The Saucony Kinvara typically needs no introduction - the shoe franchise that has built an absolute legacy. The running shoe that has the 'less is more' approach - and it works!
However, the Kinvara has, at times been a victim of it's own success. When a new iteration of the Kinvara comes about, it is met with equal apprehension and anticipation. "is it better?" is the simple question we hear most, because when the recipe is so right, it's so hard to make it better. When a shoe is so beautifully simple, adding features can take away from what it's so loved for.
Insert the Kinvara 8, which had one of the biggest changes we've seen with this shoe - the sole. Traditionally, the Kinvara has had a very simple EVA midsole, which is the type of foam used in most running shoes. It was lightweight, simple, and it worked - so the addition of an everun topsole brought on some anxiety but worked a treat just making the Kinvara feel that little bit more responsive without any real sacrifices to weight (Everun's claim to fame is an 83% energy return).
So - with the sole unit being tweaked and improved, Saucony's design team turned their attention to the upper and outsole for the latest Kinvara 9. A completely new lightweight mesh upper provides substantially more "hugging" where you need it (midfoot) and alot more flex and stretch in the forefoot with a completely new open mesh weave.
This feeling of a free and flexible forefoot is exaggerated with flex grooves making their way further along the shoe completely under the forefoot allowing the natural foot motion Kinvara-lovers are familiar with. Also on the sole is a revised 'carbon rubber' pattern that both saves weight and adds durability. In Stueys words "There is no shoe on the market with a better feel out-of-the-box" which I have to agree with.
The Kinvara 8 was such a winner and the Kinvara 9 builds on the success of it's predecessor. A comfy, tempo trainer that is as suitable for mileage as much as it is for running fast. If you truly want your running shoes to 'do it all' the Kinvara is worth a try.