I Made My Cousin Step Out of His Comfort Zone Testing the Saucony Kinvara 7
If you want something you have never had, you must be willing to do something you have never done.
I don't like getting into fights with my closest male cousin, but I needed a tester to run around in a pair of Saucony Kinvara 7 and since he wears a size 10.5, they made the perfect pairing. He’s a Saucony fan, so a free pair of shoes in his exact size seemed like a gift from the gods when I handed him the box. Excited, he opened the box lid and stopped dead when he caught sight of the colors.
These shoes are red and yellow and my conservative cousin wasn't having any part of looking like a peacock on the run in front of his running pals. I begged. I pleaded. I would have cried if I thought it would have done the trick, but in the end, I didn't have to go that far because he agreed to wear them.
Don't laugh, but his first test runs were at night so friends couldn't catch sight of his vividly-coloured footwear. But, eventually, he wore them in daylight and something miraculous happened: Cousin told me that he'd been getting non-stop compliments for choosing so stylish and powerful a color combo, so at that point, I couldn’t get them off his feet if I tried.
If you've been following the long and successful career of the Kinvara lineage, you know that with each new model, this shoe family has retained the characteristics and features wearers love most, yet subtle improvements differentiate the Kinvara 6 from the 7. Design updates to the upper, midsole cushioning system and outsole have morphed an already lightweight, durable and responsive shoe into a better version of itself.
My cousin has been loyal to the Saucony Kinvara collection since it first entered the market in 2010 and he sticks with the brand and model because material and engineering properties improve with every new version. Injection blown rubber strategically placed within the housing keeps the shoe's weight down, yet his feet are protected from the impact of harsh ground contact as he tackles turf and pavement that aren't always the most welcoming.
The Tri-Flex sole on the 7 doubles durability and in addition to superior traction, shocks are minimized during his training exercises and on long runs. Once a feature that received neutral reviews, the former PowerGrid EVA foam platform has been replaced by EVERUN SSL, making the shoe denser and firmer.
- Cousin says that if you already belong to the Kinvara fan club, you'll welcome the 7 like a rock star at a marathon post-event party. The ride is ever so much softer despite the fact that the shoe shell is firmer.
- The Saucony Kinvara 7 is true to size, so you don't have to worry about pesky exchanges because your usual size doesn't fit.
- Saucony pulled off a bit of magic when engineering the Kinvara 7: Even though it feels as though the stack height has changed, it’s exactly the same 22mm height as the 6, yet Cousin swears it makes him feel taller.
- If your biggest complaint about the Saucony 6 was a lack of stiffness, you'll fall in love immediately because this version is more durable and could outlast your previous Kinvaras.
- A friend of my cousin's, who also happens to wear a size 10.5, told him that when he bought the 7, it was the first time he experienced wearing a shoe that felt as though it had already been broken in.
- If you have toe box issues, there's been no improvement from the 6 to the 7, so if this area of your foot is wide, don't expect the tight fit in this area to have improved.
- Despite the compliment his friend lavished on the Kinvara 7, my cousin found it harder to break these shoes in than his previous experience wearing the 6. He concluded that the issue was the more rigid construction.
- A fellow runner wearing a 7 in an equally loud color combo of "slime and black," confided that his shoes — also a gift — look as though his daughter's My Little Pony had thrown up all over them. As we said, if you can't bring yourself to wear vivid colours and sedate Kinvara 7 hues aren't available in your area, you have a big decision to make.
Not only did I turn my conservative cousin from a guy with little fashion savvy into a trend-setter, but he is overjoyed to own the newest version of his favourite shoes to tackle the muddy, steep and surprise-filled terrains he encounters when he indulges in trail and long distance runs.
His biggest opinions about the difference between the 6 and 7 have to do with the degree of stiffness the new version presents, but in every other respect, it was hard to get Cousin to say anything bad. He even disagreed with the guy who found the lacing system problematic. When last I saw his yellow and red dazzlers, they were covered with mud, but Cousin was about to clean them.
Since when did you become so fastidious, I teased? Since you got me into these cool shoes, he laughed!
Have you ever stepped out of character and bought running shoes in bright colours because you loved the feel and performance so much, you were willing to move out of your comfort zone?
Saucony Kinvara 7 is available at selected Royal Sporting House stores and partner stores including Running Lab, JW Sports, iRUN 313, iRUN Queensway, SportsLink, Feder Sports and Zalora for S$159.
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