When a shoe reaches its tenth edition, that’s usually a good sign that it’s doing something right. The Kinvara has been an immensely popular shoe for Saucony since its launch a decade ago, with its lightweight, cushioned ride and 4mm heel-to-toe offset appealing to runners seeking a low-drop trainer that can handle a variety of runs.
I’ve run in one previous edition of the Kinvara – the 8 – which I found was especially good to wear on long steady runs, and the same holds true for the Kinvara 10.
The shoe weighs just 221g (men’s) or 190g (women’s), yet has a good stack of cushioning that makes for a fairly soft ride. However, the overwhelming feeling I associated with the ride is not softness, but how smooth it is in rolling through from heel to toe. It’s great on runs of any length where you’re working at a steady or easy pace, but shines over longer distances, where you positively eat up the miles while feeling like you’re cruising. And if you fancy upping the pace towards the end of a long run, the Kinvara feels quick enough to let you do just that.
It’s also very comfortable to wear. The mesh upper holds the foot in place without being oppressive and the FORMFIT contoured footbed also helps to envelop your foot in the shoe. I found there were no pressure points on my foot and the Kinvara wasn’t far off the plush feel of the Saucony Triumph ISO 5, which is purpose-built for comfortable cruising.
The ride and fit of the Kinvara combine to make it a solid option for long-distance racing. It doesn’t have the snap and responsive feel of something like the Adidas Boston 7 or Nike Zoom Fly Flyknit and I found it lacked a little oomph in short, speedy runs, but longer efforts at a good if not all-out pace feel great in the Kinvara.
To put its speed credentials to the test I took the Kinvara to the track for some 2km intervals as well as tackling a fast 10K, alternating between something like marathon pace and 10K pace for each kilometre. On both occasions I found that I was craving something a little faster on my foot, especially towards the end of the rep or workout. The Kinvara isn’t slow, but it doesn’t provide the propulsive feel of a true racer which you want at track session or for 5K and 10K races.
It will do a great job over a marathon distance, however, and would be good pick for half marathons as well, offering a balance of weight, comfort and cushioning, as well as that silky-smooth ride – perfect for long races.
Buy men’s from Saucony | Buy women’s from Saucony | £115