If you’ve tried the Saucony Triumph and you found it too soft and unstable, the Ride 17 is a great alternative. If you want a no frills trainer similar to the Pegasus or Ghost but with a more lively ride, the Ride 17 is a good option.
If you’re looking for a lightweight trainer for mostly speed work, the Ride 17 is not your shoe.
Of all the mid-range, neutral daily trainers, the underrated Ride series from Saucony is not one of the most popular ones. You will see far more Pegasus, Ghosts, Cliftons, or Novablasts on the roads these days. The main reason for this is that the Ride lacks flair.
It doesn’t look very exciting and it doesn’t have an exciting ride, mainly due to its old fashioned EVA midsole. The Nike Pegasus and Brooks Ghost also lack flair but they have built up loyal fanbases.
In the Saucony range, the Endorphin Speed has a lot more flair than the Ride: it’s softer, more energetic, lighter and it has a plate in its midsole. Even though it was designed to be a speed trainer, many runners now use it as a daily trainer instead of the Ride.
I reviewed the Ride 16 last year and I really enjoyed how versatile it was. I normally prefer soft trainers but I didn’t find it too firm. What I liked most about it was how easily it could pick up the pace. It was one of my favourite daily trainers of 2022.
In the Saucony midsole foam pecking order, PWRRUN HG is on top, followed by PWRRUN PB, PWRRUN+, and then PWRRUN. The Ride series has used PWRRUN as its main midsole foam for the last 4 versions, since the Ride 13. It makes sense that this year’s Ride 17 midsole gets upgraded to PWRRUN+.
The Ride 17 now weighs 10.1 oz (286 g), a substantial increase of 1.3 oz (37 g) over the Ride 16. It has an extra 2 mm of stack height. It now measures 37 mm in the heel, 29 mm in the forefoot and it still costs $140.
My first run was an 8 km easy run. It didn’t blow me away but I was really pleased with how balanced and how stable it felt. What I liked most about it was that the ride felt more modern than previous Ride versions. There was more rebound and more cushioning depth.
I also appreciated the fact that there was no squeaky sound with each footstrike. This was noticeable in the Ride 15 with its glossy EVA midsole.
The shoe that it reminded me of most was the Saucony Freedom 4. The Freedom 4 had a PWRRUN PB midsole which is a step above PWRRUN+ but the rides felt similar. The Ride 17 felt more cushioned and more comfortable than the Freedom 4.
The Ride 17 has a simple but effective upper and it’s made from a mesh which is of average breathability. My favourite feature is the perforated side panels which allow air to flow in.
The tongue is gusseted but Saucony made the mistake of not adding a loop on the tongue so there’s still some tongue slide. Heel lockdown is great without the need to use a runner’s knot.
It has a true to size fit with a normal heel, a roomy midfoot and forefoot but a narrow toe box. I have to cinch the laces at the midfoot section more than usual to get a good lockdown and I think that the midfoot could be a bit more fitted.
If you lowered the stack height of the Triumph and made its midsole wider, the result would be the Ride 17. Both Saucony trainers have PWRRUN+ midsoles but the Ride 17 feels firmer and more stable. It also has a wider midsole base than the Ride 16.
There aren’t many non-plated daily trainers which are more versatile than the Ride 17. Easy runs, moderately paced runs and short tempo runs are all very comfortable in it. It’s a textbook daily trainer.
Its midsole is cushioned enough for you to run a full marathon in it and it has smooth transitions which make it easy for you to get into a rhythm. While it doesn’t have SpeedRoll technology (a high toe spring & rocker), it also doesn’t feel sluggish.
The Ride has never been a soft daily trainer and I also wouldn’t describe the 17th version as soft. The Brooks Ghost Max (and 15) are firmer than the Ride 17 but the other daily trainers are softer and more squishy. The Ride 17 encourages fast-paced daily runs.
The new PWRRUN+ midsole is a big step up from the previous one and it provides a decent amount of energy return. It’s not nearly as bouncy as ZoomX or Puma’s Nitro foam but it feels lively enough to make daily junk miles not feel like a chore.
The big difference between the Ride 17 and other old school trainers like the Pegasus 40/Ghost 15 is that in the Ride 17, you exert less energy doing the same pace. The Ghost 16 gets a new nitrogen infused midsole next year and it will be interesting to see how it compares.
The Ride 17 still has a thick, removable insole made of PWWRUN+. This provides even more cushioning and comfort directly under your feet, and gives it a plusher, more luxurious feel than something like the Endorphin Speed which doesn’t have it.
Thick, hard rubber protects the foam on the outsole and there’s more rubber than on the Ride 16. PWRRUN+ is also a durable foam so you won’t see much wear early on. This is easily one of the most durable daily trainer outsoles on the market. Due to the outsole being so hard and thick, it makes a slappy sound when it strikes the road or pavement. This takes some time to get used to.
PWRRUN+ is more resistant to creasing and compression over time than PWWRUN, so you can expect the Ride 17 to retain its cushioning longer than any of its predecessors.
The Ride 17 is an excellent update. While it still doesn’t have much flair, the wider base and the change of midsole foam makes a big difference. The Ride 17 doesn’t feel flat anymore; it feels like a really polished, modern trainer which can handle most types of runs. I feel that the extra 2 mm of stack height makes it even more versatile.
As a mid-range, neutral daily trainer, there’s not much wrong with the Ride 17. It has durability and comfort in spades, and it represents better value than the Triumph 21 which also has a PWRRUN+ midsole.
Its biggest drawback is that its weight is on the higher side for a daily trainer compared to the competition but it does have a more lively ride than most. I don’t mind the extra weight because I won’t be using it for racing or speedwork.
The Novablast 3 which is the same price, is the Ride 17’s biggest, non-plated competitor. It weighs over an ounce less than the Ride 17 and it also has a modern, versatile ride.
The Ride however is more stable and more durable than the Novablast.