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Recently I was contacted by Saucony asking if I would like to review their latest shoe to hit the market (just publicly released last week, in fact), the Guide 7. This particular shoe is designed for light stability, which is still more stability than I personally prefer to run in. I typically run in a neutral shoe with minimal cushion, and I worried that my review would be negatively influenced by the fact that I’m simply not used to running in any sort of built-up shoe. So instead I passed this review over to Geoff, who does prefer to have some stability and cushioning. While there is a women’s version of the Guide 7 available, the following post, stats, and review are regarding the men’s version.
The Guide 7 is the updated version of a shoe that has been widely awarded and recognized, including being named “best shoe in the world” by the international editors of Runner’s World. The Guide 7 is designed to blend engineered stability, cushioning, and flexibility that is not typically found in a stability trainer. (A little background: Stability shoes are designed for runners who need medial support and midsole cushioning, who are mild to moderate overpronators, or simply those who need added support and durability in their shoe)
- 8 mm heel to toe offset
- 10.0 oz men’s / 8.6 oz women’s
- Upper: HydraMAX™ Collar lining, ComfortLite Sockliner™, HRC+ Strobel Board
- Midsole: ProGrid™ (heel-to-toe insert), Dual Density SSL EVA, SRC&trade Impact Zone
- Outsole: iBR+ 33% lighter and provides 3 times more cushioning compared to standard blown rubber
XT-900™ Premium carbon rubber outsole material that offers exceptional traction and high-wear properties
- MSRP $120
What Saucony says:
“The Guide 7 is the ultimate training partner, providing stability with flexibility in a lightweight package. PowerGrid (of which the foam is 15% lighter and 30% more durable than traditional EVA) provides responsive cushioning from heel to toe. A fully decoupled SRC crashpad minimizes impact, and the redesigned medial support system creates a smooth transition to midfoot. A flared forefoot design adds support during toe-off allowing the runner to spring forward efficiently and powerfully. Added flex grooves ensure the shoe moves with the runner with comfort and responsiveness. ”
My Initial Thoughts:
The Guide 7’s indeed feel light weight, lighter than I would have expected this particular shoe to feel. On their website, Saucony claims that “stable shouldn’t mean stiff”, however upon initial assessment, they feel pretty stiff to me. This may be a combination of the fact that they are straight out of the box, as well as the fact that I have become conditioned to very lightweight, flexible, neutral shoes. The construction of the shoe is very sound, as I would expect from a company such as Saucony, and even after a handful of runs and wear testing, nothing seems to be fraying or falling apart.
What Geoff Says: (my editorial will be in purple)
“I raced in Saucony waaayyy back in the late 80’s\early 90’s when I was trying triathlon. I was very new to running but I remember wearing nothing but Saucony for years. I’m hoping these shoes measure up to the performance of my past experiences.
I take them out of the box. Flash! They are pretty flashy. I like that, not just because I’m a show-boater (yes he is), but if people can see my running shoe, they can see me running! (the Guide 7 is offered in 4 color options for men, and 4 color options for women, many of which are more subdued and less flashy.)
I put them on my feet. They’re a bit snug. Just a bit. (Note: Geoff wears anywhere from a size 9.5 to a 10. Saucony sent him a 9.5, so in my opinion, if you are between sizes, be sure to order up). Not a huge worry because I know my feet swell and shrink though out the day, and I know I’ll stretch them a bit. The problem is they feel like I’m walking on 2×4’s. I clunk as I walk across my apartment floor. Again not a huge worry, the woman downstairs blatantly refuses my requests to turn down her music (unfortunately a true story), so I’ll clunk around a bit…
First I wear them to the gym (just to lift). They are definitely starting to break in. They are feeling more comfortable and actually feel good on the gym floor.
I am a Heel Striker. I do run in some barefoot and minimal shoes sometimes. But take those off, and I heel strike. No big. These shoes feel great on my landing and push off. I tried to mid-foot strike, but it felt very bizarre, uncomfortable even. So I’ll continue heel striking. At an 8 mm offset this feels fine.
If you have questions regarding the Saucony Guide 7, please post them below, and Geoff and I will respond ASAP!
Disclaimer: Saucony provided Geoff these shoes for review free of charge for the purpose of this review. All opinions expressed are honest and our (Geoff and myself) own.