The reason why I got the Saucony Kinvara 7 can be summed up in two words: light and durable.
Light, Built for Roadrunners
These shoes are incredibly light, weighing at a little more than 200gr (about 7.5oz) for a size 9, which I think is awesome, to say the least.
As soon as I got them I tested them on asphalt, its natural habitat, that's where they truly shined as competition shoes.
A Springy- Comfy Ride
The very first thing I noticed about these shoes is how responsive they are.
Change of pace comes like the most natural thing in the world with the Kinvara. It does that without sacrificing comfort, which is the perfect combination for long-distance competitions.
The Kinvara 7 comes with a special outsole, which is the result of combination of the IBR and inserts of the softer IBR+ (1) in the midfoot area for better cushioning on impact.
The third outsole material is the denser XT900 rubber, which is in the heel and toe area.
The aim is to improve durability by reducing abrasion during toe-off or when occasionally landing on the heels while going down.
The Kinvaras have a 4 mm drop and let me tell you, this is just in the sweet spot for me.
I felt sprinting and going fast came much easier and the shoes responded well to slowing down to an autopilot pace, too.
Mesh and Internal Padding
The mesh used in the Kinvara 7 is very breathable and quite soft, with thin plastic-like reinforcements for the areas where the foot tends to push more in a material called Flexfilm.
The heel area and the tongue are well-padded and built using the Run Dry technology which wicks off moisture quickly.
I had run in these shoes in 10 cm deep snow in the Bulgarian winter and they surprisingly performed really well in that department, keeping my feet dry and snug.
The Kinvara 7 introduces an innovative material called Everrun for an increased force return and thus responsiveness.
This as far as I am concerned is absolutely true, although I believe it made the shoe definitely more reactive, thus sacrificing a bit of cushioning.
The Kinvara 7 is a well-designed shoe, without any fancy useless extra.
My guess is that at Saucony they definitely wanted to keep the light weight no matter what and they definitely succeed in that. I am not a big fan of fluorescent colors like the ones I am running in now, but if you don't mind getting noticed these are exactly what you need.
I think these shoes deserve some mention as far as the lacing system is concerned. The laces come a bit too short for those who want to go ahead and use all of the holes to prevent heel slippage.
Also, the shoes come with a quite atypical midfoot locking system called ProLock, which in my opinion is quite unnecessary and makes for an uneven feel.
I got the Kinvara 7 for about 100 dollars and considering the weight, the quality of the materials and the amount of thought in the building of this shoe, I have to say these are definitely a bang for the buck.
Lightweight, fast, with good cushioning, outsole built for durability and all of this at a reasonable price.
The only negative remark is the ProLock system, which I think is useless. Nothing's perfect, but we're getting close, Saucony!