Hard to believe the original Kinvara was launched way back in 2010, but here we are 6 years later with the newest version; the Saucony Kinvara 7. It’s no secret that the Kinvara has been one of my favorite shoes over the years, especially the early version 1, 2 and 3 models. I didn’t particularly enjoy the updates to 4 and 5, but felt like Saucony got back on track somewhat with the Kinvara 6. Add in the following blurb from the Saucony website, and I was definitely excited to try out the Kinvara 7.
Now with an EVERUN treatment in the heel, this ride delivers a step up in comfort. Add in a lightweight FLEXFILM in the upper for a durable, flexible fit, and you may never want to slow down.
It’s been just over a month since I purchased the shoes, and with multiple runs of varying distances logged, it’s probably about time to get my thoughts down on the blog.
- Weight – 7.7 ounces for my Men’s Size 9.5. No complaints here. Great to see Saucony keeping the weight down.
- Drop – 4mm [22mm heel, 18mm forefoot]. A 4mm drop shoe is pretty much the sweet spot for me, so again, no complaints here.
- Flexibility – Saucony finally eliminated their trademark triangular lugs from the outsole, replacing them with a chevron-ish TRI-FLEX outsole. They claim the new outsole “improves ground contact and provides a smoother ride”, but to be honest, I kind of prefer the old squidgy triangles. To be fair, the Kinvara 7 is still plenty flexible, but the toe-off phase of the foot-strike is just a bit too stiff for my liking.
- Comfort – not much change from previous models – the Kinvara 7 is a plush shoe, without feeling bulky. I like the soft, padded tongue and heel counter, and the shoe interior has minimal seams if you’re one of those runners that prefers to go sockless. The forefoot appears to be a tad roomier than previous models, but it’s still a bit bullet-shaped compared to some of the other foot-shaped shoes in my collection.
- Upper – the open-mesh design and FLEXFILM overlays keep things similar to the Kinvara 6, although I believe the overlays have been slightly repositioned on the updated model. For summer running, there aren’t many other shoes that will keep your feet as cool as the Kinvara 7. The Pro-Lock System in the upper, however, is a feature I wish Saucony would remove – in my opinion, it just adds extra weight and on longer runs tends to increase pressure on the top of my midfoot. I may even cut out the Pro-Lock bands as I don’t think I need to lock down this area. A final note on the upper – the reflective accents on the toe bumper, overlays and heel are a nice touch.
- Midsole – the big change to the midsole is the addition of the EVERUN Heel Insert designed to increase energy return. To be honest, I can’t really say I noticed the EVERUN at all, although I’m still waiting for that magic moment on a run when the extra return kicks on. Maybe it’s just a matter of time?
- Outsole – as mentioned above, Saucony have changed up the outsole with their new TRI-FLEX sole. The chevrons do appear to be more durable than the old triangular lugs, and the XT-900 carbon rubber chunks seem to be positioned in the all the right places.
- Price – MSRP is $110.00, which is about the going rate for a shoe in the neutral, lightweight category.
- Summary – I was hoping to be blown away by the Kinvara 7, but unfortunately, they’re just going to be another shoe in the current shoe rotation. I have logged regular runs over the past month or so in the Kinvara 7 and will continue to do so, but I’m not finding myself looking for them as the first choice right now. I definitely don’t dislike the shoe, but aside from the great looks, the 7 is not any more exciting than the 5 or 6 in my opinion.
Product Details from the Saucony website
- Featuring EVERUN Heel Insert
- A new TRI-FLEX outsole configuration for better ground contact and a smoother ride
- Sleek upper design with improved use of FLEXFILM provides great lockdown for every stride
- Shoe Category: Neutral
- Pronation: Neutral
- Cushion: Responsive
- Construction Type: Natural Motion
- Surface: Road, Track
- Arch: High, Normal (Mid)
- Water Resistant: No
- Waterproof: No
Other Saucony Kinvara 7 Reviews:
Disclaimer: I purchased the Saucony Kinvara 7 at the local running specialty store, Running Etc., on 6/30/16
The Pro-Lock bands have been annoying me so much lately, earlier today, I decided to cut them out. The minor procedure was painless and took only a few minutes:
- Untie shoelace so that both Pro-Lock bands are free.
- Reach into the side of the shoe then carefully cut away the band with scissors or a sharp knife. Repeat on the opposite side of the tongue.
- Re-lace the shoe, using the optional heel-lock tying method if desired.
- Repeat on other shoe.
- Discard Pro-Lock bands.
- Go for a run!
Please take care if you decide to remove the Pro-Lock bands from your Saucony Kinvaras. Any shoe modifications are carried out at your own risk.