This coming February sees the arrival of the latest Saucony Kinvara. The Kinvara12 is set for a radical update yet remains true to its heritage. So what can we expect?
Lightweight with an almost minimalist approach, yet with enough cushioning and support for everyday training, the Kinvara has always been popular. For some it have proved to more of a nifty and responsive racer for others a shoe for fast day training. A traditional shoe in so many ways, resisting the trend towards oversized and max-cushioned shoes.
One of the most popular incarnations of the Kinvara from the last couple of years has been the 10 and 11. Key here has been the improvements made to the midsole. Simply improved cushioning with a greater level of responsiveness. The Kinvara12 has much to live up to.
So following a quick look at the the Kinvara12, this is what we found…
The New Kinvara12
First off the new look is terrific. The Kinvara12 looks bold in it’s Bright-Future colourway and is definitively distinctive. It is definitely a statement without being garish. It gets our approval here at Accelerate Towers.
Now the upper gets a revamp. Stripped back to save further weight, yet it very much looks like comfort and fit has been maintained. Following a quick try-on it was definitely feeling good. Tongue is sewn in to the sides as well and fit around the mid foot is as good as ever.
This is also where most of the weight saving has been made in this new lighter version.
Women’s Kinvara12: 184 grams (UK size 5)
Men’s Kinvara12: 213 grams (UK size 8)
Probably the main thing you will notice is the heel shape. Turn the shoe over and you can see the heel is the newer distinctive ‘Dovetail’ shape.
It is said that this helps to even out impact forces and allowing the foot to roll more consistently through the contact phase. Whilst we are looking at the sole, Saucony have kept to minimal rubber overlays. This is pretty much as has been in previous iterations of the Kinvara and we have never really seen it as a problem – unless you use the shoe to brake whilst on your bike!
Cushioning or underfoot protection.
The stack height has change little and retains the 4mm drop.
Stack Height measured:
Drop: 4mm Heel: 28.5mm Forefoot: 24.5mm
The midsole however gets an update with the addition of TPU to the EVA midsole mix. This will increase resilience and the distribution of impact forces. It will likely increase the firmness of the feel of the shoe yet in our experience of similar midsoles it will still feel cushioned. No doubt good for the long run.
As a result the shoe will feel responsive, in so much that your energy when you push will not be lost to the shoe. ‘Pingy’ is how we often described the older Kinvara’s and we expect this to feel no different in the Kinvara12.
So What do We Think?
Yes, we are kinda excited for the New Kinvara12. We think it will definitely feel different to previous versions, yet not to the extent that it is a completely new shoe. Lighter has to be a good thing, a firmer midsole definitely gives it a different slant to the ‘rocker shaped big stacked midsoles’ found in many new shoes. As a mid mileage shoe it ticks the boxes, for those wanting a lighter distance racing shoe, well definitely. As a go to tempo or speed session shoe, we really do think so. Plus, if you are thinking of stepping into your first pair of traditional racing shoes, well right now, I couldn’t think of a better place to start.
A shoe that definitely should be tried before you buy.
As to the new colourway – oh yes, we are digging this.
Special Note: For those running in the Endorphin Range then these really are a compliment. The danger is that in (and research has backed this up) running all your runs in your lovely rolling oversized shoes, with or without a carbon plate, you are doing your feet and lower limb a dis-service. You run the risk of weakening your lower limb and foot muscles and ligaments. So increase the risk of injury. We have also seen an increase in adapted running form, that unfortunately is not doing anyone any favors. So popping on a pair of Kinvara12’s or similar is actually a really good idea.
Finally a Word on Responsiveness…
It’s all in the eye of the beholder.These days we refer to responsiveness as a positive feedback from the shoe – a bounce back from the midsole. The jury is out on how much difference this really makes and some research suggests that your foot (should) moves too quickly to gain any benefit.
Back in the old days, now that says something about my age, responsiveness remains more about that ‘pingy’ feeling. A shoe you can run off, without feeling as though all your energy and push has been lost to the midsole.
Please NOTE: The New Kinvara12 is due to arrive this February 2020. ETA is TBC.