I loved almost every mile of it. The Saucony Kinvara 10 felt natural as soon as I first put the shoe on. The toe box was roomy, the upper hugged my foot just right, and the cushion was comfortable but still felt super responsive.
What I’ve used them for…
After running my first marathon in a pair of New Balance 880 v8’s, I wanted a lighter shoe. The Kinvara 10 quickly became my one shoe quiver.
I ran slow, I ran fast, and I ran tempo runs. It worked for everything.
This shoe isn’t necessarily built for long slow days, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use it for such. It’s not a plush jogger, but the cushioning is comfortable at a 23mm stack height in the heel and 19mm up front.
The midsole is soft enough to feel comfortable at a slower pace.
These are precisely what the Kinvara was built for. It is lightweight, responsive, and the low 4mm heel-toe drop promotes a forefoot strike for a quicker turnover.
The shoe just feels natural at uptempo paces. The Everrun topsole gives plenty of cushion, and the EVA+ midsole feels snappy and responsive, giving you lots of energy return to move fast.
I can’t say that my speedwork is anywhere near fast, but having used these on the track for training days, these were very comfortable at paces between 5:00-7:00 min/mile.
Overall, I used the Kinvara’s as a daily trainer and ran a half marathon (1:49:36) and a marathon (4:36:00) in them. The only discomfort I ever had in them was a blister I developed on one foot during the half marathon.
Other than that my legs always felt good, and never had any injuries or developed any niggling aches or pains.
The devil’s in the details…
Diving into the nitty-gritty. The Kinvara’s were released in a fantastic array of colors. I somehow found a pair in Saucony’s ‘Old Glory’s’ colorway, and they were… awesome!
The mesh upper feels super supportive, and after 400 miles had zero rips or tears.
The only negative I, and other reviewers, experienced was the fact that they did get dirty very easily. We’re not talking mud here, rather a dust that accumulates from running gravel or dirt roads.
The shoe is comprised of a top layer of Everrun TPU foam that provides a softer, more comfortable step in and EVA+ midsole that is supposed to be a lighter material and save weight.
The bottom of these shoes was a big concern to me initially. These are almost completely exposed EVA+ midsole material. There are two small bits of hard rubber inlay at the heel and very forefoot of the shoe to provide durability.
There are two concerns here: Would the shoe have enough traction in the wet and how well would the exposed midsole wear with normal use?
It turns out I didn’t have any reason to be concerned. Traction was a non-issue as the design of the sole provided plenty of grip on all the surfaces I used it for. I never used these on the trails, and I’d be hesitant to recommend it.
Another concern is durability. As you can see in the picture, there is definite wear in the midfoot, but remember this is after logging 400 miles in these shoes. I couldn’t be happier.
In the heel cup, there is a padded insert to, presumably, keep the heel more secure. To be honest, after putting the shoe on, I completely forgot about it.
It is not intrusive or uncomfortable. I don’t know if it is completely necessary, but the shoe fits great and is super secure.
This was my first pair of the Kinvara line from Saucony, and I can not wait to get my hands on the Kinvara 11’s. The shoe obviously has a long history.
If you’ve taken the time to dig deep enough, or have experienced the whole lineup, it becomes clear that the Kinvara 1 was one of the first lightweight trainers to hit the market and was a big hit all around.
The subsequent models seemed to lose their way, gaining weight and adding unnecessary complications.
This is not the case, however, with the newest model 10’s. They seem to have gotten back to their roots—a no-frills, superbly built shoe that has given me mile after mile of enjoyment.
Overall, they’re a lightweight daily trainer with an extremely comfortable ride and lots of energy return to keep you moving fast.
The Kinvara 10 is a good update to the long-loved Kinvara series. It has all the things I loved about past versions of the Kinvara 8 and 9, plus a few minor improvements.
This is what you hope for in an update!
This is the benchmark for a daily trainer. It is light and fast but can go the distance when needed.
The upper is soft and does a great job of locking your foot down. The Saucony Kinvara is a very comfortable ride, regardless of whether you are going out for a long run, or are doing speedwork on the track.
Like previous versions of the Kinvara, the lacing is not fancy, but it works great every time, with no headaches (it’s nice to not have to think about your laces).
The outsole in the Kinvara 10 continues to improve in terms of quality. I liked the Kinvara 8, but the exposed foam became pancake-flat over time.
I was a bit concerned with the Kinvara 9 because Saucony eliminated some of the outsole rubber in the forefoot where my previous shoes showed the most wear and tear.
Have no fear, the quality of the exposed foam used on the outsole seems to be better than ever. The rubber used on the outer heel was extended slightly and shows almost no wear (compared to the Nike Zoom Fly, which breaks down pretty quickly).
Probably the biggest con with the Kinvara is the lack of cushioning for longer runs. It offers a nice responsive ride and is consistently fast.
After a few miles, however, your feet start to yearn for a little more cushioning. This shoe has always been my go-to daily trainer.
It is versatile and is great for both daily jogs and speedwork, but I hope Saucony could add just a little more cushion in the forefoot so that when you get to mile 8, 9, or 10, you don’t have to start thinking about buying a max-cushion shoe.
It doesn’t need a lot, but anything will help on those longer days.
As you can see in the photo, there is a pretty large groove in the outsole, which can sometimes trap small rocks. This has not been a major problem so far.
After 150 miles, the Kinvara 8 and 9 could be slippery on mud (although not as bad as the Breakthru). My hope is that the Kinvara 10 will provide more traction, even with a few miles on them.
A small con is that the new softer upper material seems to trap and show dirt more easily.
I used to love the bright yellow neon that was offered in the Kinvara 8. I am a big fan of visibility since I tend to run early in the morning or in the evening.
I was excited to try the neon yellow in the Kinvara 10. I don’t think I could ever take this shoe on a muddy trail, since it will never look good again. The Kinvara has a relatively low stack height, so it is pretty easy to get dirty.
I think offering more dark colors or adding some carefully-placed overlays would help. I owned several versions of the gray Kinvara 9, which were boring but really concealed the dirt well.
Overall, the Kinvara 10 exemplifies why I am a big fan of Saucony. They produce great daily trainers at an affordable price.
In a hurry? Read this: If you love neutral running shoes, you’ll want to add the Kinvara 10 to your lineup!
The locked-in heel construction combined with a responsive EVA+ midsole and Everun® topsole creates a premier lightweight, yet cushioned trainer. From long tempos to short track work, the Kinvara performs admirably.
In it for the long run? Read on.
The Kinvara 10 weighs in at a 6.7oz for women and 7.8oz for men. The 4mm heel-toe offset is as minimal as it comes for mainstream trainers outside of Altra’s zero-drop niche. The 23mm stack height of the heel provides notable cushion while keeping the shoe lightweight.
The EVA+ midsole doubles as the Kinvara 10’s outsole—cutting down on weight. Previous Kinvara models have done the same but encountered problems with the EVA foam becoming worn down and slick with use.
Saucony has attempted to remedy this issue by adding a layer of rubber to the back of the heel and front of the toe. This provides much-needed grip for the foot during heel strike and toe-off without weighing down the shoe in the excessive tread.
My Kinvara 10s after 150 miles
On the roads
The Kinvara 10 requires no break-in time. This is because the flexible sole allows the shoe to contour to your foot strike from the first step (notice the bend in the front of my shoes). I never once experienced blisters in the Kinvara 10.
The roomy toe box gives the foot plenty of space, and I found my heel was both snug and well padded. The strategically placed rubber on the outsole provides good tread even in wet road conditions.
For those used to running in more narrow shoes, the wide toe box might feel clunky.
Another concern is the low heel-to-toe drop. If you are inexperienced with running in low-drop shoes, your Achilles and calf muscles may feel strained upon first use. This will be especially true after fast or uphill running.
On the flip side, low-drop shoes tend to strengthen the feet and low legs, but it takes time to make the transition injury-free.
On the trails
The Kinvara is not a trail shoe. Thus, it lacks the more aggressive tread preferable for regular trail use.
However, the Kinvara still performs exceptionally well on easier trails. I ran a successful tempo workout on a mixed route of dirt trails and gravel roads.
On one particularly rocky section, I wished I had a firmer shoe with more robust support. A stretch of downed, wet leaves also tested the limits of the Kinvara tread.
At the same time, I felt the shoe was in some ways advantageous for navigating trails. The toe box gave my foot a wider support platform and made it harder to twist an ankle on exposed roots.
Flexibility in the sole allowed the shoe to ebb and flowed with the terrain. If you’re a nimble runner, the Kinvara can easily adapt to light trail use.
Some things don’t change
I bought my first pair of Kinvaras as a sophomore in high school. On the first day I wore the shoe, I remember jogging out to meet the track team for warmups.
I was keenly aware of the comical, bright-green color scheme. It looked like someone covered my shoes in highlighter. But I didn’t care, I felt fast.
Many years and several Kinvara models later, the shoe continues to provide users with a sense of speed (although, I am not convinced the colors have improved much).
Now, on its 10th-anniversary edition, the Kinvara rightfully claims that a lightweight running shoe can pack a heavyweight punch.
Saucony has kept the Kinvara 10 true to everything that made its earlier versions great but added improved technology and useful additions to tread.
The sun has yet to set on this iconic shoe.
View from the trail
The Kinvara line has always been a fan favorite among Saucony wearers, and the Kinvara 10 has continued its legacy. Known for being able to be worn as both a racer and a lightweight trainer, the Kinvara continues to be a versatile shoe.
Upper and comfort
The Kinvara 10's are one of those shoes that feel comfortable right out of the box. The upper uses their new form fit technology, which comfortably secures the foot in the shoe.
It also has a toe box that opens up a little more than some of Sauconys models such as the Freedom ISO line. This wider toe box allows your toes to spread out crucial in helping your body land and push off efficiently, minimizing impact.
Saucony also removed the pro-lock lacing hole in the middle of the upper which many felt was an uncomfortable addition to the previous version of the Kinvara.
Though I didn't have an issue with it when I was wearing the Kinvara 9, it's the absence in the 10 doesn't make my forefoot feel any less secure.
The Kinvara line has always been my favorite line of running shoes early on in my running career, mainly because of the versatility of the shoe. I think the Kinvara 10 excel most during tempo runs, at speed in between short sprints and daily training run.
The Kinvara 10 uses both Saucony-branded "Everun" foam, and traditional EVA, which creates a cushioned, yet responsive ride. That being said, the Kinvara 10 offers enough cushion for me that I will rotate them with my other trainer for easy runs as well.
I run around 20 miles a week on trails, and my foot never feels insecure or is there any heel slippage when making tight turns on trails. The Kinvara also allow for some ground connection, while completely padding your feet from rocks and roots.
Traction is not as good as a trail shoe, of course, but the Kinvara was designed with a very minimal outsole to preserve its light weight.
The Kinvara 10 has a heel-toe drop of 4 mm, which I feel is a perfect amount because the lower drop helps you have more of a midfoot landing.
On the other hand, the 4 mm drop will take some getting used to if you typically run in shoes with a more traditional heel-toe drop of 10-12 mm.
All I can say about durability is that this iteration of the Kinvara is a step up from the Kinvara 9. The Kinvara 9s would start developing a hole on the upper about 200 miles into the shoe, and gradually get larger over time.
However, with the upper on the 10's with 500 miles on them feel almost as good as they did new. The outsole does wear down, but there is still some grip being retained.
The Kinvara, being one of Saucony's flagship running shoes, does bring it a lot of colorways and variations. The regular version comes in eight different colors, most of which I am a huge fan of.
There were also many special editions. Kinvara released like the NYC marathon version, Goodr Kinvara, Breast Cancer Version, and a tie-dye option.
All in all, the Kinvara 10's have been a great successor to the Kinvara line, with a secure upper, and great durability. It's versatility and light weight also reinforces why this is one of my favorite shoes in the market right now.
P.S. Though the Kinvara 11's are coming out soon, the Kinvara 10 is still a phenomenal shoe and can be bought at a very discounted price.
I never thought I could love a brand besides New Balance until I ran my first miles in these bad boys.
I had always been a fan of New Balance and owned multiple pairs, but one day decided to branch out and give Saucony a try.
I am a neutral runner and have always loved the lighter training shoes. So, when someone recommended me to try the Kinvara 10, I thought why not.
I usually run 7–8 min per mile. Regardless, this lightweight yet cushiony shoe is delightful to run in. I look forward every day to be able to take a spin in these.
During my first time trying these shoes on, they fit very snug, especially around the back of my heel. Although tight, these were still breathable and very cushiony. I knew I had to give these a try.
Not only is the comfort great, but also the aesthetics of the shoe are phenomenal, such as the awesome logo on the side of the heel.
My first run in the Kinvaras was a 5-mile long run on the road. They were definitely tight compared to some of my previous trainers. But, I knew they still had to be broken in.
There's no doubt that these are the most comfortable trainers I've ever had on my first run, and they still are today 200 miles later.
The Kinvaras in the middle of a 7 mile long run. This heel strike is really hurting my eyes.
I have used these shoes on roads and trails and have never felt uncomfortable on a run because of them.
I have ran on grass, asphalt, concrete, wood, and dirt with these. Regardless of the surface I'm running on, these provide the same comfort—all thanks to the shoes' fantastic cushioning.
I never feel awkward when I land, and I owe that to the comfortable cushioning on the inside of the back end of the shoes.
The only aesthetic flaw that I have so far would be how dirty these get after trail runs. Dirt has gotten stuck in the mesh upper of the shoe.
Unfortunately, no amount of soap or hand-washing has been able to get it out. I am not willing to wash them, so the white has changed into more of a gray/brown.
Although the mesh upper on the shoe may get dirty after trail running, it doesn’t mean that it isn’t durable. The upper has not shown any signs of ripping now after 200miles, so that's a great sign.
The sole is still in excellent shape after countless trips and falls. It still looks good as new.
There seems to be no wear, which is fantastic. Many of my previous shoes would have started to wear down by this point.
The fact that these shoes have made me feel no pain after countless trips and falls proves the comfort and stability that many people rave about.
A lightweight yet stable shoe with almost no flaws, in my point of view, deserves a 98/100.
Saucony Kinvara 10 in action during a long run on asphalt
From what I have heard about the Hoka Clifton 6, the Kinvara 10 seems like a more lightweight alternative for a neutral runner like myself.
Many people complain about the durability and wear of many Nike and New Balance shoes. On the other hand, I have even been told by people that Sauconys do not last.
But, from my experience, these have made it to 200 miles and seem like they can last to 500!
I may even have to buy another pair for when this pair decides to give in eventually because of my love for this shoe!
Good to know
- The Saucony Kinvara 10 is a daily running shoe that’s meant for those who desire an efficient product for their everyday exercises or speed training sessions. The upper unit is made up of engineered mesh, a cloth-like textile that accommodates the natural shape and motion of the foot as it transitions from the heel to the toe. Thin overlays hold the foot in place, preventing unintentional in-shoe wobbling. Discreet pods are placed in the heel to cushion the sides and avert accidental shoe removals.
- The 10th version of the Kinvara has a full-length cushioning system that’s meant to protect against impact shock while enabling reactive steps. Two layers of foam work together to ensure consistent cushioning that doesn’t easily sag. While most of the outsole is made up of ground-contact foam, there are rubber nodes on high-wear areas to alleviate the potentially damaging nature of the asphalt.
Ground-contact EVA+ is the material used for the midsole unit of the Saucony Kinvara 10. This compound is capable of resisting the damaging effects of surface contact and rubbing. It has textured sections that are responsible for traction.
The areas of the heel and forefoot that are more prone to damage and wear are covered with rubber. These nodes are tasked with heightening durability and ensuring grip.
The Tri-Flex design is made up of flex grooves that have a three-pointed pattern. These points are meant to permit the natural movement of the human foot, freeing the runner to perform instinctively throughout the running session.
EVERUN™ is a full-length topsole that energizes the foot as it takes each step. It has been constructed to retain its form even after many uses. It is also lightweight so it won’t feel as if it’s going to mar down the experience.
EVA+ serves as the base of this running shoe‘s entire cushioning system. It has a substantial thickness that allows it to balance the foot and maintain its form throughout the performance.
FORMFIT is a footbed that is placed on top of the primary cushioning system. The purpose of this material is to add some more to the underfoot experience. It is contoured to take the shape of the foot-pad, supporting the curves and crevices which aren’t usually given attention.
The upper unit of the Saucony Kinvara 10 utilizes the cloth-like performance of engineered mesh. This fabric is soft and has a seamless construction. It has a predominantly close-weave format for durability, though there are many open-weave sections for targeted breathability and flexibility. The engineered mesh is also stretchy. Thus it allows the foot to relax and move naturally as it goes through the gait cycle.
The collar and tongue are padded. These elements help in keeping the foot in place while also ensuring extra cushioning for the upper portions of the foot.
The internal lining is made of a smooth and non-irritating textile. The purpose of this inner sleeve is to accommodate a foot that isn’t covered by a sock. Sock-less wearing may result in hot spots and chafing, but the soft interior prevents such occurrences.
Internal Heel Pods are placed on the left and right parts of the inner collar. These cushioned add-ons are meant to heighten the in-shoe comfort that the runner is supposed to feel. They are also tasked with maintaining the position and steadiness of the foot while also preventing accidental or unintentional shoe removals.
The Flex Film overlay system is made up of a thin material that is welded onto the upper unit of the Saucony Kinvara 10. This surrounding layer helps the rest of the façade when it comes to holding the foot securely. It also provides some visual flair and brand recognition as the Saucony logo, and the words ‘KINVARA 10’ are part of this sheet.
‘Head of the sea’ is the literal translation of the word ‘Kinvara.’ The name is also used for a County Galway, Ireland village-by-sea. The peaceful yet wild nature of the sea became the inspiration for one of Saucony’s most famous series of road running shoes.
The Kinvara line of performance footwear started in the year 2009. The initial version was crafted because a lot of consumers were pining for a running companion that didn’t have a substantial heel-to-toe drop yet featured a lightweight and uncluttered build.
The original Kinvara model was described as a close-to-the-ground daily trainer that may pass off visually as a casual sneaker. But it apparently held a high-quality construction that permitted runners to tackle the roads with ease and sureness. Stitch-reinforcements highlighted the upper, though some fused overlays were already utilized.
The natural underfoot experience that people desired came from the Kinvara’s (1st) 4-millimeter drop. Seldom did performance shoes have such a platform, so people loved that steady plane. The height of the midsole relative to the ground was also clearly seen, though its light construction didn’t limit quick steps. For many, such a design paved the way for pseudo-minimalist running shoes that many seem to enjoy nowadays.
The 10th anniversary of the Kinvara series celebrates its roots by having a design that’s reminiscent of the original façade. An optional colorway also remembers the two-tone hues of the classic model, evoking a sense of nostalgia among purists and followers of the line.
Still, Saucony hasn’t forgotten the value of moving forward and making new things happen for their consumers. Alas, the Kinvara 10 now has a few recent technologies like the EVERUN™ cushioned layer, the durable yet shock-attenuating EVA+, the FORMFIT supportive footbed, and the sock-like engineered mesh upper.