A bit of a change in how I decide when to review a pair of running shoes. Since I went away from basing my running on miles and started using time, having a 50 mile review seemed odd. When I thought about it, something that seems a little more accurate for me, is the number of runs that I did in a pair of running shoes.
Twenty runs seems to be a nice round number of times to run in a pair of running shoes. It is typically over 70 miles, but not quite to the 100 mile mark. I feel a little more comfortable reviewing shoes, with this level of experience than I do the lower bar of 50 miles.
Getting back to the review.
Well I have 20 runs in the Saucony Guide 9’s for a total of 12 hours and 30 minutes of running, plus more than a little time walking around in them. So I have a pretty good idea of how they are working for me and I am pretty sure they are broke in fairly well.
In my journey into the world EE-width running shoes, I wanted to see if I could expand my options beyond New Balance’s offerings, to another brand that I have always loved – Saucony.
In the past the biggest issue I have had with Saucony shoes has always been the width of the toe box. So it seemed like a great idea to give their EE-width running shoes in my actual size 8.0’s a try.
It came down to the Guide 9, Ride 9 or ISO Triumph 2. After thinking about things, how I run and my past experiences with Saucony, along with price, I settled on the Guide 9. I liked the idea of having a medial post with Everun on top of everything.
So how did things work out?
The good news is that the Guide 9’s made it to this review and I am still running in them. However, there are a few things I do not like so much and I will do my complaining now and get it out-of-the-way now and then talk about all the things that I really love about the Guide 9’s.
- The EE-width Saucony G9’s are at the edge of what I can wear comfortably on my Hobbit feet. To me they are a cross between a normal D-width and a New Balance EE, they are narrow enough that I seriously thought about returning them due to the snugness when I first tried them on.
While they have stretched and molded to my feet, I still would not want them any narrower.
- I disliked the laces they were too long and I am not a fan of flat laces, so I replaced them with LockLaces and have been very happy since.
- Since I started running in wider shoes, I am finding that the medial posting is not as necessary for me to run comfortably. While the G9’s have broken in nicely and I don’t really notice the medial post as much as my other shoes, I think that next time I will go with a true neutral style of running shoe.
Those are the things that I do not like about the Guide 9’s, not really a big list or things that have a whole lot to do with the shoe itself, they are more about me and how I want my running shoes to feel on my feet.
What do I like?
- Without a doubt the best thing about the Guide 9’s is the ride and feel they have. Soft enough, yet firm enough. Although I can feel the medial support a little more than I wanted, it doesn’t seem to get in the way too much now that they have broken in – a good thing.
- They come in a EE-width.
- Everun does give a Boost-like feel underfoot which softens/evens out the midsole and medial posting, which I do like.
- I run well in the G9’s and now that they have broken in they have what I consider a “performance fit” and hold the foot nicely – there is definitely no sloppy toe box feel in them, even in the EE width.Yeah, I know in the above section, I called them snug fitting for a EE and down here I call it something else. Make up your damn mind Harold!!!
To be honest, there are days that I really like the snugger fit and there are other days it bothers the hell out of me, so it is good and bad depending upon what day it is and what kind of run I am doing. 🙂
- At 9.3 ounces, they are a light-weight trainer and right in the ballpark of where I want my shoes to be. They are not race day light shoes, but they can go right along pretty well.
- I am loving the multi purpose tread, it holds the road great in wet conditions, does well down-back on the gravel road sliminess (surface mud), no problems if I have to run on dirt shoulders and then quickly transition back to tar. I wouldn’t hesitate to use the Guide 9’s on any of the local trails when they are dry and trails like at Quarry Road they would be fine in all but the worst of conditions.
- The heel-to-toe transition is fairly smooth, although I personally prefer a little more angle on the heel, so that my foot doesn’t drag as much when I get tired in them. Otherwise when I do my part, the shoes are quiet and smooth to run in.
The reality is that
I am happy with the Saucony Guide 9’s so far and while I go back and forth on the snugness (whether I like it or not), it really hasn’t affected how I run in them. At the worst it the feeling is a distraction, although I haven’t done a run longer than a 10K in them yet.
The bottom-line is that I run well in my Guide 9’s and while I might not go with this model again, due to not needing a medial post in the wider shoes. I will look closely at both the ISO Triumph and the Ride series in the future, because I do really like how the Everun feels underfoot.
Overall, the Saucony Guide 9’s are a very nice running shoe in the support niche, that I can run well in. If you have problems with the width of Saucony’s regular width shoes, but love the feel/ride of their shoes, you really gotta try the EE width – it does make a difference. At least it does for me, although you will not have the color or line selection/choices that D-width shoes have.
From what I could see and read about the Guide 10’s there are not a lot of differences between it and the 9’s. So I have a feeling that many of the things I said about the 9’s might be translated/transferred to the 10’s.