Saucony Kinvara 7: Ever since the discontinuation of the Saucony Virratta I have been searching for a new running shoe favorite. I absolutely loved the Virratta’s and was very disappointed when Saucony decided to end the production of this great shoe.
The Kinvara 7 (shown here in Slime/Black) is Saucony’s nearest relative to the discontinued Virratta. Running shoe reviews are tough, as everyone has their own preferences when it comes to what is the right amount of cushioning, does an ounce here or there really matter, heel toe drop, flexibility and responsiveness, fit (wide foot or narrow foot), stability, and looks (looks shouldn’t matter, but we all know they do).
The Kinvara is labeled as a lightweight trainer. I think that is a bit of a misnomer. The shoe is great for racing and training. However, anything under a 5k, I would most likely opt for a lighter pure race shoe. The shoe weighs a very light 7.8 ounces.
Scores (1-10 scale):
Fit: The fit of the shoe is excellent. Very comfortable and true to size. I have a slightly narrow foot, so the slightly large toe box felt a little awkward initially. However this is hardly noticeable when running. Score – 8
Comfort: The shoe is extremely comfortable. Saucony nailed the construction and materials in the Kinvara perfectly. The insert is perfect, and the cushioning is a perfect balance from heel to toe. Score 10
Speed: The shoe is considered a lightweight trainer, however i would race in this shoe for any distance above a 5k. The shoe feels very lightweight and quick. The Kinvara felt just as fast as many lightweight pure race shoes I have utilized over the years. Score – 9
Feel: The Kinvara feels excellent whether running intervals or a easy paced jog. The cushioning in the shoe is fantastic, with the perfect balance of rigidity, flexibility and responsiveness. My only complaint (and this is due to my narrow foot), is the slightly large toe box. Score – 9
Looks: Completely subjective category, with zero relevance to overall performance of the shoe. However, the Kinvara is a beautiful shoe (especially in the slime/black shown above). Score – 10
Value: As of the writing of this review, the Kinvara 7 can be found at a street price of about $75. At this price, the Kinvara is an excellent value and nearly impossible to beat.
Conclusions: An excellent lightweight trainer and racer. The shoe provides incredible comfort, speed and responsiveness for runners of all abilities. The very slight heel toe drop (4mm), and lightweight (7.8 ounces) create a nearly flawless balance of perfection. I have found my new go to trainers and racers.
Reviewed by (March 2, 2017): Rob Steinberg – 2014 USAT All American, 4 time Ironman finisher.