Saucony Guide 8 Running Shoe Review
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First Impressions on the Saucony Guide 8
The Guide 8 was introduced this past November at the 2014 New York City Marathon. A great platform for launching this new version for one of Saucony’s most popular shoe.
I was fortunate enough to get these shoes pretty much right as they were introduced. The Guide has been my go-to shoe since version 3 or 4. Hence, I was very excited to put these into the rotation.
- Shoe Category: Guidance
- Pronation: Mild
- Cushion: Plush
- Construction Type: Stability
- Surface: Road, Track
- Arch: Normal (Mid), Low
- Water Resistant: No
- Waterproof: No
- Offset: 8mm
- Heel Stack Height: 26mm
- Forefoot Stack Height: 18mm
Sockliner and upper
Now let’s get technical! With a seamless forefoot design, the Saucony Guide 8 provides for a very comfortable shoe with an almost sock-like feel. The great thing that Saucony has done from previous versions is to add Seamless overlays on the top and at the toe box. This basically provides for a cleaner and better fit for the foot. I am lucky not have this issue, but anyone with bunions should rejoice in this feature. The area is slightly larger, more comfortable, and less constricted.
Midsole and Outsole for the Saucony Guide 8
Saucony has two very nice systems in place to aid in protecting your foot and providing optimal performance. The first is the PowerGrid midsole. It is a blend of two technologies: Powerfoam and GRID. This combined technology results in a very smooth and responsive shoe by providing 20% more cushioning. It also aids in centering the foot, absorbing the impact, and returning maximum energy to the runner.
The outsole is created using an Injection Blown Rubber (IBR+). This is strategically placed components throughout the sole to provide a responsive and durable shoe. The use a proprietary Saucony compound which is liquid molded for a higher consistency and durability. There’s no waste with this process versus being cut, and it is 33% lighter with more cushioning than standard blown rubber. The flex grooves in the forefoot have been reconfigured to provide a more flexible ride offering full ground contact experience.
Saucony Guide 8 Performance
Running is my thing, and I run a lot. I am currently training for a full marathon and a handful of smaller races thrown in. I have really started putting these shoes to the test by putting in 25-35 miles per week. In my shoe arsenal I have the Saucony Guide 3 and 4’s and have been loyal to these versions for dozens of races over many years. For better or worse I am a creature of habit and routine. I find something that works and I stick to it. Thus when I was to test the Saucony Guide 8 I was a bit reluctant. But boy do I see the error in my ways. I am forever grateful to Saucony for making this shoe! The Saucony Guide 8 has transformed my runs.
This shoe is very light yet provides better stability than I believe I have had with any other shoe to date. From the moment I put these on they were a perfect fit. Remember I’ve been used to the Guide 3 and 4, which had the ProGrid midsole technology. The Saucony Guide 8 contains the PowerGrid technology (the updated form of the Grid technology now making it much lighter and more efficient). During footsrike, the PowerGrid helps center my foot, and safely and evenly distributes the impact. This is key! I have been dealing with IT band issues and feel that ultimately like all runners that think they are competitive, I don’t allow my body enough time to recover. With this comes overcompensation. I don’t even realize it until the pain sets in, not necessarily during my runs but certainly after. That’s at least what I had been noticing after running in my older shoes. When I rotate in my Saucony Guide 8’s the pain is gone. Now as I sit here writing this review I come to realize it must have more to do with the shoe, because of the PowerGrid that keeps my foot centered and aligned. It then provides the rest of my body with the proper alignment and thus my IT band issues are not as pronounced. Goodbye 3 and 4. I have just convinced myself to get multiple pairs of the Saucony Guide 8 and keep a rotation going with only these shoes.
The Saucony Guide 8 is my now go-to running shoe. The last month here in Colorado we’ve had nothing but snow and to be honest these shoes have stood up to the challenge. I don’t go through knee high snow in them, but I do traverse the snowy terrain without difficulty. Even on the icy parts I use appropriate caution, and feel confident that the outer sole will provide great traction. I’d like to think that I’m so quick and nimble and my feet won’t get wet. But then reality sets in and I realize I am mortal and my feet do get wet after running in the snow. Still they do a decent job of trying to keep my feet dry. Saucony doesn’t advertise the Guide 8 as waterproof or resistant. Maybe that’s yet to come. These are constructed with mesh along the outer part.
I think the Guide 8 is versatile. They have served me well on my long distance runs and short sprints. I’ve even taken them “off road”, along gravel paths and up sides of hills. There are of course better options for going off-road, but these can handle the less technical trails without any issues.
Last but not least is the color. The color combinations for all the Guide 8s are great. I tested the Grey/Sunset/Citron which is spot on for my style. The grey color gives it a hint of looking like a trail shoe. The Sunset color composes the inside mesh and the heel. The Citron color lines the Saucony logo and bottom sole is Twilight. My second pick for color would be the ViziPINK/Citron/Blue. I like shoes that make a bold statement.
Who the Saucony Guide 8 is for:
This is a support shoe for anyone looking to gain additional cushioning and responsiveness. With the 8mm offset it provides a smooth ride leveling out the foot just ever so slightly versus your traditional 12mm drop. All the while incorporating enough support for anyone with mild to moderate pronation. The Saucony Guide 8 is great balance between guidance and stability.
Available men’s sizes 7-13, 14, 15 and 16 and women’s sizes 5-12 and is also available in narrow and wide.
- Grey/Sunset/Citron (the one I tested)
The Saucony Guide 8 weighs in at 9.9 oz. This is the lightest shoe in its category which does make a difference once you start putting in the miles over longer distances. The lighter and more efficient PowerGrid technology helps center my foot thus safely and evenly distributes the impact during my foot-strikes.