The Saucony ProGrid Kinvara has proven very successful, a nice example of the right product hitting the market at the right time. The combination of light weight, minimal heel/toe height differential, responsive ride and great graphics proved attractive to the growing ranks of runners experimenting with minimal-type footwear. Saucony is seeking to capitalize on the success of the Kinvara by expanding the concept and making the Kinvara experience available to more runners. Enter the Saucony ProGrid Mirage, a supportive version of the Kinvara for those slight over-pronators looking for a viable lightweight option.
The ProGrid Mirage offers many of the same weight saving features as the Kinvara but has a few key differences that provide more support and durability. Same as the Kinvara, the Mirage features a one piece EVA+ midsole/outsole with a small ProGrid LITE unit placed in the heel both of which save weight and increase responsiveness. Where the Mirage differs though is in how it achieves the added support from which slight overpronators generally benefit.
The ProGrid Mirage relies on a Supportive Arc plastic insert in the arch area of the midsole and a more substantial upper. The mess upper features more overlays on the medial side of the shoe, a Hydrator collar lining and Memory Foam Heel pods for increased comfort and a strobel board for increased support. The outsole on the Kinvara features a small amount of XT-900 to slightly increase durability, but the goal was clearly on saving weight. The Mirage instead offers quite a bit more XT-900, plus blown rubber which should allow people to get more road miles out of the Mirage.
All of these added features add weight to the ProGrid Mirage, but given that the Mirage is designed for a runner requiring a bit of support, the additions are understandable. Still the Mirage is no brick, the shoe in spec form comes in at 8.9 oz in a men’s size 9.0. Yes it’s more than the 7.7 oz Kinvara, but still under the arbitrary 10.0 oz level that tends to define a lightweight trainer. You’ll be hard pressed to find to find another lightweight trainer suitable for a slight over-pronator at under 9 oz.
The Kinvara concept being applied to the support market only makes sense. Even though the neutral category continues to grow, the greatest numbers of runners still reside in the support category. The Saucony ProGrid Mirage seeks to capitalize on runners wanting more pronation control with a nice combination of weight savings, responsiveness and support in an attractive package. Available in February of 2011 at $100 msrp in 3 very nice colorways for men and women, this model should be a another home run for the company.
It’s hard to believe that with all of the hot, fast models coming from Saucony, that it was only a few short years ago that Saucony was known primarily as your mother’s brand. Saucony is doing a great job of producing new products that appeal to a completely different audience without losing site of the runners who brought them to the dance. It is really nice to see them expand on the Kinvara concept while gradually evolving their mainstay products.