A super lightweight, neutral trainer aimed at helping your feet turn over a little quicker.
Even though the shoe is not marketed as a "triathlon" shoe, we would love to see the addition of a heel hoop to help pull the shoes on during transition.
An excellent all around shoe that can be worn on the run of your choice on the terrain of your choice.
The Saucony Kinvara 2 definitely falls in the "minimalist" category of running shoes, which seems to be the new craze lately. If you have read any of our other reviews, then you know that the folks here at TriBomb are big fans of simple, minimal shoes. Now, we definitely wouldn't be seen running in a pair of freaking Vibrams, but we do feel that almost anyone can run in a neutral, lightweight shoe if they would give it a try.
When the Kinvara 2 arrived at the TriBomb shop, we were pleasantly surprised when we slipped these shoes on. Well, so pleasantly surprised, that we headed out the door for a run.
And since then, we have logged well over 200 miles in these shoes allowing us to have a good "feel" for these shoes.
The shoes weigh in at 7.7 ounces (size 9). Not quite the weight of a racing flat, but still uber light. The shoes feel very good when on your feet and almost fit like a racing flat because of the way they hug your feet.
The upper is a very "no frills" approach that does exactly what a good upper should do. It is very well ventilated as well as seamless which provides maximum comfort. It features memory foam heel pads that make for a nice pocket so that your feet feel snug in the shoe. Another nice feature is the EVA sock liner which we noticed, or should we say hardly noticed, while running sockless. It offers that nice, next to skin feeling that allows for sockless running if you choose.
A close up view of the very breathable (and dirty - Hey, they are test shoes!) mesh.
Another cool feature is the Hydrator Collar Lining which helps with the very snug fit. This also does a great job of keep debris such as small rocks, dirt, etc from bouncing in your shoes. You can see where the collar protrudes out around the heel. A view from the top of the shoe:
A close up view of the Hydrator Collar Lining.
A look at the very comfy and soft inside of the Kinvara.
The midsole features Heel ProGrid LITE which is a fancy type of foam that is more responsive than the EVA that many shoes feature. This allows for a bit more support through the midfoot. The midsole is 18mm at the heel and 14mm at the toe, so with 4mm heel to toe offset, we felt very comfortable in the shoes. The rest of the midsole is made of Saucony's EVA+, which is the latest and greatest EVA technology that creates a super light and durable cushioning platform.
The outsole is very simple. It's constructed of XT 900 carbon rubber. It seems to be very durable based on our testing on many different terrains. It is also pretty flexible, which provides a nice feeling for those quicker paced runs.
The sole design with the simple triangles seem to provide very good traction no matter what the conditions. And you can see below, they hold up very well. This pair of shoes has over 200 miles mostly on rougher asphalt roads.
We have found ourselves running more and more in these shoes as they seem to be a great all around shoe. Whether heading out for a quick interval run or hitting the dirt roads or trails for a long run, these shoes just seem to feel good. Below is a quote from the Saucony website:
"With Kinvara 2, the shoe isn't trying to control the foot, it's just trying to support the foot and provide the freedom to really work your muscles."
We think this a great philosophy when designing a shoe. The simplicity of the Kinvara 2 is what makes it a great all around shoe.
Below is the back of the shoe where we think a "heel hoop" would be a nice touch for triathlon folks.
The materials used in the Kinvara 2 seem to be very durable and have held up quite well throughout some pretty nasty conditions.
They seem to fit true to size. You can see the size chart below:
We will be sporting the Kinvara 2 on many runs to come. If you are looking for a simple, minimal shoe aimed at natural running give these a shot.