Saucony Guide 8Review Facts
The Saucony Guide 8 is a stability running shoe that’s ideal for daily training but can also be handy for long distance runs. Released in November of 2014, this shoe is characterized by its combination of mild stability and responsiveness. If we were to take a look at the wide spectrum of running shoe categories, with barefoot minimalism being at one extreme and bulky supportive shoes being at the other, then the Guide 8 falls smack dab in the middle.
It caters to a wide range of runners, including those with a neutral stride and mild over-pronation. It has just enough cushioning to keep a runner comfortable but not so much that it’s too soft. Also, it delivers just enough energy so that a runner can pick up the speed during training sessions. Durability and traction are some of its strongest points. This makes the Guide 8 a fierce road warrior and a competitor against other brands like Adidas who are known for producing highly reliable road shoes. Some of the updates to the Guide 8 include a wider toe box and a new construction design on the upper. Overall, the Saucony Guide 8 contains a carefully thought out balance of elements for one to be able to say, “it’s not too hot nor too cold, but just right.”
The outsole on the Guide 8 is a mixture if carbon rubber and soft blown rubber. Saucony incorporates two of their rubber material technologies known as IBR+ and XT-900. IBR+ is a blend of softer rubber materials and it’s placed closer to the front of the shoe. It makes for more cushion and provides a softer landing pad for the forefoot. XT-900 is the tougher of the two rubber blends and it’s located toward the back. XT-900 rubber materials provide protection against normal wear and tear and abrasions. XT-900 also provides the shoe with grip and traction.
SSL EVA (Saucony Super Lite EVA) is an EVA blend that combines responsiveness, durability, and mild cushioning
This is precisely what you’ll find within the Guide 8’s dual density foam. These types of foams combine two types of densities within a single unit. The softer layer provides cushioning and the firmer layer provides energy, or more specifically, it provides the shoe with enough bounce in order for it to recharge itself with a boost of energy. The Guide 8 also contains Power Grid technology. Power Grid is a separate insert located just below the insole and it provides energy during heel to toe transitions and absorbs shock impact.
The upper is a seamless design that contains Saucony’s Spacer mesh, synthetic overlays, and hot melt overlays. The mesh material provides ventilation and it’s referred to as Flex Film technology. Flex Film is a light weight but durable material that allows greater mobility. On the inside, the Guide 8 has Run Dry technology which is made from fabric with moisture wicking properties.
The mens’ version weighs 9.9 ounces while the women’s weighs 8.4 ounces. The Guide 8 weighs a little heavier than we’d like. There are other brands that manufacture similar shoes in this class but are a little more limber. However, the Guide 8 is a middle of the road shoe and it also has some competitors, like the Brooks Glycerin 13
that are bulkier. The Guide 8 is not specifically for speed work, so its extra weight could not be much of an issue if you plan to use it for more steady- paced runs.
Mesh material is generously scattered all throughout the shoe. Sizable perforations cover most of the shoe and go pretty far back. The openings allow a for a constant stream of air to feed the internal regions of the shoe. This allows the Guide 8 to maintain an effective cooling system on hand and provide a comfortable and airy interior environment. When you combine this endless stream of airflow with the shoe’s Run Dry technology, you create the perfect environment to make sure that your feet stay dry and cool so as to avoid any potential heat related problems like hot spots and blisters
In terms of the shoe’s fit and feel, including it’s highly effective ventilation capabilities, it does remarkably well. The seamless construction on the upper provides a comfortable and secure fit that feels snug enough but not too tight. For this version, the toe box has been widened but it still remains an issue for many runners who feel that it’s still too narrow. Padding on the interior walls is fairly thick and could be too much for somer runners who desire a little less mass around the edges. As far as cushioning, you can’t expect plush levels of it, and some runners feel that the cushioning is still too firm. The firmness is due in part to the fact that Saucony intended for this shoe to have plenty of responsiveness.
The company offers the Guide 8 in a variety of some pretty fun options. The colors are bright and flashy and will definitely get you noticed. It includes combinations like red/black/orange and lime/navy/orange. There are also darker color combinations like blue and black but they are also highlighted by strips of bright colors which bring out the darker tones. This actually results in some of the best style combinations which are very easy on the eyes. Most runners will be very pleased with the selection of styles so in terms of this category, the Guide 8 shouldn’t disappoint.
The Guide 8’s toughness has not gone unnoticed by those who have chosen to own it. Saucony has a positive reputation for producing quality rubber outsoles that can go deep into the trenches of high mileage usage. The outsole utilizes two classes of rubber materials, but XT-900 is the rubber blend that provides the shoe with protection against abrasions and normal wear and tear. The shoe’s upper construction, with its use of synthetic overlays, also help to prolong its lifespan by ensuring that its less likely to suffer from any tears. In addition, other parts of the shoe like its laces are made from strong and stretchy nylon to ensure that they don’t snap before their time. All in all, the Guide 8 has a sturdy built from top to bottom.
The Guide 8 doesn’t overwhelm with an arsenal of protective features and it basically provides what’s necessary. While cushioning may be too firm for some runners, for others it may be just the right amount so as to keep the joints and knees ready for another training session
. On the front of the shoe, there’s a toe bumper as well as a strip of leather located just above to keep all your toes in one piece. A raised heel collar with padding ensures the back of your foot stays aligned and stable. The reflective colors, on top of adding style appeal, provide visibility for low light running conditions.
There are two components at play in the Guide 8 that work toward generating energy. The shoe’s SSL EVA midsole and its Power Grid insert. SSL, or Super Lite EVA, has a specific density that’s firmer than the other. The firmer density portion of the foam allows the shoe to have a high degree of bounce after making ground contact. This bounce and the energy garnered from it is what is referred to as responsiveness. The Guide 8’s Power Grid insert works similarly and together with the shoe’s dual density foam results in a continuous cycle of energy generation from landing to takeoff.
The underfoot and midsole portions of the shoe are adequately distributed. In fact, if you look at the shoe itself, you can see that it’s a fairly balanced design and the midsole/outsole regions are high enough off the ground to give you a steady level of support. You also have plenty of support from the lateral parts of the shoe, including through the thick padding from the interior walls that help to keep your foot locked in place. On top, the seamless construction coats the top part of your foot and provides support from this direction.
The Guide 8 is the epitome of what it means to be a road shoe. It has been constructed for high mileage outdoor use and can handle different sets of road conditions. The outsole has enough treading and is durable enough for it to effectively handle dry and wet conditions, as well as conditions involving high temperatures
. It can also be suitable for some light trail conditions or gravel pathways.
The Guide 8 has been discontinued and there are 2 versions ahead of it, the Guide 9 and Guide 10. Price for this version ranges between $60 to as high as the mid $100 range. A lot will depend on size and style. However, we would not recommend paying over $100 for the Guide 8, regardless of size or style, as the latest version is listed near this range and you might as well just upgrade to the latest version. But if you want to spend less than $100
and don’t mind owning a slightly outdated version of the Guide series
, then this could serve you well.
Traction is another strong point for the Guide 8. As we’ve mentioned, XT-900 is the shoe’s sturdier rubber blend out of the two that it uses on its outsole. This is where the shoe retains most of its gripping capabilities and placed in areas of the shoe that are subjected to most of the impact. You can see some of this rubber material placed near the edges of the outsole which are the areas where a a lot of the impact is being sustained. The Guide 8 has a reputation for having solid control of road surfaces and does remarkably well over wet conditions too.
Flex Film technology is made from fiber strands that are highly durable but elastic. This technology allows for the shoe to have fewer layers in between. It also has an aesthetic function in that it provides the shoe upper with a smoother look. But primarily, Flex Film, as its name implies, provides the upper with a lot of mobility.
Toward the lower end, the outsole has grooves that provide a partial amount of flexibility for the bottom part of the shoe. Also, you’ll notice that the the front part of the shoe is sightly slanted upward. The purpose for this is to help provide a forward roll motion in order for runners to have better transitions.
The Guide 8 has firm stability on both the forefoot and rear foot and will not feel wobbly. While it does provide a good amount of support and stability, it actually does not provide much in terms of motion control
. For this reason, the Guide 8 is mostly intended for neutral or mild pronation issues and not for more severe cases that require additional guidance.
As a middle of the range shoe, the Guide 8 has an 8mm heel to toe drop offset. Other shoes have higher drop ratios while some go lower like 4mm and even zero drop
. It’s safe to say that 8 mm falls somewhere. In the Guide 8, the front part of the sole is thinner than the heel area which is bulkier. A runner might still be inclined to heel strike but the fact that there’s a slant toward the front helps correct any tendency for runners to land on the back of their foot and makes it more likely that they’ll have a mid foot landing.
IBR+ rubber technology
XT-900 carbon rubber outsole
Power Grid Insole
Flex Film Upper
SSL EVA midsole
In essence, the Saucony Guide 8 was designed with averageness in mind - as if to say a shoe with “a little bit of this and a little bit of that” without doing overkill in any particular area. The good thing about this ‘averageness’ is that it can appease to a large number of runners who have a desire for a well-balanced shoe that’s reliable. Daily use is what’s in mind here, not completing the Boston Marathon in under 3 hours. For that, there are other types of shoes that would be more suitable. In sum, if you simply need a good reliable shoe that provides enough stability and responsiveness to handle some of your daily running then the Guide series
could be just what you’re looking for.