Our verdict

The Guide 17 is a significant evolution from its predecessors. We put it to the test and were impressed by Saucony's departure from traditional stability features, offering a rockered ride. And despite a slight decrease in agility from its wider midsole, the shoe still maintains a competitive weight. Therefore, we believe it's a great upgrade, standing out as a top choice for anyone in search of a modern stability shoe that's reasonably priced.

Pros

  • Enhanced stability features
  • Improved stack height
  • Spacious upper
  • Lightweight
  • Fairly priced
  • Smoother transitions with new rocker
  • Premium PWRRUN+ sockliner

Cons

  • Grip could be better
  • Less agile than before
  • Exposed outsole

Audience verdict

90
Superb!

Who should buy

In our lab tests, the Saucony Guide 17 emerged as a top pick for:

  • Lovers of the Guide series looking for the most dynamic version yet.
  • Those in need of a moderate stability shoe that offers solid value and a comfortable upper.
  • Runners with a mild pronation or a neutral stride seeking a reliable daily trainer with just the right amount of non-intrusive support.

Saucony Guide 17

Who should NOT buy

In our testing of the Saucony Guide 17, we've noted it lacks the energetic underfoot feel many runners look for—its ride can feel somewhat dull. Runners seeking a more lively bounce would do well to consider the ASICS Gel Kayano 30, which offers a superior midsole. And for those prioritizing a lighter shoe, the Hoka Arahi 7 emerges as the top choice.

Moreover, we believe the Guide 17 may not be the best fit for those with severe pronation issues. It has moved away from traditional stability features, and for those in this category, there are more suitable options on the market like the Hoka Gaviota 5.

Saucony Guide 17

Breathability

Despite the ample ventilation holes in the Saucony Guide 17, our smoke test revealed that airflow didn't meet our expectations. It scored a modest 3/5 in our evaluation, indicating that while the shoe is competent for most climates, it might not be ideal on extremely hot days.

This outcome was somewhat unexpected, particularly because the light test suggested excellent breathability. This highlights the value of conducting various tests to accurately gauge a shoe's ventilation capabilities—not relying solely on one method.

During the light test, we noted that ventilation is concentrated in the forefoot, tapering off towards the medial side. This design choice is strategic for a stability shoe, enhancing support where it's most crucial.

Saucony Guide 17 micro

Closer inspection with the microscope revealed a typical engineered mesh upper, consisting of a primary breathable layer and a secondary layer beneath that adds structure and comfort but somewhat restricts airflow.

Saucony Guide 17 micro 2

The upper's toebox area is notably stretchy, adding to the shoe's comfort, and the heel is exceptionally well-padded.

The rest of the upper offers standard comfort levels, striking a deliberate balance between weight and plushness.

Test results
Guide 17 3
Average 3.8
Compared to 235 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Breathability
5

Durability

Toebox durability

As we proved before, the engineered mesh incorporates numerous ventilation gaps for enhanced breathability, which initially raised concerns about its durability here in the lab, as such openings can often become points of weakness in the upper's structure.

Nonetheless, Saucony's mesh design, while unremarkable on its own, consists of multiple layers. This layered approach ensures that when the outermost, softer layer is compromised during our Dremel testing, a secondary layer remains to prevent extensive damage, leading us to award a 3/5 durability score in our lab evaluation.

Saucony Guide 17 Toebox durability
Test results
Guide 17 3
Average 2.4
Compared to 169 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Toebox durability
5

Heel padding durability

The heel of the Guide 17 not only offers luxurious, comfortable padding but is also wrapped in a fabric that exudes durability. Eager to see its resilience, we put it through our rigorous Dremel test.

To our delight, it performed exceptionally well, securing a perfect 5/5 score from our team. With such outstanding durability, we're confident in asserting that the Guide 17 will withstand premature wear in the heel area, even for runners who typically experience durability issues here.

Saucony Guide 17 Heel padding durability
Test results
Guide 17 5
Average 3.2
Compared to 165 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Heel padding durability
5

Outsole hardness

The Guide 16's outsole was too hard at 92.0 HC, leading to subpar grip. Saucony made some changes in the Guide 17 with a softer rubber at 88.8 HC, but in our experience, traction still falls short.

Saucony Guide 17 outsole

It's nice to see Saucony's signature branding on the outsole, because it looks just like a Hoka. Oh, and that forefoot groove works wonders in terms of flexibility.

Seems clear to us that Saucony had to balance between durability and grip due to the large amount of rubber used in the outsole. They opted for a tougher rubber to increase lifespan, sacrificing grip in the process. That's it.

Saucony Guide 17 Outsole hardness
Test results
Guide 17 88.8 HC
Average 80.5 HC
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 286 running shoes
Number of shoes
52.1 HC
Outsole hardness
93.0 HC

Outsole durability

The compromise paid off! Unlike the lackluster performance of some harder rubbers in our durability tests, the Guide 17 excelled impressively.

After halting the Dremel and taking new measurements, we observed a mere 0.6-mm wear—indicative of remarkable longevity.

Saucony Guide 17 Outsole durability
Test results
Guide 17 0.6 mm
Average 0.9 mm
Compared to 147 running shoes
Number of shoes
0.0 mm
Outsole wear
2.0 mm

Outsole thickness

With the rubber thickness at a solid 3.0 mm, we're confident that even heel strikers with significant pronation won't encounter rubber major wear issues.

However, the concern lies with the exposed foam areas not protected by the outsole—prompting us to recommend this shoe only for road running or treadmills. Caution is really advised against venturing onto rougher terrains like gravel roads.

Saucony Guide 17 Outsole thickness
Test results
Guide 17 3.0 mm
Average 3.2 mm
Compared to 305 running shoes
Number of shoes
0.0 mm
Outsole thickness
6.6 mm

Weight

Saucony has impressively managed to bulk up the stack height for enhanced cushioning in the Guide 17 without crossing the 10-oz mark, maintaining it at only 9.7 oz or 275g.

This achievement mirrors the weight of its predecessor, yet offers significantly more foam underfoot.

Saucony Guide 17 Weight
Test results
Guide 17 9.70 oz (275g)
Average 9.38 oz (266g)
Compared to 306 running shoes
Number of shoes
5.26 oz (149g)
Weight
12.56 oz (356g)

Cushioning

Heel stack

We previously mentioned Saucony's increase in stack height, so let's delve into the specifics, as it significantly enhances the cushioning experience underfoot.

Saucony Guide 17 heel

In our measurements, the heel boasts a towering 34.9 mm of cushioning, marking a noteworthy 2.3 mm increase from the prior version of the Guide. This enhancement is particularly beneficial for heel strikers, and it's impressive that this was achieved without any compromise to the shoe's weight.

Saucony Guide 17 Heel stack
Test results
Guide 17 34.9 mm
Average 33.7 mm
Compared to 305 running shoes
Number of shoes
7.6 mm
Heel stack
45.7 mm

Forefoot stack

In the front of the shoe there's also more PWRRUN cushioning working to protect your joints! Our measurements revealed a forefoot thickness of 27.9 mm, marking a significant 3.1 mm increase from the previous model.

This confirms that the Guide 17 isn't just more cushioned for those who strike with their rearfoot but enhances the ride for all types of runners. 

Saucony Guide 17 Forefoot stack
Test results
Guide 17 27.9 mm
Average 25.0 mm
Compared to 305 running shoes
Number of shoes
7.6 mm
Forefoot stack
36.9 mm

Drop

Our caliper measurements reveal a 7-mm heel-to-toe drop, a slight deviation from the official 6 mm. This minor difference is so subtle that it's essentially undetectable.

Saucony Guide 17 Drop
Test results
Guide 17 7.0 mm
Average 8.7 mm
Compared to 305 running shoes
Number of shoes
-0.8 mm
Drop
16.1 mm

Insole thickness

The Saucony Guide 17's insole stands out as one of the plushest we've encountered in our evaluations. Its remarkable 6.7 mm thickness pairs with the premium PWRRUN+ cushioning, surpassing even the quality found in the shoe's midsole (PWRRUN).

This combination delivers an exceptionally soft and supportive underfoot experience while running and walking.

Saucony Guide 17 Insole thickness
Test results
Guide 17 6.7 mm
Average 4.5 mm
Compared to 301 running shoes
Number of shoes
1.5 mm
Insole thickness
7.3 mm

Midsole softness

Note: a low durometer measurement equals a soft material, whereas a high measurement means it's firm.

As we discovered just before, Saucony has impressively managed to incorporate more of the reliable PWRRUN foam underfoot. While we were holding out for the introduction of PWRRUN+ for that extra bit of bounce and energy return, it seems that enhancement might be on hold until the next iteration.

Nevertheless, the current PWRRUN foam does a good job offering reliability, durability, respectable energy return, and ample stability.

Saucony Guide 17 PWRRUN foam

Our tests show it registering at 22.3 HA on the durometer, striking a balance that steers away from plush midsoles, which aren't typically desired in a stability shoe. Still, we can't help but yearn for that PWRRUN+ upgrade!

Saucony Guide 17 Midsole softness
Test results
Guide 17 22.3 HA
Average 21.4 HA
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 233 running shoes
Number of shoes
8.5 HA
Midsole softness (soft to firm)
41.5 HA

Difference in midsole softness in cold

PWRRUN combines EVA and TPU, creating an interesting blend for this cold temperature test. EVA tends to harden significantly in the cold, whereas TPU maintains a consistent feel.

Our experiment revealed a 24.2% increase after a 20-minute freezer session, a result we consider quite acceptable. Typically, TPU's performance change is less, and EVA alone can see a 30-40% increase under similar conditions, so this seems totally reasonable.

Saucony Guide 17 Difference in midsole softness in cold
Test results
Guide 17 24.2%
Average 25.5%
Compared to 232 running shoes
Number of shoes
0%
Difference in midsole softness in cold
100%

Rocker

Until the latest version, the Saucony Guide series had barely any rocker—something that's changed dramatically with the v17. In our tests, we noticed a very evident rocker at both the heel and toe.

Saucony Guide 17 rocker

While this might come as a surprise or even be undesired to some, we believe it enhances the shoe's transitions and adds a layer of stability, making it a change we welcome with open arms. And for those who aren't fans of rockered shoes, the market still offers excellent alternatives—such as the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 23.

Stability

Lateral stability test

Stability is the cornerstone of the Saucony Guide 17—everything else takes a back seat. We're pleased to report the shoe excels in its primary mission. 

Marketed as a moderate stability shoe, it caters to the vast majority of runners without resorting to traditional methods like medial posts. Saucony has finally embraced new stability techniques such as enhanced midsole walls, sole flares, and a rockered shape, aligning with the latest industry trends for a more natural stability solution.

Torsional rigidity

The Guide series has always stood out for its remarkable flexibility, even among stability shoes. 

However, moving away from more obtrusive stability features like medial posts has led to a slight increase in torsional rigidity. Where the previous Guide scored a 2 out of 5 in flexibility, the latest iteration has moved to a 3 out of 5. Yet, it remains somewhat flexible!

Test results
Guide 17 3
Average 3.3
Compared to 284 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Torsional rigidity
5

Heel counter stiffness

The heel counter in the Saucony Guide 17 boasts a robust stiffness, scoring a solid 4 out of 5 in our evaluations. While there's potential for Saucony to ramp up the rigidity in future iterations for even greater stability, we believe the current level strikes a perfect balance.

This moderate stiffness ensures a harmonious blend of comfort and support, setting a benchmark in moderate stability footwear. Our hope is that Saucony maintains this optimal stiffness, as it adeptly combines support with wearability.

Test results
Guide 17 4
Average 2.8
Compared to 268 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Heel counter stiffness
5

Midsole width in the forefoot

The most striking transformation in the Guide 17 is undoubtedly its broader midsole, a significant leap from its predecessor that's nothing short of astonishing and delivers a massive boost in terms of stability.

The forefoot width has expanded from 114.4 mm in the previous version to 121.0 mm in the latest, offering a more generous platform that enhances support, particularly benefiting those who strike with the midfoot or forefoot.

This change, while impressive, does mean the shoe now feels more like a sedan, diverging slightly from the nimble agility typically associated with a daily trainer.

Saucony Guide 17 Midsole width in the forefoot
Test results
Guide 17 121.0 mm
Average 113.8 mm
Compared to 306 running shoes
Number of shoes
100.5 mm
Midsole width in the forefoot
126.5 mm

Midsole width in the heel

The transformation in the heel width is even more staggering than the forefoot, escalating from 85.8 mm to an astonishing 104.6 mm. This 22% increase is among the most dramatic changes we've encountered in any update.

Saucony Guide 17 heel

This wider heel is a game-changer for stability, particularly benefiting rearfoot strikers, albeit at the expense of a slightly less natural running sensation. Nonetheless, we recognize this as a necessary adaptation to imbue the Guide series with the requisite stability sans conventional support mechanisms. It seems this trend may set the standard for future stability running shoes unless a novel innovation emerges.

Saucony Guide 17 Midsole width in the heel
Test results
Guide 17 104.6 mm
Average 90.5 mm
Compared to 306 running shoes
Number of shoes
74.9 mm
Midsole width in the heel
106.6 mm

Flexibility

Stiffness

Recalling our earlier note on outsole grooves, their role is pivotal in ensuring the Guide retains its hallmark comfort for all-day wear, a necessity for its flexible design—quite the challenge in a maximalist shoe.

Saucony Guide 17 flex

The strategic reduction of rubber in the outsole, coupled with these grooves, significantly contributes to this flexibility. In our 90-degree bend test, the shoe demonstrated a remarkable 22.2N, underscoring its impressive adaptability and ease of movement, making it a standout feature that continues to impress us despite its size.

Test results
Guide 17 22.2N
Average 29.1N
We use an average of four tests. The video shows one of those tests.
Compared to 288 running shoes
Number of shoes
2.2N
Stiffness
94.4N

Difference in stiffness in cold

Despite the presence of some EVA in the PWRRUN foam, our tests revealed only a modest increase in stiffness by 15.5% during our 90-degree bend test under chilly conditions. Fantastic!

Test results
Guide 17 15.5%
Average 35.9%
Compared to 288 running shoes
Number of shoes
0%
Difference in stiffness in cold
148%

Size and fit

Toebox width at the widest part

The midsole dimensions of the Guide 17 have enabled Saucony to design an exceptionally spacious upper, enhancing stability without compromising on comfort.

This approach is a game-changer for those with wide feet. With the upper's widest point measuring a generous 102.1 mm, this iteration is more accommodating than ever, setting a new standard for roominess in the Guide series. And the v16 was already a roomy option!

Saucony Guide 17 Toebox width at the widest part
Test results
Guide 17 102.1 mm
Average 98.4 mm
Compared to 306 running shoes
Number of shoes
89.5 mm
Toebox width at the widest part
109.1 mm

Toebox width at the big toe

The most notable transformation from the Guide 16 is found in the spaciousness of the big toe area.

Saucony Guide 17 upper

We always take two measurements to gain a deeper understanding of the upper's fit, and this approach has once again proven its worth. The toe cap is very roomy too at 80.7 mm, offering increased room for toe splay and enhanced comfort, especially beneficial for those with square-shaped feet.

Saucony Guide 17 Toebox width at the big toe
Test results
Guide 17 80.7 mm
Average 78.2 mm
Compared to 180 running shoes
Number of shoes
60.4 mm
Toebox width at the big toe
92.5 mm

Tongue: gusset type

We were happy to see a half-gusseted tongue again—it's a great fit for this shoe. Just like the last version, it shows that sticking to what works is sometimes the best move.

Saucony Guide 17 Tongue: gusset type
Test results
Guide 17 Both sides (semi)

Comfort

Tongue padding

In a bid for a lighter build, Saucony has pared down the tongue thickness by 3.7 mm compared to the previous model. While the Guide 16 boasted a plush 7.7 mm cushioning, the Guide 17's tongue measures a slimmer 4.0 mm.

Saucony Guide 17 tongue

This reduction, we found, might leave something to be desired for a daily trainer. Most runners will find it sufficient, yet we believe an extra 1 or 2 mm could have struck a perfect balance between comfort and lightness.

Saucony Guide 17 Tongue padding
Test results
Guide 17 4.0 mm
Average 5.6 mm
Compared to 303 running shoes
Number of shoes
0.5 mm
Tongue padding
14.2 mm

Heel tab

The heel boasts a stylish and practical finger-loop pull tab, making it effortless to slip your feet into the Guide 17.

Saucony Guide 17 Heel tab
Test results
Guide 17 Finger loop

Removable insole

The PWRRUN+ sockliner is removable since it's not glued down, offering versatility in customization. Yet, we'd suggest keeping it in place—it's truly one of the highlights of this shoe!

Saucony Guide 17 Removable insole
Test results
Guide 17 Yes

Misc

Reflective elements

We believe that reflective elements are a must-have for any daily trainer to ensure safety. Thankfully, Saucony has incorporated some into the Guide 17.

Test results
Guide 17 Yes