I’ve got a foot that a lot of people seem to have, but not many shoe companies cover. Good mechanics, but with just the slightest over pronation. Since the running market has swung back from minimalism, most companies have dropped their low-profile stability shoes, as Saucony axed the Mirage. Luckily, the new Kinvara offers a familiar feel for long-time users, as well as some features for people like me that want a teensy bit of support.
Looking at the midsole, you can immediately see the changes from the older models. The last is wider, particularly in the arch, and the lateral net pattern compresses easier. This functions as both a traditional crash pad and a natural means of helping pronation. The Saucony representative confirmed that the Kinvara 7 took cues from the discontinued Mirage (the Kinvara’s counterpart model for support) to have a broader appeal. This should please former users of the Mirage, which was a great, but very niche shoe. I’d actually like to see this implemented by other shoe companies, I like it so much.
The feel underfoot is not QUITE as snappy as I’d prefer, but then it is a shoe built to go the distance, not a dedicated sprinter. A chunk of TPU in the midsole (also used in the Adidas Boost line) makes it more responsive than at least the past two years, but not quite as much as the version 4. The upper gives a nice lockdown, with no rub and a toebox that’s just right. My only real complaint is that the tongue is short, but not too bad.
Saucony knocked it out of park this year. Some say the best shoes are ones that don’t really feel like anything, and that’s definitely the case in this instance. By combining a neutral and a guidance shoe, the Kinvara 7 has created a fast ride that can be used by an enormous swath of runners. Minimalist? It’s a great everyday trainer. Pronator? Here’s your race shoe. Somewhere in the middle? Let me introduce you to your footwear on speed work day.
Verdict: Pretty Great