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Posts Tagged ‘Saucony Kinvara’

A First Look at the Saucony Kinvara 5

December 4th, 2013

It’s crazy to think that we’re already approaching the 5th version of the Saucony Kinvara. It doesn’t seem like that long ago that the original Kinvara appeared, accompanied by the hype of a cushioned trainer with a low heel-to-toe drop. Yet in the five years since its release, you can’t deny this iconic shoe’s influence on running shoe design.

The 5th iteration of the Kinvara (launching in May 2014) is one of the more staggering updates to the shoe that we’ve seen thus far, featuring a beefed-up aesthetic that seems to borrow design elements from Saucony’s more premium models. But the shoe is not actually bulked up – according to Saucony, the Kinvara 5 will tip the scales at the exact same weight as the current model. Saucony’s main goal with this update is to increase the shoe’s durability through the use of a higher quality upper mesh and increased high-abrasion rubber on the outsole, something we think many fans will appreciate.

Though we haven’t had a chance to check out the Kinvara 5 for ourselves here at R-Dub yet, we’ll be sure to provide more information when the samples start rolling through the office. In the meantime, please refer to Saucony’s blog for more details on this exciting update.

Taro Running Shoes, Sneak Peeks , ,

Women’s Running Shoes: A Few Faves from 2012

January 9th, 2013

2012 came and went, leaving us with fond memories of the Games in London, epic moments at our own races, and a collection of exceptional running shoes. Here’s a spotlight on five of our best selling women’s running shoes from 2012.

Asics Gel Nimbus
If you’re on the prowl for a supremely cushioned, neutral daily trainer, the Asics Gel Nimbus 14 would definitely get a second date. And after a month you’ll probably want to elope. The shoe has that comfy Asics step-in feel, and the heel-to-toe transition is nice and smooth. The ample heel and forefoot Gel units offer premium impact protection, and the mesh upper is breathable and secure.

We also like: Saucony Triumph 10 and adidas adistar Ride 4.

Brooks Adrenaline GTS
You need support to correct overpronation, but you don’t want a heavy, super built-up shoe. The Brooks Adrenaline GTS deserves a look. It has maximum support and a nice dose of cushioning to keep your feet happy. This workhorse of a shoe is built to stand up to the long runs you’re ready to log.

We also like: Mizuno Wave Alchemy 12 and Saucony Omni 11.

Nike FREE Run
The Nike FREE Run+ 3 has been a popular choice for women who want something lighter and more flexible than a traditional trainer, but don’t want to take the plunge into the “barefoot” shoe world. This neutral trainer is designed to give you a more natural running feel, but still packs a cushioned platform for a bit of protection. Add in a seamless upper and a wide array of color choices and you’ve got a fun performance shoe for many occasions.

We also like: Brooks PureFlow.

Saucony Kinvara
For long epics or short jaunts at almost any pace, the Saucony Kinvara 3 can be your new running partner. Seriously. This baby can handle speedwork, racing and daily training with ease for all you neutral runners out there. The soft platform still provides the responsiveness you need to feel energized on longer runs. The upper remains light but still provides a secure fit thanks to welded overlays. And did we mention all the pretty colors?

We also like: Asics Gel Lyte and Brooks PureConnect.

Mizuno Wave Rider
If you want a firm, responsive ride in a traditional neutral trainer, then get stoked on the Mizuno Wave Rider. The open mesh of the upper is incredibly breathable to keep you cool, and hugs your foot with a close and secure fit. Mizuno’s Wave technology spans from heel to the midfoot, offering ample shock absorption. And the ride is so smooth it might just encourage you to log a few extra miles.

We also like: Saucony Ride 5 and adidas adizero Boston 3.

Alice Running Shoes, Women's Running , , , , , , ,

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

Jonathan Running Shoes , , , , , , , , , ,

Brooks PureConnect – First Look

July 12th, 2011

Brooks PureConnect Men's Shoe April 2012 Color

To address the current trends toward “barefoot” and “minimalist” running, more and more shoe companies are providing options to meet the demand. Where on the barefoot-to-traditional shoe continuum product offerings fall varies from company to company. For Spring 2012, Brooks is introducing a line of shoes, under the heading PureProject, that slot between the midpoint of the continuum and the barefoot end. While the PureProject shoes may not be nearly barefoot (think Merrell Trail Glove or Saucony Hattori), they certainly reflect the less-is-more concept and provide a unique foot-fuction philosophy that should resonate with a lot of runners.

With the PureProject, Brooks brings forth 5 innovations to enhance the sensory aspect of running. 1. Ideal Heel uses a unique heel geometry, which reportedly results in the initial ground contact point occurring 2cm forward compared to traditional shoes. 2. Toe-flex utilizes a split-toe midsole/outsole configuration to better engage the big toe’s natural stability function at toe-off. 3. Nav Band hugs the midfoot with an elastic band for a secure fit. 4. Anatomical Last allows for the toes to splay during ground contact and allows the shoe to better follow the contours of the foot. 5. BioMogo DNA is a midsole blend that truly adapts to different ground forces, so the running experience is unique to the pace of the run; a softer feel exists at slower paces and a firmer feel is present at faster paces.

Leading the way in the PureProject is the PureConnect. This shoe is the most minimal of the shoes in the PureProject launch. With a 4mm heel-to-toe offset and a reported midsole height of 14:10 (14mm in the heel, 10mm in the forefoot), The PureConnect puts the runner close to the ground and delivers a great feel for the road. Specifications indicate a weight of 7.2 ounces for a men’s size 9.0 and 6.5 ounces for a women’s size 8.

The low weight, small heel-toe differential and adaptable midsole that firms up as the pace quickens combine to provide a unique sensory experience that is sure to hit the sweet spot for runners that seek a touch more protection than the nearly-barefoot shoes provide. If you love the Saucony Kinvara but find the Saucony Hattori to be too minimal, chances are good that the Brooks PureConnect will be in your closet next Spring.

The Brooks PureConnect has an MSRP of $90 and is expected to be available in our Running Warehouse, San Luis Obispo retail store in October 2011, while the online release of the shoe, www.runningwarehouse.com, is January 2012. Learn about the other shoes in the PureProject line (PureFlow, PureCadence, and PureGrit) in future blog posts.

Brooks PureConnect Women's Shoe October 2011 Color

Jonathan Running Shoes , , , , , , , , , ,

Saucony PowerGrid Cortana – First Look

December 23rd, 2010

Saucony PowerGrid Cortana for Men

What happens when Saucony applies principles of minimalism to a shoe that ain’t so minimal? The world is about to find out this Summer with the introduction of the Saucony PowerGrid Cortana. Saucony clearly understands minimalism, when it is defined by the “less is more” concept and small heel-toe drops.  The Saucony Kinvara is a perfect example of this philosophy. With its light weight, simple upper and 4mm heel-toe drop, the Kinvara was the right product at the right time.  Sales have been terrific and the shoe has received rave reviews.  Saucony has decided to strike while the iron is hot and fill in available market niches with other low heel-toe drop shoes as evidenced by the upcoming Mirage (4mm heel-toe drop), which is basically a slightly supportive Kinvara and the Hattori (zero drop), which gets you close to being barefoot.

The new Cortana applies the 4mm heel-toe drop and light weight concept from the Kinvara, to the high-end, max feature, all the bells and whistles category of trainers.  It starts with a new midsole composition and features PowerGrid with PowerFoam, an injected molded, lighter and more responsive midsole than the SSL-EVA and ProGrid package that you’ll find in other Saucony models, such as the Triumph and Hurricane.  The Cortana also differs from the the other Saucony 4mm drop shoes by providing an additional SRC cushioning unit in the landing area of the heel that ties this shoe in with the more traditional shoes in the Saucony line.  Sauc-fit: replaces arch lock and improves midfoot and heel fit of the upper.  The outsole/midsole features a fairly built up area beneath the medial arch that looks to add pronation control to the shoe. However, Saucony labels the Cortana as Supportive Cushioning, which means it is likely to be best suited for neutral runners or slight over-pronators. The jury is still out on this, but we think it will likely be better for mild to moderate over-pronators.

The PowerGrid Cortana has a predicted weight under 11 oz in a men’s size 9.0 and is scheduled to arrive at Running Warehouse in July 2011 with a full retail price of $135.  Although not first to market, the Zoot Kane and Kalani are maximum featured shoes under 11. oz, the Cortana does add a new twist to the premium class of shoes by not only being light weight, but also having a low heel-toe drop. Will it be a success? Only time will tell, but if it feels anything like the Kinvara then Saucony is about to turn the industry on its ear.

Joe Running Shoes , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Saucony Hattori – First Look

December 20th, 2010

Saucony Hattori Men's Shoe

For Fall 2011 Saucony looks to build on the success of their minimal lineup of shoes, lead by the Kinvara, with the introduction of the Hattori.  The Hattori will be the most minimal shoe in the Saucony line and one that has its target squarely set on grabbing market share from various smaller shoe brands that have their own ideas on what constitutes a minimal shoe.

The new Hattori is a zero drop running shoe that sports a reported midsole height of 10 mm and weighs in at a reported 4.5 oz for a men’s size 9.0.  The upper features ultralite mesh with synthetic exoskeleton lockdowns and soft suede overlays.  A velcro closure replaces traditional laces and another velcro strap around the heel offers additional customized fit options.  The midsole is made up of compression molded EVA that features XT-900 outsole compounds in key wear areas.

Being very light, extremely flexible and while 10mm may sound thick, the shoe is indeed quite thin, and is thus a viable option to runners seeking a more “barefoot” running experience. Additionally, the Hattori should prove a compelling offer to runners looking to transition from the 4mm heel-toe drop of the Kinvara, Mirage and new Cortana or as a different option for fans of minimalist shoes that are currently in the market.  The release date for the Hattori has the shoes tentatively slated to be available at Running Warehouse on  May 1, 2011.  The new Hattori will have a list price of $80.

Joe Running Shoes , , , , , , , , , ,

The 2010 Running Event

November 23rd, 2010

The RW Team just returned from a few days in Austin, Texas attending The Running Event, an annual trade show open to running specialty retailers from around the country. It features all of the top brands displaying many of their newest products and concepts.  Here’s an overview of some of the new products we found of particular interest.

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Joe Sneak Peeks , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The 2009 Running Event

November 17th, 2009

The Running Event is the annual expo where all the major vendors and the running specialty retailers who sell their products meet see what’s new and catch up. It’s one of the few chance for running specialty accounts to see all the major players together in one location. The Running Event allows all of us to cover a great deal of ground in a short period of time. This year’s event was held in Austin TX and it was the 3rd time I’ve attended.

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Joe Sneak Peeks , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,