want a supportive ride with yet less obvious support elements than the Guide and more energy take a look at Saucony’s Tempus where they combine a PWRRUN support frame with a supercritical PWRRUN Pb core. 

A key highlight for me is the upper. Less aggressive and somewhat rough than the Guide 15’s and strangely more comfortable and mellow in feel than the neutral Ride 16 it is one fine fitting secure upper.

Clearly the focus here is on runners who prefer a support type shoe. That is obvious but Saucony keeps its approach from being overbearing, overly firm, or heavy as we have a very reasonable weight to stack ratio here. While there are no changes underfoot the new upper clearly improves the overall experience making the shoe more comfortable and it seems also a touch more flexible. While support shoes are not usually my cup of tea, I score it as a support shoe and slightly higher than last year’s for the upper comfort improvements

Sam’s Score: 9.25 /10

😊😊😊 1/2

Allison:  Sam sums up the Guide 16 perfectly from a running perspective and I  agree that the upper is the star of the shoe here. I will also add from a nurse’s perspective, the Guide 16’s support elements are quite welcome for long days on my feet.  I have struggled in the past finding the right shoe for full days on my feet and while I don’t necessarily need support/guide elements for my running , it is especially helpful in a work shoe.

Allison’s Score: 9.65/10 😊😊😊😊😊


Index to all RTR reviews: HERE

Saucony Ride 16 (RTR Review)

Sam: I prefer the non support ride of the Ride 16 to the Guide 16’s support ride but prefer the easier fitting more comfortable (especially at the rear and midfoot) Guide’s upper. In some ways the uppers might be swapped between models. That said the Ride 16’s upper is a performance fit upper somewhat more suitable for faster paced running. Underfoot we see the increased rubber on the Guide medially. 

Both true to size with no issues but Ride clearly has a snugger fit at the rear of the shoe with a slightly less comfortable toe box.

Saucony Tempus (RTR Review)

Slightly higher stack at  36.5 heel / 28.5 mm forefoot Tempus  and lighter at a  mere 9.03 oz  / 266g (US9) call the Tempus the performance support shoe in the Saucony line. With no Hollow Tech plastic piece, relying entirely on the geometry of the midsole and a PWRRUN frame with a lively supercritical PWRRUN Pb core the Tempus tunes down the support feel yet more than Guide yet still has some pronation control. I found it less obtrusive in its support and a great shoe for faster runs on tired legs where I do appreciate the support. Its upper follows the performance theme and is less plush than the Guide’s and a bit more locked down. Both true to size. 

Brooks Adrenaline 22 (RTR Review)

Allison: Both are very comfortable, supportive and close in stats, but I find the Adrenaline to be a little more roomy in the forefoot and a touch more supportive.  It is a flip of the coin really.

ASICS GEL-Kayano 28 (RTR Review)

Sam: Considerably heavier, 1.2 oz heavier at 10.76 oz / 305g with 2mm less stack at the heel and 4mm less at the forefoot the Kayano is more complex in construction and ride feel. Kayano 28 has more of a contrast in front and rear feel than the Guide with softer, bouncier, more flexible and thinner feeling Flytefoam Blast up front and a combination of comparably soft Flytefoam at the rear and with an underfoot Trusstic plate and firmer layer of foam on the side wall.  I prefer the elegant ride simplicity and consistency of the Guide with the Kayano having an equally supportive more comfortable but heavier upper. 

ASICS GT-2000 10 (RTR Review)

As with the Kayano 28 the GT comes in heavier than the Guide but not as much as it comes in at about 0.6 oz more or just over 10 oz. Somewhat lower stack than the Guide, but at the same 8mm drop, it combines a top layer of very bouncy Propel that extends to the forefoot where things are far thinner than the Guide and softer. The support elements come from quite firm Flytefoam at the heel backed up on the medial side by a firmer sidewall co-molded layer with no plastic Trusstic mid foot support plate as Kayano has.  As with the Guide, the support elements are not that noticed but again as with Kayano the contrast between very flexible soft and thin front and more robust supportive rear is not as pleasing as the more consistent feeling deeper cushion front to back of the Guide. Unlike the Kayano or Guide the GT 2000 is not enough shoe for me, especially up front for extensive daily training.  As with the Kayano ASICS gets the edge here for upper comfort with the engineered knit upper but it is heavier and less breathable than the Guide’s. 


Brooks Glycerin GTS 20 (RTR Review)

The 10mm drop similar heel stack Glycerin clearly has superior foam with a big broad single density slab of more energetic, liviler yet not overly soft supercritical DNA Loft v3. It’s support elements are the Guide Rails of raised foam on both sides, the wide platform and its outsole. It has a similar long flex. 

Considerably heavier than Guide at 10.9 oz vs. 9.5 oz here,  the Glycerin runs lighter than its weight with a superb midsole feel and flex for long slow and recovery runs. It’s plush upper while super comfortable, even for this neutral runner is not quite as up to the task of holding the foot to the platform as Guide 15’s more secure and lockdown fit given its roomy fit of soft more stretchy mesh, no gusset and no straps as the Guide has.  I am not sure I can recommend the Glycerin GTS regular upper as a “support” shoe but would recommend it for neutral runners.  Put the Guide upper on the Glycerin and Wow!

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Tester Profiles

Allison Valliere is a 5th generation Coloradan who is passionate about the outdoors and has been hiking, backpacking, skiing, snowshoeing and running in the mountains since she was young.  She has completed all but 5 of the Colorado 14ers (a dozen or so in winter), has many hundreds of year round ascents of 14ers, 13ers and other peaks in Colorado and the West.  Allison has also traveled the world and trekked to over 18,000 feet in the Himalayas, to high altitudes in Ecuador and has worked for the National Park Service mapping plants in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California .  Her almost daily routine involves runs/power hikes in the foothills above Boulder, or 4-5 mile flatter runs at 8-10 minute mile pace if schedule necessitates.  But what really keeps her on her toes is working as a nurse and taking care of her 12 year old twin daughters who are also growing to share her love for the outdoors.

Sam is the Editor and Founder of Road Trail Run. He is 65 with a 2018 3:40 Boston qualifier. 2022 was Sam’s 50th year of running. He has a decades old 2:28 marathon PR. These days he runs halves in the just sub 1:40 range, if he is very lucky, training 30-40 miles per week mostly at moderate paces on the roads and trails of New Hampshire and Utah. He is 5’9” tall and weighs about 164 lbs, if he is not enjoying too many fine New England IPA’s.

Samples were provided at no charge for review purposes. RoadTrail Run has affiliate partnerships and may earn commission on products purchased via shopping links in this article. These partnerships do not influence our editorial content. The opinions herein are entirely the authors'.

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