Saucony Ride 15 TR Review: Ride on the Wild Side
Weighs 9.2 oz. (260 g.) for a US M9 / 8.5 oz. (240 g.) for a US W7.5
Saucony’s Ride 15 with a wild side
Fits into the same category as the Pegasus Trail 4
There’s more to this one than just some extra rubber
Available now for $140
TAYLOR: Can you believe we’re already rounding out the year with the Q4 releases? It must mean that TRE is around the corner. There are quite a few brands that have put together all-star lineups on the down-and-dirty side of the industry, and Saucony is one of them. The Boston brand has added something new and updated something old in just about every segment of the trail game throughout 2022. It slimmed the Peregrine 12, overhauled the Xodus Ultra, and who can forget the wild child Endorphin Edge?
The latest addition comes in the form of Saucony’s first door-to-trail kicker. The Saucony Ride 15 TR takes a tried and true model from the streets and lets it explore its wild side. Saucony’s trail division has enough know-how to get this done in a sensible manner, too. This isn’t just a true roadie with some thick lugs slapped on the bottom.
The base formula is that of the Ride 15 — a familiar, well-liked daily trainer. Our road crew enjoyed it, and now it’s our turn. The big difference is that Saucony added a PWRTRAC outsole with 3.5 mm lugs, a slightly beefed-up upper, and an external gilly system for lockdown.
Now, are these enhancements enough to call this a trail shoe? Survey says…
SAM: I don’t know much, and the older I get, the less I’m convinced I know. However, I’m sure of two things about this year: Saucony has had a banger year for shoe releases, and this is, by all accounts, the year of the hybrid shoe. With each new Saucony drop this year, the running stalwart has given us more to love. Whether it’s a race day shoe for roads (Endorphin Pro 3) or trails (Endorphin Edge), or a high-end plated trainer (Endorphin Speed 3), they’ve turned out the goods in spades.
We’ve also seen several new hybrid road-to-trail shoes released, including the Inov-8 Parkclaw G 280, the Reebok Floatride Energy 4 Adventure, the Altra Outroad, and the Nike Pegasus Trail 4. It makes sense that Saucony would look to roll its hot streak into the hybrid market.
They do just that with the Saucony Ride 15 TR. This hybrid takes their popular Ride base and beefs it up for trails with a burlier outsole and enhanced lockdown and protection. It keeps the cushy slab of PWRRUN foam and mesh upper construction and adds 3.5mm chevron-shaped PWRTRAC lugs and Formfit lockdown in the midfoot. The extras add about an ounce to a US M10 but keep this shoe under 10 oz, which isn’t too shabby. Does all of this make a hybrid that can continue Saucony’s great string of releases this year? Read on, dear runner.
TAYLOR: What most people love about this shoe is that it’s simple. Simplicity done well can be a very special thing. In this case, it’s sure helping the Ride 15 TR’s profile. We’re talking about a moderate slab of foam with a more traditional mesh upper. There’s nothing wrong with that. It provides a consistent feel that most runners would be familiar with and even enjoy.
Okay, the Ride 15 TR isn’t just mesh and EVA. The upper fit is slim-ish but not quite as conforming as the Peregrine 12. A gilly strap helps cinch down the midfoot nicely. The gusseted tongue certainly comes in handy here too. Combine that with a decent amount of padding and structure in the heel, and I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the fit and how well it performed on anything from gravel roads to moderate trails.
The moderate stack of PWRRUN (a different formulation than what’s found in Peregrine or past trail models) offers both moderate cushion and a touch of responsiveness. It’s a soft/medium soft consistency that feels light underfoot. I found it to be fine with easy miles and can take a beating on uptempo efforts. It feels like a daily trainer in that way.
A long flex groove runs lengthwise through the midsole. This flexibility in the midsole helped the shoe adapt to varying trail conditions.
Underneath is a sneakily grippy PWRTRAC outsole. It’s the same outsole that all Saucony trail shoes sport, but this one looks and feels a little bit different. It feels gritty rather than sticky. To be honest, I underestimated it. It performed well on just about any surface. I did find that the 3.5mm lugs didn’t dig into softer stuff all that well, but that’s not typically the type of terrain one would want this shoe to be on, anyways.
Other subtle but noteworthy features are a gaiter attachment, lace garage, and stout toe bumpers with rubberized overlays around the toe box for durability.
ALEX: This was a fun shoe to test, mostly due to the fun mixed surface route that I mapped out to test it in. The lower tread makes this a versatile road-to-trail option. The PWRTRAC outsole is equipped with 3.5mm lugs vs. the Saucony Peregrine’s 5mm lugs. The ride is nice and smooth on gravel, with just the right amount of traction and support. Everything comes together in a lightweight package.
The fit is secure and comfortable. The two make-or-break areas for me are the tongue and heel collar, and both pass the test. The gusseted tongue is lightly padded and unobtrusive, with no rigidity or pressure points on the front of the ankle.
Overall the shoe is comfortable and protective. The toe bumper is better suited for technical terrain than the shoe is as a whole, but being as clumsy as I am, regardless of terrain, I’m ok with it.
Finally, I appreciate the 8mm drop. With most of my trail shoes falling between 4-6mm, I was happy to have some extra lift.
SAM: On step-in, this shoe revels in comfort. The upper is appropriately padded and flexes nicely in the right places while holding your foot securely under that FORMFIT structure. The padded and gusseted tongue sits where it should. There’s a toe guard overlay that doesn’t poke at you and protects well, and a little more structure in the heel counter. Underfoot, the chunk of PWRRUN foam (35mm heel/27mm forefoot for an 8mm drop) and the PWRRUN+ sockliner are cushy and soft. The Ride 15 TR is comfy right away, and for a hybrid shoe like this, that’s a nice feeling.
PWRRUN is one of our favorite lines of foam here at BITR, and even though the recipe here is mostly Saucony’s “lower-end” version, it feels incredible underfoot. Sure, this recipe might not have the springy bounce of the PWRRUN PB in the Endorphin line, but it coddles those precious feet of yours with each strike and has enough energy return to still manage a fun, lively feel. The hefty stack makes for a daily trainer that shines as miles pile up.
Finishing out the hybrid package is the PWRTRAC outsole. The lug shape and spacing on the Ride 15 TR are similar to what’s found on the Endorphin Edge, but with less lug height to handle better on roads. We liked the grip on the Edge, and there are similar thoughts here. I’d be hard-pressed to point out any effect of the 1.5mm difference in lug depth. These are plenty grippy on roads and trails.Shop Saucony Ride 15 TR – Men Shop Saucony Ride 15 TR – Women
TAYLOR: In a world of max, don’t be surprised at the lack of protection here. The midsole is lighter and more flexible. There’s no rock plate. Even though the stack is higher than it looks (35 mm to 27mm – 8mm drop), it doesn’t feel as protected as something like the Hoka Mafate Speed 4, Nike Wildhorse, Topo Athletic Ultraventure 3, Altra Mont Blanc, or even the Saucony Xodus Ultra. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, either. Just don’t expect to mask all underfoot invaders because you will have a decent amount of ground feel once the trail gets more technical.
As will be echoed by Alex and Sam, this shoe isn’t marketed as a technical terrain runner, and that is very appropriately noted. Just keep this one to the smoother stuff where it belongs.
ALEX: There is a time and place for all that soft PWRRUN foam, and it’s not on technical trails with steep descents. The midsole design and materials allow for way too much flex and torsional movement as soon as the terrain is more technical and varied.
The toe box was a little narrow and shallow for me, reinforcing my preference to keep this shoe for shorter, non-technical runs.
The overall aesthetic of this shoe is kind of blah. I found the elementary-like Crayola blue colorway to be a little lackluster. Not a dealbreaker, but not something that necessarily catches your eye.
SAM: That lovely thick slab of PWRRUN foam may shine on roads and flat trails, but it becomes unwieldy on anything technical. Even a sideways slant to the trail underfoot makes you struggle to keep your ankles from wobbling all over the place. It’s just a little too soft, and the stack is too high to inspire confidence.
As good as the PWRTRAC outsole is, the sporadic lug placement and swathes of exposed midsole foam are particularly susceptible to wet roots and branches. At first, it also gave off that “running on claws” feeling that many trail runners do on pavement. It either eased out over time, or I got used to it, but the outsole arrangement is more suited for trails than roads.
This shoe runs a touch narrow and long. It felt vaguely elven on my feet and not in the cool “Legolas walking on snow up the pass of Caradhras” way. I’m glad Alex brought up the look, and I’m not the only one who struggles with the visuals on the Ride 15 TR. Looks are purely subjective, but this shoe looks suspiciously like my three-year-old’s Stride Rites. As much as he’s thrilled anytime we match, a velcro-looking toddler trainer mixed with an elf shoe isn’t my preferred style.Shop Saucony Ride 15 TR – Men Shop Saucony Ride 15 TR – Women
TAYLOR: The hybrid trail shoe category is starting to heat up. With shoes like the Nike Pegasus Trail 4 and Altra Outroad standing as some of the highlights of the category, the Saucony Ride 15 TR has some stiff competition. However, I think it puts up a dang good fight. For most runs, I would prefer the Ride 15 TR over other available options because of its simplicity and versatility.
Honestly, I could see it as an excellent option for road runners looking to dip a toe into the trail side. It should also work for runners who regularly get a good mix of pavement and dirt. If you’re a Saucony Ride 15 fan, you can easily adjust to life on the wild side, and it could be a good road option when winter rolls around, too.
With all that Saucony has released this year, the Ride 15 TR is a solid way to wrap things up.
ALEX: This one is a super comfortable, versatile option to add to your 2022 Saucony lineup. For me, it’s a perfectly soft, secure ride for recovery runs on non-technical terrain.
SAM: The Saucony Ride 15 TR is a great hybrid road-to-trail option for runners who don’t want to lose that cushy road feel on their forays down unpaved paths. It’s very comfortable, supportive, and grippy, and the slab of PWRRUN paired with the PWRRUN+ sock liner is a winner for the underfoot feel. This would be a perfect fit if your routes have more road and level, rolling trails. Even if it looks like it might fit Elrond’s feet better, and technical sections should be avoided when wearing it, The Ride 15 TR should be considered alongside great hybrids like the Nike Pegasus Trail 4 and the Altra Outroad.
You can pick up the Saucony Ride 15 TR for $140 at Running Warehouse (featuring free 2-day shipping and 90-day returns) by using the shop link below.Shop Saucony Ride 15 TR – Men Shop Saucony Ride 15 TR – Women
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Taylor Bodin is a trail and ultra runner living in Estes Park, Colo., with his wife and daughters. Trail running is pretty much the only hobby he can manage right now and loves it. Every so often, he will pop off a race or FKT attempt because competition is pure and the original motivator for him getting into running anyways. When not running, Taylor is a 1st grade teacher, running coach (track & field, Cross Country, and Trail/Ultra athletes), and volunteers at his church.
All-time favorite shoes: Hoka Tecton X, Speedland SL:PDX, Merrell MTL Long Sky 2.More from Taylor
Sam lives in Baltimore with his wife and two kids and spends his days fixing espresso machines for Ceremony Coffee Roasters. He runs with the Faster Bastards when he can, races ultras, and has been working on completing the AT section by section. He thinks the best days are made of long miles on nasty trails, but that a good surf session, a really stunning book, or a day of board games are pretty all right too.
All-time favorite shoes: Saucony Xodus Ultra, Topo Athletic Ultraventure 3, Altra Lone PeakMore from Sam