The Saucony Kinvara is a beloved shoe and it seems everyone has their favorite model. When the Kinvara came out it was a very unique shoe. It was even light enough to be considered minimal. Saucony lowered the heel to toe differential from the industry standard 12mm+ to a scant 4mm drop, and the shoe still offered enough cushioning for long runs. Durability was my issue with the first two models. I would tear through the lateral edge of the shoe which had no blown rubber on the outsole to protect it. Later models added the rubber and increased the miles I could get out of the Kinvara. The Kinvara isn’t as unique as it once was. We review a lot of shoes that look for the Kinvara niche. Where once you couldn’t find a light (7.7oz.) trainer, now almost every major and mid level running shoe company offers their own version of the Kinvara formula. I have always been a fan of the Kinvara line up and the latest version is no exception. The Kinvara 5 is a solid update to one of my favorite shoes.
The shoe looks dope. The fit has been improved with the addition of “PRO-LOCK® technology, a dynamic fit system that moves and flexes with the foot, making the shoe feel more like an extension of the body.” The pair of Kinvara I was provided were a size 11, I typically wear a size 10.5. I credit the PRO-LOCK® for making the shoe fit well. Something about the midsole feels a hint softer and more flexible. I have been trying to figure out if it is in my head or not. I have slipped on my Kinvara 4, and think the feel of the midsole is slightly nicer in the Kinvara 5. The upper mesh of the Kinvara 5 has been updated as well. Saucony says it is more durable and has more stretch to it. They have kept the basic configuration of blown rubber on the outsole. There looks like there might be a little more rubber. My favorite thing about the Kinvara is still there, a great ride. All the way through my stride the kinvara just feel natural. The runs in the Kinvara 5 are fun. It makes me think My May Marathon could be run in a pair of these shoes.
uh. um. If I told you there was something I didn’t like about this shoe, it would be just to make you feel like I was being even handed. I like this shoe, the only thing I don’t like about it is that I think the 10.5 would fit me a little better. I will buy a pair.
I knocked the Kinvara 4 from the top shoes I was recommending, the Kinvara 5 goes back up to the top 3 I would recommend. If you liked the Kinvara 4 you will love the Kinvara 5. I am interested in what people who liked the Kinvara 1 & 2 think of the 5. Where the upper used to be a more minimal design, the K5 has a sophisticated upper with flex film, PRO-LOCK®, more blown rubber on the outsole. The shoe maintains the low weight 7.7 for men 6.7 for the women’s but it now looks more like a trainer than before. First question a lot of people asked me was if the toebox of the shoe was wider. The Kinvara 5 is built on the same last as the previous models, so short answer… no. However, Saucony says the new mesh on the upper is more flexible and should feel wider for those that need the room. I have Narrow feet and felt like there was a lot of room in the shoe. I am also reviewing a shoe 1/2 a size larger than I normally wear. Another issue some people have had in the past is the heel collar and blisters. Saucony has addressed the issue with “super soft new material called RunDry® that creates an amazing step-in feeling and helps guard against hot-spots and chafing during the run.” The Kinvara 5 gets a HIGH purchase recommend from me. I continue to love these shoes.