As a lover of running and fashionable running outfits I have long dreamed of starting a blog that reviews running gear in terms of both function and style. So when the nice people at Saucony asked me if I would be willing to try out the much-anticipated Kinvara 3’s, I jumped at the chance to test some sweet new shoes, and launch “The Fast and the Fabulous.” Without further ado, here it is: my inaugural blog post, a review of the Kinvara 3!
I have always been a fan of the Saucony Kinvara. It’s 4 mm heel to toe differential and feathery 6.7 oz weight allow me to enjoy all the efficiency of a minimal shoe and yet it’s cushioning is adequate for even the longest of long runs. The Kinvara and the Kinvara 2 have seen me through countless miles of speedwork, long runs, and race days over my past three marathon training adventures, including a recent marathon PR. Also, as a running specialty sales associate, this shoe’s winning combination of light weight, low heel-toe drop and cushioning keep it at the top of my list of go-to options for customers seeking a smooth transition into the world of minimal running.
Now, let’s get down to the business of reviewing all of the fabulous updates that come with the Kinvara 3…
First of all, a new Flex Film upper gives the shoe a sweet new look and a structured yet accommodating fit. Flex Film is heat welded onto an outer layer of mesh, eliminating the need for seams and stitching and resulting in a 2 layer uppers as opposed to the 3 layers of the Kinvara and Kinvara 2. Furthermore, although I really didn’t have any complaints about the upper of previous Kinvaras to speak of I did notice that over time and mileage the shoe just started to look a little sloppy and deflated. Although I only have a couple of week’s worth of mileage on the 3’s I am optimistic that the flex-film will prove to be hardier and more resilient than the mesh of Kinvaras gone by.
The Kinvara 3 also offers a noteworthy update in the form of improved durability where mid-foot and forefoot strikers need it most by relocating some of the shoe’s blown rubber to the lateral side of its sole. Although my personal wear patterns in previous generations of this shoe were pretty much right down the center of the mid-foot, I have encountered many a running store customer looking to replace their beloved Kinvaras after only 100 miles or so due excessive lateral forefoot wear. The clever folks at Saucony addressed this common rapid forefoot wear issue by removing blown rubber from the medial rear-foot (an area that typically sustains less wear in mid-foot runners), and adding blown rubber to the lateral mid-foot and at toe-off (underneath the big toe), as seen in the picture below. Thanks to this simple change the Kinvara 3 is more durable but not at the expense of added weight. Well done, Saucony shoe design engineers!
Now seamless uppers and more durable soles are all well and good. However the thing I like the most about the Kinvara 3 is that it comes in a multitude of fun and exciting colors! I have taken the liberty of putting together a few photos to demonstrate the fact there is definitely a Kinvara 3 out there that to match your favorite race day outfit.
And this little photo montage barely scratches the surface of the color palette of the new Kinvara. Check it out…
All things considered, I would rate the Saucony Kinvara 3 as both fast and fabulous! If you are looking for your next great neutral light-weight trainer, I recommend that you head over to your favorite local running store to try a pair today!
Many thanks to the good folks at Saucony for the awesome new shoes, my wonderfully patient running friends for facilitating multiple Kinvara 3 photo shoots, and to all of you for reading!
Check out these links for more information on the technology behind the Kinvara 3 and other glowing reviews…