Facts

  • Discontinued
  • Terrain

    Road

    Shoes best for road, track and light gravel. See the best road shoes.

    Trail

    Shoes best for trail, off road, mountains and other unstable surfaces. See the best trail shoes.

    Good to know

    As long as you stick to the road or path, and if you want just one running shoe, buy a road running shoe.

  • Arch support

    Neutral / cushion / high arch

    Shoes for runners who do not need any additional arch support (Around 50% of runners). Best for people with normal, high or medium high arches. See the best neutral shoes.

    Stability / overpronation / normal arch

    Shoes for runners who need mild to moderate arch support (Around 45% of runners). Best for runners with a low arch. See the best stability shoes.

    Motion control / severe overpronation / flat feet

    Shoes for runners who needs a lot of arch support. Best for runners with flat feet. See the best motion control shoes.

    Good to know

    - Rule of thumb: If in doubt, buy neutral shoes to avoid injuries.
    - More about arch support in this video.
    - Find your arch type by following steps from this video.

  • Use

    Daily running

    Cushioned shoes for your daily easy running. Great comfort. See best shoes for daily running.

    Competition

    Lightweight shoes good for races, interval training, tempo runs and fartlek. Here are the best competition running shoes.

    Good to know

    If you want just one pair of shoes, buy a shoe for daily running.

  • Price
    $110
  • Weight
    Men: 7.5oz
    Women: 6.5oz
  • Heel to toe drop
    Men: 4mm
    Women: 4mm

    The height difference from the heel to the forefoot, also known as heel drop, toe spring, heel to toe spring or simply drop.

    There are many opinions about what a good heel drop is. We do not recommend any in particular. Lean more in this video.

  • Heel height
    Men: 23mm
    Women: 23mm
  • Forefoot height
    Men: 19mm
    Women: 19mm
  • Width
    Men: Standard
    Women: Standard
  • Release date
    Mar 2018
Show more facts

Rankings

Expert Reviews

Experts are runners, who post reviews at youtube, directly at RunRepeat or at their own websites. Each expert is categorized from level 1 to level 5 based on expertise. See stats on expert reviews and how we calculate scores here.

Are you an expert? Apply to contribute here.

89 / 100 based on 22 expert reviews

  • 96 / 100 | Dan Biagi

    The race shoe for everyday running

    In 2017, I mostly ran on Saucony, but I never managed to try Kinvara. However, as Autumn big races were approaching, I wanted to give them a go.

    You shouldn’t undervalue the Saucony Kinvara 9, they might not have the most captivating design or look like other Nike road running shoes, but they are a powerful competitor for road racing days, from 5k to marathons.

     

    Runner Profile and Workouts

    In the past, I described the Brooks Launch 5 as the Swiss knife of running shoes because they are suitable for any occasion, from easy to fast days. However, Kinvara 9 is a reliable and faster competitor.

    I really love the low drop of 4 mm, which makes the transition very smooth. When trying to push, you feel that nothing is limiting your strike; you feel completely free and without any interference. The cushioning is just enough, which also allows you to go for longer distances.

    In the last few years, I experienced a few problems in my metatarsal zone; however, I didn’t experience any issues running half marathons and marathons on Kinvara 9.

    They are also suitable for speed sessions on track to thanks to the lower drop. Also, this model is very light, UK 7 (EU 41) is only 205 grams.

     

     

    One thing to keep in mind if you are accustomed to a shoe or rotating with a shoe with a higher drop when switching to Kinvara, you can feel your calves much more engaged. So, be careful with the transaction.

    I gradually transitioned to Kinvara 9, and now I am considering them for recovery days too. Potentially, they might become your only pair of shoes if you don’t like to rotate.

    I am a mostly neutral runner with mild pronation on the right side. With Kinvara, my gait is perfect, while other light road racing shoes, like Pegasus Turbo, amplify my defects. So, if you don’t have an ideal gait, you might give Kinvara a go.

    I think that even if they are a neutral model, the outer sole provides some kind of stability. Saucony Kinvara is a very valid option for any road race distance, from 5k to marathons. They are even suitable for faster runners.

     

    Fit

    The fit is true to size.

    There is plenty of room in the toe. Even though I consider myself to have a wide foot, with Kinvara 9, I think there is more than enough room while historically with Nikes I always had fitting problems. This is definitely one of the most comfortable shoes for race day.

    Durability

    Most of my mileage is on road. However, Kinvara until now seems impossible to destroy.

    I did almost 700km on a pair and planning to dismiss that pair not earlier than 800km. After more than 650km, I cannot find any point of fail yet. The pictures below have been taken after 600km, definitely hard to guess.

     

    Comparison

    Within the Saucony brand, Kinvara 9 is a more suitable shoe for longer distances than Fastwich. The latter is more suitable for distances up to 10k, while Kinvaras are a more conservative choice for half and full marathons. Running a marathon on Fastwich would be a brave decision.

    Compared to Saucony Ride 10, Kinvara is a lighter shoe. Saucony Ride is more of a daily and volume running, while Kinvara is more suitable for faster running. Also, Ride is a heavier choice than Kinvara.

    On the Nike side, competitors of the Kinvara are the new Pegasus Turbo and Zoom Fly. Compared with Pegasus Turbo, Kinvara provide a bit more support. However, in terms of weight and ride smoothness, they are very similar.

    Between these two shoes, the choice is particular to the individual. In my case, Pegasus Turbo amplifies the defects in my gait, while this does not happen with the Kinvara. I have arrived at similar conclusions for Fly Zoom.

    While Adidas Boston is slightly heavier than Kinvara and they have a noticeable higher drop, Kinvara is at the half-way point between Boston Boost and Adios, with the latter being a shoe that is best for fast days and more suitable for track sessions and short races.

    Finally, on the Brooks side, the competitor is Launch 5. However, the ride with Kinvara is again smoother and Launch 5 have a higher drop. 

    Personally, I love both shoes. They are both light trainers and suitable for road racing. However, Kinvara is the fastest option. I found the Kinvara to be firmer than Launch 5.

     

    Design

    I am not a big fan of the design of the Saucony trainers, and there isn’t a lot of color options for Kinvara. 

    However, at the end of the day, I am much more concerned with the comfort and how well a shoe fits with my gait. I like the white version, and I hope Saucony make other color options available.

     

    Pros

    • Lightweight
    • Durability
    • Suitable for a wide range of distances and paces
    • Cushioning

    Cons

    • The look is far less captivating than Nikes

    Conclusion

    Kinvara is one of the best models that I have tried in the last few years. It is a neutral shoe that is suitable for most workouts, from easy to fast days and races.

    The lower drop and their lightness promote a natural strike. Their structure also has a fair amount of cushioning, which allows them to go for longer distances like half and full marathons.

    This expert has been verified by RunRepeat. Reviews are neutral, unbiased and based on extensive testing.

  • 94 / 100 | Stephen Christian

    Guess who’s back!

    Maybe it’s never really been gone, and I’m just too particular about how my running shoes should feel. But after years of trying and not buying various models of the Saucony Kinvara, my feet finally feel at home again.

     

    Sole

    The Saucony Kinvara 9 utilizes a layer of their Everun cushioning, which sits atop an EVA midsole, providing a firm but responsive feel underfoot. The Everun tech is a new experience for me, and I’m glad that it was implemented into the entire length of the shoe, rather than just the heel.

    Forefoot cushioning is important to my particular gait and would imagine it’s the same for a large number of midfoot strike runners. The ninth version of the Kinvara delivers in this aspect.

    Traction on the Kinvara has maintained a similar approach since its inception, utilizing rubber only in the necessary wear areas, like the heel-strike and toe-off sections. The rest of the outsole is essentially an outcropped pattern born from the EVA+ midsole. Grooves at a depth of 5mm provide the flexibility and subtractive lug pattern needed for a lightweight running shoe.

     

    Upper

    The hero of the Kinvara 9 has been the fit. The mesh in the forefoot provides a better fit in the toe-box than previous versions, harkening back to the Kinvara 3. There’s an organic feel to the mesh itself, in that it’s not a uniform or machined pattern.

    Though not called out on the upper, there appear to be FlexFilm overlays, as a fused taping in areas that need more support. The seamlessness feels fantastic as the upper cradles your foot. The tongue uses the same mesh but provides padding in key areas to ease lace pressure.

    To keep the foot snugly in place, Saucony utilizes a mid-foot saddle, that lies beneath the outer layers of the shoe. The saddle also protects the foot from the stitch line that connects the forefoot to the middle/rear panel of the upper.

    Oddly enough, this feature on previous versions of the Kinvara was enough to turn me off the line, mostly due to the rigid nature. They seem to have softened things up for the 9th iteration. The back of the shoe itself uses a tightly knit textile that keeps the heel securely in place, with a nicely padded collar to keep the Achilles area comfortable.

    Overall

    Lightweight. Nothing helps me enjoy a run more than not even noticing what’s on my feet. The Saucony Kinvara 9 does just that. I’m not sure that I’ve ever run in a shoe that felt this light, save for my high school track flats.

    There’s enough shoe to soften the impact with each step and keep things secure, but not so much material that it makes me feel bogged down, especially in the midsole. My foot stays true to my body mechanics, due to the low 4mm drop. There’s nothing impeding natural motion on hard surfaces, and that results in a more fluid run.

    Agile. When having to make a quick change hopping up a curb or dodging debris on the sidewalk, the snug fit is supremely supportive, while the lower profile midsole allows steps to be as nimble as necessary. During a recent half marathon, which was roughly 60% trail and 40% pavement, the traction held up very well.

    Rolling hills with scree, gravel and wet grass should have been more challenging for a road shoe, but I had no issues negotiating the terrain. The cushioning was substantial enough to protect my feet from small rocks and roots, though a technical trail might not be so forgiving for the Kinvara. Even at the end of the race, however, the cushioning hadn’t packed out at all. There was energy return left, and my feet felt good.

    The Saucony Kinvara 9 has renewed my faith in the line, and I don’t imagine that I’m alone. Whatever formula was used for the ninth iteration of a classic, I hope they keep using it.

    This expert has been verified by RunRepeat. Reviews are neutral, unbiased and based on extensive testing.

  • 92 / 100 | Theresa Norman

    Saucony Kinvara 9: Flexible and speed-oriented design

    The new Saucony Kinvara now features a speed-oriented design with a flexible outsole and responsive cushioning.

    Compared to its predecessor, the Saucony Kinvara 9 is much lighter and performs better on the road.

     

    What’s new with the Saucony Kinvara 9?

    The midsole and outsole of the Saucony Kinvara 9 use the same materials found in the Kinvara 8, but these materials have been reconfigured for better performance.

    The shoe still uses the EVA+ midsole foam together with the EVERUN Topsole.

     

     

    The 9th version of the Kinvara now has an updated upper design. The main coverage is a mesh material which provides proper foot ventilation throughout the run. In the heel is a woven heel counter support which offers stability and security.

    Technologies and design

    The Saucony Kinvara 9 features reliable and durable technologies from the bottom unit to the upper material. Each technology is designed to give every runner a more satisfying running experience.

    Here are the notable technologies used in the Kinvara 9:

    Upper

     

     

    • Engineered mesh upper – The mesh material provides breathable coverage. Since it is stretchable, it delivers a nice, soft wrap to the foot. It conforms to the natural shape of the foot while keeping the in-shoe fit smooth.
    • Woven heel support – The external woven heel support is specifically designed for added stability and support in the heel area. It also gives added comfort and foot security.
    • Pro-lock lacing system – The Pro-lock lacing system is placed in between the tongue and mesh material. It provides maximum midfoot lock-down.
    • Flex film overlays – Fused into the upper of the Saucony Kinvara 9 is the thin flex film overlays which deliver a more secure fit and added structural integrity.

    Midsole

     

     

    • EVA+ midsole – For a more responsive, springy ride, the Saucony Kinvara 9 uses a durable EVA+ midsole foam. It is lightweight, yet it provides the foot with the much-needed underfoot protection needed for road running.
    • Full-length EVERUN Topsole – Designed for long-lasting cushioning, the EVERUN Topsole extends from the heel to the forefoot. It offers impact absorption during landing and high-energy return during toe-off.

    Outsole

     

     

    • Rubber material – In the outsole unit of the Saucony Kinvara 9 is a soft rubber material that delivers a good amount of traction on varied paved surfaces. It also provides durability in high-wear areas.
    • Tri-Flex grooves – For a more flexible ride without compromising underfoot cushioning, the shoe has more profound flex grooves. As the foot flexes in the different direction, these grooves will also bend, keeping the ride flexible and comfortable as possible.

    Performance of the Saucony Kinvara 9

    I would describe the overall performance of the Saucony Kinvara 9 in two words – “flexible” and “responsive”.

    The shoe gave me the bouncy feel. The EVA+ midsole and the EVERUN Topsole really did the job of protecting my feet from landing impact. These midsole materials gave me the soft, comfortable feel while running. The shoe is lightweight, and thus, it made me feel fast. The Kinara 9 won’t disappoint on long-distance, up-tempo training.

    Along with the responsive midsole is the flexible outsole. The shoe is designed to deliver maximum flexibility. The flex grooves follow the movement of my feet, delivering a smoother heel to toe transition.

    The amount of the grip that the Saucony Kinvara 9 provides is average. It is good enough on tracks, road, and asphalt. I haven’t tried wearing the shoe on the light trail, but I think this shoe will perform just fine on slightly rough or uneven surfaces.

    Overall, I am happy and satisfied with the performance of the Kinvara 9. Just like the other pairs of Saucony shoes I owned, this shoe performs well on the road. It is truly a performance-driven version of the Kinvara model.

    Fit

    The Saucony Kinvara 9 has a narrow forefoot. The toe-box is not roomy but not constricting. The heel is a bit tight, and I felt a small pressure on my ankle while running. I also need to wear a thin sock to ensure that I still feel comfortable despite the tight and narrow fit.

    Durability

    As a road running shoe, the Saucony Kinvara 9 is a durable model. After running 100 miles, I see no significant wear on the outsole and upper. The midsole is very durable as well. It is still very responsive and bouncy. Lastly, the shoe is more durable compared to my Brooks Launch 5.

    Comfort and Breathability

     

     

    The Saucony Kinvara 9 is impressively breathable. Thank you to the engineered mesh material that provides the foot with a breathable coverage, allowing air to pass through. The internal fabric is also comfortable and smooth.

    Overall, I would give this shoe a perfect score when it comes to breathability and comfort.

    Review Summary

    Pros

    • Lightweight
    • Responsive cushioning
    • Flexible ride
    • Affordable
    • Breathable
    • Available in various color options

    Cons

    • Narrow and tight fit

    Conclusion

    The Saucony Kinvara 9 offers enhancements that are truly remarkable. I love the shoe’s lightweight and speed-oriented design.

    Neutral runners should give this shoe a try because it is responsive, flexible, and durable for long-term use. With an affordable price, the Kinvara 9 is indeed a good investment.

    This expert has been verified by RunRepeat. Reviews are neutral, unbiased and based on extensive testing.

  • 80 / 100 | Giovanbattista Fichera

    The Saucony Kinvara 9: Same old, same gold (I wish)

    The latest issue of the classic the Kinvara 9, doesn’t fail to meet the expectations but at the same time, also presents some debatable innovations.

    Let’s break it down.

     

    Lighter than ever

    The Kinvara shoes are clearly on a diet because they keep losing weight (way different from me) while at the same time delivering the same product: a responsive and solid shoe.

    Big plus.

     

    New Upper

    The new mesh upper is more breathable and soft compared to my Saucony K7 and I personally welcome this as the best innovation to this shoe, who used to lock the forefoot a bit too much for my taste.

     

     

    On the other hand, the shoe still features the pro-lock midfoot lacing system, which despite being less invasive to me, it still raises the big question: why?

    I am personally going to cut it out altogether because frankly it makes the shoe uneven and is something I can live without.

    Same goes for the heel counter, which, despite being more rigid, it doesn’t help locking my foot into position and I can easily take them off even when laced up to the last hole.

     

    Midsole

    The midsole is EVERRUN material from heel to toe. It feels soft but is at the same time quite responsive, making the Kinvara 9 great partners for your tempo and speed workouts in line with the shoe’s reputation.

    However, I’m not totally convinced by how they perform in long runs.

    They feel quite cushy at slower speeds but once you start pushing the pace, they lack the fresh responsiveness I loved in my Kinvara 7. See review here.

     

    Outsole

    The outsole is classic EVA with inserts in high resistance rubber placed in the forefoot area. This assists in the push phase of your gait providing a little extra grip.

    While I welcome the new choice, I am not quite happy with the disappearance of the iBR+ expanded rubber cushion in the midfoot from previous models.

    I guess the choice to remove it was justified by the aim to drop some weight, but it is not where I would have focused my attention.

     

    Conclusion

    The Kinvara keeps being lightweight, fast, and well-cushioned and this package comes at a reasonable price. I guess some will welcome the few innovations in this shoe but they do not really convince me.

    That said unless you really need a new pair of shoes or desperately in love with the Kinvara, you can skip this model or look for a previous model at a discounted price.

    This expert has been verified by RunRepeat. Reviews are neutral, unbiased and based on extensive testing.

Show moreless reviews
Apply to become an expert

Updates to Saucony Kinvara 9

  • Lying in the heel and forefoot area is the Strategic Rubber. This material provides additional durability on the high wear areas. When compared to the previous model, the version 9 has increased its flexibility in the forefoot area. It is designed for a stronger, smoother and faster toe-off.
  • Featured in the upper section is the Engineered Mesh. This material aims to deliver lightweight breathability.
  • The Saucony Kinvara 9 uses the Woven heel to provide additional upper comfort and stability.

Saucony Kinvara 9 size and fit

The Saucony Kinvara 9 is a road running shoe that is intended for those runners who do not overpronate or underpronate. It is available in medium widths D for the men and B for the women. The shoe follows the standard running shoe length when it comes to sizing.

Outsole

The Strategic Rubber is placed in the forefoot and heel area. This material offers added durability to ensure the shoe will last for extended periods.

The Tri-Flex outsole is featured in the Saucony Kinvara 9. The impact is evenly distributed throughout the underfoot to provide flexibility. It gives the platform added stability as well. This outsole configuration is also found in the Kinvara 10.

Midsole

Featured in the midsole area is the EVERUN Full-Length Topsole. This component of the shoe provides an additional layer of cushioning that is more responsive. As a result, energy return is further enhanced.

A lightweight material called the EVA+ is used in the Saucony Kinvara 9. The purpose of this technology is for additional comfort, durability, and rebound.

Upper

The Engineered Mesh is the formfitting material that comprises the upper section of the shoe. Its primary purpose is for lightweight breathability.

Integrated into the Kinvara 9 is the Woven heel. The goal of this material is to provide additional upper support, stability, and comfort to the platform.

The shoe utilizes the Flex Film Overlays. These thin films are welded to the upper section. Saucony added these materials to deliver a more secure and snugger fit.


Comparison