Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Saucony Kinvara Review

We all (hopefully) know that a good shoe is a must for distance running.
So then what qualifies a shoe as a “good shoe?” You’ll often hear words such as cushion, stability, traction, weight, and many other words we use to describe our shoes. So then why is it that for some of us our super cushioned or highly stable shoes still give us problems? Our definition of a “good shoe” may be different. For us, less may be more.

Most running shoes have a heel to toe drop ratio of 10-14 mm. That means that the heel has 10-14 mm more of material, giving the shoe more of a heel. This often encourages us to land more on our heels, and have a slower transition to our toes. Unfortunately, “heel-striking” can, at least for some of us, cause detrimental problems. The Saucony Kinvara has only a 4 mm heel to toe drop, giving us a quicker transition from the heel to toe. That decrease in cushioning also discourages heel striking, allowing us to run more on our fore-foot, and causing us to land under our center of gravity. Landing on your fore-foot can reduce shock to your bones and tendons, helping to keep you injury-free.

The Kinvara still has an excellent cushioning system. It’s Pro-Grid Lite technology works a lot like a tennis raquet or a trampoline; it works to disperse the impact of the ground throughout the material, instead of allowing it to travel straight up your legs. The triangular pattern on the bottom of the shoe also increases the cushion value by embedding itself into the shoe with each stride, allowing for cushion without having to add more rubber to the sole which would add weight. The Kinvara is an extremely light training shoe while still having a strong integrity to it.

Many have found the Kinvara to be a great option on race day as well!

I have personally gone through quite a few pairs of the Kinvara and Kinvara 2, and I am still a huge fan. Before using them, I was having problems with plantar fasciitis, and within a few days after switching to the Kinvara’s, it went away and has not come back since. Other shoes comparable to the Kinvara would be the New Balance Minimus, or any of the Brooks Pure Project line.

Bottom line, the minimalistic properties of the Saucony Kinvara could be many of our answers; with its extremely light weight, sock like fit, advanced cushion system, and 4 mm heel to toe drop, the Saucony Kinvara is becoming a popular way to solve some injury problems and give us the most comfortable ride we could hope for.

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