Initial Impressions – Saucony Guide 9
Yes, the Guide 10 is out, but as usual I am a day late and a dollar short, so I got the 9’s.
Why another pair of shoes already Harold, I thought the 860’s were doing great for you?
Ummm the 860’s are fitting my feet perfectly, but they are also a pretty heavy duty motion control shoe and I am pretty certain that the v5’s irritated my left foot PF and running in the v6’s keeps it aggravated, just a bit too firm on the medial post. So although I do love the fit, I don’t believe for running that either of them are the answer and I like to rotate my shoes, so having one pair to run in is not what I prefer.
I have learned that I tend to run a little better with shoes that have some stability features and/or have a wider footprint in the forefoot. While I was very tempted by some of the New Balance and Hoka offerings in EE-width, I decided to go with the Saucony Guide 9’s.
Yes, I know that I am cheap too. 😉
I had tried the Triumph ISO 2 and loved the feel, but the toe box…well my Hobbit feet didn’t like that sausage feeling at all and that narrow toe box has been the biggest reason that I haven’t had much luck running in Sauconys, unless I wear a 9.0 or 9.5, which makes the shoe way too long. So I was really interested in how the Saucony EE, compared to the New Balance EE shoes.
The price was right on the G9’s and the reviews were all talking about how good they were and the reviewers all seemed to agree that they were wider in the forefoot. Which was the important piece, I still went with the EE though.
I love the look of the Guide 9’s and the outsole pattern is one that I could think about skipping wearing trail shoes for most of the trail running I do around here.
However…yeah there is always that word however. However, the toe box in the Guide 9 in EE ain’t the same as EE-width in New Balance shoes – they are definitely narrower. I really thought about sending them back, without running in them, it was THAT noticeable.
Yeah, however again, at 9.3 ounces, 8mm drop, a decent amount of cushion, Everrun layer and a nice multi-purpose sole, the G9’s were just screaming at me to run in them.
So I did.
The Guide 9’s have great manners when running!
I love the feel of the shoe, just the right amount of cushion, but still with some pop, nice heel-to-toe transition, although they felt snug, it wasn’t the same snugness of other D-width shoes, there is a little extra room in there compared to most D-width shoes – not much, but still noticeable.
I couldn’t feel the medial posting like I could in the 860’s, but it does still have the medial posting, so into a long run, the G9s will have the extra support that I am looking for.
This morning when I took them on my test course, was where I could really tell the cushioning in the heel was spot on (going down the Bitch) and while I didn’t burn up the pavement, I could shift gears pretty quickly when Bennie wanted to play race the vehicle. Coming back up the the hill, you know how some shoes feel “dead” running uphill – not the G9’s. There was a definite little pop to them and at the end, I even got under a 7:00 minute pace in a few spots without any problem.
No I didn’t just ship them back and now that I have had a couple of runs in them, I am glad that I didn’t. The G9’s do need a bit of a break-in and they felt noticeably better on my 4.0 mile run this morning than they did last night when I first put them on.
I am hoping that the shoe continues to break in and I am wearing them around casually for a few days to help speed-up the break-in process.
Right now the biggest thing that I am liking is that for the same amount of effort, I seem to be getting a little more bang for my buck from the shoes (maybe Everrun works????). Both of my runs were in the 8:30 range, without pushing the pace. It might just be the excitement of the new shoes, but I am liking the feel the shoe has.
I just hope that Guide 9’s stretch out just a tad more on my right foot and that my left heel discomfort begins to abate – it ain’t the G9’s causing it, that is a result of the sins of my past. I know the routine and my golf ball has become my friend and nemesis at the same time.
Yes, like almost every shoe that I have worn lately, they do seem to pick up some pebbles, but where I run, tar, sand, pebbles, dirt, grit, salt and some mud is just the way it is. A minor thing, but if I want good traction in wet weather, just something I have to deal with.
Oh, the other thing that I didn’t like about the Guide 9’s, the stock shoelaces are too long and the way I tie my shoes, well they don’t play nice and my G9’s are now sporting a pair of LockLaces.
A mixed first impression, but I have a sneaking suspicion that these are a pair of shoes that will grow on me, especially if I can get just a little more stretch in the right shoe.
Damn my Hobbit feet 🙂