The Saucony Kinvara is the company’s version of a minimalist shoe, and they struck gold with its design. This shoe has won tons of awards such as “Best Debut” from Runner’s World, 2011’s “Best Gear of the Year” from Outside Magazine, and “Top Ten Gear Picks” from Gear Junkie in 2010. And, after trying on a pair, it is easy to see how they gained their popularity.
Weighing a mere 7.7 ounces, the Kinvara is focused on being lightweight, and to feel like an extension of your foot. The outsole is made with XT-900 carbon-rubber that has amazing grip and durability.
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From the sole, we work our way up this shoe to Saucony’s Heel Progrid LITE technology, which maximizes shock absorption and provides a little bit of cushion to your stride.
Other than that, the sole is pretty bare, so if you are looking for a plush ride, this probably isn’t the shoe for you.
The molded EVA sock liner does help cushion your ride slightly, but it’s meant to offer a closer connection between your foot and the road.
The Kinvara also features a lightweight mesh upper for maximum breathability, and a minimally padded tongue and collar.
This shoe also cuts down on all of the laces, and only loops around 4 times. Instead of extra eye holes the minimalist Kinvara has welds beneath the upper to hold your foot snugly in place.
Is Saucony Kinvara The Best Running Shoe For Me?
This is the most popular shoe we’ve found by Saucony, and the runners we polled raved about its minimalist feel. Several runners were using the Kinvara to transition to barefoot running, or simply liked it because it was incredibly lightweight.
Along this same vein, runners commented that this shoe has no bells or whistles. So, if you are looking for a shoe with a little more comfort “bling”, check out the Saucony Ride 3, which is also geared towards the neutral runner.
Testers agreed the Kinvara has a sleek, and a uniquely funky, design. It has many bold color schemes that feature holographic designs.
Overall, the Saucony Kinvara reigns as “King” of minimalist shoes without being too bare or compromising style. If this sounds like a sweet deal to you, invest in your running passion with a pair of Kinvara’s.
RunPals Rated: Saucony Kinvara
(4.5 out of 5)