When I was running my 10k test run with the Saucony Ride ISO 2, I kept on trying to think of an angle for the review. Most usually, after a bit of running, the idea about the article will come to you. How does it feel running in them? How do they look when you observe them? What are the running dynamics of the shoes?
After 45 minutes of running around Bristol, I realised I haven't had anything for the Saucony Ride ISO 2. It was like running in...running shoes. I looked at the mainly black pair of trainers on my feet and waited to see if I can muster up an emotional response. None came.
After I walked a bit and stretched, I realised that the angle was there all along; more like, the lack of angle for the review. The Saucony Ride ISO 2 did not evoke any emotions; it stayed silent while I ran. It didn't speak to me either as I placed it among the rest of the running shoes I have at home.
And this is the biggest forte of the shoes: they don't shout at you. You won't feel like you are parading around in them. You probably won't love them or hate them. They will be at your disposal when you need them. Any other time, they will be waiting patiently for their turn.
Saucony Ride ISO 2 review: the Tech
As the name might suggests, the Saucony Rise ISO 2 is the successor to the Ride ISO and builds on the foundation laid by the original Ride ISO. It has improved since the last incarnation, especially in the toebox area, where you'll now find loads more space (for better or worse).
It sports a topsole construction called Everun, which stands for either 'ever run' or 'eve run'. My bet is on the former, since it was designed for lasting comfort and pressure relief, things you'll need if you want to cover larger distances with the Saucony Ride ISO 2.
The Pwrfoam midsole (as in 'power foam') is said to absorb impact and help in the energy return department.
Both the above technologies could be found in the original Ride ISO.
What has been updated, though, is the Isofit system, which, when coupled up the newly added Formfit technology, can create a dynamic fit system that adopts to the shape and motion of each runner's foot.
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Saucony Ride ISO 2 review: the Ergonomics
It being a neutral running shoe, the Saucony Ride ISO 2 is most suited for neutral runners, but it can improve the running technique for runners who suffer from underpronation, also known as supination, too.
As mentioned above, the toebox area has been improved since the last iteration. The upper is not knitted like in the case of the Nike Joyride Flyknit, yet there is definitely enough space at the front.
Maybe a little bit too spacious, even for someone like me with a foot that resembles scuba propulsion fins. The Saucony Ride ISO 2 holds your feet firmly around the bridge of your foot, where the laces run, but not in a way that would obstruct you.
The Isofit mesh upper is breathable, giving enough ventilation to your foot during your runs. It even also morphs to your foot, according to Saucony, a process that might take a bit longer and would require a long-term review.
The Saucony ISO Ride 2 has an 8 mm drop and weighs just under 300 grams, which is not too heavy, nor it is too light.
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Saucony Ride ISO 2 review: the Aesthetics
In the visual department, the Saucony Ride ISO 2 follows the path set out by other running shoe brands like Brooks and Asics and offers not much to get interested about. I mentioned this in my Asics Gel-Nimbus 21 review, but serious running shoes can be fairly underwhelming to look at.
The tested black/blue colourway looks somewhat interesting on the pictures, in real life, it is less exciting. Other thrilling colour options include grey, citron and teal (mens variants), and to my surprise, even the woman's variants are pretty subtle.
Woman's running shoes look way more stimulating in general not in this case, though. On the upside, the Saucony Ride ISO 2 delivers a consistent look all across the range.
The thick, gradient-coloured sole and the contrasted logo on the side of the shoes give a bit more of a character to the Ride ISO 2, maybe not enough for it stand out, but it definitely doesn't make it uglier either.
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Saucony Ride ISO 2 review: the verdict
The Saucony Ride ISO 2 are sufficiently good running shoes. They deliver a good running experience, maybe not great, but satisfactory nevertheless.
The Pwrfoam midsole, alongside the Tri-flex outsole and Everun topsole, will provide enough control and cushioning for neutral and underpronating runners. The Isofit upper will morph to the foot in time, although it is a bit too roomy in the toebox area.
The mesh upper will produce enough ventilation so your feet won't feel stuffy and hot, even on longer running journeys.
The Ride ISO 2 delivers little in the looks department, with its sombre colours and restricted curves. The gradient-coloured sole and the contrasty logo on the side of the shoes give some personality to the shoes, unfortunately not enough for it to stand out from the competition.
The Saucony Ride ISO 2 will not sweep you off your feet. They are not the best running shoes, nor are they the worst. They sit very comfortably in the middle of the long line of running shoes, not being threatened by lower level models and them not being a formidable competitor to best the best in class models either.