Ryka vs Saucony: Which Is Better?

As an active woman looking for the perfect athletic shoe, I’ve spent time researching top brands like Ryka and Saucony. Both companies make quality shoes designed specifically for women, but they differ in key areas like fit, cushioning, price point and ideal uses. Read on as I dive into the details and compare Ryka vs Saucony to help you decide which brand is best for your needs and preferences!

Comparison Table:

CategoryRykaSaucony
Founded In19871898
Comfort and FitDesigned for women’s feet with narrower heels and wider toe boxesKnown for plush cushioning and support
Color OptionsWide range of colorwaysVariety of color options
DurabilityDurable construction for longevityWell-made for many miles of wear
PerformanceInnovative technologies for shock absorption and energy returnFocus is on comfort and support rather than pure performance
Design and StyleAthletic styles with some casual optionsAthletic and lifestyle designs ranging from performance to fashionable
PopularityLess popular globally than some competing brandsBetter known brand among runners
Best Selling ModelDevotion Plus 3 Kinvara Running Shoe

Ryka Overview

Ryka athletic shoes were founded in 1987 by Sheri Poe, who was an avid runner and fitness instructor.

Frustrated by ill-fitting men’s shoes, she launched a women’s footwear brand focused on style, support, and comfort. Ryka pioneered shoes specifically shaped for the female foot.

Ryka incorporates design elements targeted at women like narrower heels, higher arches and angled footbeds.

Their shoes also feature additional padding in the forefoot and heel areas that tend to be problematic for women. Anatomically designed insoles and heel cups provide arch support and stability.

Midsoles are often made from dual-density foam or EVA blends for responsive cushioning underfoot.

Flexible outsoles and grooved soles allow natural movement and transitions during training. Breathable mesh uppers accommodate swelling and keep feet cool. From HIIT workouts to studio sessions, Rykas span athletic needs.

While catering to athletic performance, Ryka also emphasizes fashion-conscious styles for active women. Bold colors and feminine detailing give their shoe runway appeal.

Ryka continues gaining fans for understanding women require both function and beauty in their footwear. For the woman who needs her shoes to power through kickboxing class and then lunch with the girls, Ryka fuses performance and style.

Saucony Overview

Saucony has been crafting high-quality athletic shoes since 1898 when the brand was founded in Kutztown, Pennsylvania.

Known for their cushioned and supportive fit, Saucony running shoes are designed to provide versatility for runners of all levels.

They incorporate features like PWRRUN+ midsole foam, FORMFIT uppers, and Everun in the outsole to deliver a smooth, flexible ride.

Saucony offers a wide range of pronation control options like their neutral, stability, and motion control shoes.

Their shoes also accommodate different arch types with models featuring low to high arch support.

While the average price point is around $100, Saucony has options spanning from $55 for basic models to $275 for their top designs.

They have a classic, sleek aesthetic that works for athletic training as well as casual everyday use. Saucony is a brand with broad appeal across the running community.

One of their popular model Kinvara is a light, flexible shoe perfect for tempo runs and racing. For runners seeking a reliable, well-cushioned workhorse of a shoe, Saucony delivers quality and performance.

Major Differences Between the Brands

1. Comfort and Fit

Ryka designs specifically cater to female feet, with heels, toe boxes and arches shaped for a woman’s foot. Saucony offers a more unisex athletic fit, albeit with women’s sizes.

2. Durability and Performance

Both brands are known for durable shoes that can handle miles of wear and tear. Ryka focuses more on cushioning and comfort, while Saucony incorporates technologies for high performance and energy return.

3. Price

Ryka shoes range from $50 – $150, coming in at an affordable to moderate price point. Saucony’s pricing spans $60 – $250, with some premium technologies pushing the top end higher.

4. Design and Style

Ryka specializes in athletic footwear designed for the female aesthetic. Saucony also crafts athletic shoes but with a wider range of lifestyle and casual designs.

5. Popularity

Saucony has greater global brand recognition, especially among serious runners. But Ryka fills an important niche catering specifically to active women.

6. Target Market

Ryka aims squarely at athletic women looking for a tailored fit and comfort-focused performance. Saucony has a broader market spanning dedicated runners to weekend joggers seeking cushion and style.

Performance Comparison

For Nurses:

Ryka’s comfortable arch support and generously cushioned midsole make them an excellent choice for nurses and others on their feet all day. Saucony also offers cushy shock absorption but may feel bulkier for extended wear.

For Walking:

With specialized designs for walking shoes, Ryka excels at a natural stride and energizing comfort. Saucony walking shoes focus more on stability and durability for long miles.

For Running:

For serious runners training hard and racing, Saucony’s technologies give superior energy return and responsiveness. Ryka run shoes cater more towards beginners doing occasional runs rather than marathons.

For Flat Feet:

Ryka’s options with medial posts provide excellent stability for flat feet. Saucony’s support shoes also successfully control overpronation for flat feet.

For Back Pain:

The maximum cushioning from either Saucony or Ryka can alleviate back pain, with Saucony featuring even thicker foam.

For Standing All Day:

Cushy midsoles and arch support make either brand a good option, with Ryka’s roomier toe boxes better accommodating swelling feet.

For High Arches:

Ryka and Saucony both have models offering extra cushioning under the arches, providing sufficient support for high arches.

For Hiking:

For smooth trails, Ryka and Saucony hiking shoes provide cushion, grip and durability. More rugged terrain requires the aggressive lugs of a specialized hiking brand.

For Plantar Fasciitis:

Ryka’s Energize foam minimizes pressure on the plantar fascia, while Saucony’s plush PWRRUN cushions every step for plantar fasciitis.

Final Verdict

Ultimately, Ryka and Saucony each offer quality athletic shoes tailored to your specific needs. Women seeking a comfortable walking or cross-training shoe with a female-centric fit will appreciate Ryka’s roomy toe boxes and dialed-in arch support.


Saucony is ideal for serious runners wanting advanced energy return and performance technologies to shave seconds off their PRs. But both deliver durable construction and thoughtful cushioning technologies to keep you moving in comfort.

Assess your personal preferences and give each brand a try to experience the nuanced differences in fit and feel. Your feet will thank you for finding that just-right shoe match.

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