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Posts Tagged ‘Saucony Kinvara 2’

Brooks PureFlow – First Look

September 29th, 2011

Brooks PureFlow Men's Shoe April 2012 Color

The Saucony Kinvara 2 no longer stands alone. Prepared to duel, is the Brooks PureFlow. It is built with a 4mm heel-toe offset, just like the Kinvara 2, but sits an estimated 2mm higher off the ground (stack height: heel-23mm, forefoot-19mm). The extra 2mm mostly comes from the outsole, which should increase durability over the Kinvara 2. But that extra thickness, no matter how slight, does come with a weight increase. The PureFlow comes in an estimated 1.3 ounces heavier than the Kinvara 2 but is still quite light (men’s sample size 9.0=8.6 oz, women’s sample size 8.0=7.6 oz).

Comparisons with the Kinvara 2 do not end with the specifications. The PureFlow is similarly quite soft while standing or walking but more responsive while running.  Whereas some customer feedback indicates the Kinvara 2 may be too soft at a quick pace, initial reports suggest the PureFlow to be more responsive at faster paces. This unique dynamic is the result of Brooks blending their DNA cushioning with their premium BioMoGo midsole foam.

As part of the Brooks PureProject line, the PureFlow comes with a set of standard features geared toward midfoot striking and a less-is-more philosophy. This shoe is for those who want a more “natural” experience but with cushioning not found in the near-barefoot type shoes (Altra Adam/Eve, Inov-8 Bare-X 200, Merrell Trail/Pace Glove, New Balance Minimus Trail, Saucony Hattori).

The PureFlow has an MRSP of $90 with a limited release in October 2011. A broader release with additional colors begins January 2012.

Brooks PureFlow Women's Shoe October 2011 color

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Saucony Triumph 9 – First Look

July 13th, 2011

Saucony Triumph 9 Women's Shoe November 2011 Color

Big changes are coming from Saucony. Over the last few seasons, Saucony has introduced new shoe models or updates with a 4mm heel-toe drop (see: Kinvara, Kinvara 2, Mirage, Type A4, Fastwitch 5). The thinking is a 4mm heel-to-toe offset puts the foot in a more natural position and  better enables a midfoot strike compared to the traditional 12mm differential. By providing shoes with a 4mm offset, Saucony has sufficiently answered the call for “natural running” footwear. Taking the movement one step further, Saucony introduced the zero drop Hattori in May 2011. This thin, level shoe provides essentially no cushioning, but protects the skin of the foot to allow for running on man-made surfaces.

While the 4mm and 0mm selection of Saucony shoes has provided solutions for some, many runners still seek a traditional feel or want to move toward a more natural platform, but find a 4mm offset to be too drastic a change. The Saucony solution, as evidenced by several updates for Spring 2012, is to provide runners with shoes built on a platform with an 8mm heel-toe offset. This platform will work for heel-strikers, and at the same time it won’t interfere with a midfoot strike. Another debatable benefit is, as the midfoot-striking runner fatigues the foot-strike will move toward the heel, thus the platform will provide better function at the end of long runs.

Leading the way in the 8mm revolution is the Saucony Triumph 9, and the 8mm heel-toe drop is not the only change with this dramatic update. In addition to the 8mm platform differential, the Triumph 9 swaps out ProGrid cushioning in favor of PowerGrid with PowerFoam, which is being introduced in the new Saucony Cortana (July 2011). The advantages of the technology shift are reduced weight and a softer yet responsive feel. Furthermore, the Triumph 9 moves to an injected molded foam construction that further reduces weight and increase softness. While these changes may alienate some of the current Triumph loyalists, this is not the first time the Triumph has undergone radical changes. Saucony reinvented themselves with a very fresh and polarizing Triumph 4, that was lighter, softer and more colorful than previous models. The change resulted in a hugely popular shoe that changed the look of future Saucony shoes. Over the years, the Triumph has crept up in weight and firmness and thus has had hard time competing in the premium neutral-cushion category. With the Triumph 9, Saucony becomes relevant again.

The Saucony Triumph 9 has an MSRP of $130 and the weight specifications indicate 10.9 ounces for a men’s size 9 and 9.6 ounces for a women’s size 8, which is over an ounce lighter than the Triumph 8. However, and this has happened before with Saucony, the production weight will probably come in a tad lighter. The Triumph 9 has a projected release date of November 2011 and will be available online from Running Warehouse.

Saucony Triumph 9 Men's Shoe November 2011 color

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Saucony Kinvara 2 – First Look

January 10th, 2011
Saucony Kinvara 2 for Women

Saucony Kinvara 2 for Women

The Saucony Kinvara was one of the hottest shoes in 2010, which normally is a very good thing.  The problem comes around a year later when the updated version is due.  Tradition dictates that you “improve” the model every 12-24 months, yet you have a shoe that is killing it, as it is.  What do you do?  If you’re smart, you make almost no changes, add the next numeral to the name and call it good.  This is exactly what Saucony has done with the update to the wildly popular Saucony Kinvara.  The Kinvara 2 is nearly identical to the original which should please all the current fans or at the very least, not upset many.

The Kinvara 2 sports updates to the upper only.  The midsole, outsole, heel drop, all the good things that people have come to love about the current Kinvara remain unchanged. To improve the fit, the sub-epidermal skeleton overlay pattern, which primarily sits over the midfoot of the current Kinvara, has the most forward “arm”  and lengthened it and moved forward, which should help secure the foot better.  A new Monomesh replaces the current Open Mesh upper.  The Monomesh should offer similar levels of breathability while keeping unwanted stuff out.

As easily seen, very little has been changed.  A few upper tweaks, the number 2 added to the name, several new color combinations, the midsole, outsole and price unchanged and its all good.  The Kinvara 2 should continue to please those who love the current model and attract legions of new ones as well. The Kinvara 2 comes in at a projected 7.7 oz for a men’s size 9.0 (6.7 oz for a women’s 8.0) and a suggested retail price of $90.00.  Look for the Saucony Kinvara 2 to be available at Running Warehouse in May 2011.

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