Shoe Review: Saucony Kinvara 3

PROFILE:

Neutral Trainer/Racer:

  • Lightweight but well-cushioned shoe designed for training and racing
  • 4mm heel to toe drop, a transition shoe to minimalist running
  • Promotes mid-foot strike
  • Weight: 8.0 oz. (Size 10)

Saucony Progrid Kinvara-3

Many of you may well know that i have been a Saucony user since the early 80s and have tried different models through the years. I like them for their great fit, adequate cushioning and stability. There isn’t any model that didn’t suit me and all my Sauconys found hundreds of running miles into them.

Saucony has a terrific series with its Kinvara, incorporating minimal changes into its latest series that accentuates its minimalist properties. With all the generally glowing reviews given to all its models, the original Kinvara, Kinvara 2 and 3, this will be my first time to actually own and use one and i’m talking here about the Kinvara 3.

You can tell at first glance that the Kinvara-3 is a fast, lightweight shoe. It was originally designed as a high mileage trainer for runners who naturally strike at mid-foot and is touted as a transition shoe for minimalist running. Though i am not too inclined wearing minimalist shoes or those with the heel to toe zero drop on long runs, this shoe has a tolerable 4mm heel-toe drop that i didn’t exactly notice when revving along the roads or trails.

This shoe has already come out with a lot of reviews on the net so i won’t dwell with much of the technicalities anymore and will just focus more on my experience with it.

Here are just a few basic details about this shoe:

CONSTRUCTION:

The upper is a visual delight, artistically designed to enhance its aesthetics. Cosmetics aside, it’s made of  “FlexFilm”, a sturdy but flexible thin plastic-like material that is electronically welded into an inner mesh. It adapts to the foot and provides a seamless feel. The tongue is made of soft air-mesh.

The midsole is made of high-abrasion EVA or the EVA+ which provides adequate cushioning even with its 4mm heel to toe drop. The EVA+ has been retained from its Kinvara 1 and 2 models as wear-testers noted its durability and longevity. It has also its usual Progrid heel foam.

The Kinvara-3 outsole is made of Carbon Rubber called the XT-900. It has triangular lugs on the forefoot area that offers exceptional traction and high-wear properties.

It is noteworthy to mention that reflectors have been integrated into the design. Two triangular-shaped reflectors were placed on the heel counter as well as on the sides of the toe area and at the top front, near where the shoe laces start.

FIT AND FEEL:

I was a little apprehensive about the fit inside as when you look at the shoe externally, the forefoot seems not to be wide enough. But looks can be deceiving. Once inside the shoe, you could immediately feel the snugness and secure heel cup while the forefoot was accommodating even with my wide feet and thick socks on.

At about 8 oz or less, the shoe was super light and even with the 4mm heel to toe drop, i could not feel the difference from my usual 8mm to 12mm drop shoes. It profiles more like a racing shoe than a trainer.

PERFORMANCE:

I’ve had about 70 kilometers of training runs on the Kinvara-3 and i would say that i had a sublime feel running these on both asphalt and rough roads. No issues about hot spots, irritations, nor dragging. It offers a soft, resilient ride and feels more comfortable at faster speeds which may be due to the easy flexing upper.

On my long runs, i felt ample cushioning and the airmesh provided superb breathability, no over-heating inside whatsoever. The shoe was easy on the rough roads and even though i had to step on small rocks, the feel to these surfaces was moderate and i thought that the cushioning was adequate enough to impact rough terrain.

I have the Skechers GO Run and a Vibram Five Finger (Speed) which i would say are more of the minimalist shoes that i’ve used, i would say that the Kinvara-3 falls in a sweet spot between a true minimalist trainer like the aforementioned and a semi-supportive middleweight trainer, encouraging a fast, efficient stride but with adequate cushioning to pass as a road trainer.

CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION:

I bought this shoe at 50% discount from Saucony Philippines given as a gratuity for bloggers who attended the Kinvara’s launching last December to test this shoe. However, this review was not in anyway influenced by this benefit, giving my own honest opinion based on my experience with it.

Nonetheless, the Kinvara 3 for me was a confirmation to the mostly rave reviews from prominent running shoe reviewers and runners on the net. Firstly, the fit was excellent, the ride was very comfortable with just the right amount of cushioning in almost any terrain and its the shoe that you can use for everyday training or the occasional racing.

This shoe is for efficient runners who want a lightweight, good midsole cushioning and forefoot flexibility.  An excellent running shoe and at P4,590.00/pair, it’s a bang for the buck!

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4 responses to “Shoe Review: Saucony Kinvara 3

  1. Thanks for the review, Jazz Runner. This surely helped me a lot. Been eyeing on this for a quite a while now. I’m thinking of switching to a minimalist type of shoe.

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