Alright folks, here we go – as mentioned before there is 3 stages for us to test a product / running shoe.
1. First look
2. First running impression
3. Final review after treating the shoe as badly as we can 🙂
The first look was: Not the most beautiful shoe in the world and we weren’t quite sure if we should expect great things of the shoe – but now it’s shining in a different light.
First of all – The Kinvara is our new shoe for longer distance triathlons.
We ran the Kinvara on pretty much any possible surface but ice and were surprised by it’s great traction even on loose gravel – of course it is no off-road shoe but considering that the shoe is made for fast splits on the road – Kinvara: You got our respect.
The Kinvara fits nicely and snug around the foot, yet offering plenty of space in the toe area for athletes with slightly wider feet. With it’s easy to adjust lacing system everybody should be able to make it fit comfortably, yet tight enough to get the maximum advantage out of this shoe. Most of the time we ran the Kinvara barefoot and only once did we have slight problems with the insole rubbing on the inner side of the foot. This was on a 1 hour brick run after a long ride and oddly enough did not happen again afterwards. So despite our positive feedback – no matter what shoe you buy – should you intend running it barefoot, do so a couple of times before wearing it in a race. It is a real bitch having to wait 15 minutes at the turn around point of the Rage in the Sage triathlon until the nice deputy really put his coffee away, got out of his driver seat, found the bandaid and finally hands it to you (you guess it: First hand experience with a different shoe :-))
When running on steep trails, loose ground or jumping over rocks – the Kinvara fit nicely and there was no sliding around in the shoe or hurting toe nails after the run.
Especially with temperatures beyond 30 Celsius which we lately had around here the shoe offered perfect climate and breathability while thanks to it’s upper material keeping most sand, dust and little stones away from your feet.
The running performance:
As our first impression suggested the Kinvara is constantly pushing you to go a little faster and a little faster and yet a little faster 🙂 The XT900 outer sole of the shoe provides a great grip – even on wet asphalt (run it once or twice beforehand though – the grip improves after a couple of runs) and provides for a dynamic push off that helps you perform an efficient stride. With a much thicker sole than for example a Type A4 the Kinvara is the perfect shoe for runs on rocky roads or loose gravel – even when hitting small stones with the midsole you won’t feel a thing on your foot.
On long runs the Kinvara provides efficient cushion and makes sure you get home as relaxed as possible. On short run it’s generating a maximum power output which makes it even interesting for speed sessions and interval runs.
For us the Kinvara is a great alround running shoe that every runner of every weight should have on their shoe rack. It’s not advertising with the all so popular natural running movement – just plain and simple a great running shoe.
The Kinvara should be bought same size as your other Saucony running shoes