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The Kinvara takes hybrid to new levels. With a heel-to-forefoot ratio that resembles a racing flat, the Kinvara promotes midfoot and forefoot striking associated with faster paced running. The low-profile midsole height is comparable to most lightweight trainers, while the cushioning feel is soft in the heel yet responsive in midfoot and toe-off. The result is a neutral shoe, that is great for daily training, tempo runs and long races.

Model Number:

View all colors

Weight: 7.7 oz (size 9)

Stack Height: Heel (21mm), Forefoot (17mm)  

How it Fits (based on width D) Width D=Medium

  • Sizing: Standard running shoe length
  • Heel:  Narrow to medium
  • Mid-foot: Medium volume
  • Forefoot: Medium
  • Toe-Box height: Low
  • Arch Structure: Medium height

Product Lifecycle

  • Release date: September 2010 (new color), model release date May 2010
  • Model discontinued: April 2011
  • Model update: May 2011, Kinvara 2


The Kinvara is a moderate feature, minimum neutral shoe designed for speedwork, racing and daily training. It is built with a semi-curved shape.


  • Heel ProGrid Lite is a foam grid like piece that sits under the heel and is designed to absorb heel strike energy.
  • EVA+ is a full length composite foam designed for lightweight durability.
  • Open Mesh covers the entire upper and is a breathable lightweight fabric.
  • Synthetic Overlays are located at the the midfoot and wrap the upper to the foot for a snug fit.
  • EVA Sockliner offers additional cushioning directly under foot.
  • XT-900 is located throughout the outsole and is a carbon rubber material that increases traction without sacrificing durability.

Footwear Performance Characteristics

Pronation Control: What's This?

  • Neutral
    • Min
    • Mod
  • Support
    • Min
    • Mod
    • Max
  • Motion Control
    • Mod
    • Max

Heel-Toe Offset (mm): What's This?

  • 0
  • 1-2
  • 3-4
  • 5-6
  • 7-8
  • 9-10
  • 11+

Stack Height:

  • Barefoot
  • Minimal
  • Low
  • Medium
  • High
  • Maximal


  • Road
  • Road-Trail
  • Hard Trail
  • Varied Trail
  • Soft Trail

Shoe Type:

  • Premium
  • Standard
  • Performance
  • Racing

Customer Reviews

Comments: I've been running in these shoes for about 3 months. They feel great, and have been a great shoe for both road and loose gravel surfaces. Unfortunately, they're falling apart! I'm used to running shoes wearing from the inside out, not the other way around. The fabric around the toe is tearing (on both left and right feet), and after a half-marathon this weekend, the toe cover has become de-laminated (also on both feet). I'm a small person, under 140 lbs, and I have never had this happen before. Bad pair? I hope so, because I like them so much I want to buy another pair!
From: James, Upper Lake, CA, USA

Comments: All in all, the Kinvaras are a fine shoe if you are transitioning to something more minimalist. These are by no means minimalist shoes (most traditional trainers have 2mm less cushioning in the forefoot than the Kinvaras) but they are a start. If you have already used the Kinvaras and want something less, I would suggest going for the New Balance Minimus Road, which just came out this month on the New Balance website.
From: Jeff, Newark, NJ, USA

Comments: I bought these shoes to transition to a more flat shoe. I have nothing but good things to say about this shoe so far. They fit great and have good amount of toe box room, low profile makes them easier to run midfoot, enough cushion for long runs but not pillow soft where lose energy, breathable, and seem to hold up good. I would not hesitate to order another pair as the INOV-8 195 and 230 shoes which are my favorite are impossible to get now. This shoe is a good substitute and have noticed my running is faster now with these. Only thing I would do different is cut down the heel and midfoot height in order to be lower to ground and lose weight. But thats just personal opinion. Buy these shoes if you want a good transition shoe.
From: Mike, Ashland, OR, USA

Comments: Light shoe, but with good amount of cushion. Moved from Nike Free 7.0 to these and noticed an immediate difference in cushion in the midsole. You do have to give up some upper support to get the flexibility and lightness. Good for everyday training and strong enough for marathon distance. Highly recommend the Kinvara! 
From: Tyler, TX, USA

Comments: Love the mid sole flexibility, the light weight, the low toe heel drop, and the overall no-nonsense of this shoe.  Have run in Speedstars for 5 years and these shoes give a much smoother transition for proper mid-foot plant.  Downsides are 1) the pools of blood on both ankles - Saucony needs to drop the ankle by 1/4-1/2", 2) the top eyelets are not properly placed (too high), and 3) the arch is too high.  If these things were fixed it would be my favorite shoe ever.
From: Brian, Old Saybrook, CT, USA

Comments: These are great shoes! They are light and fast. I have ordered an additional pair after running 200 miles on these to see they have held up quite well. I would also like to thank the RW staff. They are first class. I found them on the web last year and have been very pleased with each order I have placed. Thank you!
From: Scott, Cincy, Ohio, USA

Comments: I have about 150 miles in these and they seem to be holding up well.  For reference, I land on my forefoot and overpronate but don't use orthotics.  Very soft ride, flexible midsole, comfortable upper.  The toebox was too small for my big toe despite the fact that I have morton's toe (longer middle toe).  I find this occurs with a lot of my shoes and it's pretty bothersome considering my big toe is shorter than the average person's.  Something seems wrong with the general shoe manufacturing trend in the toebox IMO that this occurs with most brands I try.  Watch out for the extra strain on the achilles!  Removing the insole can make the ride slightly less soft.
From: Jeff, Avon, CT, USA

Comments: It runs a little long, and has a lot of room in the toe box, but the biggest problem is the arch support (It is really high). It is light and has great cushion. Definately can be used for longer runs. I took it out for a short run and it ran well.  have not tried it out for a long run yet, but suspect it will do fine.  Good transit shoe if you are trying to move to a flat.
From: GBK, Dacula, GA, USA

Comments: I really liked the kinvaras, they are good for longer runs where lighter shoes are not quite enough. They do feel cushy and the heel is a little too high for my liking. Note: This is NOT a minimalist shoe. It is good for someone who is trying to transition away from support/ motion control shoes, but for true "minimalists" it is probably too cushioned and thick for their liking. If they lowered the heel and arch just a little, then this shoe would be much better in my opinion. I would give it a 3.5/5 overall. The neon green color scheme is pretty cool.
From: Anonymous

Comments: I was SO disappointed on getting these. In something billed as minimal I did not expect to have a HUGE arch support. It felt awful having the shoe push up so hard into my inner arch.
From: Tim, Orlando, FL, USA

Comments: I found the Kinvara to be too narrow and squishy for my liking. Personally I think the Brooks Green Silence is a much better shoe for me anyhow. I got about 400 miles out of the Kinvara and then the upper started to tear quite a bit. It's a bit too high of the ground as well which makes kind of unstable on trails. I won't be getting another pair.
From: Henry, Monson, ME, USA

Comments: Great shoe, good for those who are transitioning to less supportive and lighter shoes. Very light, not too much cushioning and all around great.
From: Chen, MA, USA

Comments: Bought the black and thinking about the all orange. Took it out on a 5k tempo run for the first time. All I can say is wow. Light and excellent feel. I would recommend this to runners transitioning to a minimalist shoes.
From: Chris, Jacksonville, FL, USA

Comments: I have been looking for the "perfect" running shoe. I think I have just found it. I have over 20 pairs of running shoes and tried well over 30 different types. I am not looking any more. The Kinvaras are the best shoes I can get right now. I had three main preferences, light, low to-heel ratio and nice cushioning. I am a midfoot striker and have been using mainly the Mizuno Musha Wave 2. They are really good, however, as my mileage increases I feel my feet after 8-10 k in them. I needed something more cushy, especially in the forefoot. The Kinvara is the most cushy shoe with a 4-mm offset. I have only run about 70 k in them and I am not sure about the durability of them, but I love'em.
From: Csaba, Los Alamos, NM, USA

Comments: These are quite simply the current quintessential long run shoe.  While the platform they ride on is quite frankly ridiculously high off the ground and could be lowered in subsequent revisions, once under way you quickly forget about the rather stilt-like nature of the midsole.  The 4mm heel-toe drop is superb in terms of allowing your foot to move naturally through its stride.  The upper is highly lightweight, and exceedingly well ventilated. The one flaw of the upper is that the sides come up too high near the ball of your ankle, and unless you have a properly positioned sock, prepare to chafe.  All said, it's great for soaking up the miles in a comfortable, efficient, and lightweight manner.  Yes, you can perhaps call these minimalistic, but I'd lump them more into the the lightweight trainer category.  Here's to hoping Saucony comes out with a Kinvara 1/2 - something in between the Kinvara and A4.  That would perhaps be the best shoe on the market.
From: Joel, Austin, TX, USA

Comments: This is now my ALL TIME favorite shoe!! First run was a 7 miler at a 7.03 pace which would be faster if no hills.2nd run was a 19 flat 5k pr and im not at a 100% either. After i run in the Kinvaras my legs arent sore at all!!My calfs were just alittle after my 5k!I have the green pair, just ordered the black pair and thinking about getting the all orange pair!!
From: Mike, Eleanor, WV, USA

Comments: Great light shoe! The only annoyance is that it digs into your ankle and it is just awful when walking or standing still. However, once you get moving you do not even notice it. I would still suggest it.
From: Louis, Los Angeles, CA, USA

Comments: Bought a pair of 10.5's this April when in Boston, same size as my usual Saucony shoe. Just hated them, felt sloppy and pillowy. Gave them a 2nd chance and just bought a pair of 10's. Holy smoke they are sweet. I usually run in Saucony Grid Sinister(disco) or Fastwitch 4, but was looking for a bit more cushioning for long runs. My favourite shoe by far, fast and responsive.
From: Eric, ON, CA

Comments: Out of the box and did a 20 mile run. Sweet shoe! Light, cool, comfortable. We'll see how they wear, but I'm hearing they wear fine. Came from a Mizuno Wave Rider to these and really appreciate the weight and lack of heel lift. It certainly does help me with mid-foot stride.  Buy up in size- use the ShoeFitr
From: Jeff, Franklin, TN, USA

Comments: Just ran my first 5k in the kinvara's , very smooth, responsive, and very comfortable. Going to run marathon in them next week-end. This just might be the best shoe saucony has introduced. I'm 5'7 134 lbs neutral runner.
From: Marty, Hubbardston, MA. USA

Comments: This is a great shoe for any distance.  It's not going to be an elite runner's 5K or 10K choice because there are definitely more minimalist shoes on the market.  However, for everyone else this is a fantastic shoe.  The Kinvara is light, fast, responsive, and surprisingly comfortable throughout.  Enough support for a daily trainer, but light and fast enough for race day.  Fits like a glove out of the box and only gets better with mileage.  I've run distances all the way up to marathons in this shoe and couldn't love it more.  On my second pair now.  To be fair, and at least somewhat unbiased, my only issue with the Kinvara is there is just a tad too much room in the toe box for me.  But that, of course, will change from runner to runner.  I have an average width foot.  I can attest to the statement by others that this shoe will work you calves.  There is a very minimal change in height from heel to forefoot as compared to most shoes, so if you are transitioning plan on a week or so of tired calves.  It's worth it.
From: Joe, New York, NY, USA

Comments: Light and comfortable; nice 9 mile progression run right out of the box. No issues; felt a little different than usual shoes with the lower heel profile, but felt natural and quick. Probably wouldn't use them as daily trainers (use a couple of pairs of Grid Tangents for most runs presently), but for tempos, longer races/half-marathons and maybe some other fast-paced training they can't be beat! Really impressed and the price is right too. If they hold up reasonably well, I'll scoop up another pair.
From: Rob, Barrington, RI, USA

Comments: I just got these in this week; 8/17/10. I ran a quick 1.5 miler to get a feel for the Kinvara.  I was looking for a minimalist shoe and these were the answer. I run about 15 miles a week and I do not have any foot or leg issues to speak of. The following statement is not a bash against the Kinvara, if anything it is a strength. This shoe promotes the development of foot strength and lower leg muscle development.  The next morning, my calfs were sore; like when you work a muscle the first time or take time off from lifting weights. It promoted the engagement of muscles that my current shoe, Nike Vomero (I have ran in this shoe or it's prior version for four years) did not. Do not become discouraged if you get sore or worry that you are developing shin splints. If you have foot issues, I recommend you look into a different shoe. The Kinvara is a very fast and light shoe that I can assure you will enjoy knocking out some miles in.
From: Unknown

Comments: LOVE the Kinvara! As a neutral forefoot striking supinator, it's hard to find a good shoe for me. I tend to get no more than 300 miles out of a pair of shoes and the outer edge of my right shoe always wears thin quickly (that's actually my one complaint about this shoe - that edge has worn down pretty quickly). I have 160+ miles on my first pair of Kinvaras and have raced a 5k (19:38), a 15k (1:02:24), and a half-marathon (1:29:23) in them (14 miles is longest run so far). They're snug, not overly built, and offer just enough cushioning from the road. I hope to get 300 miles out of my first pair of Kinvaras, and if I can do that, I'll be buying them again.
From: Gabe, Saratoga Springs, NY, USA

Comments: I was skeptical about getting these shoes since I was looking for a long distance training shoe that I'd be able to use for a marathon also. I had the Saucony Triumph 6 and was looking at the 7s, but I have a pair of Brooks Launch that I really like because they are light and fast, but not much arch support. I've run 13 miles on these and I'm sold! Pros: Just as advertized. Light, fast, but with good cushioning for the long haul. Not as much arc support as the triumphs, but enough for me. Cons: The only thing I didn't care for is the "mesh" cover over the body of the shoe. It's pretty thin, but after 11 miles in the heat and humidity of south TX, my feet got pretty hot and sweaty. They do breath ok, but not much air flow. I'm a neutral runner and run anywhere from 5:30 to 10:00 pace..These worked for me!
From: Ezra, San Antonio, TX USA

Comments:  Light and fast shoes, all the weight is in the sole, so they feel a bit different than other shoes. That said, I absolutely don't call these racing flats or minimalist shoes. I could see racing a half marathon or marathon in them. I run in NB 790 trail shoes, and they are minimalist. These could be the perfect transition shoe for someone looking to wean themselves from overbuilt shoes to a more natural gait, or for a minimalist who isn't ready to wear true minimalist shoes on those long runs. The price is right, too, and love the Saucony ride.
From: Rob, Gorham, NH, USA

Comments:  I've only run about 25 mile in them so far but I'm sold.  They have a light, flexible mid-sole and a simple upper with no superfluous technology.  All I really need in a shoe.
From: Mike, Reading, MA, USA