Saucony Guide 16 Review: Consistency is Key
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9.5 oz. (269 g) for a US M9,
8.4 oz. (221 g) for a US W8
35 mm in heel, 27 mm in forefoot (8 mm drop)
Daily miles with a touch of stability
Extra padding in the upper, ample PWRRUN underfoot, Hollow-Tech support for stability
MERCER: I got a chance to review Saucony’s Guide 15 last year. It didn’t earn a place as my go-to shoe, so I left it at home when I went off to college. Big mistake. I didn’t realize just how much I’d loved that light feeling underfoot, so when I got the notification that the Guide 16 arrived in the mail room, I was over the moon. With no real changes to the midsole and only slight tweaks in the upper, I was ready to strap this one on faster than Marty McFly with his hoverboard.
JARRETT (WIDE-FOOT): March Madness isn’t always about college basketball. I’ve been experiencing it in a different way while reviewing the Saucony Guide 16 and Ride 16. Both are pretty much the same as their predecessors and to be quite frank, they’re tough to differentiate from each other. I put one on each foot and ran down the street, and if you’d blindfolded me and asked which was which, my answer would be a complete guess.
It’s not necessarily a bad thing unless you’re turning to the Guide in need of some noticeable stability. Let’s get into it.
MERCER: Saucony’s biggest changes lie in the upper. The Guide 16 has a tougher material in the forefoot and along the sides to help keep out the elements, and there’s just a little more cushion along the heel counter to hold the foot in a little bit better. How this shoe lost a couple of grams while having a bulkier upper, I have no idea, but good job Saucony.
Of course, the Boston-based brand hasn’t made any changes to its midsole, and why should it? It’s like Aaron Paul coming back every month to play Jesse Pinkman again — it just works. Saucony recently took the crown of transition with its SpeedRoll technology, something we don’t often see in stability shoes. Although other brands are making stability shoes with some pretty lovely rockers, Saucony is doing it better.
I’m still rocking with the 1-2 Hollow-Tech and PWRRUN punch. It offers a nice break from high-cushioned, mega-posted shoes like the Asics Gel-Kayano and Hoka Arahi. The firmness allows you to get up to some pretty quick paces without thinking about it too much.
Having the same outsole as last year is alright, but it’s nothing crazy. It keeps the weight down and works pretty well on all surfaces, well, almost all surfaces.
JARRETT (WIDE-FOOT): The Saucony Guide 16 is a moderate stability shoe meant for daily miles. It has a PWRRUN midsole with a Hollow-Tech plastic plate that adds stability without the need for a true medial post. I found the Guide 16 to be both stable and firm. The forefoot has some flex, while the midfoot and heel are stiffer. I have a tendency to heel-strike and pronate as I get tired, but the Hollow-Tech did a solid job of keeping my ankles from rolling in.
The engineered mesh upper is comfortable, and the tongue and heel collar are lightly padded. Together, they create a nice package for the foot. I do think the midfoot is slightly snug, but I think that’s because the foot sits low in the shoe and is hugged by the higher midsole sidewalls. My US M10.5 2E came in just under the wire at 9.9 oz (280 g).Shop Saucony Guide - Men Shop Saucony Guide - Women
MERCER: Saucony’s updated heel counter left me with an unbelievable amount of heel slippage, almost like I was wearing slip-on Oofos. I tried to fix it with a trusty runner’s knot, and what happens? Not enough lace left for a good lockdown. Having to balance tied shoes with heel slippage isn’t a fair trade for anyone, so I ended up repurposing laces from a different pair of shoes.
Also, a word of caution — don’t wear the Saucony Guide 16 on a wet track unless you like the taste of rubber. You might find yourself kissing the inside lane more than once. Don’t even ask me how many times I’ve slipped or when I’ll learn not to wear this one in the rain.
JARRETT: It’s weird, but it almost feels like the Guide 16 has a bump in the heel. That said, it seemed to go away with the more miles I piled into the shoe. Maybe I just had to break it in, or maybe I’m losing my mind. Call that March Madness at the end of April.
I also noticed my feet were pretty beat up after a 9-mile run. I craved some sort of bounce or cushion but was given a harsh PWRRUN-fueled ride.Shop Saucony Guide - Men Shop Saucony Guide - Women
MERCER: Websites and running stores might try to make the Saucony Guide 16 feel like the poor man’s Endorphin Shift (even though they’re just $10 apart), but I feel like there’s room for the Guide to stand on its own in Saucony’s lineup. The firm, snappy roll is a must in everyone’s shoe rotation. Other shoes that fill the same niche are Nike’s Infinity React 3 or the Asics Gel-Kayano Lite.
JARRETT (WIDE-FOOT): After running in the Saucony Guide 16 and Ride 16 back to back, I feel like Saucony has almost made the same shoe twice. The Ride 16 is a neutral shoe, but it feels pretty stable, while the Guide is a relatively neutral stability shoe. Go figure. The two also have similarly firm rides and just a few cosmetic changes in their uppers.
For a stability shoe, the Saucony Guide 16 gets the job done. I can see it being an option for runners doing 3-6 mile runs, but there are more comfortable options for the longer days. If you’re looking for a little more cushion, check out the Saucony Tempus. If you’re a Guide diehard, it may as well be the Guide 15.5.
You can pick up the Saucony Guide 16 for $140 at Running Warehouse (featuring free 2-day shipping and 90-day returns) at the buttons below.
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Mercer is a collegiate athlete at the University Of Lynchburg, majoring in being awesome. He’s also extremely talented at folding shirts during GRIT packing at the Believe in the Run HQ.
All-time favorite shoes: Asics Gel-Kayano Lite, Hoka Clifton 6, On CloudmonsterMore from Mercer
Wide Foot Jarrett likes talking about wide shoes. Did you know he wears wide shoes? You should probably know he wears wide shoes. Besides running, Jarrett is a lover of coffee, donuts, pizza, and tacos. Basically, Jarrett is the ultimate race-cation travel companion because he will be on food duty while you’re busy panicking about whether you want to try and break your PR. Will also sleep on the floor. He’ll also answer any question in his DMs.
All-time favorite shoes: New Balance Vazee Prism v2, New Balance FuelCell SC Trainer, Asics Metaspeed Sky.More from Jarrett