Summary

We spent 7.2 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what runners think:

9 reasons to buy

  • The soft mesh upper of the Fastwitch 8 is one of the biggest reasons why some runners loved the comfortable feel of this shoe.
  • It is a value for the money investment, based on the comments of several reviewers.
  • It is significantly lighter than the previous model.
  • The upper gets a boost in breathability because of the large and numerous holes.
  • According to a few testers, the outsole is very grippy, even in wet conditions.
  • A handful of reviewers loved the more forgiving cushioning as it allows them to take the shoe for longer runs.
  • The lightweight support is enough for neutrals and mild over pronators to enjoy.
  • There is substantially more reflective details in this shoe.
  • It runs true to size, as noted by some runners.

2 reasons not to buy

  • There is only one color option as of the current release.
  • A few claimed that the heel section does not hold their foot as well as the previous edition of this shoe.

Bottom line

The 8th instalment of the Fastwitch is a very light race day shoe that gets a little more cushioning for runs ranging from 5 to 10K’s. For very efficient and elite runners, this could be a superb option for half marathons as the lightweight stability keeps their form throughout the run. Besides having a more forgiving sole, the improved breathability and exceptional grip makes this an excellent option for those who are looking to lower their PRs.

Facts

  • Terrain

    Road

    Shoes best for road, track and light gravel. See the best road shoes.

    Trail

    Shoes best for trail, off road, mountains and other unstable surfaces. See the best trail shoes.

    Good to know

    As long as you stick to the road or path, and if you want just one running shoe, buy a road running shoe.

  • Arch support

    Neutral / cushion / high arch

    Shoes for runners who do not need any additional arch support (Around 50% of runners). Best for people with normal, high or medium high arches. See the best neutral shoes.

    Stability / overpronation / normal arch

    Shoes for runners who need mild to moderate arch support (Around 45% of runners). Best for runners with a low arch. See the best stability shoes.

    Motion control / severe overpronation / flat feet

    Shoes for runners who needs a lot of arch support. Best for runners with flat feet. See the best motion control shoes.

    Good to know

    - Rule of thumb: If in doubt, buy neutral shoes to avoid injuries.
    - More about arch support in this video.
    - Find your arch type by following steps from this video.

  • Use

    Daily running

    Cushioned shoes for your daily easy running. Great comfort. See best shoes for daily running.

    Competition

    Lightweight shoes good for races, interval training, tempo runs and fartlek. Here are the best competition running shoes.

    Good to know

    If you want just one pair of shoes, buy a shoe for daily running.

  • Price
    $90
  • Weight
    Men: 6.5oz
    Women: 5.8oz
  • Heel to toe drop
    Men: 4mm
    Women: 4mm

    The height difference from the heel to the forefoot, also known as heel drop, toe spring, heel to toe spring or simply drop.

    There are many opinions about what a good heel drop is. We do not recommend any in particular. Lean more in this video.

  • Heel height
    Men: 18mm
    Women: 18mm
  • Forefoot height
    Men: 14mm
    Women: 14mm
  • Width
    Men: normal
    Women: normal
  • Release date
    Feb 2017
Show more facts

Rankings

Expert Reviews

Experts are runners, who post reviews at youtube, directly at RunRepeat or at their own websites. Each expert is categorized from level 1 to level 5 based on expertise. See stats on expert reviews and how we calculate scores here.

Are you an expert? Apply to contribute here.

86 / 100 based on 3 expert reviews

  • 85 / 100 | Dan Biagi

    Lightweight, Stability & Speed All in One

    My first thought when I got these shoes is that they are not for running slow; they are for speed. It should be illegal to go slow with these shoes on.

    I came across Fastwich when I was looking for something that could offer some stability while also being lightweight for races across short distances. I wanted something that was good enough to be used on the track. This would mean I would not need to buy a pair of spikes for only a couple of track events each year.

    Well, I found what I wanted.

     

    Size

    At first, they feel quite tight, and you may think you need to buy half a size larger; don’t do that! As you run on these shoes, they become like a second skin and will eventually fit perfectly (unless your foot is shaped strangely).

    I panicked and went for half a size larger. I am now really regretting that decision. Now that I have broken these shoes in, I wear two pairs of socks when I am running in them.

     

     

    So, if you are interested in these shoes, bear this in mind when choosing the size. I have read other reviews that say the same thing; so it appears to be a common issue.

    These shoes are very lightweight. Out of curiosity, I weighed them. The UK 7.5 size (EU 42) is only 172 grams, which makes them one of the lightest running shoes I have ever owned.

     

    Usage

    In terms of usage, I think that these shoes are suitable for any running event, from 800 m to half marathons. They may be a bit too light for road marathons unless you have a perfect gait without traumatic impacts on the ground.

    If you plan to wear them for track events, I found them to be a very good alternative to spikes with the benefit of gentle support. So, unless you are an elite athlete, I think you can use them during races or fast training sessions on track.

    In terms of road racing, you should be aware that the stack under your foot is thin (only 14 mm); as such, if you are a heavy runner, I advise you not to wear them on race day because of the risk of injuries.

     

     

    Off the track, I think they are a very good shoe for any distance between 5k and half a marathon. For the full marathon distance, I think that their suitability will vary from individual to individual.

    An elite or a light runner can run a marathon in these shoes; however, if you are not particularly fast or heavy, I would try wearing them while participating in some tempo running on the road before deciding whether they are suitable for marathon distances.

    Also, with shoes of this type, as the distance increases, the hardness of the surface plays an important role because the impacts on a softer surface are more readily absorbed than those on a surface like dry and old asphalt.

    I think they are ideal for 5 km and 10 km road races. I would not use them for everyday training unless I were doing a speed workout.

    Design

    When it comes to the design, I do not really like black; however, at the moment, this is the only color that is available in the UK for men. I would have preferred yellow or a brighter color.

    When it comes to female shoes, there is much more choice. In addition to the black, yellow and coral versions are available, which are not bad at all - I like them.

     

    Durability

    I think that you should not be concerned about durability with these type of shoes because you are not going to use them every day unless you train exclusively on the track.

    I would use my judgment to determine when to replace them, because some parts of the stack may deteriorate before the shoe starts to exhibit any visible sign in the upper or in the sole.

    Undoubtedly, you are going to need to replace this shoe before you see any major deterioration of the outer sole because, in the last couple of years, Saucony have developed their shoes to be more durable than other sole material. As such, if you see signs of deterioration, it means you have run way too much on that shoe.

    I think they could last around 600 km, but I would not be surprised if you wanted to dispose of them before that mark.

    What I like

    • Lightweight
    • Gentle stability

    What I dislike

    • Tricky to choose the right size

    Conclusion

    If like me, you are looking for a (very) lightweight shoe that offers some degree of stability, you should definitely go for these.

    Also, unless you are an elite, you may find them suitable for track too; obviously not for a 100-meter race, but distances of 800 m and further, they do their job well.

    They are ideal for 5 km and 10 km races but whether you choose to wear them for distances above half marathons is a personal decision.

    This expert has been verified by RunRepeat. Reviews are neutral, unbiased and based on extensive testing.

  • 82 / 100 | Michael Plendl

    Saucony Fastwitch 8: Runners shoe not best for triathletes

    I was looking for a lightweight shoe that I could use in my triathlon races and came across the Saucony Fastwitch 8. With my current weight of 80 kg, I considered the shoes the most extreme racing shoes I can risk running without getting injured.

    I ran already over 50 kilometers with them and find them quite nice as an additional pair of running shoes to swap. Please keep in mind they should not be your all day running shoes.

     

     

    Being a neutral running shoe that came in at 183 grams, you should be quite sure of your foot muscles and should be an experienced runner already to use them safely.

    Design

    Design-wise, the Saucony is not an eyecatcher, but this is only a minor reason for me to buy a running shoe. The less colorful the shoes are, the more usable they are as sneaker at work occasionally.

    Comfort

    My first runs with the Saucony were pretty smooth, and I could not point out any specific issues with them. Choosing the same size, I wear with nearly every running shoe; I felt ok here as well. 

    After some runs, I made the error of running barefoot for a 6-kilometer run. And that run was enough to get me some big blisters on the small toes. This is a setback for me as I intended them to use in triathlons where up to 10 kilometers I never wear socks.

    It seems that the upper mesh is not soft enough or the toe box is too small for my foot. Therefore no more barefoot running for me using the Fastwitch 8.

     

    Sole & durability

    I used the shoes until now but only for running on tarmac, and I advise you to do that as well.

    It definitely will not provide you with enough support. When running in trails, you will feel bigger stones penetrating the cushioning effect of the shoe. But when used on a tarmac, the shoes should be good for 400-500 kilometers depending on your weight.

    Performance

    Here is where the Saucony Fastwitch 8 has its big appearance. As I would not recommend somebody using the shoes for marathons, a 10k or half marathon personal best can be shattered with the Fastwitch 8.

    With the small drop of 4 mm and the weight below 200 grams, I put the shoes to have the biggest impact for all buyers on the 10-kilometer tarmac races.

    Pros

    • Minimalistic shoe made for personal bests on short distances
    • Lightweight
    • True to size (no fitting needed before buying)
    • Long evolution of this particular shoe

    Cons

    • Not usable barefoot for me (small toe box)
    • A little bit too pricey 
    • Only usable on a tarmac

    This expert has been verified by RunRepeat. Reviews are neutral, unbiased and based on extensive testing.

  • 87 / 100 | Doctors of Running

    "Good job Saucony for knocking this one out of the park!

  • First look / Unboxing | Shop Zappos

Show moreless reviews
Apply to become an expert

Updates to Saucony Fastwitch 8

  • The changes in the 8th iteration of the Fastwitch are limited to the upper. For this version, the welded overlays are replaced with thin, fused versions that are as sturdy as stitched overlays, but without the weight. It is one of the reasons for the significant weight loss.
  • Another change in the upper is the new engineered mesh with larger and more numerous holes for enhanced ventilation. For those who run in humid climates, this shoe should ensure a sweat-free and dry run.
  • For aesthetic appeal, the plastic-like finishing of the earlier version is now more sophisticated. It offers the looks of a shoe that belies its very reasonable price tag.

Saucony Fastwitch 8 size and fit

Saucony brings back the fit of the earlier model in the Fastwitch 8. But, because of the softer mesh in this version, it accommodates various foot types a little better. The shoe offers excellent midfoot locked down while the rear section has decent security throughout every run. It runs true to size.


Outsole

The Fastwitch 8 utilizes Saucony’s brand-exclusive PWRTRAC outsole with its numerous arrow-shaped lugs from the heel to the forefoot for superior traction, even in slick conditions. For flexibility and a smoother ride, a vertical cut from the heel to half the midfoot is carved in the underfoot. There are forefoot flex grooves that give the shoe excellent roll-offs.


Midsole

The midsole is laid with the very light SSL EVA or injection molded EVA with Saucony’s own rubber properties. It covers the length of the midsole for a quick and efficient transition from landing to take off. The Fastwitch 8’s lightweight stability is mainly due to the medial post beneath the arch to curb mild over pronation.


Upper

An engineered mesh that is softer and more breathable covers a large part of the upper. The mesh works hand in hand with the FlexFilm overlays that are very thin, translucent, and fused for a really sophisticated look and lightweight support. An Ortholite Premium Sockliner provides anti-sweat, anti-microbial and anti-odor properties. It also enhances the cushioning of this shoe. A traditional lace-up closure keeps the fit secured until the run is finished.


Comparison