Once I stood up, I could really feel the cushioned underfoot. The Felix Runner is really soft and comfortable. Not marshmallowy soft, though, which is a good thing; my foot didn’t sink in too much, and the shoe still provided enough support to keep everything in alignment.
I did have some difficulty getting a good, locked-down fit. The laces were super short and stiff, and I felt like I really had to pull on each rung to tighten it.
On the run
I took the Felix Runner on a five-mile run at my easy pace on my normal hilly neighborhood route. Within the first 30 seconds or so, I knew I didn’t get my laces quite right. I was so afraid of pulling too tight that I left them too loose, so one foot ended up sliding around. When I stopped to readjust, I over-tightened, which led to hot spots and uncomfortable pressure. I ended up stopping three times in the first 15 minutes of my run to retie, but after that, my feet stayed locked in comfortably.
I tested these shoes for the first time the day after a hard run, and I was really pleased to see how surprisingly fresh my legs felt. There was a lot of cushion with each step, and even though my entire run was on pavement, my footstrikes didn’t feel jarring at all. It almost felt like the foam underfoot was blunting the impact of each step. I maintained my normal easy pace throughout, and, even on hills, my heart rate never got as high as I was expecting. Simply put, they were a pleasure for my weary legs.
At the end of my run, I wanted to see how the shoe handled speed, so I picked up the pace for a short one-minute interval. The comfort and cushion of each step remained when I was going faster, but I didn’t feel a whole lot of energy return or “help” with turnover like you get with other performance shoes. So I’d probably keep these solely for easy days or long runs, when the pace stays pretty slow.
I think the greatest strength of the Felix Runner was how cushioned it made each step—it really felt like way less impact than usual. I tested these out before work one day, and it was one of those rare-for-me instances where I felt like if I didn’t have to be somewhere after, I really could have just kept going. I really could see this shoe being a solid option for easy recovery runs, the days when your legs need a little extra TLC, or even on walks, errands, or other low-impact activities. I also wore these around a food truck festival, and they made standing in a long line a lot more comfortable.
Before I add this shoe to my running rotation, though, I think I’d need to swap out the laces to ones with more give. I feel like their stiffness is what was preventing me from getting a good, locked-down fit without a lot of struggle. And if I can get them right before heading out the door, the whole experience would just be a lot more smooth—I definitely don’t want to have to keep stopping mid-run to fuss with my feet.