Whether you’re an obsessive runner with an array of shoes to suit every occasion or a casual pavement-pounder who’s looking to cover all the bases with one pair of shoes, the Saucony Ride ISO merits your consideration. That’s because it’s a superb cushioned trainer that feels great on the foot from the first stop to the last, no matter how long or fast the run is.
When I first slipped on the Ride ISO I was taken aback by how plush it feels. The extra padding around the upper and tongue and the substantial cushioning give it the feel of a shoe like the Saucony Triumph ISO or Brooks Glycerin, both models that are designed to be as comfortable as possible, with less concern for speed or weight. The Ride ISO, in contrast, offers similar comfort in a fairly lightweight frame (275g men’s size 9) that’s built to handle faster stuff almost as well as your long runs.
The comfort is partly due to the redesigned upper, which is the biggest change to its predecessor, the Ride 10. The Ride ISO is named after the ISOFIT lacing system, which has separate eyelets to help the upper mould to the shape of your foot. If you’ve found that other running shoes feel tight around the top of your midfoot, this ISOFIT system will be a joy to use, but if you have narrow feet you do have to crank the laces quite firmly to lock your foot in place. Once you finish fiddling with the laces, the upper fits snugly without being oppressive, and the toe box is also generously sized.
As you’d hope given the name of the shoe, the ride is where the Ride ISO really excels. It’s as smooth as silk, which is exactly what you want from a daily trainer. I wore the Ride ISO for a variety of runs and was pleasantly surprised at how well it handled faster training in particular. It looks far chunkier than it feels when running, with a seamless heel-to-toe transition and just the right amount of firmness. It doesn’t feel as responsive as a snappy racing shoe like the Adidas Adios or Saucony Type A, but the Ride is no slouch. It’s similar to the Nike Pegasus line in that it’s a solid pick for all your training and racing needs if you only want to invest in one pair.
On longer, steadier runs, the Ride ISO shines. The smooth ride, comfortable upper and lightweight cushioning all become more beneficial the more kilometres you rack up. Even if you prefer a slighter shoe for races and track sessions, the Ride ISO will do a grand job of covering the rest of your running. I’d also say that for many people it will be a great pick for half marathon or marathon races thanks to the smart balance of cushioning and weight; if you’re a heavier runner or just find lightweight racers lacking in support, the Ride ISO will suit for 5Ks and 10Ks too.
Saucony has also upgraded its style chops of late, and while you can still get a men’s bright blue with orange accents colourway that puffs out its chest and proudly announces “I AM A RUNNING SHOE” (women, your purple and turquoise option does the same), the Ride ISO also comes in Saucony’s White Noise colourway. It’s a style treatment that spans Saucony’s range and combines a flecked white upper with a block colour midsole. They’d work with a casual outfit, just try not to get them too dirty when using them for their intended purpose.
The Nike Pegasus line has long been the gold-standard all-rounder, light enough to run fast and race in but cushioned enough to handle big mileage. The Ride ISO is a contender for that crown, offering more comfort than the Pegasus without losing anything in terms of speed. If you’re a one-pair runner, this could well be the pair.
£120, buy on saucony.com