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10.5 oz. (297 g) for a US W9
Stack height unavailable (9.5 mm drop)
Casual everyday wear
Knit upper, Supercritical midsole, FemiformityFIT Technology
RUBY: Before we talk shoes, let’s start with a confession — I’m a big Allyson Felix fan. Yep, guilty as charged. Being aware of the challenges she faced trying to secure the support she needed from major apparel and shoe brands during her career, I was thrilled when I heard she was going rogue. Allyson Felix decided to start her own footwear company, and I so badly wanted it to work for her. After Felix ran her own Saysh spikes to a place in her fifth Olympic Games, I jumped at the chance to test the Felix Runner, Saysh’s neutral running shoe designed specifically for women.
At $165, the Felix Runner lands at the higher end of the neutral daily training spectrum, so I was expecting gold medal-winning quality and comfort. Right out of the box, the Felix Runner hugged my foot nicely without feeling too restrictive. As a textbook US W9.5, it fits me like a glove, though you should definitely size up if you fall between sizes. Anyway, let’s see how The Felix runs.
CARYN: In my book, Allyson Felix can do no wrong. She’s an 11-time Olympic gold medalist, mother, businesswoman, and, perhaps most importantly, an advocate for female athletes. Her opinion piece in Time, written after the passing of teammate Torie Bowie is both powerful and illuminating — Bowie passed away at the age of 32 due to complications from pregnancy. It demonstrates just how much work remains to be done when it comes to equitable access to high-quality care in the United States for Black women.
When Allyson launched her collaboration with Athleta, I was so excited — the items were both functional and beautiful. They had a unique look and stood out from the normal athleisure we’re used to seeing out and about. Then, after hearing she’d be launching a footwear brand, I was equally as intrigued.
Despite not normally vibing with shoes “designed for women” (women and men really have the same feet, to be honest), I felt like she might be able to offer something unique to the footwear space. Will the Felix Runner will make it onto the podium? Let’s find out.
RUBY: Given the high stack height and soft feel underfoot, I was expecting the layers of foam to break down and the shoe to bottom out fairly quickly, much like when you overstretch a rubber band, and it no longer recoils quite right. However, I’m impressed. With close to 50 miles logged and many more hours walking around in the Felix Runner, it still feels just as soft and cushioned as it did out of the box.
While I’ve described the feel as soft, I don’t think the Felix Runner is a marshmallow pillow underfoot, nor does it feel unstable. Saysh calls its structure FemiformityFIT Technology, and it works kind of like a memory foam mattress. It combines comfort with structural integrity that seemed to mold around my foot from the bottom up.
As far as how I see myself wearing this shoe going forward, however, the Felix Runner stands atop the podium of everyday shoes that combine style with comfort. The black upper looks great even with business casual styles, thanks to its premium stitching and elegant touches. With substance as well as style, I don’t think Saysh is a fashion trend: it’s time other brands take note or get left behind in the shrinking-and-pinking trends designed by and for men. Women deserve better!
CARYN: The Felix Runner has a sleek look out of the box — something you could certainly use for running, walking, living, and everything in between. The shoe has a very luxurious appearance, and my black colorway paired well with anything. The step-in feel of the Felix Runner is really nice — it’s soft but supportive. I enjoyed walking in the shoe quite a bit and even wore it to work for a 14-hour shift. It felt great for hours on end, which I credit to the supercritical foam that Saysh uses throughout the midsole. On the run, the shoe retained its balance of softness and support, and I enjoyed the snug fit of the upper.Shop Saysh The Felix Runner
RUBY: Walking around and going about my day, the Felix Runner was like a spa for my feet. On the run, however, I felt a little let down: the thick cushioning lacked the responsiveness and energy return I’ve grown to love from other high-stack trainers. The lacing wasn’t as secure as I’d hoped, and the gap in the two-piece padded heel counter is a potential blister site.
If you enjoy any semblance of ground feel or have a fondness for trail running, the highly cushioned midsole and FemiformityFIT Technology mean this is not the shoe for you. For those runners lacing up multiple times a week, this isn’t a shoe I would first recommend over a tried-and-true Brooks Glycerin or Hoka Clifton. The Felix Runner is far from a bad shoe and certainly has potential, but I don’t think you need to be rushing to buy it just yet.
CARYN: As much as I enjoyed walking in this shoe, it seemed to miss the mark on the run. I found the ride to be pretty slappy (that’s a technical term), and my stride lacked the smooth roll I enjoy from other daily trainers. Despite the supercritical foam, I had a tough time getting a lot of response from the Felix Runner — it just felt pretty firm and dead underfoot.
I also found the shoe to run very narrow, so the toe box did not offer me the space I coveted. I’m not sure if the narrow fit is something related to the female-specific design, but it actually started to hurt towards the end of the run. At a minimum, I’d suggest going a half-size up in this shoe. I struggled to get the shoe locked down well with the eyelets and lacing system provided.
The eyelets and laces are all condensed over a smaller part of the midfoot, which makes it hard to get them spaced out and pulled tightly. The laces are made of what appears to be a faux leather type material, which makes them almost impossible to pull tightly and keep tied. I found that there was some rubbing on my heel, likely due to the two-piece heel counter back there. Wearing a high sock seemed to solve the issue, but definitely worth noting.Shop Saysh The Felix Runner
RUBY: Akin to Allyson Felix’s long and illustrious track career, the Felix Runner’s woven knit upper and cushioned midsole are made to go the distance. I’m impressed with Saysh’s FemiformityFit Technology, and I get what some of the hype is about: this shoe does feel made for my foot. For a first edition, The Felix Runner far surpasses other brands’ entry-level neutral running shoes, and lacing up doesn’t exponentially increase your injury risk. Outside of running, this is one of the most comfortable shoes I’ve worn yet (behind slippers and slides), giving me a pep in my step around the office.
Rather than rebranding as Believe In The Walk, we have to knock the Felix Runner for its performance on the run, or more aptly, lack of performance. The light bounce felt underfoot walking or jogging fizzles out at higher speeds and cadences, like an EV in need of charging. Allyson, if you’re reading this, I think your shoe has a lot of potential, but perhaps stick a carbon plate in the midsole for version two?
While I don’t think we’ll see The Felix Runner winning the Paris 2024 Olympics, that’s not what it’s designed for. I see the Felix Runner taking gold in the race for versatility, a great option for those hand-luggage-only trips when space for running shoes is limited but you still hope to log some miles. Perhaps you’re just dabbling in running and looking for an everyday shoe that can also handle a few miles and other activities too, then The Felix Runner could be the shoe for you.
CARYN: It hurts to write this, but this shoe was a bit of a miss for me. The Felix Runner is a really nice looking option for a shoe that can be used for a variety of things — work, walking, errands, casual wear — but as far as a daily trainer, there are lots of other less expensive options I’d pick first. The price point for the Felix Runner is lofty at $165, but if it had really shined on the roads, it wouldn’t be so glaring. I would love to understand more about the FemiformityFit Technology because I personally found the fit of the shoe a little tough.
While I wouldn’t personally hand this shoe a medal just yet, it definitely has some merits in its versatility and style, and for that reason, I could see it vying for a spot on some runners’ podiums, or at least, making it out of the prelims.
You can pick up the Saysh Felix Runner for $165 directly from Saysh using the button below.Shop Saysh The Felix Runner
Ruby is an NCAA Division 1 student-athlete, running shoe geek and all-around exercise science nerd, originally from the United Kingdom. An aspiring pro runner, Ruby currently competes on all terrains– road, track, and cross country– from the 3000m distance up to the half-marathon. A true mileage junkie, Ruby has plenty of opportunities to test out different shoes and properly put them through their paces.
All-time favorite shoes: Nike ZoomX Vaporfly Next%, Hoka One One Clifton 6, Nike Zoom Vomero 14More from Ruby
Caryn is a recovering ball sports athlete and native Baltimorean who used to cry before the timed mile in gym class. Discovered running somewhat reluctantly when her pants stopped fitting in college, now a big fan of the marathon– go figure! Pediatric ICU nurse and avid UVA sports fan. Can usually be found with her chocolate lab, Gus, looking for a good cup of coffee.More from Caryn