The Saucony Ride 17 has a lot in common with the Saucony Triumph 21, which is no bad thing, since it delivers a similarly impressive level of performance at a lower price. It’s a heavier and slightly less versatile shoe than the Ride 16, but more comfortable, and for new runners in particular it’s a top option.
- Good outsole
- Cheaper than Triumph 21
- Heavier than previous Rides
- Not versatile
- Flimsy lace eyelets
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The Saucony Ride 17 is not a carbon copy of the Saucony Triumph 21 but it certainly has a lot in common with Saucony’s top cushioned cruiser, which suggests the Triumph 22 will feature significant updates when it comes out in 2024.
For now, the Ride 17 is the best cushioned running shoe available from Saucony’s range because it’s so similar to the Triumph 21 but cheaper. It’s not as light and versatile as the previous Ride models, although it is a comfortable workhorse that will handle your daily training well.
Saucony Ride 17: Price And Availability
The Saucony Ride 17 launched in November 2023 and costs $140 in the US and £135 in the UK, which is considerably cheaper than the Triumph 21, which is $160/£170.
How I Tested This Shoe
I’ve run 35 miles in the Saucony Ride 17, using it for a mix of daily training, including an easy long run and an interval session. The last Ride I tested was the Ride 15, and I’ve also reviewed each of the past nine versions of the Triumph line, along with a range of the best cushioned running shoes from other brands.
Design And Fit
The big change to the Ride 17 is that it now has a PWRRUN+ midsole and sockliner, instead of using the PWRRUN foam on the previous versions of the shoe. The change makes the Ride 17 softer and bouncier than its predecessors, but also contributes to it being heavier: The Ride 17 weighs 10.8oz/306g in my UK size 9, whereas the Ride 15 (I didn’t test the 16) was 9.1oz/258g.
The Ride 17 has a stack height of 35mm at the heel and 27mm at the forefoot, giving it an 8mm drop. This differs from the 10mm drop of the Triumph 21, which is 37mm at the heel. The Ride 17 is also wider than the Triumph 21, especially around the midfoot, which will make it more stable.
I found that the Ride 17 fitted well in my normal running shoe size, the same size I’ve used for Saucony shoes for years. The mesh upper is comfortable and breathable, but I’m not a fan of the fabric eyelets used, after ripping one of them open the first time I used the shoe. Take care not to yank the laces too hard.
There is good rubber coverage on the bottom of the shoe and I’ve had no problems with grip on wet paved surfaces during my testing of the Ride 17 during the UK winter. The rubber used is also durable, and I’d expect the Ride 17 to be long-lasting thanks to the PWRRUN+ midsole material, which has proved durable in other shoes I’ve tested.
On the run, the Ride 17 feels like the Triumph 21, which is not unexpected given the similar materials used. The PWRRUN+ midsole is comfortable, though not especially soft or squishy, so it’s quite a naturally stable shoe.
I ran with the Ride 17 on one foot and the Triumph 21 on the other to compare the two and they feel alike, with the only noticeable difference being that the Triumph 21 is more nimble. In becoming more like the Triumph 21, the Ride 17 now feels different from older Ride models. It’s softer and heavier, and less versatile as a result, although it is more comfortable for easy runs.
There’s enough bounce in the PWRRUN+ midsole that you can use the Ride 17 for faster running, yet to me it felt too big and heavy to be enjoyable for speedwork. If you have a running shoe rotation the Ride 17 would slip in as a cushioned option for easy runs, but it is a good all-rounder for newer, or heavier, runners.
Is The Saucony Ride 17 Worth It?
The Saucony Triumph 21 is an excellent shoe and the Ride 17 is similar but much cheaper, so it’s worth weighing up a purchase if you’re looking for a cushioned daily trainer. I still slightly prefer the feel of the Triumph 21, though, because it’s lighter.
It will be interesting to see what happens with the Triumph 22 and whether Saucony uses the lightweight, bouncy PWRRUN PB foam from its Endorphin shoes to make the Triumph a clear upgrade over the Ride once again.
If you’re a long-term fan of the Ride line then the Ride 17 may not be to your taste, since it’s softer, heavier and less versatile—the Nike Pegasus 40 or Puma Velocity Nitro 2 could prove better alternatives as lighter daily trainers.
However, the Ride 17 will probably have broader appeal thanks to the new, more comfortable design, and if you’re a fan of the Triumph line you can now get a similar experience at a lower price. The Ride 17 is also one of the best beginner running shoes as a protective, cushioned option with enough versatility to do a mix of training in.
Nick Harris-Fry is a journalist who has been covering health and fitness since 2015. Nick is an avid runner, covering 70-110km a week, which gives him ample opportunity to test a wide range of running shoes and running gear. He is also the chief tester for fitness trackers and running watches, treadmills and exercise bikes, and workout headphones.