MERCER: The Saucony Guide is now 15 years old and has been a staple of the stability end of the lineup for the whole journey. Whether running or just casually walking, this shoe was ready to be your guide (get it?). Once other companies started making stability fun, the Guide seemed to get left behind. Is it finally ready for a comeback?
I’m gonna be straight up with all of you, both as a salesman and a Believe in the Run writer. Saucony fell way off the map last year, with barely any updates to the Endorphin line and PWRRUN feeling worse than Hoka’s EVA foam. The pandemic years hit Saucony hard, and I can barely get someone to leave with a Ride when the Brooks Ghost exists or a Guide when the New Balance 860 is around. After watching the TRE events, it felt like Saucony was even ready to leave the legends behind in favor of the Endorphin line.
When I saw this bright yellow shoe arrive at my doorstep, my entire body eye-rolled as I went, “Might as well give it a shot cause it can’t get worse.”
And holy shit, am I glad I took the shot. Everything from the fit of the upper to the outsole pattern feels like a whole new experience.
MERCER: What do I start with? Everything in this shoe is amazing so let’s start with the upper.
The upper is a classic engineered mesh that sings with every move you make and every breath you take (bet ya’ didn’t expect a reference to The Police, did you). The FormFit is snug yet not too overbearing. Thanks to two new straps, it took me a couple of tries to get the fit just right, but then I didn’t have to adjust anything further.
The new PWRRUN foam is softer than in years past, which is a significant improvement. Last year’s version tended to fall a little flat for those longer runs. The more aggressive rocker gives the Saucony Guide 15 that Endorphin Shift feel, and it really gets going at faster paces. All of that combines for a seamless transition from your strike into your toe-off.
Coupled with the new Hollow-Tech medial posting, it felt great compared to the old Guide models. I’d expect that the change will be great for runners rather than walkers. Instead, walkers might want to stick to something a bit more filled-in, like the old Guide or New Balance 860.
Mixing some details from the Endorphin Shift with some Saucony Guide classics made the first couple of runs a balance game. It took me about a mile to get used to the shoe every run because it’s so much different from other options on the market. The rocker isn’t as aggressive as the Arahi, and isn’t as dull as the Glycerin. I think, just like the 8mm drop, it’s living in a sweet spot that’s needed in every run.
Taking even more inspiration from the Endorphin line, the outsole has lost a lot of weight. It has less rubber, yet it still provides a great grip, reminding us that less can actually be more.Shop Saucony Guide – Men Shop Saucony Guide – Women
MERCER: The upper reminds me of the On Cloudstratus in how it funnels outward toward the end of the toe box. Basically, you’ll have a solid lockdown within the arch and then have way too much room in the toes.
I’m hoping that the stability isn’t affected too much by the Hollow-Tech so that die-hard walker Guide fans still get the support they need.Shop Saucony Guide – Men Shop Saucony Guide – Women
MERCER: I am so so happy that Saucony shut me up and released a shoe that’s really, really good that isn’t a part of the endorphin line. I am also pleased that stability is becoming fun again. I would compare this shoe to the New Balance Vongo v5 and the Nike React Miler.
You can pick up the Saucony Guide 15 in April 2022 for $140 at Running Warehouse (featuring free 2-day shipping and 90-day returns) by using the shop link below.Shop Saucony Guide – Men Shop Saucony Guide – Women
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