Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Shoe Review: Saucony Fastwitch 3


I've been breaking in a new pair of Saucony Fastwitch 3 racing shoes for my upcoming marathon in Geneva so here are a few observations after a few runs.

First thing is the sizing. I usually go down half a size in racing shoes to allow for the fact that i'm only wearing thin racing socks compared to thicker socks and orthotics in my trainers. But with the Fastwitch 3 I'm wearing a size UK 8.5, the same as my ProGrid Triumph 5 trainers. The Saucony racers do fit a bit closer than the trainers (same applies for the A2) so this is something to keep in mind. My local Saucony stockist Tri UK holds a pretty comprehensive range of sizes which made life a bit easier.

The fit is what attracted me to this shoe. I have a narrow heel and broad forefoot so can have a problem with my heels slipping around and the consequent blisters. These fit like a dream, nice grip on the heel and plenty of room in the toe box. First time out they were fine, no problems with blisters or bruising.

The ride is somewhere between soft and hard ! The shoe has a decent amount of cushioning and some medial support so should be fine for longer races up to the marathon. For a real low profile shoe for 5-10k I would probably go for the super skinny Saucony A2.

Because this shoe has a blown rubber outsole there is some wear on it already but as I normally destroy the midsole of my racers before the outsole i'm not overly worried about this. Will report back when they have done a couple of hundred miles though. One point to note is that like many racers these days there are holes in the midsole to save weight. On a wet road this is OK but when I ran through standing water I got wet socks. So hopefully no big puddles in Geneva !!

Updated:

Here is a picture of the sole of my Fastwitch 3 racers after 150km of running. There is some wear at the back of the forefoot and also where I push off on my toes. Otherwise they seem to be holding up well.


How did you find the Fastwitch 3 racers ? Post a comment ...

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the review, I just these as my first "flats" for an upcoming half. I had read of people having concerns about their durability for 26.2, but was glad to read that at least one person has faith in them for that the marathon.

Adrian Marriott said...

I need to update the review having run the marathon in them and post a photo. Quite a bit of outsole wear but plenty of support and cushioning during the race - keep in mind that i'm about 144lbs/66kgs on the start line.

Adrian

Joe Lombardi said...

Adrian...thanks for the Fastwitch review...question do you train (ie. as lightweight trainer) in the also or just use them for races...I was thinking due to the extra cushioning they might be suitable for this also...I can see how the soft outsole would mean you might go through them fast if you use them as a trainer also..thoughts?

Adrian Marriott said...

Hi Joe, I do some of my workouts on grass in them and also track but avoid training on asphalt becuase of the wear rate of the blown carbon outsole.

Adrian

jibelec said...

Adrian, Thanks for your review. Personally i always race my marathons in Saucony Fastwitch. I got my first sub 3 a couple of years ago wearing the 'old' Saucony Fastwitch 2 Speed (which were recommended to me for 5k and 10k), then i purchased the Saucony Fastwitch 2 Endurance (which were adapted more for half marathon distances and greater). For some reason i felt more comfortable in the Speed shoes than i did in the Endurance shoes. I tried to get hold of another pair of Fastwitch Speed but found they had been discontinued. This year i picked up the newer version (2009) Fastwitch 3 shoes and found them ideal, they fit like a glove and are so light you have to check sometimes if you've got anything on your feet. I didn't get much chance to break them in before this years Taunton Marathon as they arrived late (3 days before race day), but i choose to wear them at the very last minute, and managed a new PB.

Adrian Marriott said...

Delighted to hear that you got a PB in Taunton wearing your Fastwitch 3. Are you also setting PBs in the Yeovil 5k series this summer ?

Adrian

jibelec said...

Hi Adrian,
I haven't planned on doing the Yeovil 5k series, probably as these races aren't local to me, my area being South Wales. I will be looking to better both 5k and 10k times this summer though.
One dilemma i have however, is that i am currently happy with the new Saucony Fastwitch 3 and find them the best shoe they've produced so far in the Fastwitch series, but do i buy a couple more pairs for future use while they're still available, or do i hang on to see if a new shoe (probably a Fastwitch 4) enters the market ? Problem being, will the new shoe be an improvement on the current shoe ?

Adrian Marriott said...

I'm sure you will improve your 5k and 10k times. I did my 10k PB between the 4th and 5th marathons.

I think the Fastwitch question is an easy one. If you like them that much buy a couple more pairs while you can. Even an improved shoe in 2010 might not fit your foot as well as the current model.

Adrian

Anonymous said...

I bought those few weeks ago, I now train exlusively in racers. I'm very satisfied with the fit and the cushioning for training, and HM racing as well, but I'm sure the forefoot outsole will be destroyed within 250k, and I'm only 145lbs. After 250k, I'll be running on the midsole, since the forefoot center block of the outsole will be totally gone...

Nevertheless, I'm now a strong believer in using racers exxlusively : you're closer to the road, and you're forced to monitor your gait closely to stay efficient and injury-free.

Adrian Marriott said...

Can't disagree with anything you say.

Its always a trade off isn't it ? I've recently got a pair of the Grid Sinisters which are absolutely awesome (but not generally availble in UK) and the forefoot wear is horrible but I wouldn't swop them.

When they are properly duffed up I will post how many km's I got from them.

Mark said...

This shoe is AWFUL; it is narrow , has no support, and feels like you are wearing bedroom slippers; Stay Away!

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