Saucony Ride 8 vs. ASICS GEL-Cumulus 16 review

Saucony Ride 8 provides a soft ride to high-mileage neutral runners. ASICS GEL-Cumulus 16 provides a well-cushioned ride to runners looking for good value for their money.

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The Saucony Ride 8 and the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 16 are both neutral cushioning running shoes that can be worn by runners who do not need a whole lot of stability and support, but because they are from two different running shoe manufacturers, they are expected to differ quite a bit.

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The upper of the Saucony Ride 8 The preceding link takes you to Amazon.com has its main supportive overlays lying more on the back part of the shoe, while the front part has been kept really open with only light no-sew overlays running over the toe box.

The upper of the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 16 is different in that respect, since it has sturdy stitched-on overlays wrapping the midfoot and then in between those there are thinner no-sew overlays.

However, the toe box of the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 16 is still quite open especially over the bunion window. This should make the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 16 feel very comfortable for runners who have large bunions or wider forefeet.

This is not to say, though, that the Saucony Ride 8 would not feel comfortable in that area, since the overlays are very light and only meant to provide some structure in the forefoot without causing irritation points.

Both running shoes provide a good amount of support on the medial side of the shoes where they share the property of having sturdy stitched-on overlays in that area. This also applies to the back of the shoes.

Both the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 16 and the Saucony Ride 8 provide heel-to-toe cushioning through their midsoles. The ASICS GEL-Cumulus 16 uses a FluidRide midsole and the Saucony Ride 8 uses a PowerGrid midsole.

The setup of the midsoles differ, though. The ASICS GEL-Cumulus 16 has two layers of foam with GEL cushioning in between, while the Saucony Ride 8 has mainly one layer with a crash pad under the heel.

The GEL cushioning in the heel of the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 16 and the crash pad of the Saucony Ride 8 serve the same purpose of breaking your landing, but because the crash pad of the Saucony Ride 8 joins the forefoot at the midfoot and the GEL cushioning of the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 16 does not do that, you have a greater chance of getting smoother heel-to-toe transitions from the Saucony Ride 8.

In terms of softness, running shoe lab tests have shown that the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 16 tends to have a forefoot that is not too soft or too firm, while the forefoot of the Saucony Ride 8 is extremely cushy.

For heel cushioning, the Saucony Ride 8 provides just a little bit more than the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 16 for women, but for men, the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 16 turns out to have a more cushy heel than the Saucony Ride 8.

Because the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 16 and the Saucony Ride 8 are neutral cushioning running shoes, they do not really provide stability, other than the crash pad in the Saucony Ride 8 and the midfoot shank in the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 16.

In addition, the good ground contact provided by the Saucony Ride 8 also helps it to be more stable than the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 16, but not by a whole lot.

The rubber outsoles of the two running shoes differ quite a bit in configuration and layout with the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 16 having a more traditional outsole with separate rearfoot and forefoot areas.

The rubber compartments also tend to be larger in the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 16 than in the Saucony Ride 8, which displays a larger degree of separation between its rubber pods.

The separation helps with flexibility and shock dissipation. And together with the good ground contact, the Saucony Ride 8 should be able to give you a much smoother ride than the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 16.

In terms of flexibility, running shoe lab tests have shown that both running shoes are almost equally flexible for men, but that the Saucony Ride 8 is much more flexible than the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 16 for women.

The women's version of the Saucony Ride 8 weighs approximately 8.2 oz (232 grams) and the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 16 for women weighs 9.4 oz (266 grams).

The men's versions of the shoes weigh 9.7 oz (275 grams) and 11.9 oz (337 grams), respectively, with the Saucony Ride 8 being the lighter one.

If you are a neutral runner looking for cushioning from a running shoe, either the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 16 or the Saucony Ride 8 could give you that along with a comfortable and secure fit.

However, if you are looking for a very soft, smooth, and somewhat more stable ride in a lighter running shoe, the Saucony Ride 8 might do a better job than the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 16.

Note: The weight of a running shoe depends on the size of the running shoe, so any weights mentioned in this review may differ from the weight of the running shoe you choose to wear. Running shoes of the same size were compared for this review.

The two links above will take you to Amazon.com where you can read more about the running shoes.


This review falls under: ASICS | Saucony

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