Summary

We spent 7 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what runners think:

8 reasons to buy

  • The majority of the buyers agreed that the Saucony Kinvara 11 is comfortable.
  • A lot of users commented that the running shoe is lightweight.
  • Most of the testers said that the Kinvara 11 has a perfect fit.
  • The shoe is responsive, based on the reviews.
  • According to those who have tried it, the running footwear is stable.
  • It is well-cushioned, as noted by many reviewers.
  • Its flexibility is admired by several users.
  • Many testers mentioned that the shoe has excellent quality.

3 reasons not to buy

  • One of the users complained that the tongue unit is a bit thick.
  • A wearer mentioned that the eyelet has a thick leather reinforcement design that makes it too bulky.
  • According to a consumer, it feels tight in the toe area.

Bottom line

The majority of the users are mostly amazed and contented with what the Saucony Kinvara 11 has to offer. This running footwear is said to be successful in delivering an efficient and responsive ride to its users. The outsole, midsole, and upper construction of the shoe are excellent. People feel confident wearing the Kinvara 11 because of the fantastic and amazing combination of features and technologies integrated into the shoe. Highlighted is the guarantee of improved performance and enjoyable ride by the users.

 

Facts

Rankings

A top rated Road running shoe
Top 8% most popular running shoes
It has never been more popular than this July

Expert Reviews

91 / 100 based on 30 expert reviews

  • 88 / 100 |

    It’s all about that squish, ‘bout that squish.

    More photos

    Saucony was not my first love, nor my second, but it certainly is my latest. The Saucony Kinvara 11 is one of my primary workhorses that gives the excellent fit, just enough cushion and light enough to not drag down the higher mileage runs.

     

     

    I graduated not so far back from the highly-constructed, weighty trainers with heavy everything. Initially, I jumped from too much to too little in trying racers during that little time of the minimalist push. Not good!

    I was looking for something in between and found it with the Kinvaras. I stepped outside the New Balance family and went with the strange blood of another shoe line *Gasp*.

    They fall on the every-so-slight heavier side, but you will only know this by looking at stats and not by the use. They have a higher stack height than comparables, and it is very much present through the response but not on the drag of weight.

    Saucony hits all the right spots with this one! Welcome to my fam!

     

     

    When shoes arrive, I immediately put one on without lacing up and walk down the hall to get the initial feel.

    Doing so, the fit was snug enough even not laced, and there was a concerning squish I noted immediately (we’ll get to that). That squish was not what I expected after reading reviews and studying the stats. Hmmm, this could be interesting.

     

     

    At this time my best friend was the NB 1500. On the search for the more perfect shoe (no offense NB), I thought the Kinvara might be worth a shot.

    Oh, the purchases that I have made on that journey!! I had not ventured down the Saucony isle before, so this was a new adventure.

    This shoe felt really good, very similar to the 1500, but something was different. Was it that squish?? To the pavement! I laced them up, did a few acrobatic moves (looking silly never stops me) just to get a sense of their movement—pretty darn steady.

    They stayed with me spinning and skootching around with enough support and a tad of give—and that squish (there it is again!).

    The Squish. I wanted to love Hokas and tried several flavors. I had nothing but rubs and blisters everywhere I turned. I can’t explain why. I loved what they were doing, but I just could not keep the toenails intact and the band-aids in the box.

    So, I was having fond memories of the super squishy cloud feeling of the Hokas even when donning the NB 1500’s. If only I could get these two together.

    That’s it! The Kinvara has a little of that cloud of Hoka but the performance of the 1500’s. Interesting! (Note that the 1500 have more support where the Kinvara is a neutral).

    On the pavement that stack of foam was very noticeable—perhaps just a little too much for me (flashback to the issues of the super squishy earlier) But—but I really liked it all the way around.

     

     

    There are times that I am looking for something a little more forgiving and less pounding—I call it squish. This does just that.

    Now, there is a bit of movement in the toe-box. I go for larger toe-box capacity as a rule, and this certainly has it. But, I do get a sense of sloppy now and then.

    I might need to fasten the latches a bit tighter so not fully convinced that this is an “issue” at this point. I note this in comparison to the 1500’s. Without that comparison, it might not be even noticeable.

    You can actually see the squish looking at the flip side. The orange blocks are the high impact areas (even if a heel striker). I am a proclaimed midfoot runner, but the sole of my shoes seems to disagree.

    There is no hard rubber in the midfoot like many rivals. You can feel this and apparently these are not suffering a breakdown on that first-point-of contact on the midfoot.

    This could lead to that pronounced squish on landing as there is not as much structure. For the record, these have around 90 miles at the time of their glamour-shots. To round out the side and heel area are well padded.

     

     

    I typically have no issue in the ankle or heel area. The Kinvaras do not call attention to these areas. For the most part, these shoes do not call attention to themselves at all on the run. They just exist which I really like.

    Only a few pairs over the years have found this sweet spot. Congrats, Saucony—you have a new friend.

    I look forward to seeing where these evolve over the years and see them as having a coveted spot among my four pairs of various flavors and styles that see rotation donning the running shoe rack in my closet.

    Oh, I don’t put much stock in looks. I purchase based on technical stats and fit. If it all matches—to the cart you go. But these actually have a conservative look that probably will make them go-to-the-grocery-store shoes after they retire.

    They have a little flair to them that will not draw attention so much but will not embarrass you either if seen wearing them off the beaten path. I will continue to wear down those heels unintentionally!

  • 95 / 100 | Believe in the Run | | Level 5 expert

    It can't reaaly beat this one. It's like a Swiss army knife for shoes. It can handle all your tasks and leave you feeling good afterwards.

  • 92 / 100 | Canadian Running Magazine | Level 5 expert

    I thought it looked a little bulky at first but wearing the shoe it actually feels really nice. They've taken EVERUN almost completely in their lineup and replaced it with the PWRRUN.

  • 95 / 100 | Believe in the Run | | Level 5 expert

    My love affair with the Kinvara line continues. We had a rough spot for a couple of years, but she is back to greatness. This is a shoe that can do it all and do it well, all for a reasonable price point of $110.

  • 94 / 100 | JackRabbit | | Level 5 expert

    The Kinvara can be a do-everything, workhorse running shoe for everyday training or it can be a go-to shoe for faster workouts (tempo runs, shorter intervals on the track, mile repeats) or races from mile to the half marathon.

Become an expert

  • This road running shoe, the Saucony Kinvara 11, is strategically designed for those who have neutral foot mechanisms. It features an all-new midsole foam. With the utilization of the combination of the PWRRUN and PWRRUN+ topsole, more improved riding experience is enjoyed by the user. This component of the shoe is centered on providing a more springy ride. It will also help the runner to be protected from the high impacts of running.
  • Along with the PWRRUN and PWRRUN+ topsole is the engineered Jacquard mesh. The prime goal of this is to provide added flexibility without compromising the Kinvara 11's lightweight structure.

Using the standard shoe measurements, the Kinvara 11 is sure to provide a snug fit. It is designed for runners who have medium foot dimensions. With the use of the Jacquard mesh, added breathability is offered. This is essential in providing a more comfortable ride during the running session. Along with the Jacquard mesh is the FORMFIT. This feature of the shoe conforms to the foot to provide an excellent and perfect fit.

The Strategic Rubber is integrated into the outsole of the Saucony Kinvara 11. This component of the shoe adds durability to high wear areas. This strategic rubber is placed in the forefoot and heel area of the running footwear. 

Featured in the Kinvara 11 is the Tri-Flex design. Saucony added this feature to aid in the increase of the shoe's flexibility. The layout also helps in the ability of the shoe to adapt quickly during the running activity. This design is utilized in making the Saucony Omni 16 as well.

Utilized in crafting the Saucony Kinvara 11 is the PWRRUN+ topsole. This material is focused on providing a bouncier and lightweight underfoot feel. As a result, a more efficient ride is enjoyed by the user.

With the use of the PWRRUN midsole material, which is also used in Saucony Ride 10, the rebound is encouraged. Added durability to the platform is given, as well. This PWRRUN midsole ensures a lightweight comfort during the running session.

Present in the Kinvara 11 is the FORMFIT midsole design. This element of the shoe is essential in allowing the foot to be in place. The foot sitting in the midsole is significant in achieving a more efficient stride.

The Engineered Jacquard mesh is integrated into the running footwear. Saucony decided to make this as the main upper material to provide natural flexibility. With the use of the updated upper, lightweight breathability is not compromised. As a result, a healthier and fresher foot environment is encouraged.

Saucony Kinvara 11 vs. Skechers GO Run Ride 8
The Skechers GO Run Ride 8 utilizes the Hyper Burst midsole while the Saucony Kinvara 11 uses the PWRRUN+ topsole. Hyper Burst is described as an EVA-based midsole foam that is processed uniquely than the usual. EVA form is crafted by saturating with CO2 to expand the material. This is vital in creating a myriad of bubbles to form durable sidewalls. As a result, a bouncier, lighter, and more responsive ride is experienced by the user.

Saucony Kinvara 11 vs. New Balance FuelCell Propel
Compared to the New Balance FuelCell Propel, which utilizes the FuelCell, the PWRRUN+ topsole is integrated into the Saucony Kinvara 11. The Fuelcel is described to provide more rebound by 39%. Its softness and bounciness is the sole responsibility of the midsole geometry and outsole material used in crafting the shoe. 
The New Balance FuelCell Propel is indeed an exciting addition to the lightweight running shoes. This footwear is in close competition with Skechers's Hyper Burst, Nike's React and Zoom X foam, Reebok's Forever Energy as well as New Balance's Fresh Foam line ups.

Saucony Kinvara 11 vs. Hoka ONE ONE Rincon
The Hoka ONE ONE Rincon is a lightweight running shoe that is intended for those who have neutral foot mechanisms. With its reasonable price tag, users can enjoy a running companion that suits their specific needs. The shoe uses a low stack height and comfortable upper material. When it comes to the outsole unit, strategically placed rubber and a mostly exposed midsole are employed. This component of the shoe is essential in providing an efficient and enjoyable ride to the runner. The Rincon was engineered to be a daily trainer. It is crafted to help the average cross country runners to excel in their running activities.

Author
Jens Jakob Andersen
Jens Jakob Andersen

Jens Jakob is a fan of short distances with a 5K PR at 15:58 minutes. Based on 35 million race results, he's among the fastest 0.2% runners. Jens Jakob previously owned a running store, when he was also a competitive runner. His work is regularly featured in The New York Times, Washington Post, BBC and the likes as well as peer-reviewed journals. Finally, he has been a guest on +30 podcasts on running.

jens@runrepeat.com