Our verdict

The Saucony Ride 17 is more than just a minor update—it's a significant overhaul, especially with the all-new midsole that enhances energy return and responsiveness. In our lab tests, we were impressed by its superb durability, remarkable stability and the spacious upper, perfectly accommodating wide feet for a superbly comfortable fit. Despite its strengths, the Ride 17 has some limitations. It remains somewhat heavy for its stack height, and, in our lab tests, the new mesh upper fell really short of our expectations for breathability.

Pros

  • Incredible value
  • Most cushioned Ride yet
  • Roomy upper
  • Enhanced stability
  • Upgraded PWRRUN+ midsole
  • Best-in-class durability
  • Superior lockdown

Cons

  • Narrow toecap
  • Subpar breathability
  • Could be lighter

Audience verdict

86
Good!
  • Top 12% most popular running shoes

Who should buy

We're convinced the Saucony Ride 17 is a top pick for:

  • Runners in search of a reliable daily trainer known for its exceptional durability and performance across various distances.
  • Loyal fans of the Ride series eager to experience the latest version's enhanced, more responsive midsole for a bouncier feel with every stride.
  • Those who prefer a neutral running shoe with a wide forefoot and a generously roomy upper.

Saucony Ride 17

Who should NOT buy

While the Saucony Ride 17 stands out as an exceptional daily workhorse for racking up the miles, we've concluded that it doesn't excel in breathability. This becomes a significant drawback for those who frequently run in hot weather.

We highly recommend considering an alternative daily trainer with better ventilation, such as the Brooks Ghost Max or the ASICS Novablast 4, for those warmer runs.

Saucony Ride 17 parts

Moreover, although the Ride 17 offers a great level of cushioning, it may not satisfy runners seeking a maximalist shoe. For those desiring a daily trainer with even more cushioning, we believe the ASICS Nimbus 26 would be a more fitting choice.

Breathability

The Saucony Ride 17's upper might look highly breathable at first glance, but in the lab, we prefer concrete evidence over assumptions. And launching into our analysis with a smoke test, the results were pretty disappointing.

Contrary to our expectations, the smoke test revealed the Ride 17's breathability to be lacklustre at 2/5. Despite its large ventilation holes, smoke evacuation was minimal, especially in the toebox. This was a stark contrast to the performance of the Saucony Triumph 20.

Our light test showed plenty of holes, yet it seemed like the smoke couldn't reach or escape through them. We were determined to uncover the reason.

Saucony Ride 17

Under the microscope, we found the first piece of the puzzle. The holes were visible, but an underlying layer blocked airflow.

Saucony Ride 17 microscope

Our hands-on examination provided the definitive proof. An inner layer, designed for comfort in the toebox, ended up compromising breathability significantly by lacking ventilation holes.

We believe Saucony should consider matching the ventilation of this layer to the outer, as other brands successfully do even in cheaper shoes.

Test results
Ride 17 2
Average 3.8
Compared to 234 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Breathability
5

Durability

Toebox durability

Our second test focused on the durability of the engineered mesh upper rather than ventilation.

While the outer layer seemed less robust, the same inner fabric that hindered ventilation some minutes ago impressively maintained the upper's structure. In our Dremel test, this resulted in a solid 3/5 score.

Saucony Ride 17 Toebox durability
Test results
Ride 17 3
Average 2.4
Compared to 168 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Toebox durability
5

Heel padding durability

Transitioning to the heel padding area, our manual assessment led us to anticipate superior performance.

Fortunately, our expectations were met—the Ride 17 impressively scored 4/5 in this test. This is excellent news, offering every runner reassurance about the durability in the Achilles area.

Saucony Ride 17 Heel padding durability
Test results
Ride 17 4
Average 3.2
Compared to 164 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Heel padding durability
5

Outsole hardness

Shifting our focus to the outsole, we were eager to see if the Ride 17 would maintain the positive momentum from the initial tests.

Saucony Ride 17 outsole

The outsole showcases numerous cutouts and a substantial amount of exposed foam to minimise weight.

Before firing up the Dremel once more, we assessed the outsole's hardness. On our Shore C Durometer, it registered at 86.0 HC—significantly firm, indicating Saucony's intent to ensure outstanding durability. We were curious to see if this would indeed be the case.

Saucony Ride 17 Outsole hardness
Test results
Ride 17 86.0 HC
Average 80.5 HC
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 285 running shoes
Number of shoes
52.1 HC
Outsole hardness
93.0 HC

Outsole durability

Our final Dremel test was the most intense yet, fitting given the hard rubber we were examining.

Upon measuring the indentation left by the tool, we were thrilled. The Dremel barely made a dent, removing just 0.3mm of foam—yet another proof to the Ride 17's jaw-dropping durability.

Saucony Ride 17 Outsole durability
Test results
Ride 17 0.3 mm
Average 0.9 mm
Compared to 146 running shoes
Number of shoes
0.0 mm
Outsole wear
2.0 mm

Outsole thickness

We still had to gauge the outsole's thickness, which stood at 3.4mm.

Saucony Ride 17 outsole thick

Given the impressive durability of the Ride 17's outsole, we're convinced that a reduction to 2 or 2.5mm could shave off some weight without risking premature wear.

Saucony Ride 17 Outsole thickness
Test results
Ride 17 3.4 mm
Average 3.2 mm
Compared to 304 running shoes
Number of shoes
0.0 mm
Outsole thickness
6.6 mm

Weight

The Ride 17 isn't particularly heavy, nor is it featherlight—it comfortably occupies the middle ground, slightly tipping the scales above the 10-oz benchmark at 10.2 oz (288g) although it's 0.9 oz heavier than the Ride 16.

Yet, with daily trainers trending lighter in recent years, we believe Saucony should aim to trim at least one ounce off this model for the next version.

Saucony Ride 17 Weight
Test results
Ride 17 10.16 oz (288g)
Average 9.38 oz (266g)
Compared to 305 running shoes
Number of shoes
5.26 oz (149g)
Weight
12.56 oz (356g)

Cushioning

Heel stack

The primary factor behind the weight increase from previous versions is the increased stack height.

The Ride 17 boasts a heel stack of 35.1mm, which is 1.8 mm taller than its predecessor, earning our seal of approval for heel strikers.

Saucony Ride 17 Heel stack
Test results
Ride 17 35.1 mm
Average 33.7 mm
Compared to 304 running shoes
Number of shoes
7.6 mm
Heel stack
45.7 mm

Forefoot stack

We measured the forefoot stack as well, clocking in at 26.6 mm with our digital calliper. Just like the heel, the Ride 17's forefoot is slightly thicker than its predecessors, aligning with current trends.

Saucony Ride 17 Forefoot stack
Test results
Ride 17 26.6 mm
Average 25.0 mm
Compared to 304 running shoes
Number of shoes
7.6 mm
Forefoot stack
36.9 mm

Drop

Saucony claims an 8-mm heel-to-toe drop for the Ride 17—a standard feature throughout the series and the most common offset in daily trainers. Following the official guidelines from World Athletics, we clocked an 8.5-mm drop, which is super close.

An 8.5-mm drop suggests the shoe suits a wide range of runners, making it versatile for various footstrikes. However, we believe that forefoot strikers might find a shoe with a lower drop, such as the Hoka Clifton 9, more to their liking.

Saucony Ride 17 Drop
Test results
Ride 17 8.5 mm
Average 8.7 mm
Compared to 304 running shoes
Number of shoes
-0.8 mm
Drop
16.1 mm

Insole thickness

The insole is exceptionally cushioned, surpassing last year's Ride model with a plush 6.7 mm thickness measured on our durometer. True to Saucony's heritage, this isn't just any ordinary insole—it's exceptionally soft, ensuring a comfortable ride.

Saucony Ride 17 Insole thickness
Test results
Ride 17 6.7 mm
Average 4.5 mm
Compared to 300 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.

The midsole showcases the most significant update in this shoe compared to previous versions.

Saucony swapped the PWRRUN compound for the more resilient and softer PWRRUN+, enhancing the TPU formula across various aspects while retaining all the positive attributes of its predecessor.

Our durometer reading of 19.0 HA indicates a balanced approach that offers a moderately soft ride. This sensation is amplified underfoot by the thick insole, making it feel even softer than anticipated.

Saucony Ride 17 Midsole softness
Test results
Ride 17 19.0 HA
Average 21.4 HA
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 232 running shoes
Number of shoes
8.5 HA
Midsole softness (soft to firm)
41.5 HA

Difference in midsole softness in cold

In colder conditions, the TPU-based PWRRUN+ foam becomes just 20.4% stiffer—a result that's quite favorable, especially in a £140 shoe.

Saucony Ride 17 Difference in midsole softness in cold
Test results
Ride 17 20.4%
Average 25.5%
Compared to 231 running shoes
Number of shoes
0%
Difference in midsole softness in cold
100%

Stability

Lateral stability test

While the Ride 17 doesn't venture into stability shoe territory—leave that to the Saucony Tempus—we discovered that it offers a stable ride for neutral runners, a noteworthy feat considering its midsole is significantly softer than that of its predecessor. Let's find out why.

Torsional rigidity

The key to the enhanced stability in the Ride 17 lies in its increased rigidity. Unlike the Ride 16, which was highly flexible with a 1/5 score in our rigidity test, the Ride 17 achieved a 3/5—indicating a stiffer build.

Saucony Ride 17 rigid

This stiffer construction translates to added stability and a more secure feel with each stride. However, this rigidity comes at a cost, making the shoe feel less natural and somewhat compromising the comfortable ride experienced in previous models. It's a classic trade-off scenario where you can't enjoy the best of both worlds.

Test results
Ride 17 3
Average 3.2
Compared to 283 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Torsional rigidity
5

Heel counter stiffness

The heel counter is just average (3/5), aligning with our expectations for a shoe designed to perform well across a broad spectrum of paces and distances.

Test results
Ride 17 3
Average 2.8
Compared to 267 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Heel counter stiffness
5

Midsole width in the forefoot

From the moment we got our hands on the Ride 17 in the lab and took it for a spin, we sensed its substantial size, particularly in the forefoot. Our surprise was palpable when our callipers showed a 125.1mm reading—dimensions you'd expect from stability shoes, not a neutral daily trainer.

This wiiide sole results in an incredibly stable ride for midfoot and forefoot strikers. However, it does lend the shoe a somewhat bulky feel, especially when taking corners.

Saucony Ride 17 Midsole width in the forefoot
Test results
Ride 17 125.1 mm
Average 113.7 mm
Compared to 305 running shoes
Number of shoes
100.5 mm
Midsole width in the forefoot
126.5 mm

Midsole width in the heel

The heel diverges from the forefoot's design, offering a slightly wider base at 93.8mm than what's typically seen in daily mileage workhorses. Consequently, rearfoot strikers might discover enhanced stability in this model compared to its rivals.

Saucony Ride 17 Midsole width in the heel
Test results
Ride 17 93.8 mm
Average 90.5 mm
Compared to 305 running shoes
Number of shoes
74.9 mm
Midsole width in the heel
106.6 mm

Flexibility

Stiffness

The Ride 17 turned out a bit stiffer than we'd prefer in a daily trainer, likely due to its increasing stack each year.

In our 90-degree bend test, it registered 29.4N—not the stiffest, but far from the most flexible. For those seeking more underfoot flexibility and a natural feel, we believe that the Nike InfinityRN 4 is a better fit.

Test results
Ride 17 29.4N
Average 29.2N
We use an average of four tests. The video shows one of those tests.
Compared to 287 running shoes
Number of shoes
2.2N
Stiffness
94.4N

Difference in stiffness in cold

Repeating the procedure we used on the midsole—measuring stiffness after a 20-minute freezer session—we found it only became 3.1% stiffer.

This is an absolutely delightful outcome, only possible because of the fantastic PWRRUN+ midsole. Unlike EVA, TPU works wonders in cold temperatures.

Test results
Ride 17 3.1%
Average 35.9%
Compared to 287 running shoes
Number of shoes
0%
Difference in stiffness in cold
148%

Size and fit

Toebox width at the widest part

If you're searching for a spacious daily trainer, we believe the Saucony Ride 17 is an excellent choice.

Saucony Ride 17 upper

We measured a generous 101.4mm in the upper's widest part, making it one of the roomiest daily trainers we've ever tested in the lab. However, there's a catch.

Saucony Ride 17 Toebox width at the widest part
Test results
Ride 17 101.4 mm
Average 98.4 mm
Compared to 305 running shoes
Number of shoes
89.5 mm
Toebox width at the widest part
109.1 mm

Toebox width at the big toe

Our second measurement in the toebox highlights the need for taking two evaluations.

The Ride 17 tapers somewhat aggressively, reducing the space in the toe area to 76.6mm. While it accommodates wide feet well, it's optimal only for those without a square foot shape.

Saucony Ride 17 Toebox width at the big toe
Test results
Ride 17 76.6 mm
Average 78.2 mm
Compared to 179 running shoes
Number of shoes
60.4 mm
Toebox width at the big toe
92.5 mm

Tongue: gusset type

Upon our initial inspection of the tongue, we were delighted to discover it's semi-gusseted—a superb feature for a daily trainer like this, and absolutely a must for wide toeboxes.

This feature is a real plus, especially considering not every shoe priced at £140 offers this.

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

Comfort

Tongue padding

The tongue boasts an impressive 9.0mm of padding, ensuring superb comfort.

Saucony Ride 17 tongue

It's equipped with a full slab of foam that, in our experience, completely eradicates lace bite—no matter how tightly you tie your laces or how far you run.

Saucony Ride 17 Tongue padding
Test results
Ride 17 9.0 mm
Average 5.6 mm
Compared to 302 running shoes
Number of shoes
0.5 mm
Tongue padding
14.2 mm

Heel tab

The Ride 17's heel features a finger-loop tab, intended for easier foot entry. However, this design not only appears kinda cheap and tear-prone but also makes it challenging to hook a finger through the loop.

We believe a more robust, premium heel tab would significantly improve the next Ride—something akin to the ASICS Superblast.

Saucony Ride 17 Heel tab
Test results
Ride 17 Finger loop

Removable insole

We discovered that the insole isn't glued to the midsole and is completely removable. This makes swapping it out hassle-free, especially given its standard shape.

Saucony Ride 17 Removable insole
Test results
Ride 17 Yes

Misc

Reflective elements

Yes! The Ride 17 boasts reflective elements that enhance safety during post-sunset runs.

Test results
Ride 17 Yes