Saucony Ride ISO review
I was looking for a well-cushioned recovery shoe that still had some responsiveness. I heard really good things about the Everun midsole from other users, and I thought I would give these a try since they are not on the obscenely high side of the running shoe price point (about $120).
A bonus is that this gave me an opportunity to try the much-hyped ISO fit system that Saucony is now famous for.
Initial impression of the Saucony Ride ISO
When I first opened the box, the shoe looked pretty basic, but not in the pumpkin spice latte, Ugg boots and scarves kind of way. A simple black and white color scheme were classic, and Saucony added details to the shoe to give the shoe some personality.
First, along with the outer edge of the midsole, they added some feathered black coloring to make the midsole tie into the upper. The monochromatic overlays for the lacing, toe box and logo make it pretty interesting looking.
Speaking of the upper, the mesh is comfortable and flexible which allows a lot of toe splay, something I generally look for in a shoe. For those concerned with breathability, this shoe definitely has it. I never felt that my foot was getting overly hot especially since I think the shoe vents well through the toe box.
The shoe doesn’t fit too narrow, so those with a fuller foot will find that the upper is quite accommodating. Even with the room in the shoe, you can get a good lockdown with the ISO fit system.
I also really liked the heavily padded tongue in the shoe, as it makes lacing the shoe tight feel pretty darn good. The laces also feel like they have some stretchiness to them which allows me to tighten the shoe without cutting off circulation to my foot.
Secure fit in the Ride ISO
The ankle collar provided a lot of padding around the very stiff heel cup in the rear of the shoe. I didn’t feel a lot of heel slippage since I was able to lock down the shoe so well.
The fabric around the collar is quite a silky feeling, and it doesn’t feel like it would irritate my skin if I wanted to try without socks (which I wouldn’t do since I don’t like that feeling).
Chunky but flexible
The construction of the midsole appears to be dual foam system. The Everun foam is heavily present in the forefoot and runs the length of the shoe in different density.
The rest of the shoe is a built-up foam that provides the initial cushioning before hitting the Everun foam. The midsole is fairly flexible in the forefoot, despite having a chunky midsole. But that begs the question of how the Ride ISO performs with all of that.
The Ride ISO is a decent shoe
I have put two months worth of running in this shoe (while rotating other shoes), and I found that overall, it’s a decent running shoe, but not great. There are some things that I don’t like about the shoe, and I will outline my likes and dislikes below.
I found that the shoe was very comfortable when I first laced it up. I felt like it hugged my foot nicely as I walked around the house, but it didn’t feel constricting.
I also found that I was able to get a good “locked-down” feeling without using the extra eyelet at the top of the lacing system. If you are someone that struggles to get your shoe to fit, you won’t have that problem with this shoe.
I cannot fully capture how good this upper feels, but suffice it to say that it feels like a nice comforter wrapped snuggly around your foot with an Ace bandage (if that makes sense). In short, it feels good when you first lace it up, and the comfort continues through your run.
I can’t say enough good things about the design and comfort of the upper because I am a big fan of how the upper felt on my foot and the overall fit of the shoe. I didn’t have any issues with hotspots, rubbing, blisters or heat buildup because of the upper.
Comfort & cushioning
As I started doing a lot of runs in this shoe to put it through its paces, I found that this shoe’s cushioning performed better in certain scenarios than others.
My first run in the shoe was an interval workout on the treadmill and I was pleased with the performance of the cushion out of the box. I was able to do four miles in the shoe, and it didn’t feel like it needed a break in period at all.
The upper didn’t rub, and the cushioning felt good throughout the run. The forefoot cushion felt plusher and more responsive than the slightly stiff heel cushioning. As I ran in the shoe more, on roads, hills, and track, I felt like there were some issues with the cushioning that I wasn’t happy with.
The forefoot cushioning is great, as noted above, so during uphill runs and faster track workouts, the cushioning felt great, though the upper felt a bit sloppy in the toe box at higher speeds.
At a slower pace, like my long runs or my shakeout runs, the cushioning did not feel so good. The heel foam felt very unresponsive and stiff.
A bigger problem that I found is that my knees started to hurt on longer runs, which is not something I have experienced with a lot of shoes. It could be because the heel is built up slightly asymmetrically.
It could also be that the foam in the heel was so stiff that it was causing the pain. Either way, I had to stop using this shoe for longer runs as it was not prudent if it was causing knee pain. I would say that I wouldn’t have noticed this if I was an extreme forefoot (not midfoot or heel) striker.
Durability of the Saucony Ride ISO
I have run in these shoes for a while and put a lot of miles on them, and the outsole shows very little wear. The only place that I could see wear was along the middle of the tread pattern, but not too much.
The midsole hasn’t broken down at any part of the shoe, which is unusual since I usually see wrinkling in the midsole on most shoes that I have tried.
I also haven’t seen any signs of wear on the fantastic upper. There was some caving in around the toe box, but that is probably because I don’t loosen the laces when I put them away in their home for the night.
If you are looking for a shoe that you that lasts, that you can probably get about 400 miles or more, this is a great option.
Tip: see the best running shoes.