More Low Heel-Forefoot Drop Shoes Now Available: Saucony Mirage, Peregrine, and Fastwitch 5

Just a quick post to let you know that several new 4mm midsole drop shoes from Saucony have been officially released and are available at Running Warehouse.  Here’s a quick look – I have the Peregrine already, and am hoping to get review samples of both the Mirage and the Fastwitch 5 soon so I can do full reviews and comparisons to the Saucony Kinvara.

Saucony Mirage

Saucony Mirage Outsole

Saucony Mirage

The Mirage is being marketed as a Kinvara cousin with a bit of added stability. It’s a bit heavier than the Kinvara, but still a nice looking shoe that shares the low profile (4mm midsole drop) that helped make the Kinvara so popular. I’ve tempered my feelings on stability elements in shoes a bit (not from a pronation control standpoint – I still don’t think pronation control should be a primary basis for shoe choice). Rather, I find sometimes that pure neutral shoes can sometimes be too soft and can cave medially as the foot rolls over. I’ll withhold any final judgment until I can try the shoe out.

Update 5/1/2011: I have now posted a full review of the Saucony Mirage.

Saucony Peregrine

Saucony Peregrine Outsole

Saucony Peregrine

I bought a pair of the Peregrines a few weeks ago, and have put about 10-15 miles on them so far. The fit and feel is very much like the Kinvara (and they are also 4mm midsole drop from heel to forefoot), but the shoe is heavier and has very substantial, grippy lugs. Most of my runs in them have been on snow and rutted ice, and they provide great traction. A benefit of the heavy duty (but heavy!) outsole is that the shoe feels a bit firmer underfoot than the Kinvara, which some feel is too soft.

Saucony Fastwitch 5

Saucony Fastwitch 5 Outsole

Saucony Fastwitch 5 Green

Saucony Fastwitch 5

The Fastwitch 5 is an update to an old stand-by in the Saucony racing shoe lineup that has been reduced to a 4mm midsole drop from heel to toe. I wore the Fastwitch 2 in two of my previous marathons, so I have a history with this shoe, and am looking forward to seeing how it performs in comparison to the Kinvara (my most recent marathon shoe). I also like the bright green version available on the Saucony website – hopefully Running Warehouse will carry this colorway soon!

Update 5/1/2011: I have now posted a full review of the Saucony Fastwitch 5.

About Peter Larson

This post was authored by Peter Larson. Pete is a recovering academic who currently works as an exercise physiologist, running coach, and writer. He's also a father of three and a fanatical runner with a bit of a shoe obsession. In addition to writing and editing this site, he is co-author of the book Tread Lightly, and writes a personal blog called The Blogologist. Follow Pete on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and via email.



Comments

  1. The Fastwitch 5 was a bit disappointing to me when I wore it for a week or so back in December. Very firm, limited flexibility and too much arch. That said, could be a decent transition shoe from a traditional trainer to a more minimal shoe.

  2. Roberto Kinvara is a neutral shoe, while the Fastswitch is a stability one.

    • I’m aware, but it doesn’t really come through in feel. I’d suggest that that shouldn’t be a concern in deciding between the two. I’m not convinced it matters all that much, particularly when you’re down to racing flats.

      • Pete Larson says:

        I agree, I don’t think it matters all that much. I ignore the whole
        pronation thing now, and just go by feel. Stability shoes will be a bit
        firmer, and that can be a good thing.

        Pete

  3. Pete can you answer the question posted by Pedn55 here: link to runblogger.com… ? I had the same issue with my ankle in Kinvara.

    • Pete Larson says:

      Ran 15 miles in the Mirage today without issue, but then I never had the
      ankle issue with the Kinvara either. The Mirage has a much thicker layer of
      foam lining the heel counter, so my guess is it will be better than the
      Kinvara with regard to that specific problem.

      Pete

  4. Woody and Roberto report opposite opinions about the arch in Fastswitch :)

    • Pete Larson says:

      Goes to show you how shoe preferences are very much individualized – that’s
      why what I say here on the blog reflects my own opinions, and maybe not
      those of others who try the same shoe.

      Pete

  5. For what it’s worth, I’ve got about 20 miles on the Fastwitch 5 now and am liking them so far.

    For some background, I’ve always been more of a trail guy, but used to like the ProGrid Jazz for years until they made some significant changes. I then adopted the Puma H-Streets as my occasional road shoes, but ran the vast majority of my miles off-road over the last 2 years in the Saucony Xodus–in no way a minimal shoe despite being lighter and leaner than most traditional trail shoes.

    While, following my experience in the H-Streets, I prefer a lower heel-toe drop on the road, the 12mm in the Xodus doesn’t bother me on trails. I’ve also come to appreciate more minimal shoes in general after the H-Streets, but my struggle has been finding shoes that fits me as well as the Xodus.

    I ran my paved miles in the Kinvaras for a few months last year before ditching them due to 1) mushy cushioning, 2) uncomfortably high arches, and 3) excessive wear on the exposed lateral midsole. At that point, back where I started, I mostly relegated myself to the woods and used FiveFingers for shorter city runs when I couldn’t hit the trails.

    What I’ve learned is that I would like to find something in the middle–I guess what’s being called a “transitional” shoe lately–for both trail and road. So that’s where I am now.

    As for a trail shoe, Peregrine’s out due to the same fit as the Kinvara. With high expectations for the Minimus with its wide forefoot and tight heel, I wait.

    As for the road, to make a short story longer, I gave the Green Silence a shot not too long ago and have really been loving those. But, for whatever reason, I decided to pick up a pair of the Fastwitch 5′s about 4 weeks ago in hopes of who-knows-what. I still prefer the Green Silence but, to get to the point, here’s my take on the Fastwitch 5:

    If you like the Kinvara but find yourself wanting a lower arch or a firmer feel, this could be the shoe for you. Groundfeel is mostly lost in the midsole material, but I don’t mind that. While it nowhere near as cushy as the Kinvara, it doesn’t feel too firm to me either. It’s firm, to be sure, but not overly so. The fit seems to me to be very similar to the Kinvara with a lower arch. It feels at least as light as the Kinvara, more responsive that the Kinvara, and slightly snugger in the midfoot than the Kinvara. Plus, the outsole rubber covers more area than that of the Kinvara. In short, this shoe addresses every issue I had with the Kinvara… but still isn’t the perfect shoe for me. While I’d say it’s certainly capable of handling a marathon, I’d definitely go with it for a 5K, and maybe even a 10K, but would turn to the Green Silence for anything beyond that, sheerly for comfort’s sake.

    Longest, most meandering comment I’ve ever posted to a blog. Now back to work.

  6. Jay Mueller says:

    Hey Pete,

    Don’t know if you recall last fall when I linked you to my review of the Saucony A4 (I’m pretty sure). Well, I now have about 50 miles on the Fastwitch 5, and there’s a few things I think you should know. One, heel toe drop according to RW is 5 mm, and probably about 7 with the insole. Nonetheless, it does have a bit more cushion over the course of the long run, which I think makes it more suitable for the marathon distance than the A4. Also, durability seems great – I think they’ve used carbon rubber on the entire outsole (which may explain the slightly higher degree of stiffness). Nonetheless, a shoe that feels stable underfoot, while also being very natural and seeming to interfere with the gait very little if at all. I’ll link you to a more thorough review once I have more miles on them (currently dealing with some injuries) but first trials are looking positive! Not to mention the price is pretty good on RW, especially compared to some other minimal shoes, i.e. Wave Universe.

    Jay Mueller

    • Pete Larson says:

      Thanks for the info Jay – didn’t notice that about the drop on RW. I
      was going off a preview post they had put up awhile back. Look forward
      to your full review!

      Pete

      On Thursday, February 17, 2011, Disqus

  7. Does the Peregrine has the same arch support as the Kinvara or less?

  8. I purchased a pair of Mirages a couple of weeks ago at Runner’s Depot in Coral Springs, FL after being told I needed stability instead of neutral shoes. I planned on purchasing a pair of Brooks Ghost 3′s to replace my last pair of Dyad 4′s. After trying and settling on the Adrenaline GTS’s, I asked to try the Saucony Kinvara’s, knowing it wasn’t a stability shoe. Lo and behold, they felt really nice. The salesman/ass’t manager had me try the Mirages which they just got in the store. He told me they were sort of like “Kinvara’s with stability.” They felt great on a treadmill. I have only few miles on them (less than 20) since I am still recovering from a knee injury. I put in a pair of Superfeet Greens making a nice, comfortable (so far) shoe into a really comfortable shoe.

  9. Having both the Kinvara and the Prergrine, I’ll throw in my .02. I’ve found the fit in the Peregrine to be a little snugger in the forefoot than the Kinvara which are both a size 8 for me. You are right on the money with the description of the sole(s), but so far, I’m liking the Peregrine more than the Kinvara because of the stiffer sole. The weight difference is noticeable in the hand, bot not so much on the run.

  10. John Avelis says:

    Of course they’re releasing them now, I just ordered shoes last week! Bah. At least I’ll get to read some reviews before spend the money to try them…

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