Before Saucony sent me a pair of Fastwitch 5s* to review, I had purchased and worn the Saucony Fastwitch 4s with great success. Even though I have a neutral strike, and do not over-pronate, the Fastwitch 5 is my choice for a racing flat. The Fastwitch 5s evolve with a better fitting upper and a lower heel to toe differential. The rubber on the bottom of the Fastwitch has been upgraded to “XT-900™ A carbon rubber outsole material that offers exceptional traction properties without sacrificing durability.” There is more coverage of rubber on the outsole vs the Fastwitch 4s. This should help the tread and traction hold up better on the Fastwitch 5s over previous models.
For me, the most noticeable upgrade to the shoe is the lower toe to heel ratio. A four mm drop. The lower drop is better for creating a midfoot or forefoot strike however, it looses a little bit of the race ready stance the 4s had. I have not actually lost any speed in the light trainer, as a matter of fact, I have set two personal records (PR) in the Fastwitch 5s. The first PR was at the Shamrock 5k (21 minutes) and the second was at the Cherry Blossom 10 miler (1:14:22.) Both times my feet felt great during and after the run. I have worn the shoes on the treadmill, the road even with the more minimal shoe I have felt enough support and comfort to keep the miles ticking off.
The 4s also had a “claw” like feeling when kicking off that is lost in the 5s. The 5s make up for it with a smoother feeling foot strike through the stride. Overall, the 5s are a great upgrade on the Fastwitch family and a super shoe for fast paced training runs and race days. They will most likely be my shoe of choice for this year’s Marine Corps Marathon.
Check out Peter Larson’s (AKA Runblogger.com) review of the Saucony Fastwitch 5
*Saucony and or a marketing company representing Saucony provided me with Saucony Fastwitch 5s with the understanding I would be providing a review. Other than the shoes there was no other compensation for this review.
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