Saucony Guide 17 Review
All shoes are reviewed by the Fleet Feet tester team, which represents a wide variety of goals, foot shapes, locations and terrains. Reviewers pound the pavement, climb the hills, tackle the trails, then come together to compare notes. Debates ensue over the feel of the cushioning, the purpose of the shoe, and how it compares to last year’s model. While each reviewer has their own individual preferences, we hope that capturing our debates will help you make an informed decision.
We all need a little guidance in our lives sometimes, whether it’s using your GPS to navigate an unfamiliar highway or consulting with your local Fleet Feet outfitter about what kind of shoes to buy.
The Saucony Guide franchise is aptly named as it provides support and guidance to those who overpronate, which is the excessive inward rolling of a runners’ foot upon landing. While the Guide (or any other stability shoe) won’t prevent you from overpronating, it offers more durable reinforcements on the medial side of the shoe, which is where overpronators put more pressure.
The result? The pressure from landings is distributed evenly across the shoe, helping offset the effects of overpronation.
With brand new stability technology from Saucony, can the 17th iteration of the Saucony Guide live up to its name? Read on to find out.
Saucony Guide 17
|8.1 oz (W), 9.4 oz (M)
|Stack height (heel/forefoot)
|35 mm/29 mm
|HOKA Arahi 7, ASICS GT-2000 12
Center Path Technology guides your stride
A new era of stability has been ushered in, and the Saucony Guide 17 is no exception. We’ve seen more and more of our favorite stability shoes transition from firm, medial postings to more innovative and holistic approaches that feel smoother and more accommodating to different foot shapes. The latest version of the Guide ditches the previous HOLLOW-TECH stability technology and debuts Saucony’s Center Path Technology.
Saucony’s Center Path Technology is made up of three key components. First, a wide, broad platform offers a stable base for landings. Second, high sidewalls encompass your foot so you’re sitting inside the cushioning rather than on top of it. Third, an asymmetrical profile, namely in the heel bevel, provides guidance for your stride during toe-offs. A heel bevel is when the heel of the shoe tapers upwards to improve the heel-to-toe transitions, keeping you moving forward efficiently.
“As someone who overpronates, the shoe’s strong stability frame really helps keep my momentum moving straight ahead instead of rolling inward,” says Spencer.
Heather agreed, saying, “I could feel the guidance underfoot, but not in an unpleasant way. The shoe lived up to its name as I felt that it was guiding my foot from foot strike to toe-off, unlike what a traditional posted shoe would do.”
This is because traditional medial posts don’t take a holistic approach to stability the way the Center Path Technology does. The three-part technology focuses on all aspects of the gait cycle, from landings to toe-offs, rather than just providing added medial support during landings.
Another helpful aspect of the Center Path Technology is its ability to work for a variety of different runners. I don’t typically run in stability shoes, and when I ran in previous version of the Guide I found the stability technology to feel way too harsh on my low arches–but not so with the Guide 17. The Center Path Technology feels much smoother and less intrusive.
Smooth upper offers a contoured fit
The Saucony Guide 17 offers a smooth, soft upper that contours to your foot for a snug, locked-down feel. A gusseted tongue stays in place atop your foot, while extra eyelets allow for different lacing techniques like the marathon loop.
“My foot feels locked down in the padded heel collar, the midfoot is snug and the wider forefoot gives my toes some wiggle room,” says Nate, who’s typically in between medium and wide width sizes. “The upper, laces and tongue offer what I’ve come to expect from Saucony– good breathability, zero slippage and just enough padding all around.”
While some reviewers described the upper as plush, some felt it was a far cry from luxurious. Maybe we’ve been spoiled by shoes like the Saucony Triumph, the brand’s top-tier daily trainer.
“The upper was soft and accommodating, but didn’t have a premium feel to it,” says Heather. “It felt very ‘base-level’ to me.”
Regardless of our perceptions of luxury, the Guide 17 offers an accommodating yet secure fit. We didn’t experience any slippage, blisters or hot spots while testing the shoe.
Saucony Guide 17 vs Saucony Guide 16
Saucony Guide 17
Saucony Guide 16
8.1 oz (W), 9.4 oz (M)
8.4 oz (W), 9.5 oz (M)
35 mm/29 mm
35 mm/27 mm
When it comes to comparing the Saucony Guide 17 to the Saucony Guide 16, the main headline is the switch from HOLLOW-TECH stability to Center Path Technology. We found this change to make the Guide 17 feel smoother and more accommodating to different arch profiles.
The Guide 17 has also gained two millimeters in stack height in the forefoot, bringing the heel-to-toe drop up to six millimeters. The lower heel-to-toe drop is something we’ve seen in a lot of shoes recently, and can only speculate on the cause. Some runners find a mid-level heel-to-toe drop (between four and six millimeters) feels much smoother and more natural than a high heel-to-toe drop (between eight and twelve millimeters).
I personally like a higher heel-to-toe drop, as I find it takes some pressure off my calves and achilles. However, I didn’t have any sore spots after running in the Guide 17, likely due to the rocker shape that helped me roll along.
How does the Saucony Guide 17 compare?
We took a look at some comparable models to see how they stack up against the Saucony Guide 17. Here’s what we found:
Saucony Guide 17
HOKA Arahi 7
ASICS GT-2000 12
8.1 oz (W), 9.4 oz (M)
8.1 oz (W), 9.9 oz (M)
8.2 oz (W), 9.5 oz (M)
35 mm/29 mm
34 mm/29 mm (W), 37 mm/32 mm (M)
35 mm/27 mm (W), 36 mm/28 mm (M)
We found the Saucony Guide 17 to feel most similar to the HOKA Arahi 7 and the ASICS GT-2000 12. Not only are all three shoes their respective brand’s mid-cushion stability shoes, but they all take holistic approaches to stability.
The HOKA Arahi 7 uses J-frame technology, a J-shaped hook of foam that wraps around your heel and lines the medial side of the shoe. This creates additional durability on areas that see the most wear and tear from overpronation. Both the Arahi 7 and the Guide 17 utilize high sidewalls to keep your feet secure inside the cushioning rather than on top of it.
The ASICS GT-2000 12 provides a three-part stability system that’s actually pretty similar to the Center Path Technology used by Saucony. ASICS’ 3D Guidance system offers a wide, stable base, a beveled heel and a forefoot flare to keep your feet moving efficiently. Sound familiar?
All three shoes offer reliable support for runners with flexible arches that tend to overpronate. They’re also remarkably similar when it comes to weight and price, too. The heel-to-toe drop may be the deciding factor when it comes to deciding between the three options. Of course, these three shoes are just a fraction of the stability options available at your local Fleet Feet.
Who is the Saucony Guide 17 best for?
Because of the extra support provided by Saucony’s Center Path Technology, the Guide 17 is best suited for runners who overpronate. Not sure if you overpronate? Be sure to head into your local Fleet Feet for an expert one-on-one outfitting. Fleet Feet outfitters use 3D fit id® foot scanning technology to gather information about your feet and the support they need by taking precise measurements of your foot length, width and arch height.
“I would recommend this shoe to anyone who needs a very stable, durable option,” says Spencer, who runs exclusively in stability shoes. “The Guide 17 has extremely effective structural support for overpronation because it uses a fairly firm midsole material, especially on the medial side. It’s also durable–this is the kind of shoe you could train for and finish a marathon in.”
While it may not give you any special speed advantages during a marathon (or a shorter distance race), it will provide the support needed to make it through training for overpronators or those who tend to endure form fatigue in the final miles of a long run.