June 12, 2014

Kinvara 5 - Best Kinvara Yet?

Isn't this a thing of beauty? It feels even better than it looks.
Sometimes it's hard to me to start the process of writing shoe reviews because I worry that people are just going to think - "well, of course he likes Saucony shoes, he runs for their team!" But I don't think I'm in the minority when I propose that the Kinvara 5 is the best iteration of this shoe yet.

Last year I had the opportunity to work with Saucony's lab as they "field tested" their prototypes of the Kinvara 5. We had lots and lots of runners wear the new models, provide feedback... then new prototypes came out, and the cycle was repeated. I can say with first-hand knowledge that Saucony really listened to what runners wanted in this Kinvara update.

The final result is something very special - I was impressed the minute I finally got to put a pair on in my size. The first word that came to mind was "luxurious." That is largely a function of the RunDry collar and PRO-LOCK fit system. The shoe fits like a racing flat, but is a little more plush - a shoe that feels fast but is suitable for everyday training. One thing I really love is that the forefoot feels just a tad bit wider - that provides a bit more room for the toes, and also a more stable platform for push-off.

I've been wearing the Kinvara since the shoe first came out. To be honest, up until this point, the original 1/2s were my favorite. I definitely really liked the 3/4s (and ran a lot in them!), but didn't necessarily love them.

Now, with the introduction of the Kinvara 5 - it's not even a contest. This new version of the Kinvara is my favorite running shoe of all-time... which is quite a statement to make after wearing them for 5 weeks, but I feel confident that assessment will hold true! Andrea agrees - she not only has worn previous versions of the Kinvara, but she also got to wear a lot of the Kinvara 5 prototype versions over the past year, and she says this is her favorite running shoe of all-time as well. We both don't even want to wear anything else on a day to day basis.

I still have Kinvara 2, 3, and 4 in my (extensive) rotation - the shoes just don't quit. But I might retire some of the older pairs now that the 5s are becoming the most desired shoe in the massive pile by our front door.

For tech specs, check the Saucony Blog: The 5th Generation of Fast

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