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Ah, the Kinvara. Saucony really outdid themselves on this speed machine. This shoe has had a raving fan base for years, but until now, I wasn’t one of them. I tried every preceding model of this shoe, and while I loved the soft, cushy feel, the upper always felt loose and baggy to me…until now.
The Saucony Kinvara 6 is the first model that feels like there’s some sculpting going on in the upper to really match the contours of your foot. I was already sold on how light (only 7.7 ounces for men, and 6.5 ounces for women), flexible, and cushioned this neutral running shoe was, so now that the upper is more dialed in, I’m completely won over.
THE UPPER: Breathable & Light
When you’re running at mach speeds, like you will in the Kinvara, you need lots of ventilation. The forefoot mesh inhales fresh air with each stride to keep your feet about as cool as you can get while wearing a shoe. Despite how light this shoe is, the heel collar and tongue have a nice amount of padding to comfortably hold onto your foot for a secure fit without nasty hot spots. You’ll notice that the Kinvara also has very thin Flexfilm overlays to provide structure to the upper without adding weight.
THE MIDSOLE: Surprisingly Cushy & Light
Notice a trend here? The Kinvara is light, light, light! But, Saucony still manages to pack a really nice wedge of soft, springy cushioning into this running shoe. In addition, the Kinvara features an iBR pod under the arch, which basically fills in the area under your arch to create a flatter outsole platform so you land on more surface area for a smoother, more cushioned ride.
THE OUTSOLE: Good Traction, But Not So Durable
The one drawback to a light shoe is that it simply won’t last very long. You’ll notice it first with the tread of the outsole. That being said, I put over 400 miles on my pair of Kinvaras–way past their real lifespan–I probably should have shelved these shoes at about mile 250 or 300. I still put them on for short runs, but the outsole is pretty well shot now.
THE RUNDOWN: Get ‘Em
The Saucony Kinvara is light, cushy, and comfy. You’d be hard-pressed to find a lighter shoe with this much cushioning. I trained a boatload of miles in mine and ran a marathon in them and felt like I had helium-filled pillows on my feet. They’ll wear out on you within a few hundred miles, especially if you’re on the heavier side, but there’s no question this shoe is worth it.