|Update:||Saucony Kinvara 11|
|Weight:||Men: 7.5oz | Women: 6.5oz|
|Heel to toe drop:||Men: 4mm | Women: 4mm|
|Arch type:||High arch|
|Strike Pattern:||Forefoot strike|
|Heel height:||Men: 23mm | Women: 23mm|
|Forefoot height:||Men: 19mm | Women: 19mm|
|Release date:||Mar 2018|
|Width:||Men: Normal | Women: Normal|
|Colorways:||Black, Blue, Green, Grey, Orange, Pink, Purple, Red, White|
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90 / 100 based on 24 expert reviews
The race shoe for everyday runningMore photos
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- Suitable for a wide range of distances and paces
- The look is far less captivating than Nikes
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Overall, this is a really exciting shoe.
Very responsive, but at the same time, it's gonna last upwards of a thousand kilometers.
- The shoe features several updates to provide runners with a more satisfying experience. 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, 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.
- Lastly, the Saucony Kinvara 9 uses the Woven heel to provide additional upper comfort and stability.
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.
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.
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, the 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.
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.