Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Saucony Kinvara 3

In December of last year I fell in love.

The object of my affection was my new pair of shoes - the Saucony Kinvara 2.  I wanted to start working my way into a more minimal shoe as I began training for the Rock n Roll USA marathon. A shoe that I could wear for speed work at the track, for tempo runs and for shorter races.  I wanted a "fast shoe" - something light and with a lower heel drop.  Something that would help encourage more of a mid foot strike.  A shoe that would aid in improving my form and efficiency.  I had read so many stories about runners who got injured because they switched to a minimal shoe too quickly and I wanted to be careful not to join their ranks.  I wanted to show up to the start line injury free and was concerned that running in a more minimal shoe would cause me more harm than good if I wasn’t smart.

The Kinvara 2 was the perfect shoe for me - it had the 4mm drop I was looking for (compared to the 10-12mm drop of the more traditional running shoe I was in) but provided more cushion and support than most of the other minimal shoes on the market.  From the second I put those shoes on my feet, I was in love.  My feet felt right at home.  It was a match made in heaven.

From the moment I started running in them I understood how people got injured in minimal shoes so frequently - it is hard not to wear them all the time because they just feel SO good.  I tried to remember the big picture and was careful about how I built my mileage in these shoes.  I kept track of my mileage and wore them at first just to the track once a week.  As the season progressed I spent more and more time in my Kinvaras and toward the end of the training cycle I found myself in them for more than 30 miles a week, wearing my traditional running shoes (the Asics Cumulus, at the time) only for long runs and recovery runs.  My traditional running shoes started to feel like big boats to me - heavy and clunky and pillowy.  I really could not imagine wearing such a heavy shoe for my marathon.  The decision was made - the Kinvara was going to be my marathon shoe.  It was an excellent decision.

When I found out that Saucony was updating the shoe and making some changes, I was EXCITED but also nervous.  How could they improve a shoe I loved SO much?  What if the changes didn’t work for me - would I be back at square one searching for the perfect shoe all over again?  Everything I had read told me I had nothing to worry about - that the changes were all thoughtful improvements that would only result in me loving the shoe even more.  I couldn’t wait to find out for myself.

You can only imagine how excited I was when I was asked to try out a pair of the new Kinvara 3s a few weeks ago, before they are available to the general public in May.  I was BEYOND thrilled.  When the box arrived the mail last week, I could not wait to put those shoes on my feet.

I ran in them a few times last week and then raced in them over the weekend - setting a new PR in the 10 mile distance.  These shoes do NOT disappoint.  Not even close.  Saucony did all they said they did - they took a GREAT shoe and made it even BETTER.

Here’s what I love most about the new Kinvara 3s:

They are more durable - Saucony made changes to the bottom of the shoe, adding more rubber to the mid foot and toe-off areas.  They will last longer and hold up to more mileage as a result.

They look cool - The Kinvara 3 comes in an awesome variety of super bright, happy colors.  I would love a pair in every color combination, please.

More flexible and lighter up top - The upper of the shoe uses a technology Saucony calls “FlexFilm.”  The material is light and sleek and flexible.  SO comfortable.

There really isn’t anything I don’t love about this shoe.  It is everything I love about the 2 -- and MORE.  The Saucony Kinvara 3 is my new fast shoe.  Every single time I put them on my feet I am going to run my best and FIND MY STRONG.

Here are some great links where you can learn more about this awesome shoe:

Saucony explains the Kinvara 3

Believe in the Run: Saucony Kinvara 3 Review “Three is the Magic Number”

Running Shoes Guru: Saucony Kinvara 3 Preview

A Runner’s Blog: Saucony Kinvara 3

Average Guy Hits the Road: The People’s Shoe

* Disclaimer: The shoes were complimentary, but the opinions expressed are my own. *


I want to try it out!!! Oh how I want to try this shoe out!!

I should be embarrassed they had me at the myriad colors...but Im not.

Great review! I am completely in love with my Kinvara 2s and was nervous when I heard Saucony was updating the shoe. Good to hear you're happy with the updates!

I have to say I love the bright colors first...but I'm a girlie girl who loves bright or shiny things...ha ha...also love the minimal shoe...thanks for sharing, I now have to go try a pair on just because!

I am already running in minimalist shoes from Brooks..Hmmm, I think I will try a pair of these. Love the all the colors!!

That's awesome! I've been looking for a "fast shoe" to do my lunch runs in, typically 4-6 miles. I've been hearing a lot about the Saucony shoes in the running community.

Very cool! I agree with your comment about being careful when transitioning to minimal shoes. I found it was 2 steps forward, 1 step back as my calves really complained a lot at first! And those color choices are very cool. Congrats on your PR!

Whew, I shared your concerns about the 3s. I randomly got a pair of Kinvara 2s at an REI garage sale and have set two PRs in them. Looking forward to the 3s now!

I just came across this post after googling the kinvara 3. I bought a pair and am eager to jump in.

And I just ran in them. Here's my post http://markmatthewsauthor.blogspot.com/2012/07/maximalist-or-minimalist-does-wizard.html

Now how do I get Saucony to hook me up with some complimentary swag for me speaking loud and proud about their products.

I also fell deeply in love with them.

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