Saucony Kinvara 3 Minimalist Sneaker Review
Saucony's new minimalist shoe gets put to the test on the road and in the weight room.
Available at Saucony.com.
The Kinvara 3 promises to be the future of running, thanks to its ultra-lightweight and durable Flex Film, which is supposed to secure and stabilize your foot while reducing the overall weight of the shoe. I’ve been wearing them for about a month now, and this is what I’ve encountered.
On The Road
They’re light. Very light. The one day I left these shoes at the office I wound up having to use a “traditional” pair of sneakers, and it felt like I was running with a pair of bricks on my feet. Despite their almost socklike appearance, they wrap your foot up quite well, with no slipping or sliding whatsoever. The 4mm heel-toe offset really does make a difference, as well. After my first few runs my calves were killing me, but as I adjusted to the shoes, I started noticing a much more efficient stride. When I jumped on the treadmill for some sprints, my max speed had shot up considerably.
With The Weights
I had been lifting in a pair of Vibram Five Fingers, and in terms of ground feel and challenge, the Kinvara’s aren’t quite on the same level. The Saucony’s also have a somewhat spongy heel, making it a bit harder to generate maximum force when going for a heavy pull or squat. That being said, when comparing these kicks to just about every other option out there (Vibram’s aside), they’re a pretty good choice. The 4mm heel means you’ll be closer to the ground than your average shoe, which is better than nothing.
At first, I was turned off by the yellow-to-black gradient. But they grew on me. Obviously, taste is a personal preference, but don’t knock it 'til you’ve tried it.
Top notch. I beat the hell out of these things for four weeks straight—nothing but hard concrete, tough tracks and muddy trail runs. They still perform fantastically and look great.
Get ‘em. They’re perfect for running, and if you’re not rocking true minimalist footwear, these kicks are the next best thing. See more photos of the Saucony Kinvara 3 here >>