Available March 2016 – MSRP $110.00
The Kinvara is often incorrectly classified as a minimalist shoe. Sure, it came out when minimalism was the hot trend and it has a fairly simple design with a 4mm heel-toe offset, but it has always had too much midsole padding to be a true minimalist shoe. However, what it has been, and remains to be, is a versatile shoe that shines under faster running paces, yet can be used as a daily trainer for midfoot strikers who like lightweight shoes.
The Kinvara 7 will continue in this vein. The weight and stack heights remain unchanged, but the shoe is redesigned from the ground up. A new outsole pattern improves midfoot flexibility and I hope feels a little more like the original Kinvara. Although the first Kinvara had some outsole durability issues, the shoe had a dynamic feel. This feel changed with iterations 3 & 4, where I feel like some responsiveness was lost. While versions 5 & 6 feel more responsive than 3 & 4, it’s still not quite where the 1 & 2 were.
In addition to the new outsole, the Kinvara 7 gets an EVERUN heel insert to replace the POWERGRID insert and an upgraded midsole, as it moves from EVA+ to SSL. The EVERUN heel insert should engage the rear portion of a midfoot strike and deliver a faster feeling transition to toe-off. The SSL midsole should also offer a bit more rebound, so signs are pointing to a shoe that should feel more like the original Kinvara.
The shoe also gets a new upper. Some past versions of the Kinvara have had issues with upper durability for some runners, while other runners or versions have had no or few problems. Only time will tell how the new upper performs, but since the shoe remains light, meaning the upper is light (harder to make durable), we hope Saucony has gotten it right.
Preliminary Tech Specs
Stack height: 22mm heel, 18mm forefoot, 4mm heel-toe offset
Weight*: 7.7 oz (men’s size 9), 6.6 oz (women’s size 8) *Provided by manufacturer