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9.4 oz. (269 g) for a US M9
8.1 oz. (232 g) for a US W7.5
35 mm in heel, 29 mm in forefoot (6 mm drop)
Minimally invasive stability miles
Center Path Technology for stability, reduced heel-toe drop, PWRRUN midsole with PWRRUN+ liner, asymmetrical support profile
$140, February 1, 2024
ALDREN: We here at Believe in the Run have been starting our “stability” shoe reviews touching on how we are in this new age of support. As we’ve learned, traditional posting isn’t the most effective way to support an over-collapsing ankle, so brands have begun to evolve their stability models.
Saucony released the Tempus in 2022, showcasing that they can cater to those who need a more modern flavor of support without undersupporting runners who used posting in the past. The Tempus, at the time, was one of my main companions from my shoe wall at the time, and I never questioned if I was getting the right amount of support.
The Saucony Guide joins this era of support in its 17th iteration. The Guide 17 got a total revamp from the outsole to the tongue and introduces Saucony’s Center Path Technology — a wide-based midsole that sits your foot deeper inside to be cradled around the higher sidewalls of the foam. The shoe supports your foot much like how Hoka’s H-Frame and Asics’ 4D Space Construction operate with asymmetric guidance from heel to toe. The entire midsole is made from PWRRUN and topped with a PWRRUN+ liner with a stack height of 35mm in the heel and 29 mm in the forefoot (making for a 6 mm drop).
SAM: In Greek mythology, Charon was the ferryman who carried souls across the River Styx into the underworld. In order to take a ride with him, the dead needed to be put to rest with coins covering their eyes to pay the toll. Souls that were not given the money to pay the toll would have to wander aimlessly on the shores of the River Styx for one hundred years before entering the underworld. Suspicious classical capitalism aside, as runners, we’re all on a similar journey to these lost souls. The shoes we choose for this journey act as our Charon.
In this review, we’re talking about the appropriately named Guide 17. Will this shoe leave us lost on the shores of the underworld, allowing the memories of our previous life to fade as we drift through uncomfortable and unsupportive miles? Or will it safely ferry us across the river to the fields of Elysium, where PRs are aplenty, and race premiums fit perfectly every time? Let’s find out.
ALDREN: At first glance, the Guide 17 looks somewhat familiar. This 30-plus mm stack midsole has a fairly rockered geometry, even the cutouts in the shoe look reminiscent of the HOKA Gaviota 4. However, the Guide 17 exceeds that shoe in every way possible. The Guide feels, and has always felt, lighter and more nimble than other mid-cushion stability shoes like the Brooks Adrenaline and New Balance 860, and the 17th version keeps that story true.
As we’ve seen from plenty of other brands, this new era of support works perfectly fine. I never dealt with overpronation issues in traditional posting, but with these less intrusive supports, like what’s found in the Guide 17, make stability shoes less clunky and more accommodating to different levels of pronation. Saucony’s Center Path Technology makes the support feel unnoticeable (but in a good way). Unlike the Saucony Tempus, I don’t feel this protruding lift underneath the arch. The base is much flatter in the Guide 17, however, with its raised walls and deeper seat into the midsole, it still stopped my foot from pronating.
The midsole isn’t super lively, but it’s not like it feels flat or heavy. The PWRRUN has felt very “regular” on every run I laced up for. It’s not really a bad thing. The stack is high enough to the point where I don’t feel the asphalt below me, yet I don’t feel like I’m lugging a large platform underneath my foot like in the Kayano 30 and Gaviota 5. I feel confident enough to take this to 13+ miles without feeling like I’m sacrificing a desire for more cushion below my feet, but as I get to 90 minutes or more, I don’t feel like I’m lugging ankle weights.
SAM: Serving as the stability version of the Saucony Ride, the Guide has been a staple in running stores long enough to earn its 17th edition. Now that the evil (not really) twin is entering young adulthood, it is only natural that it starts to differentiate itself. While the Ride 17 has transitioned to PWRRUN+ for better or worse, the Guide 17 has stuck to its roots with the PWRRUN. Our reviewers found that the PWRRUN+ update to the Ride made it softer and less exciting. This took it away from the firm and fun ride of its predecessors and left it too similar to the Triumph to feel like its own shoe. An exciting change that makes a shoe less exciting? What a shame.
Thankfully, the Guide 17 has just enough PWRRUN+ hiding in the sock liner to have a soft ride, and it is balanced out perfectly with the PWRRUN midsole. In my mind, I compared this ride to soft serve ice cream or one of those fancy marshmallows I keep seeing on Instagram. It looks and feels soft, but there is enough bounce to keep it fun and keep the miles rolling. You don’t know what you got til it’s gone, and I think we’re starting to see the place PWRRUN still has in the Saucony lineup.
Now let’s talk stability. Saucony claims that they’ve updated their approach with their new Center Path Technology. I cannot for the life of me figure out what that means beyond the broad platform and higher sidewalls, and I think that’s all it is. They claim that there is an asymmetric profile, but I don’t buy it, the shoe looks and feels pretty flat and stable. Regardless the subtle and natural stability is a big shift from the medial post we are used to in Saucony shoes, and I am a big fan of it.
While not exceedingly stable, it does enough to get the job done and not get in the way while allowing your foot to fall naturally in your gait. I also love the wide base and the early rocker. It feels like what I’m looking for in Hoka trainers, yet never get. A bouncy, stable shoe with a rocker that puts you up on your toes and prevents you from being slowed down by the PWRRUN+ sock liner.Shop Saucony Guide - Men Shop Saucony Guide - Women
ALDREN: A big thing I thought Saucony had over every other company was its uppers. They were all simple, had great breathability, and fit snugly in all the right places. Saucony reverted back to a darker age with the Omni 19 — which wasn’t the prettiest shoe. While the breathability is still there, I feel like the Guide 17 looks old (as in 5-7 years ago) and has unnecessary overlays around the shoe. It just looks so cheap. With all due respect to the people in the design department at Saucony, why does every shoe look clean and sleek except the Guide?
This is also something pretty small, but traditionally, the Guide and the Ride are sister shoes. When the Ride converted to ISO Fit, the Guide did too, when the Ride went from EVERUN to PWRRUN, the Guide followed. When the Ride reverted away from ISO fit, so did the Guide, so how come when the Ride gets the PWRRUN+ midsole, the Guide doesn’t? I know I’m just butt-hurt, and I really like the way the PWRRUN feels, but I just feel personally unrepresented in the PWRRUN+ community.
SAM: It’s not a huge con, but the fit of this shoe is not my favorite. The upper and the laces are stretchy and have a glove-like fit, but only if you size down. In other words, this shoe runs a tad big. Sadly I didn’t size down and often found myself pairing this shoe with more cushioned socks and tying the laces tight to prevent my feet from sliding around when taking sharp turns on the Baltimore promenade.
Another issue that could just be an anatomical issue with my foot or an inefficiency in my stride is that I had a hot spot under the outside edge of my right foot (fifth metatarsal head, to be exact) that drove me crazy toward the end of runs. That could be an issue with the shoe and not my foot, but only more reviews will tell us that.
Finally, this isn’t exactly what I would categorize as a stability shoe. It is more of a neutral running shoe that is stable. A friend compared it to the infinity react line, which I think is a great parallel. Now that the medial post is gone, the stability isn’t as noticeable, which I think in the end is a positive, but at the end of the day if you need true structured support, this isn’t the shoe for you.Shop Saucony Guide - Men Shop Saucony Guide - Women
ALDREN: This category of running shoes is slowly being pushed further and further into the shadows. I mean, it makes sense, no superfoams, plates, or crazy names to go along with it. What you’re getting out of the Saucony Guide 17 is exactly what you have in the name: Guidance. This is your workhorse that you can guarantee you will get the job done.
I think it’s nice to always go back to something simple like the Saucony Guide 17. While it may not give you 80% energy return or push you to out-kick the next guy at your local turkey trot (it’s Thanksgiving when I’m writing this, hopefully it’s published shortly after), the Guide will get you to your next workout. This is for your garbage miles, recovery days, or something when you’re feeling sore.
SAM: This shoe does just enough of everything right to pay the toll to the underworld. It’s soft without being draining. It’s bouncy without being too firm. The Guide 17 is wide and stable without being clunky. Could it be more stable? Sure. But I do not think that is what we are expecting out of the Guide now that the natural stability movement is in and the medial post is out. If you need more stability, look elsewhere, but if you want PWWRUN and PWWRUN+ singing in harmony as you enter the fields of Elysium, this shoe is for you. Enjoy the miles, friend.
You can pick up the Saucony Guide 17 for $140 on February 1, 2024, at Running Warehouse (featuring free 2-day shipping and 90-day returns) using the buttons below.Shop Saucony Guide - Men Shop Saucony Guide - Women
Aldren is a tree loving, uncompetitive running, post-workout burrito-munching stability shoe reviewer native to the Sunshine State. He can be found skipping through the streets of Orlando or lost in a trail that he studied two hours prior to the run. If he ever sees you on a run and waves “Hi!”, make sure you say “Hi!” back or he’ll diss you in his Strava caption.
All-time favorite shoes: Nike React Infinity FK 1, Adidas Energy Boost 2, ASICS Metaspeed Edge+.More from Aldren
Sam tried every other sport before settling on running as a senior in high school. He’s never looked back. He can be found doing workouts in Patterson Park, talking shop with the Faster Bastards, or hitting long runs on the NCR trail. When not running, Sam is a teacher in the Baltimore City Public School District. His other loves are cooking, coffee, breweries, books, basketball, and alliteration.
All-time favorite shoes: Saucony Endorphin Speed 2, Nike Vaporfly Next%, Asics Novablast 3More from Sam