Thursday, January 3, 2013

Saucony Kinvara 3 review

Kinvara 3 Review

I had the opportunity to be a test runner for the Saucony Kinvara summer 2011. I was really excited as I was a big fan of the first edition of the Kinvara. The test version I received had a more open stretchy mesh, but the down side was that the flex film technology didn't stick to it. The shoe was also a lot softer. My advice to Sacouny at that point was to rename this shoe because it was far from the first edition of the Kinvara that I use to love. Thank God saucony changed the shoe I tested.......

This is how Saucony explain the shoe plus the tech data:

"So much technology, so little shoe. We’ve redesigned the look of our most popular shoe, but kept the fit, feel and ride consistent with its predecessor. The upper now features FlexFilm™, a strong yet pliable material innovation that adapts to your foot and provides a lightweight, seamless feel. Inside the shoe, anatomically-contoured memory foam heel pods secure a perfect fit. In the midsole, ProGrid™ technology provides a unique blend of responsiveness and cushion, and the heel crashpad has been beveled for an even smoother ride as the runner transitions through the gait cycle. Finally, after examining wear patterns on hundreds of test shoes, the outsole was upgraded through the addition of placements of carbon rubber for enhanced durability. Weight: 7.7 oz./ 218 gm."


Flex Film™
Thin, flexible film welded onto the upper that is supportive and lightweight, used to reduce layers

Memory Foam Heel Pods
Strategically-placed memory foam in the heel provides a heel pocket for a snug fit

Hydramax Collar Lining
A superior lining material that has great moisture-wicking properties as well as a plush hand feel


Heel ProGrid
20% more responsive than EVA, ProGrid™ provides incredible cushioning in a light weight

High Abrasion EVA (EVA+)
Saucony's extremely lightweight grade of EVA with cushioning and durability

4mm Offset
Heel-to-toe differential of the shoe, excluding the strobel board and sockliner


A carbon rubber outsole material that offers exceptional traction properties without sacrificing durability

Triangular Lug Design
Provides traction and durability

The clearly changed the mesh from the shoe I tested. Unfortunately this mesh is not as stretchy at the one I testes. The feel is almost "paper" like. I believe the saucony engineers had issues finding a way for the Flex film to stay put. As pictures of the new Kinvara 4 has been released Saucony has been changing the upper already to what it looks like a more flexible stretchy mesh. I dont have any really issues or hot spots but the feel could be a bit more snugger.

Kinvara 3 is definitely firmer then the fist edition, you find also a bit more midsole, so the feel is that Kinvara 3 is "more" of a shoe. The midsole softens up a bit after 50 miles but when its really cold outside the midsole is kind of on the firmer side. The test version was to soft and if Saucony can get something in between this firmness it could possible improve the shoe.  

The rubber has been more spread out to more strategically places. This was something that I had worries about as my background as heel striker. but Kinvara really shines here and I have nothing to worry about. The rubber cover the part of the outsole where you land.
Over all:
Kinvara is a great shoe and the 4mm is a real sweet spot for me. My gait use to be a heavy heel stiker but it look like the Kinvara is helping me to "correct" it. The upper could have a snugger fit but as stated above it does it job well. Kinvara 3 can be used for anything, during my first 120 miles I have done tempos, hills, intervals and 20+ mile runs. This is where this shoe really shines, you can use to anything. The price tag is around $100 and for that price Kinvara3 is unbeatable.

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