Hit Any Speed With Saucony Kinvara 10!
The RW Takeaway: A mix of EVA and Everun foams provide a soft landing for this speedy training shoe.
The engineered mesh was universally loved for its comfortable fit
Testers wished there was more rubber underfoot
The foam midsole is soft yet responsive for speed workouts
Price: R2,299.90 (Sportsmans Warehouse)
Weight: 221g (men), 189g (women)
The king of the lightweight trainers, Saucony’s Kinvara has won multiple Runner’s World awards over its lifespan. The 10th iteration may not recreate the magic of last year’s Editor’s Choice-winning model, but it’s still a worthy successor.
Like any good track workout, a run in the Kinvara is what you make of it. Need a racing shoe that’ll deliver without taking out a second mortgage? It’s capable. Or maybe you need a neutral cushioned everyday trainer with a breathable upper? The Kinvara’s EVA-and-Everun midsole will be your trusty companion for the next couple hundred kilometres.
Lightweight Cushioning Delivers
At 221g, it’s one of the lightest everyday training shoes on store shelves. To keep it light and snappy, Saucony has shed unnecessary weight underfoot by using an exposed EVA foam outsole with minimal rubber. Our testers were torn on this design; they loved gliding through training runs and tempo days, though the grooves in the foam were susceptible to hitchhiking rocks and wore down more quickly than outsoles with greater rubber coverage.
The cushioning falls on the spectrum between the soft Brooks Ghost 11 and the slightly stiffer Nike Zoom Pegasus 35. Your heel won’t sink into the shoe with each step like the Hoka One One Clifton 5, but some testers wanted it to have a firmer, more responsive ride.
That’s not to say the shoe is a complete cloud, either – the flexibility underfoot and the light weight put it in position to help runners chip away at their existing PBs in distances from 5K to the marathon.
The Kinvara incorporates a design we’ve been seeing more frequently in heel collars, with thumb-sized cushions positioned on either side of the heel. These assist in keeping your heel locked down and over the platform on sharp turns.
A Goldilocks wrap from the flexible, breathable engineered mesh upper keeps the rest of your foot secure on the the durable midsole. My feet survived 160 kilometres of testing, including one marathon, without suffering any blisters. The rest of our testers were blown away by the quick-drying, dirt-shedding upper. “I had forgotten to put newspaper in to soak up some moisture,” said one tester, “but by morning, they were essentially dried out already.”
Saucony is offering the shoe in both a modern colour scheme and a throwback edition, featuring the bold white, red, and black color scheme that launched the original model.