Saucony Guide 13 review
The Saucony Guide 13 belongs to the brand's most popular stability shoe line. It has the standard pricing of $120, and it is a mid-light daily trainer that could also be used for racing for those needing a stable ride.
It incorporates a brand new upper and midsole while still providing the moderate to lighter stability that the Guide has always offered. So far, it’s looking solid.
The tried and tested arch support
The Guide 13 provides stability in the standard method: the midsole material directly below the arch (pictured as the white flat strip) is significantly firmer than the rest of the midsole.
This is known as a medial support post. In fact, right out of the box, the support post doesn’t squish at all. This mechanism guides the foot through the foot strike without any tilting or pronation of the foot inwards.
The only change is that the medial post does not extend to the upper part of the midsole where it would make contact with the foot. This should decrease arch irritation and give the shoe a more consistent ride.
Note that this medial support post does not help outwards tilting or supination (it could actually make it worse). In practice, the medial support post is barely even felt and it isn’t tiresome nor painful to run against.
Outsole looks promising
The outsole is quite standard, with rubber covering nearly all of the bottom surface. Gaps in the rubber in the forefoot are found going from left to right (up and down in the picture below) to help promote flexibility of the forefoot.
The durability of the outsole is yet to be determined, but since the setup looks fairly standard.
Heel fit is comfy
Like the outsole, the heel is fairly standard. It appears to be very similar to the other new Saucony shoes such as the Triumph 17.
The heel counter is sturdy and well fitted. It required slight breaking in to become accustomed to the rigidity, but it is perfectly functional.
The inside is padded with a soft foam all around the outside, giving it a comfortable, accommodating feel.
It is exactly what one would expect in a good, standard heel. There is little to no irritation between the Achilles tendon and the shoe.
The tongue is also padded with the same material, making it thick and non-abrasive. The entire ankle-region as a whole is designed for comfort, so the emphasis is definitely on everyday running.
Only one complaint: With the runner's knot, the laces are too short, making them difficult to tie.
The new upper on Guide 13 makes it right
The new upper is a form-fitting mesh that stretches to the shape of your foot. As a result, the upper fits very well. The upper also does a nice job of keeping the foot locked in place while still allowing the foot to stretch out to its preferred shape.
This is key for a stability shoe, as many stability shoe uppers are overly invasive in their attempts to prevent pronation. Blisters received from previous stability shoes were almost nonexistent with the Guide.
The toe box is satisfactory, although there could be space for the pinky toe.
Welcome upgrades in the midsole
Saucony has made a major upgrade to the midsoles of all of its shoes by switching materials from Everrun to Pwrrun.
As a result, the midsole of the Guide 13 is softer and lighter. According to Saucony’s website, it is 28% lighter and also increases flexibility, durability, and bounce.
To those familiar with Adidas shoes, Pwrrun is very similar to Boost (they are both TPU based).
The ride is barely noticeable, which is amazing. It is light enough and well enough designed that the shoe feels like it disappears. Good foot-strike, toe-off, and general mechanics are encouraged by the shoe.
Looks of the Saucony Guide 13
The aesthetics of the shoe have received a major upgrade. The new upper gives the shoe a sleek look, and the wavy midsole matches the stripes on the upper nicely.
The colorways are subtly stylish and I especially like the grey-on-black combo. Best of all, the Saucony logo is reflective which gives flare to the aesthetic. Unlike previous Saucony shoes, it doesn’t look like it's from 20 years ago.
So far, the shoe is a step in the right direction. After a little breaking in, there weren’t any major concerns. The support is non-invasive but still functional. The upper is accommodating and comfortable.
Pain is all but eliminated with a support formula that works and is being constantly improved. Without any major problems, wearing the Guides is like wearing a shoe that isn’t there because, with the Guide 13s, running isn’t about the feet, it’s about running.