By Brianne, off the injured reserve list
I recently switched from lightweight neutral running shoes to the new Saucony Progrid Guide 5, a light stability shoe that is in no way anywhere near what the Guide 4 was! Having been injured for the past couple of months, I wanted to try a shoe with light stability to see if it would help take some of the stress off of my knees. For the past year and a half, I had been running in the Saucony Kinvara and Mizuno Wave Precision, both extremely comfortable and lightweight shoes with no structure. I have worn the Guide series before and decided to give it a go again.
Saucony’s latest release of their go-to running shoe, the Progrid Guide 5, is a lot different than its predecessor. The main difference between the Guide 4 and Guide 5 is the heel differential, dropping to 8mm from 12mm. Since I was running in a lower profile shoe already, I wasn’t concerned about adjusting to the drop in the heel. The difference isn’t major, though, so most runners looking for a switch shouldn’t be concerned either.
I couldn’t help but notice how much more room there was in the shoe when I first tried it on. It definitely has a more generous fit, with a much more flexible upper and spacious toe box. This is something I look for in my running shoes – I don’t have a wide foot, but my feet swell a lot while I’m running and a shoe that can accommodate that is always a bonus. For those needing a wide or narrow shoe, don’t despair; the Guide 5 comes in all widths for women and in wide for men.
Anyone who runs in structured running shoes understands that sometimes it is hard to find one with cushioning. At first, I didn’t feel anything different when I put the Guide 5 on; it felt flat and a little boxy, but I walked around in them for a bit and soon noticed the cushion and arch. I could even feel the flexibility just walking around in them. The fact that the weight of the shoe had been reduced by up to 1.5 ounces was noticeable also; the shoe was less bulk and more comfort.
My first run in them was on a treadmill and I was immediately happy with the smooth transition from step-to-step. Good bye stiff sole, hello flexibility! The responsiveness in the shoes was great and I was able to run one of my first pain-free runs in a while. Running outdoors was no different – I took them out for a 4km run with our Learn-to-Run clinic and could really feel the cushion on the road. There was less impact per stride, which made my knees very happy. They even performed well during a heavy snowfall, with slippery sidewalk and road conditions!
Overall, anyone looking for a light stability running shoe for short and long distances should consider trying Saucony’s Progrid Guide 5. The changes from the Guide 4 are definitely an improvement and should not disappoint those loyal to the brand. At a comfortable price point of $144.99, the new Guide 5 is available at Foot Tools. For a limited time, we are offering 20% off, so stop by and give them a try! Happy running!