Saucony Guide 17 Review: The One True Guide

Saucony Guide calf down

The Saucony Guide 17 was designed with an emphasis on comfort and protection.

The Saucony Guide 17 is a mild-to-moderate stability running shoe designed for daily mileage, workouts, and casual movement. The latest version of the Guide moves into the new age of stability and support by disregarding the traditional medial post and utilizing less noticeable methods. This new direction helps guide your foot forward while supporting you in the process. Saucony isn’t the first to move in this direction (nor will they be the last) as technology progresses and approaches to stability and support advance over time.

The Guide 17 experiences a complete makeover with all-new midsole geometry, a redesigned upper, and its modern approach to stability and support. Saucony also introduces its all-new Center Path Technology to help guide runners down a central path through their unique gait cycle.

Our Review Process

We like to get to know our shoes inside and out before sharing our thoughts. Our team will take a pair of running shoes out for a variety of runs to get a feel for how they perform for different purposes. Whether it be road, trail, or treadmill, if you can run there, we’ll test it there.

The Saucony Guide 17 is the latest version of a longstanding stability staple in the running community. With our review process, we will shine a light on what makes the Guide 17 unique in comparison to previous models. We also compare it to other stability trainers such as the HOKA Arahi 7 and Brooks Adrenaline GTS 23 to see how it stacks up.

Saucony Guide 17 Details and Highlights:

  • Men’s weighs 9.4 oz/269 g, Women’s weighs 8.1 oz/232 g
  • 35 mm/27 mm stack height
  • 6 mm drop/heel-toe offset, reduced from 8 mm in the Guide 16
  • Great for runners looking for mild to moderate stability 
  • Incorporate Saucony’s new Center Path Technology
  • Features articulated sidewalls that help securely wrap the foot
  • A broader platform and asymmetric profile help naturally guide your stride
  • Designed for daily mileage, casual movement, and workouts
  • Fits true to size
  • Moderate-to-high stack height of PWRRUN midsole foam
  • PWRRUN+ sockliner adds immediate step-in comfort
  • An Incorporated rocker encourages forward motion
  • The updated mesh upper is breathable and allows for some stretch and flexibility in some areas while helping to secure the midfoot
  • Lighter than most competitors for stability options
Saucony Guide 17 two women running on sidewalk

A Deeper Dive Into Some Guide 17 Features

PWRRUN Foam Cushioning With PWRRUN+ Sockliner

Consistency can be a welcome friend, especially in a world full of the unknown. The Guide 17 brings us some consistency from its familiar PWRRUN cushioning.

Digging a little deeper, Saucony’s PWRRUN is an EVA-based foam that’s been utilized for several generations of the Guide. The PWRRUN formula has been fine-tuned and tweaked over the years but any major foam upgrades were released as something entirely new.

A noticeable difference with this version’s PWRRUN midsole is the increase in the amount of it underfoot. There is an additional 2 mm of cushioning that’s been added, predominately in the forefoot, to help absorb the impact in each step. With the addition of this foam to the forefoot, the previous heel-to-toe offset moves down from 8 mm to 6 mm. 

To round out cushioning, we look towards the unsung hero of many shoes, the sockliner. The Guide 17 changes things up from the midsole and uses the softer and bouncier PWRRUN+ foam for the sockliner. This seemingly small change provides you with immediate step-in comfort as you lace up and adds another layer of impact protection.

Center Path Technology

While consistency can be comforting, there are times when change and innovation are the only way forward. 

Saucony has embraced new concepts to incorporate stability and support within its running shoes. This generation of the Saucony Guide moves away from HOLLOW-TECH and introduces new Center Path Technology. Underneath this umbrella of support are three key features: a broader base, higher sidewalls, and an asymmetrical profile. At first glance, a widened base may not raise eyebrows, but like Transformers, there’s more than meets the eye. 

The Guide 17’s asymmetrical geometry and widened base along the medial and lateral sides create a more stable platform to land on, helping your foot resist rolling too much in either direction. It also includes higher sidewalls that wrap and secure your foot while providing additional structure to the shoe.

With all these supportive features incorporated into one shoe, it’s easy to (metaphorically) put this shoe in a box as ‘another stability shoe.’ We tested the Saucony Guide 17 with a variety of runners and even those who prefer neutral running shoes appreciated the holistic approach to stability.

Alex mentioned “I was able to notice the supportive pieces at play while I ran but at no point did it feel obstructive. My stride felt just as natural in the Guide 17 as it does in my Ride 17’s.”

Updated Mesh Upper

Whether we’re talking about humans or shoes, being able to breathe is pretty important. Having footwear made with lightweight, breathable materials allows you to feel more comfortable on your runs. 

Along the midfoot the upper sets the tone as a little more relaxed, offering some stretch to accommodate varying foot shapes. This breathable material offers some stretch, but not too much, and secures your foot in comfort.

The Guide 17 uses a fair bit of material around the heel collar for a plush fit as it wraps your ankle. There’s a semi-rigid heel counter to help give the upper a bit more structure as well. On top, the gusseted tongue continues where the heel collar left off and offers a plush and comfortable experience as you slide in and lace up.

Incorporated Rocker

Rocker-shaped geometry is a fairly straightforward concept; it utilizes a rounded geometry to help roll you forward through the gait cycle. This type of design requires less energy to move forward in comparison to a flatter one. A quick way to identify a running shoe with a rocker is to check the midsole and outsole shape for this slightly rounded design. 

Energy conservation is the name of the game when it comes to distance running so more energy return is generally a good thing. This is one very good reason why Saucony included the rocker-shaped geometry in the Guide 17, to help make your runs feel that much more effortless.

Saucony Guide 17 Lifestyle two women running towards camera

How Does the Guide 17 Fit

One of the most impactful moments when looking for a new pair of shoes is when you first put them on your foot. This is the first impression you get of a shoe and it can influence your decision from one choice over another. Our reviewers laced up the Guide 17 for several weeks to hone in on how they tend to fit.

In our testing, the Saucony Guide 17 generally fit comfortably true to size in terms of length. A few reviewers noted they felt a little extra space in the midfoot than the Guide 16 but experienced no issues from it. This could potentially be explained by the wide base introduced for added stability.

The Guide 17 includes an updated mesh upper and the experience was mostly positive from our team. The upper material offers a bit of stretch that helped accommodate a lot of different foot shapes from our testing pool. 

But even with this stretch, the midfoot area did a great job to help lockdown the foot. “My foot tends to be slightly larger than average so the stretch in the upper was a great touch,” says Brian. “It had just enough give while maintaining a secure feel.” 

Several reviewers specifically enjoyed the well-cushioned tongue and heel collar, mentioning it improved their feelings overall toward the Guide 17. The only critique we’ve received so far is regarding the color/style of the upper. Whether it’s your style or not, there’s no denying the Guide 17 offers a comfortable and secure fit.

How Does The Guide 17 Perform?

We looked lovingly into the eyes of the Saucony Guide 17 and asked it to tell us more about itself. When that didn’t work, we had our wear-testers lace them up and take them out on the town. Long runs, recovery runs, tempos, hill repeats, we put this stability trainer through the ringer.

The Guide 17 has more cushion when compared to the Guide 16 and is crafted with Saucony’s PWRRUN midsole foam. This high stack of cushioning is not quite as firm as the prior iteration but we still wouldn’t call it super soft either. We think this is a good thing. 

One highlight that would always come up from our reviewers was how the Guide 17 improved its midsole cushioning. It offers plenty of protection from the impacts of running but doesn’t delve into the world of super-plush, squishy foam. Instead, the Saucony Guide 17 offers a balanced experience underfoot that feels energetic and responsive. 

While this outsole held up well against the road, the trail was not so kind. Testers had no issues with stability while navigating the trails but the dirt, gravel, and other unpredictable terrain took a toll on the outsole. The Guide 17 would fare just fine on an occasional run on a well-manicured trail but not much beyond that.

When identifying some comparable models, there were a few that stood out. The HOKA Arahi 7 is a mid-cushion stability trainer that utilizes J-frame technology and sidewalls instead of a traditional post on the medial side. The Brooks Adrenaline GTS 23 uses GuideRails® technology to help keep excess movement in check. 

The common denominator among these other stability shoes is the holistic approach to stability. They all use a less obstructive method to help guide your foot forward and reduce excessive rolling or movement. However, there are some key differences to highlight that make these shoes very different. 

The Brooks Adrenaline GTS 23 has a much higher offset than the Saucony Guide 17, 12 mm in comparison to 6 mm. It also is slightly heavier at an estimated 10.1 oz. As for the HOKA Arahi 7, there is much more alike than different, especially with an offset of 5 mm. Overall weight and offset are nearly identical with each proprietary foam composed of either EVA or CMEVA. 

If you are torn between more than one shoe, we recommend heading to your nearest Marathon Sports or other local running stores to try them on for yourself. The best way to compare two running shoes is to put them on your feet. 

Pros and Cons

PROS

  • Center Path Technology helps guide you forward and reduce excessive movement without overcorrecting
  • The engineered mesh upper offers a breathable fit while also securing the midfoot
  • The cushioned heel collar and tongue help increase overall comfort.
  • An incorporated rocker encourages forward motion
  • A high stack of PWRRUN midsole foam protects from impact while offering a responsive and energetic experience
  • PWRRUN+ in the sockliner immediately creates a soft, comfortable impression

CONS

  • Those looking for higher stability may not get what they need from the Guide 17

There’s always something to nitpick but we can’t let personal preferences influence us too much. The overall style of the Guide 17 didn’t resonate with some of our reviewers while others enjoyed the look. This couldn’t be put as an actual “con” in good conscience but was worth noting.

Final Thoughts On the Saucony Guide 17

Runners who are looking for mild-to-moderate stability in a daily trainer will find just that with the Saucony Guide 17. The holistic approach to support and stability even helps keep this shoe as an option for neutral runners as well. 

This trainer handled a large number of miles in testing so if you’re looking for a durable running shoe, this one can stand the test of time. If you like the stability of the Guide 17 but want a more lightweight shoe that can handle some uptempo runs, the Saucony Tempus would be a great alternative.

The Saucony Guide 17 is available today online or in-store.

Find the Saucony Guide 17 at Marathon Sports

Marathon Sports keeps a well-stocked selection of some of the best shoes of the 2024 and we love to help runners find their perfect match. Whether you’re looking for running shoes, socks, nutrition, or any other gear, you can find help at your local Marathon Sports or online.

On your next visit to New England, be sure to check in at a local Marathon Sports location to find your Right Fit™. We have expert staff who are equipped with a wealth of knowledge to help you find whatever you’re looking for. We’d love to be a part of your running journey.

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