Saucony Ride 7 vs. New Balance 890v4 review

Saucony Ride 7 delivers a smooth ride with a cushy forefoot. New Balance 890v4 is a lightweight, responsive, and flexible running shoe that should make you feel fast.

The Saucony Ride 7 and the New Balance 890v4 fall in the same category of neutral cushioning running shoes that are geared towards runners who do not need any kind of stability and support.

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The uppers of the Saucony Ride 7 and the New Balance 890v4 are very different in that the Saucony Ride 7 has mostly traditional stitched-on overlays especially on the medial side where support is needed most, while the New Balance 890v4 has an almost complete no-sew upper with stitches only at the back of the shoe.

While a no-sew upper tends to provide more comfort and less irritation, it also tends to be less secure than an upper with traditional stitched-on overlays.

So you can expect to get a little bit more support from the upper of the Saucony Ride 7 than from the New Balance 890v4. One of the big advantages of not having many thick overlays in the upper is that the weight of the shoe is kept down. So it won't surprise you to hear that the New Balance 890v4 is a very light running shoe.

The Saucony Ride 7 has a PowerGrid midsole that provides heel-to-toe cushioning in addition to shock absorption and centering of the foot.

The New Balance 890v4 also provides heel-to-toe cushioning with its RevLite midsole and on top of that, it has an Absorb crash pad under the heel that runs on both sides of the heel in addition to the back.

Absorb cushioning tends to be very soft, so it won't surprise you to hear that the New Balance 890v4 provides much more heel cushioning than the Saucony Ride 7.

The Saucony Ride 7 wins in the forefoot cushioning department, since it has a much thicker midsole in the forefoot – about 3 mm thicker – than the New Balance 890v4. You can also see this as the New Balance 890v4 being a bit more responsive than the Saucony Ride 7.

While the New Balance 890v4 and the Saucony Ride 7 are both neutral cushioning running shoes that are not meant to provide stability and support, they do come with some stability features.

For starters, they both have a crash pad under the heel to absorb initial impact and provide a softer touchdown. Secondly, they both provide full ground contact for a stable ride and a smoother transition from heel-strike to toe-off.

The only difference is in the crash pad, where the crash pad of the Saucony Ride 7 only runs on the lateral side of the shoe from the heel to the midfoot, and that of the New Balance 890v4 runs on both sides of the heel till the midfoot.

The New Balance 890v4 and the Saucony Ride 7 do not have a midfoot shank, but rather provide full ground contact at the midfoot.

The outsoles of the two running shoes also consist of a combination of durable rubber in high-wear areas with blown rubber in the forefoot for extra cushioning and flexibility.

The Saucony Ride 7 has a vertical flex groove in the forefoot, which should provide good lateral flexibility in that area. However, not all of the flex grooves run from one side all the way to the other side of the forefoot. This usually affects the overall flexibility of a shoe, especially if a shoe also has a relatively thick midsole in the forefoot as the Saucony Ride 7 does.

So it is not surprising that running shoe lab tests have shown that the Saucony Ride 7 is a pretty stiff running shoe.

On the other hand, the New Balance 890v4 has many deep flex grooves in the forefoot and that run from side-to-side. And with its relatively thinner midsole in the forefoot, it turns out to be a very flexible running shoe for both men and women.

The women's version of the Saucony Ride 7 weighs approximately 8.2 oz (232 grams), while the New Balance 890v4 for women weighs approximately 6.8 oz (193 grams).

The men's version of the Saucony Ride 7 weighs about 9.5 oz (269 grams), and the New Balance 890v4 for men weighs 8.1 oz (230 grams).

If you are a heel-striker looking for a very light, responsive, and flexible running shoe that has a very cushy heel, then the New Balance 890v4 would fit the bill.

And if you are looking for a running shoe that has a very cushy forefoot, provides good support in its upper, and you appreciate stiffness in a running shoe, then the Saucony Ride 7 could be the one for you.

Both running shoes can handle a lot of miles and would be suitable as daily trainers.

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: New Balance | Saucony

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