- Saucony’s Kinvara sneakers have been a top pick in lightweight, low-drop running shoes since their debut in 2010.
- In the years since, Saucony has mostly stayed true to the original design, but newer iterations incorporated the latest in shoe tech. In the lineup, some successors were better than their replacements.
- The all-new Kinvara 10 ($110) pairs the best of the old with the best of the new. They’re ideal for any distance, from 5Ks to marathons, and they feel supportive but not bulky. The Formfit insole is a welcome addition, and the breathable, flexible upper disappears on the run.
Running is a tenuous but impassioned hobby for me. With the right gear, I can go for hours. With the wrong gear, I’m turning around before the end of the block. It’s simple: I don’t want to ruin a pastime by making it a chore. So I do my homework before I head out the door in a pair of sneakers.
Since its debut in 2010, Saucony’s Kinvaras have been a top pick for lightweight, low-drop running shoes. Their design set the stage for an influx of sneakers that could be both cushiony enough for long distance runs, but feel as deceptively light as a race shoe. They’re a good match for anyone who wants versatility, and they’re a solid choice if you’re as particular (some might say fairweather) as I am with gear.
Over the years, Saucony has updated and released new versions of the same beloved classic. Each wave is meant to stick to the same tried-and-true origin story, while upgrading and replacing pieces with the latest and greatest in shoe tech. Some models received more fanfare than others, leading to much anticipation for the launch of the Kinvara 10.
To celebrate a decade of lightweight innovation, Saucony is also issuing a limited-edition Kinvara 10 featuring the shoe’s original iconic design and colorways, and it’ll come with a commemorative box.
What the Saucony Kinvara 10s are like on a run:
The Saucony Kinvara 10 is, true to its legacy, a great running shoe. If you’re a fan of the shoe in general, you’re bound to approve of the 10. It’s lightweight but supportive and well-cushioned enough to take on runs from 5K to a marathon. It’ll serve you best on the road, treadmill, or level footpaths — but it’s worth noting that it won’t hold up well in a slick rain.
The Pro-Lock system is gone (much to the relief of its detractors), there’s less blown rubber on the outsole, and the sneakers have new Achilles cushions and a Formfit footbed insole. This pair has denser and more durable foam than the Kinvara 9 shoes. Saucony also added some extra rubber to high-wear areas like the toe and heel.
The new cushions can take some getting used to. They’re placed in the sneaker’s heel and should rest against the Achilles (you may be concerned about blisters at first, but I didn’t form any on multiple runs). The shoe doesn’t feel crowded, but you’ll probably be aware of the extra padding before you start moving or on your first few runs. Once in motion, I rarely thought about my shoes — which is the mark of a good pair. Though if you have narrow heels, you may notice the new Achilles cushions negate any slippage.
The light EVA+ midsole paired with the Everun top-sole makes for a comfortable, stable ride and the Formfit contoured footbed made the shoes feel forgettably comfortable and contoured. The upper made from woven mesh is flexible and breathable, and the slender tongue is stitched into the upper to avoid sliding around. There aren’t hotspots, chafing, or obnoxious seams — the shoe pretty much vanishes once you get going. There’s good forward momentum and energy return, and I didn’t notice any telltale aches or pains during my runs or after.
All in all, it’s firm, bouncy, and light, and it’ll do its job and stay out of your way. MVPS for me are (beyond the obvious points of lightweight and cushiony) the Formfit footbed and the upper mesh.
The bottom line:
The Kinvara 10 shoes are a good addition to Saucony’s legacy sneaker. They’re still a poster child for lightweight, comfortable shoes that can go pretty much any distance smoothly, but there’s new padding and support for the Achilles heel and a plush new supportive Formfit footbed. The upper is also better and more forgettable on long runs with no chafing or hotspots, and the thin tongue stitched into the upper reduces any discomfort or irritation. It felt like a responsive, unbroken extension of my foot. If you’re looking for a daily trainer, this is one of the best you’re going to come across.
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