Kinvara 3: Saucony Improves Upper, Outsole

In June 2010 the Kinvara hit the streets. Minimalist runners across the world laced up and haven’t looked back since. The first version of this barefoot-inspired shoe garnered the Best Debut award by Runner’s World. The magazine recommended the shoe to “efficient runners who want to ease barefoot-like training into their routine.”

Two years and two iterations later? Not much has changed with the Saucony Progrid Kinvara, which many runners believe is a good thing. The Kinvara 3 maintains the same weight (7.7 oz) and drop (4mm) combination we first fell in love with. Moreover, Saucony has revised the upper to make it lighter and more flexible than ever.

We caught up with Patrick O’Malley, Saucony’s Senior Vice President of Global Product, at Outdoor Retailer in January. This is what he had to say about the Kinvara’s recent success:

“When we started with the Kinvara 1 & 2, the whole idea was minimalism for the masses. Instead of doing something that was completely barefoot inspired, we wanted to take so much out of the shoe that the runner could experience some of the benefits of minimalism but still had the protection they needed to run in the shoe everyday and not get injured. People really responded”

O’Malley was also kind enough to give us a sneak peek of the Kinvara 3, which will make its debut at the Boston Marathon.

Noteworthy Changes

More durable outsole. Extra rubber can now be found on the midfoot area to help midfoot strikers. Additionally, more rubber can be found on the toe-off area.

Smoother heel-to-toe transition. Saucony’s designers have beveled the heel even more to help propel your foot forward with ease.

Lighter, more flexible upper. The upper rocks a new technology called FlexFilm. This material appears in strips that have been melded to the upper’s mesh, which means there is no need for stitches. Designers removed an entire layer from the upper to make it lighter than ever.

Price adjustment. The retail price for the Kinvara 3 has jumped a full $10, making the new MSRP $100.

Insanely bright colors. This women’s line of Saucony running shoes is chock-full of neons, as evident in the photo below. Colors like Citron, hot pink, electric blue and a glowing purple will electrify the roads and trails next season. There are six colors for men and six colors for women.

The Kinvara 3 is expected to arrive in stores May 2012.

What do you think about the Kinvara collection? Will you be stepping into the Kinvara 3?

15 Comments on “Kinvara 3: Saucony Improves Upper, Outsole

  1. appreciate it jeanette, thanks…

    uhmm,so what type of running shoe should i wear? ..,stability?motion control? or cushioning ?

    i was also thnking to buy nike pegasus 29,is good for me?

    sorry for many questions,,coz im still a beginner,

    for me to prevent any injuries in the future…

  2. help me guys if this shoe is the right one for me…

    i am a beginner,a HEEL STRIKER and a SUPINATOR


    • Hi Michael,

      Thank you for your comment. The Kinvara is a minimalist shoe that promotes mid or forefoot striking. If you plan to continue heel striking, the Kinvara or any minimalist/barefoot shoe is not a good idea. The purpose of shoes like the Kinvara is to change the way you run to be more “natural” with less cushioning.

      The best shoes for beginners who supinate are neutral shoes with some support and cushioning. As you hone your running form, you might dabble in shoes with less cushioning/stability. But for now, play it safe! I would suggest the following shoes:


  3. Pingback: Thursday « Running on Oatmeal

  4. Sauconys are the best type of running shoes to wear i would wear them everyday.

  5. In England the Kinvara 3 is £85.49, for the cheapest price! That’s like Americans being asked to pay $150, instead of $100! I think the US price = £56.01, we pay 1.5x that price…for shoes that all come from China! Complete con! It’s actually cheaper to buy them online from America and pay the £25 air mail/shipping! Very poor market research, for a company who are not at all popular and need a fan base. The Saucony RRP is £15-£20 higher than the ‘rival’ top brand’s similar shoes. £85/$134 for a shoe which won’t last 250 miles (2 pairs per year)? No thanks! I bargain hunted for a brand I know that are more robust – Adidas. I got the AdiZero Feather instead for £50. £35 cheaper, over 1oz lighter than the Kinvara, but will still last longer, and have a stiffer, spring-loaded design to make you sprint and ping off the ground faster (like that no-legged Pistorius dude)…They might be awful, but at least I wasn’t conned by greedy, unrealistic Saucony!

    • canadian shoe prices are a rip-off as well. as for buying on-line in the States, yes the prices are much lower but MANY of the shoe companies will not allow the retailers to sell on-line to Canadians. i believe Saucony is one of them. don’t know about England, best of luck.

  6. ABSOLUTLEY will be stepping into the K 3’s!!! Love the 1 &2’s, so I can’t wait!! I am a size 11 womens shoe so finding a light weight flexible shoe that doesn’t weigh you down is awesome. I am a neutral runner, and am 5’11” so I tended to have a longer stride which = heel striking = hip injuries. Ever since I started running with the Kinvara’s post injury I have been able increase my turn-over speed and times in races which has pretty much kept me injury free during marathon training. Thank you Saucony!!

  7. I love the Kinavara 2 and have run several Marathons with them. Just bought the 3’s but needed to get them a half size larger! Saucony already labels their shoes one size too large, so what is this all about?

  8. I’d like 2 pairs please! I’ll be running my 2nd marathon in my Kinvaras on May 6 and I hope to be running my 3rd marathon in October in the light blue Kinvara 3.

  9. Looking forward to the Kinvara 3, have been running in the Kinvara series since they have come out, has really brought enjoyment back into my running. Thanks for a great shoe.

  10. The Kinvara is widely regarded by people who know stuff to be the best running shoe (rather than people brainwashed into wearing Nike’s poor gimmicky shoes). The 3rd version is going to be the best shoe out there.
    Not interested in the Kinvara TR though, may as well just use the 3. The Outlaw is Saucony’s true trail shoe, as it has ankle support. The TR is a gimmick.
    Also have no interest in getting crippled by the Hattori barefoot fad. No grip, no cushioning. People are getting hurt by this fad, being told they’ll avoid injuries they haven’t even got!

    • Actually, the Hattori is surprisingly cushioned for a “barefoot” shoe, and it grips the road just fine. I’m not saying it’s a great shoe for everybody, but don’t knock it till you try it…

    • Hey now, I’ve run plenty of distance on my Frees and they’re probably the most comfortable runners I’ve ever owned (next to Merrell Trail Gloves but those are in a different category altogether).

      However, I sent my K2s back to REI after one run. To me the Kinvara would be a better shoe if there was A:) more room for toe splay like in 0mm drop minimalist runners and Nike Frees and B:) No heel counter (that hard piece of plastic back there is a HUGE fail). These two things alone make the Free a more minimalist shoe…and I have no idea what you’re talking about when you say ‘gimmicky’ when the Free is ridiculously simple while the Kinvara looks like a freakin’ TransFormer toy.

  11. Of course!!! The Kinvara is AWESOME!! I’m so glad you can buy infant and kid’s Saucony Kinvaras, too! Extra cute!

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