With a new iteration of a favourite shoe there is always a mix of trepidation and excitement. But from the moment I stood up in the new Kinvara 9s my feet felt like they were slipping into a familiar pair of slippers. Not to say that the Kinvaras are sloppy or feel worn down, but for fans of the line, you won’t notice any significant changes in the fit. What has changed is the full Everrun sole that was found on many other shoes in the Saucony line and has now made it’s way to the Kinvara 9. So if you’ve enjoyed the addition of Everrun on the Freedom, Triumph or Guide models, it is definitely worth taking a look at the new Kinvara.

For most people, this shoe will be ideal for racing and speedwork.  From 5ks to half-marathons this probably the shoe I’ll be reaching for most as we move into spring. The sole feels firm and responsive with each footstrike, which I loved when I was doing intervals on the indoor track. It felt great to have the immediate return each time you pushed off during a tough interval. I also took these out for long runs of up to 100 or so minutes to see if these could be an option for 70.3 or perhaps Iron-distance racing. They definitely checked the box for 70.3s and I’d be pretty confident in saying that if you’ll be around the 3h30 mark in your marathon then these could still be an option. Longer and you might want something a little softer.

On dry surfaces, the Everrun sole performed well. Runs on crushed gravel, concrete and tracks were no issue. In the snow and ice, it was clear that these were not ideal conditions for this shoe. But to be fair it was certainly not designed to be a winter shoe and when putting in the miles in conditions the Kinvara was meant for the sole excels and you can really take advantage of this really fun and fast shoe. One little addition that was especially appreciated was the additional lace hole around the midfoot that keeps the shoe extra snug in that area. This was great for really cinching the shoe up for those fast workouts.

The upper is a combination of a knit material and plastic overlays with very little added support. This should please runners who like a neutral a shoe. In the past, I’ve had models of the Kinvara that started to show small tears or wear in the upper but after 150kms so far, there’s no sign of substantial deterioration. In terms of fit, the Kinvara 9 is right in line with other Saucony models so runners should feel confident ordering their regular size. When it comes to comfort the Saucony Kinvara 9’s upper has eliminated any seems or potential irritation points inside the shoe. This great news if you like to go sockless for your short course races, throw on some tri laces and this is a great race option.

The Saucony Kinvara 9s is available at running retailers across the country starting March 1st.

 

Essential Stats

  • Drop: 4mm
  • Type: Neutral Trainer
  • Kilometres tested: 153
  • Weight: 7.5 oz.
  • Terrain Tested: roads, gravel paths, indoor tracks
  • MSRP: $149.99

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