Comments: By far my favorite version of this shoe. I wear these for all distances up to marathon and like the ride. a touch more cushion might be nice once you get beyond 20 miles, but it is still acceptable. The heel was cut down compared to the 3 which I like. I was constantly getting blisters on my achilles in the 3 and don't get any now. I have 300 miles on this pair and getting ready to buy another to transition to for my next marathon. I am a mid to fore foot striker and I love the 0 drop. would not recommend this for anyone who heel strikes.
From: Paul, Long Beach, CA
Comments: I liked the updated Kinvara 4. The fit and feel of the upper is better compared to the last version. However, the heel collar will rub your ankle until broken in. Some Body Glide or longer socks help with that. Ride feels the same as the last version. I also get the popping noise and suction cup feel when walking on smooth surfaces, but nothing when running. I also find the shoe to be more minimal control than neutral. I have expanded my use of the Kinvara line from short speed work to long steady distance and everything in between. They are now my daily run shoe and I feel comfortable enough to use them in an up coming marathon. My biggest complaint about the shoe is durability. Sole and cushion structure lasts about a third less miles than a maxed out shoe for me. This became apparent once I started using them daily. However, they are less expensive than maxed out shoes.
From: Howard, Cincinnati, OH
Comments: Great update. Love the fit of the new upper and lower heel collar. I find the upper provides more than adequate midfoot structure with a significantly more forgiving forefoot (the predecessor, Kinvara 3, did not have the best upper IMO). I find the midsole to be ever-so-slightly more firm and responsive; a good thing for me. Best Kinvara, yet.
From: Darren, Colorado
Comments: The Kinvara 4 is my current short distance trainer (up to 5 miles). For longer distances, I wear a shoe with a bit more cushion (12mm drop) to avoid knee pain. The upgrade from ProGrid to PowerGrid in the heel made for a much smoother ride for me since I'm somewhat of a heel striker. Although Saucony says they made the upper out of the same material as the Kinvara 3, the upper definitely feels more structured and supportive than my 3's. The tongue also feels more breathable, so that's just a small bonus. In response to other online customer reviews, I agree Kinvaras can make a "popping" sound if you're walking on a smooth tile floor, but I discovered that's simply due to the circular Saucony logo (Kinvara 3) or Power/Grid logo (Kinvara 4) on the bottom of the heel that forms a little suction cup. This obviously has no impact when running on the street or off road. Additionally, when wearing Kinvaras, you should definitely wear socks that go up to your ankle bone, otherwise the tall heel collar can rub your Achilles raw on longer runs.
From: Murph, Dallas, TX, USA
Comments: OVERALL: Kinvaras are classified as "neutral" but their substantial plate prevents foot-roll, and I would call these minimal-control shoes. I found these bulky when I first put them on, but got used to them after a few laps. They are essentially the same as the earlier Kinvaras: lightweight trainers for people who don't like trainers, and for people who do like trainers but need something lightweight for a long run. At first glance, these are about the same weight and heel-toe-drop as the Kinvara 3's. The drop is about an inch or so: quite a lot of build-up, to my mind, putting the shoe in the category of lightweight trainer rather than anything for speedwork or racing. For someone used to minimalist shoes like me, putting these on the first time is like wearing in cork wedgies.
PLATE: The Kinvara plate-mold has remained virtually the same since the first edition. The synthetic foam itself has supposedly changed between 3 and 4. I think it's supposed to be a little springier, but I can't detect a difference. I suspect the differences show up after about 200 miles.
UPPER: The noticeable difference is in the top. The Kinvara 4 looks much more structured. Where the Kinvara 3's forefoot was like a ribbed sock, the Kinvara 4's forefoot is restrained by a trusswork. Apparently some people felt the 3 wasn't structured enough. I suppose that if you get the size 10-1/2 because you have feet that are a tiny bit big for size 10 but really too small for 10-1/2, this extra structure will make the shoe feel a little less floppy. Otherwise I don't see the point.