Posts Tagged ‘Shoe Review Saucony Ride 5’

Shoe review week continues today here on the blog as today we’ll be looking at the recently (June 2012) released Saucony Ride 5.

As is the case with all shoe reviews here on the Run for Dom blog – I have to post my usual caution about relying on someone else’s opinion about a particular running shoe.

Each individual runner’s foot strike, weekly mileage, years training, body composition, weight and injury history all play a key role in placing an athlete in the best possible footwear for them. That is the key point, FOR THEM. 

The best shopping strategy is and always will be visiting your local running specialty store, being fitted for a pair of shoes by a professional after running on a treadmill for gait analysis and then trying on multiple pairs of shoes.

That said, if you have gone through that process recently and know the proper type of shoe that works best with your running style and biomechanics, then today’s review of the Saucony Ride 5 may prove to be helpful. At least I hope that it is.  I have logged over 100 miles in the new Ride 5 from Saucony, and feel like I have a good feel for the comfort, support and responsiveness.

So with the disclaimer out-of-the-way, on to the review!

Saucony Ride 5 – Black (Shoe is actually purple)

Saucony Ride 5

Runners: Mid to High Mileage “Racers”

Use: Up-Tempo Workouts to Medium Long Runs (8-12 miles)

Footstrike: Neutral

Support: Cushioned/Moderate

Weight: Light/Mid-Weight trainer – 9.5 oz Men’s size 9

Now in its 5th iteration, the Saucony Ride 5 went through a pretty dramatic overhaul from the Ride 4.  In fact, for previous “Ride” lovers, this new release may very well change your view of your favorite shoe.  It is somewhat like every 10 years or so when a car goes through a huge “redesign”.  This was not just a slightly different set of tail lights, or a new color scheme.  Think of the release of the new Camaro or when the Mustang went from boxy to streamlined in the early 90’s.  Some people loved the changes, some people hated them, but nobody was really “meh” about them.

That is the way the Ride has been transformed.  The shoe was lightened 1 oz. in weight.  That might not seem like a whole lot, but in the men’s size 9 version – that represents 10% of its total weight.  That is a lot.

The heel to toe ratio was changed dramatically as well with the heel being reduced from 12 mm to 8.  Again, 4 mm might not seem like a whole lot, but from a percentage perspective, the heel was reduced 33%.  Again, that is a lot.

So the shoe is going to perform very differently from its predecessor.  It is in a way an entirely NEW shoe for 2012, and before you simply go out to the internet, pick a color and order a pair, I think you should test drive these shoes at a running store to make sure they are going to meet your training needs.

First Impressions:

The fit of the Ride 5 is very snug across the top of the foot and a bit snug in the toes. I needed to go up 1/2 size for a proper fit to accommodate my toes in the toe box.  The shoe feels very nice and comfy however when properly sized.  With the lower heel drop you get the sensation that you are in a pair of road hugging performance shoes – but with solid mid-sole cushioning for longer workouts.

Saucony Ride 5 Top View

The Upper:

The upper features a standard lace pattern and cushioned tongue. The rest of the upper is a lightweight mesh to help ventilate the shoe with a few strategic overlays to the outer shell of the shoe to provide structure and support.  A very comfortable fitting running shoe.

The Midsole:

This version of the Ride is the most responsive version of the shoe to date.  The heel edge is beveled (rounded) for a smoother transition from heel strike to midfoot, and more flex grooves have been carved into the forefoot design for better overall flexibility.  The idea behind the changes in structure were to make the Ride more nimble and “minimalist” feeling – but still provide enough support for longer distance runs and races.  The arch is moderately high to high, making the comfort of the shoe very personal.  If your foot geometry aligns well with the design, the shoe will feel very comfortable.  If however a higher arch bothers you, you may not like the changes in design.

The Outsole:

As I mentioned previously the big change comes from the heel-to-toe offset being updated from 12mm to 8mm. The heel edge has been beveled. ProGrid™ technology (previously in heel only) has been extended to the entire foot bed for a more seamless feel. Outsole material is upgraded from traditional blown rubber to IBR plus, for enhanced cushioning and durability.

The shoe has a lot of spring and responsiveness despite the low profile.  After 125 miles the shoe feels just the same way it did during our first run together. 


The Ride 5 is a shoe that fits well in my running shoe rack, and by that I mean that there are quite a few workouts where this has become my shoe of choice.  I would not run a steady-state 20-22 miler during marathon training in the Ride 5 as that is not the designed purpose for this shoe.  However many runners can pull off those types of runs in a shoe like the Ride 5.

For me, I need a bit heavier shoe for those types of workouts so my knees, ankles and hips come through that long run feeling as if they didn’t experience any pounding.  That allows me to jump right back into training and push pace and intensity only a day or two later.

The Ride 5 is the show I would use for those types of workouts.

Tempo runs, hill repeats, Off/On interval workouts.

It is a shoe that I consider threading the needle between a race flat and a trainer.

It is a shoe that will allow you to work on your turnover, run some faster miles when training but still protect against the pounding of those types of workouts.  It is about 2 oz. heavier than a 5k or 10K race shoe, 1 oz. heavier than the shoes that I would “RACE” a half-marathon or marathon in.

So if you are looking for a zoom-zoom shoe for some of your shorter more intense workouts – the Ride 5 might be just what the doctor ordered.  Each Tuesday and Thursday I look forward to putting on my Rides and hit my up-tempo drills, they have become great training partners this Triathlon season and we will be adding another pair this fall as we set our sights on the Houston Marathon and our attempt at breaking 3 hours.

Happy running!