When a shoe comes with a reputation having won the “best debut” in Runners’ World Magazine back in 2010, expectations of its third iteration would naturally be high. However, the Saucony Kinvara 3 exceeded my expectations and gave me a ride to remember! Having worked out the minor flaws in the first two Kinvaras, Saucony went back to the drawing board and gave us a beauty to behold!
These shoes have a 4mm heel to toe drop and they are amazingly light at 222 grams. They could be the lightest in its range with a significant amount of cushioning packed in the shoe. The engineers at Saucony have given us a one-piece upper which is a brilliant move as it removes the need for stitches and saves a whole load of weight! The FlexFilm technology of the upper cradled the foot rather snugly whilst allowing flexibility for movement. The thin mesh upper also allowed greater breathability than before to keep the feet cool.
The most distinct difference of the Kinvara 3 is the presence of the high abrasion EVA+ midsole which yielded a well-cushioned ride to provide protection and yet keep the shoe at feather weight. The addition of Hydramax cushions at the sides of the ankle region is a nice touch for ankle protection.
I took these shoes for intervals training and felt well protected throughout my runs. When going for long distance runs, these shoes also performed splendidly on the tarmac and special mention must be made when going downhill at a great speed as the added cushioning enhances one’s confidence. The triangular-lug outsole is designed to increase durability and it gripped the road perfectly fine even in wet weather.
Perfection still eludes the Kinvara 3, with its breathability and thick soles needing an enhancement. The upper of the shoe does seem to try to improve on the breathability but could work with a more aerated mesh upper. The thick soles do cause runners to land more on the mid-foot instead of the balls of their feet and the forefoot propulsion was minimal due to the high levels of cushioning. Overall, this remains a good pair of shoes for runners looking to gradually ease into minimalist or barefoot running.
- Shoe’s upper is roomy, light and flexible
- Great amount of cushioning and yet remains a lightweight shoe
- 12 funky colours to choose from
- Shoe causes pronation easily
- Thick soles cause runners to land more on mid-foot or heel
Where to buy?
The Kinvara 3 is available now at all STADIUM, Royal Sporting House stores and authorized dealers (N-Zone, I Run, JW Sports, Feder Sports) at $159.