The latest version of the Saucony Kinvara accomplishes what most running shoes strive for—adding more cushioning while shaving weight. Despite the added three millimeters of PWRRUN cushioning in the midsole, Saucony touts the Kinvara 14 as the lightest Kinvara yet. The Kinvara 14 is about a full ounce lighter than the Kinvara 13.
Despite the added PWRRUN foam, Saucony’s signature EVA-based midsole foam, reviewers noticed that the Kinvara still offers a firm ride that feels on the minimal side in terms of cushioning, especially as the industry moves toward max-cushioned shoes.
“The Kinvara 14 feels light and snappy,” Kate says. “They’re also flexible while still feeling stable enough. I used to wear the Kinvara for speed workouts and races, before carbon plated shoes were so highly available. I ran some of my fastest 5Ks in the Kinvara, and I liked that they were on the firmer side, and were some of the lightest shoes you could get without wearing a racing flat.”
The Kinvara’s firm ride feels more engaging and responsive as you pick up the pace, making it a great choice for uptempo runs and even races.
“The Kinvara really sings at faster paces,” Nate says. “The cushioning feels a little more responsive as I pick up the tempo. I was smiling and cruising in no time!”
A new PWRRUN PLUS sockliner sits inside of the shoe and adds some extra cushioning and softness to an otherwise firm-feeling ride.
“Most shoe companies keep the sockliner simple and just use EVA foam, which gets compressed pretty quickly,” Kate says. “The PWRRUN PLUS foam keeps the shoes feeling lively for a bit longer.”
The shoe’s featherweight construction also adds to the bouncy, fast feel of the shoe. Shoe designers used an exposed midsole in the Kinvara 14, which is done to minimize weight. But because the outsole has minimal rubber on it, it can wear down quicker than shoes that have more rubber on the outsole.
Despite this, reviewers noticed that the Kinvara 14 had remarkably good traction throughout their runs, although we didn’t get to test the shoe on wet pavement.
“The Kinvara 14 has a great outsole grip, especially if you’re walking or running on uneven surfaces,” Adina says. “I wore these for a video shoot in the nation’s Capital, and the traction was terrific for lots of stop-and-go action. The day was long and involved running around to multiple locations, but my feet didn’t feel fatigued thanks to the lightweight nature of the shoe.”