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Saucony Kinvara 4 Product Review

Short Take

The Saucony Kinvara 4 maintains its feel as a fast-feeling, lightweight trainer while providing a bit roomier fit over the previous version.

Big Updates

  • More Forefoot Volume: Reduced overlays around the midfoot and over the toebox deliver a more open forefoot fit.
  • Softer Heel Collar: A soft fabric lines the inside of the heel collar for increased comfort around the Achilles.
  • PowerGrid: Saucony has upgraded the heel cushioning to their top-of-the-line PowerGrid material.

Road Test

2012 was a solid year for the Saucony Kinvara, with the shoe seeing a continual increase in its already-wild popularity. It goes without saying that this year’s Kinvara 4 has plenty of hype to live up to.

Changes are not overly dramatic in the newest Kinvara. The biggest difference: the upper, which loses a few overlays for a less constrictive and more flexible in the forefoot and midfoot. Though it is less snug than its predecessor, testers found the fit to be just as secure, and those with higher volume feet liked the more flexible upper.

Fans of the Kinvara 3 need not worry with this update – the ride is largely unchanged, offering a soft feel underfoot but providing a responsive kick when running at faster paces. The low offset of the platform feels aggressive – almost like a racing flat – and favors a mid-to-forefoot landing, though it remains smooth and cushioned when coming down on the heel.

Testers did notice a firm spot due to the outsole rubber along the lateral edge of the shoe, noticeable when landing on the midfoot. This wasn’t an issue when striking with the heel or the forefoot, and even midfoot strikers said it wasn’t noticeable after a few miles.

The Kinvara 4 maintains the fast feel of its predecessors, and will remain a popular option for fast running or as an everyday trainer for runners who prefer a lightweight and stripped-down shoe.

Runners Say

Jonathan

“The new upper is definitely more open around the forefoot and midfoot. For me, this change provides a more pleasant fit and I think the shoe is now accessible for a greater range of runners.”

Christine

“The ride of the Kinvara 4 is pretty indiscernible from its predecessor, which isn’t a bad thing for people like me who liked the Kinvara 3.”

Taro

“I’m used to a more traditional geometry, so the Kinvara 4 won’t become my go-to shoe anytime soon. But it serves nicely as a cushioned and relaxed fitting alternative to a racing flat for some seriously good running.”