Saucony Kinvara 7 Running Shoe Review
Saucony debuted the Kinvara in 2010. After the book Born to Run came out and became a hit, runners were looking for lighter, lower drop, and less bulky cushioned shoes. Some people called it “natural” running. The Kinvara was a superb compromise, it created a new genre in the running category. We now had a light, fast shoe with enough cushion to go the distance. Seven iterations later, the Kinvara remains a favorite. I put over 60 miles in on the Kinvara 7 before writing this review.
Thomas: The best thing is, the character of the shoe remains true. While there have been many tweaks to the shoe over the last five years, the Kinvara 7 still feels and runs like a Kinvara. I don’t think this is an easy task when you continually update a running shoe. The seven felt so similar to the six, I ended up putting on the Kinvara 6 and taking an 8 mile run so I could feel the difference. The result? The shoes are really similar. The EVERUN that replaced the Power Grid in the midsole does have a little more cushion. I didn’t feel the difference until miles into the run. The update looks great. Every detail looks like it has been refined. The Flexfilm is used more sparingly, the PRO Lock lacing system appears more integrated, even the mesh on the upper looks more sophisticated. I don’t know how mesh looks sophisticated, but it does, you will know what I mean when you get the shoe in your hands. The heel counter on the Kinvara 7 is softer and more flexible than the Kinvara 6. The heel counter kind of reminded me of the Vazee Pace’s heel counter. It is the best fit in the Kinvara series yet. The new layout of the outsole also appealed to me. Even if it is only in my “head movies,” I felt like the new layout provided better traction and toe off. See the video below for a look at the outsole. There wasn’t much of a weight difference between the 6 and 7, my Kinvara 7 in a size 11 weighs a light 8.8 oz.
Meaghan: We were lucky to get our hands on a pair of the Kinvara 7 coming out in March. Saucony has made some really nice updates to this model. I have only tested the Kinvara 5, so I can’t talk specific updates from the 6. But, in general, I like the new features. The most prominent update is the EVERUN heel insert. According to the researchers over at Saucony, “typical EVA foam heats up, getting softer the longer the run just when the body fatigues and needs impact protection the most. The EVERUN technology addresses this breakdown of cushioning and consequently, joint protection, in running shoes during the course of a run.” Regardless of the science behind the EVERUN technology, I like the feel underfoot. It’s a responsive, firm ride. Firmer than V5. Saucony also changed the outsole configuration that includes TRI-Flex and wider lugs. The TRI-Flex and EVERUN are supposed to work together to help disperse impact. My longest run in the Kinvara 7’s was a 14 miler. They felt fresh from mile 1 to mile 14. I would feel comfortable going the marathon distance in these shoes. The upper is simple and light. Saucony kept the PRO Lock lacing system and FLEX Film overlays. They fit snug, but breathe well. I’m happy to report that Saucony kept the shoes tres light. My W7 weighed in a 6.6oz.
Thomas: I am still not sold on the PRO Lock lacing system as a necessary feature for the Kinvara line up.
Meaghan: Since the Kinvara 7 isn’t available in half sizes right now, I had to opt for a half size smaller than normal. They felt a little snug in the forefoot, but that is what I expected. What I didn’t expect was the shoes to fit too snug in the midfoot. I’m unsure if it’s related to the sizing or not, but the volume of my feet seemed too large for the shoes, even when I adjusted the lacing.
Thomas: The big news in the Kinvara 7 is the addition of EVERUN in the heel. “(EVERUN is an) expanded TPU material cushioning system. It will launch in 5 models this spring: Kinvara 7, Triumph ISO 2, Guide 9, Hurricane ISO 2, and the Peregrine 6. EVERUN will provide continuous cushioning and boasts an 83% energy return that adds a lively underfoot feeling!” Why was the EVERUN limited to the heel in the Kinvara 7? “The big reason is experience! We found something great with EVERUN in the fact that it has great energy return and provides a great running experience. However, we also felt like runners were really enjoying the current line up and it was getting great feedback. Therefore, we wanted to bring runners… EVERUN and the new topsole construction, getting them premium cushion right under their foot… without drastically changing the ride of their favorite Saucony model.” said a source at Saucony.
You will be disappointed if you are looking for the same bounce as you get in the Adidas shoes. First, Saucony isn’t creating the entire midsole of the Kinvara 7 from the new material. The EVERUN is only in the heel. See the video for placement of the EVERUN in the model.
If you love running in light weight, responsive shoes, with enough cushion to go the distance, then you must consider Kinvara 7. I have worn and reviewed every Kinvara since the very first one. I have run my marathon PR in the Kinvara. It is hard to be truly objective about the shoe. The Kinvara launched a new category of running shoes and despite all the competition it remains a champ year after year. If you are like me you will purchase the Kinvara 7 when it comes out Spring 2016 without even trying it on.
Meaghan: There are a lot of Kinvara addicts out there. I am not one of them. However, I really liked the Kinvara 7. I think Kinvara lovers will like the new model. As Thomas mentioned, Saucony seems to keep the Kinvara true to character. It’s a really nice option for a daily trainer – light, responsive and durable. The Kinvara 7 will be available at select specialty running retailers beginning March 1, 2016 at a suggested retail price of $110.00.
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Lockdown fit, a quick, resilient ride, and a great underfoot feeling are the calling cards of the award-winning Kinvara running experience. The latest edition gets an EVERUN Heel Insert for cushioning where it’s needed most, while the sleek, FLEXFILM-infused upper supports the foot with every stride. A new outsole configuration that includes TRI-FLEX and wider lugs delivers more ground contact and increased flexibility and durability.
The Kinvara 7 will be available at select specialty running retailers beginning March 1, 2016 at a suggested retail price of $110.00.
The EVERUN Landing Zone and Heel Insert (in the Kinvara 7) provide remarkable impact protection, maintaining cushioning properties three times longer than standard EVAs while returning 83% of the energy absorbed, according to research in the Saucony Human Performance and Innovation Lab.
Typical EVA foam heats up, getting softer the longer the run just when the body fatigues and needs impact protection the most. The EVERUN technology addresses this breakdown of cushioning and consequently, joint protection, in running shoes during the course of a run.
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I purchased a pair of K6s in the summer after a work day and in a regular sock(all no-nos, I know). They felt great during the parking lot run, but if I don’t wear a thicker sock there is so much sloppy room in the heel I’m afraid to wear them for anything but short, fast workouts. Will the new heel-counter be better? Because other than the sloppy heel fit; I love the ride!
Why March 2016?……grrrrrr… The triumphs are shipping nov 2015….my Kinvara 5’s are shot but I don’t want 6…Just hoping the mid soles on the 7 will last a bit longer….
Good luck holding out.
Hi Thomas, in your review about the Kinvara 6 you advised to go up a size, for example 11 instead of 10.5
How about the Kinvara 7?
I ran in a half size up from normal running shoe size, I think I would prefer my regular size. -T
Meaghan: Since the Kinvara 7 isn’t available in half sizes right now, I had to opt for a half size smaller than normal.
How can you opt for a half size smaller, if the Kinvara is not available in half sizes ?
Michael, We received pre-market samples. Half sizes are available to the public now.