The original Kinvara became my own long-run shoe once I had transitioned to running in Vibrams and barefoot, which is pretty amazing considering that a few years ago, something like the Kinvara would have been recommended only for the “mechanically gifted neutral runner” or something like that.
Well, I am not mechanically gifted, but I am a neutral runner in that I really don’t overpronate, according to the high-speed cameras at Elite Feet. I don’t even care, honestly, because I think the myth that overpronaton causes injuries is actually that, a myth. After all, I am sure there were overpronating cavemen. I digress, we aren’t here to argue about barefoot vs. shod running. We are talking about a shoe. A great shoe, in fact.
Many folks criticized the Kinvara’s original chassis for its lack of durability, Made for midfoot striking, the Kinvara actually lacked good blown rubber outsole material along the outside midfoot area, up and down from the little toe, where ground contact was the most consistent for good-form runners. This version fixes that with a new outsole design.
They actually took away blown rubber where testing showed it was not necessary, but added it in critical spots like the one I described. Look close, though, some of the durable rubber is white like the exposed midsole, so you are forgiven for mistakenly assuming they did not add material there. At any rate, this new version will undoubtedly get more miles than the old ones.
The midsole is thick and really elevates the runner off the ground. To combat this, the midsole/outsole chassis is really wide for stability. You won’t roll your ankle or anything in these, unlike some narrow-midsole shoes that are thickly cushioned (lots of lightweight Adidas, for instance, are like that...narrow and high and squishy...actually augmenting pronation). The ride on the Kinvara is not as soft as you might imagine, it is sort of mid-firm. It provides a decent base without sacrificing cushion, and it still manages to be pretty flexible.
his blog entry about the Kinvara 3 on Believe in the Run. Genius.
The Kinvara 3 just doesn't offend in any way. To me,it is a workaday hero without any real downsides. It is a bit thick, sure, but it is a full-cushion shoe, not truly a barefooter's shoe. On the whole it is a likable, guy-next-door. It will fit just about anyone (but it does have high arches and the toebox is a try-before-you-buy proposition).
I think Saucony did a great, conservative job with this update. I found nothing objectionable in the Kinvara 3, and I was a die-hard supporter of the original. It breathes, rides, and allows natural running form. It is more durable, still affordable, and looks even cooler than the original. It permits traditional runners to dabble in the minimalist market with its low-drop option and light weight. It serves as a marathon race shoe, distance trainer, 5k-pr shoe, and so much more. Many runners at many levels have embraced the Kinvara in all of its forms for a wide variety of applications. If you run barefoot, this may be your most built-up shoe. If you run in heavy-duty stability trainers, this may be your race day shoe. It can fill a niche in almost any runner’s closet, and is probably the only shoe I have seen (no lie) on a heavy-set, aging mall-walker, a marathon finisher (and Boston qualifier, no less), and a fast 5k race winner.
The Kinvara 3, in other words, is the people’s shoe.
The Kinvara 3 will be available soon at Elite feet and retailers nationwide. Test shoe provided by Saucony.