Saucony Ride 8 provides a soft ride to high-mileage neutral runners. Saucony Ride 9 increases comfort with a largely seamless upper and cushioning just under the sockliner.
The Saucony Ride 9 is the updated version of the Saucony Ride 8, which is a neutral cushioning running shoe from Saucony.
The uppers of the Saucony Ride 9 and the Saucony Ride 8 look very much alike, but there have been a few minor changes made to the Saucony Ride 9.
A few of the sturdier overlays on the Saucony Ride 8 have been replaced by lighter no-sew overlays on the Saucony Ride 9, especially around the midfoot.
The Saucony Ride 8 has sturdy stitched-on overlays on the medial side of the upper, which are quite supportive. These overlays have been replaced by no-sew overlays on the Saucony Ride 9, which decreases the amount of support provided by the upper.
However, the Saucony Ride 9 has kept stitched-on overlays wrapping and cupping the heel to provide a good amount of support at the back of the shoe.
All in all, the Saucony Ride 9 has enough overlays to keep your foot in place, but the Saucony Ride 8 has an upper that is just a tad more supportive due to its implementation of stitched-on overlays.
If nothing else, the additional no-sew overlays on the Saucony Ride 9 should make the shoe feel more comfortable than the Saucony Ride 8 and decrease the chance of irritation.
Changes have also been made to the midsole of the Saucony Ride 8 to create the Saucony Ride 9. The most noticeable change is the implementation of an EVERUN topsole with cushioning just under the sockliner to soften your ride.
The addition of this softer layer of foam to the Saucony Ride 9 benefits men the most because running shoe lab tests show that the Saucony Ride 9 has more cushioning in the heel than the Saucony Ride 8 for men.
The amount of forefoot cushioning is about the same in the two running shoes. Note that the Saucony Ride 8 has above average cushioning in its heel but that the Saucony Ride 9 has just more of it for men.
For women, the differences between the Saucony Ride 9 and the Saucony Ride 8 are not that big. They both have a similar amount of forefoot cushioning, but the Saucony Ride 8 has just a tad more heel cushioning than the Saucony Ride 9 for women.
Both running shoes have a crash pad and both running shoes provide a good amount of ground contact under the arch.
However, the Saucony Ride 9 has a different crash pad and touches the ground better than the Saucony Ride 8 so is also rated as being slightly more stable than the Saucony Ride 8.
However, if you are a neutral runner, stability is not what you are after, and the Saucony Ride 8 and 9 are geared toward neutral runners who do not need any kind of stability.
The outsole of the Saucony Ride 9 also differs from that of the Saucony Ride 8. The Saucony Ride 9 has a zigzag pattern in its forefoot, whereas the Saucony Ride 8 has a fan-shaped pattern.
In both cases, the flex grooves do not run straight from side to side, which can affect the flexibility of the running shoes.
The same thing is true for running shoes that provide lots of forefoot cushioning, which both the Saucony Ride 8 and 9 do.
The effect of the two aforementioned things on flexibility becomes clear from running shoe lab tests, which rate the Saucony Ride 8 as being the more flexible running shoe of the two for both genders, but especially for women.
The Saucony Ride 9 turns out to be on the stiff side for both men and women.
The women's version of the Saucony Ride 8 weighs approximately 8.2 oz (232 grams) and the Saucony Ride 9 for women weighs 7.9 oz (224 grams).
The men's versions of the shoes weigh 9.7 oz (275 grams) and 9.5 oz (269 grams), respectively, with the Saucony Ride 9 being the lighter one.
If you are a neutral runner looking for an overall soft and smooth ride from a running shoe, you could go with either the Saucony Ride 8 or the Saucony Ride 9. Men may prefer the Saucony Ride 9, while women may want to choose the Saucony Ride 8 for its plushness.
The Saucony Ride 9 is somewhat lighter than the Saucony Ride 8 and may provide a bit more comfort due to the changes made to its upper and midsole.
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.
This review falls under: Saucony