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Shoe Review: Saucony Kinvara 12

Saucony Kinvara 12 profile shot

Saucony refines it’s tried and true speedhorse road shoe with the Kinvara 12. The redesigned mesh upper and outsole creates a breathable, stabilized feel while still bringing lightweight speed to your run.

The Kinvara 12 uses Saucony’s PWRRUN midsole foam to deliver a familiar feel and the cushioning you need to reach top speeds.

Fleet Feet reviewers loved the lightweight, cushy feel of the updated Kinvara 12.

“The Kinvara 12 has just enough cushion on the heel collar and underfoot to keep it comfy while it remains light enough to be a speedy trainer.” says one reviewer.

Our reviewers put some miles on the Kinvara 12 to get acquainted with their fresh new feel. Here’s what they thought.

Tech Specs

Saucony Kinvara 12

Weight

(W) 6.5 oz (M) 7.5 oz

Drop

4 mm

Category

Neutral

Use

Daily training

Surface

Road

Featherlight Upper Creates Breathable, Roomy Fit

The Kinvara 12 boasts a redesigned mesh upper that works with Saucony’s FORMFIT 3D printed footbed to create a snug, personalized fit without limiting flexibility.

This iteration of the upper focuses on breathability by keeping the mesh lightweight with cushioning where you need it—around the collar and the tongue.

“The light, breathable upper, slightly stretchy laces and the thin, padded tongue lets the shoe mold to your foot beautifully.” one Fleet Feet reviewer says.

Reviewers loved the snug fit around the heel and the collar cushioning, in addition to the open toe box that is common to Saucony running shoes.

“The exterior reinforced heel counter gives you that snug fit at your heel, opens up slightly through the midfoot, and then there’s the open toe box which I find to be the traditional Saucony shape we've known over the years.” says one reviewer.

In addition to the refreshed upper, the Kinvara 12 sports a FORMFIT layered footbed system that supports the contours of your foot and its changing pressure points. As you run, the system provides the personalized cushioning your unique gait needs.

By focusing on a flexible, snug fit, the Saucony Kinvara 12’s updated upper helps to secure your foot on top of the PWRRUN midsole to deliver a fast feel while the FORMFIT footbed hugs the curves of your foot for all-around comfort.

PWRRUN Foam Delivers Smooth, Fast Transitions

Fleet Feet reviewers raved about the smooth, responsive feel of the Kinvara 12.

“The shoe melts away on your foot, so if you're looking for a lightweight trainer that enables you to run fast and focus on your stride, this is it,” says one reviewer.

The unique PWRRUN midsole foam creates the fast, light feel of the Kinvara 12. PWRRUN absorbs about 5 percent more impact than the average midsole foam, according to Saucony, and it’s 28 percent lighter than other EVA foams.

While the Kinvara 12 is a neutral running shoe, the unique combination of shock absorption and lightweight cushion supports speedy runs, and keeps you feeling fresh even at the end of your workout.

Designers focused on flexibility and responsiveness to power strong take-offs, smooth transitions and soft landings so you can reach top speeds with minimal impact. The nimble, flexible ride makes the Kinvara 12 a great shoe for speed workouts or races.

As one Fleet Feet reviewer says, “The Kinvara 12 is super flexible, soft and bouncy on the run. There’s a strong sense of ground contact, but I still feel protected from impact.”

Saucony homes in on ground contact in the Kinvara 12 update, too.

The flexibility of the midsole works with the updated tread on the outsole to increase ground contact during transitions. The extra surface area gives more cushioning for your landing and a broader foundation to push off from.

“The overall focus is on the intentionally placed flex grooves to give you the range of motion you would expect from the Kinvara.” says one reviewer.

Kinvara 11 vs. Kinvara 12

The Saucony Kinvara has been a staple for runners of all levels taking on speed workouts, races or even long runs.

The performance-tested Kinvara makes the most of Saucony PWRRUN midsole and a tactfully designed outsole to deliver cushioned speed on the roads.

The Kinvara 12 features the same PWRRUN midsole and FORMFIT technology as the Kinvara 11; however, the new update sheds a few fractions of an ounce to keep it fast and lightweight.

In addition to a new upper and updated outsole pattern, the Kinvara 12 adds durability by including XT-900 carbon rubber to high-wear sites along the outsole.

Of course, one of the most fun parts of any update is the release of brand-new colorways. Saucony kicked off 2021 with bold, futuristic color schemes that Fleet Feet reviewers loved.

If big and bold isn’t your jive, that’s OK. The Kinvara 12 is also available in sleek, minimalist colorways that complement your style and let you express yourself on the run.

Final Thoughts

The Saucony Kinvara 12 is a versatile shoe with enough all-around cushioning to train comfortably in, but responsive enough to transition into faster workouts or road races.

The update features a flexible, lightweight upper that offers breathability and support to your foot. The upper works with Saucony’s FORMFIT footbed to swaddle your foot in contoured comfort and support.

Saucony powers the Kinvara 12 with their responsive PWRRUN midsole foam. The 8mm drop keeps the Kinvara 12 outsole close to the ground, promoting smooth transitions that are supported by the lightweight PWRRUN foam.

By creating extra surface area for take-offs and landings, the Kinvara 12 keeps your run bouncy and quick whether you’re training on the road or chasing down new PR’s.

By Sarah Moxham. Sarah has run competitively for over 12 years. When she isn't working as the Digital Copywriter for FleetFeet.com, she can be found nerding out over art and listening to True Crime podcasts.

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