There is nothing like a new pair of running shoes.
Out of 250 +/- runs and races that I complete every year, the first run in a new pair of trainers is always a favorite of mine.
Part of it is the physiology of the run. Feet pumping away along the street or trail with the maximum cushioning and responsiveness in a never worn before pair of shoes. For me, I usually don’t require too long a break-in period, especially with some of my heavier trainers. I just lace ‘em up and go. I try not to run more than 8 or 10 miles in a brand new pair, which puts me in that 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minute range.
Long enough to get a feel for the shoes, but not too long that if I was going to develop a hot-spot or a blister from an ill-fit or a mis-stitch somewhere, it wouldn’t turn into too bad a situation.
As my trusty Brooks Ghost 3’s were nearing their retirement age of 300 miles, Little Miss Landry and I took a ride over to Hill Country Running here in Austin to duck in and pick up a new pair of size 9’s that would take us through the beginning of summer and to the start of NYC Marathon training. Zip right in, zip right out and be on our way.
One problem. After checking in the back, Scott at Hill Country Running told me that they did not have a size 9 in the Ghost 3. Doh.
I had been wanting to find another pair of trainers to put into my rotation that were lighter than the Asics Gel Nimbus shoes I had been training in for so many years, but not too light a shoe, as I really wanted a solid Neutral Cushioned Trainer for my long runs of 15 miles and more.
After talking with Scott he asked me if I had ever tried on the Saucony Progrid Ride 3. To date the only pair of Saucony’s I had run in was a half-mile or so on the Hill Country Running Stores treadmill in a pair of Kinvaras which was more of a race flat than a trainer.
I decided to give the Progrid Ride 3’s a look, and boy am I glad that I did. Instant man-crush.
The Fit and Purpose:
The “Ride” is designed as a solid everyday training shoe for the Neutral runner. It does not include any stability or rigidity to correct pronation or supination, just a “neutral cushioned” shoe as Runners World would describe it.
The shoe has a nice snug fit in the heel area and a nice toe-box. I don’t want to describe the toe box area as “wide” as that may give the wrong impression. But it is truly roomy and comfortable, not narrow and pinching as some shoes can be. Going up ascents or down descents a tight toe area can lead to rubbing on the front of your toes and problems with your toe nails if they are too long and untrimmed.
The toe-box in the Ride is nice and roomy, extremely comfortable.
The sizing of the “Ride” appears to be spot on. A size 9 trainer fit me perfectly.
There are a lot of technical goodies in the “Ride”. The upper boasts what Saucony describes as a Hydrator Collar Lining. It is a performance apparel fabric that provides a nice skin to skin feel around the collar of the shoe and promotes wicking of any moisture which is a huge “win” down here in Austin throughout the summer months.
The sockliner is antimicrobial and breathable, which reduces any odor while providing a nice cushioned ride.
The Midsole is where a lot of the “action is” in this shoe.
Saucony includes their Heel ProGrid™ technology in the “Ride”, which is designed to absorb impact, dissipate shock and set the foot up for a smooth transition from heel to toe.
The “Ride” also features the SRC Xtra Forefoot Cushioning system that provides for a smooth toe off.
The outsole is made from lightweight blown rubber that adds a nice mixture of cushioning and durability. I especially liked the more open pattern on the bottom of the shoe that provided some great traction as I ran through some sprinkler soaked streets on my training run, but the grid was not too tight to pick up a lot of small stones when I transitioned to the crushed granite trail.
Well I really can’t be too complimentary when I talk about my first few runs in the “Ride”. In fact, I broke my own rule straight out of the box and ran a 14 miler on our maiden voyage together.
The Saucony Progrid Ride 3 is exactly what it is designed to be. A great everyday training shoe that is “heavy enough” for the long stuff, but responsive enough for your shorter training runs at an up tempo.
I felt like I was running in “an old friend” that I had covered hundreds of miles in after only a handful of runs. A great everyday trainer for the distance runner is how I would describe the “Ride”.
Thanks for the great advice Scott!
As a reminder since it has been awhile since my last product review here at Run for Dom – these are simply my honest opinions about a product after I have had time to try it myself and see how it holds up. I am in no way compensated for my time or my opinion.
Happy trails everyone!