Lots and lots of cushioning—padding addicts will love it
Relatively lightweight for all that cushioning
Extremely comfortable—plush padding, thick tongue, lots of foam
Too thick and soft to feel energetic
Little ground feel
Stiffness in forefoot may be supportive to heavy landers, but a touch clunky for lighter runners
Make no mistake—this shoe is on the "traditionalist" side of minimalism, and piles on the cushioning. But while a lot of similarly plush, luxury cruisers also pack on the ounces, the Ride 6 is at the lighter of the spectrum—sub 10 oz for the men's shoe. So while the overall feel is slow, cruisy, and damp on impact, the turnover is relatively quick. Best for heavy landers and cushion addicts who want a slightly lighter shoe than they're probably used to, and—with the slightly lowered heel—a bit more natural feeling ground strike.
This is very much a traditional training shoe with two non-traditional deviations. First, the heel drop is 8-mm, rather than the usual 10-12mm heel drop you’ll see on most trainers like this. That does not take this shoe out of the striker realm—the heel is still more than thick enough (26-mm) to land heavily with pmpunity. But it’s also possible to land with a little bit of a midfoot strike for a slightly more natural stride.
Speed The foam is soft—not responsive or fast. It’s built for cruising in comfort. There’s too much energy absorption to feel energetic. But it’s also a lot lighter than similar shoes—just 9.8 ounces—so the turnover feels nice and quick.
Stability Despite the thick maringue of foam—26-mm in the heel, and 18-mm in the forefoot—the shoe feels nicely stable, not wobbly or tettery. Pronators, of course, will want more medial stability than this neutral cushioning shoe can provide. The flex is relatively stiff in the forefoot, which helps to stabilize all that foam through the footstrike, and will probably still feel stable for heavier runners (I’m 155 pounds).
Comfort This shoe ranks among the more comfortable cruisers out there. It’s not over the top, though. There’s just a ton of padding in the heel collar and in the tongue, and all that foam under foot is a squishy dream for those who like that ultra-accomodating feel. The fit is right down the middle—wide feet or narrow will be able to work with this shoe. Smoothness No doubt—this is a smooth shoe. The carbon outsole is damp and not slappy. It’s also cut with lots of deep flex grooves, which give it a decently smooth feel if you toe off straight down the middle, but there’s heck of a lot of lateral stiffness in the forefoot—so if you don’t tee off straight, you might notice the shoe fighting you just a bit. It’s a subtle feeling, but I noticed it.
Responsiveness This shoe is way too thick and soft to fairly call it “responsive.” It’s more of an impact killer than a rebounder. Any speed comes from the overall low weight, not the foam. Faster runners will feel like they have flat tires; slower, steadier runners will feel like they have wings.