The object of my affection was my new pair of shoes – the Saucony Kinvara 2. I wanted to start working my way into a more minimal shoe as I began training for the Rock n Roll USA marathon. A shoe that I could wear for speed work at the track, for tempo runs and for shorter races. I wanted a “fast shoe” – something light and with a lower heel drop. Something that would help encourage more of a mid foot strike. A shoe that would aid in improving my form and efficiency. I had read so many stories about runners who got injured because they switched to a minimal shoe too quickly and I wanted to be careful not to join their ranks. I wanted to show up to the start line injury free and was concerned that running in a more minimal shoe would cause me more harm than good if I wasn’t smart.
The Kinvara 2 was the perfect shoe for me – it had the 4mm drop I was looking for (compared to the 10-12mm drop of the more traditional running shoe I was in) but provided more cushion and support than most of the other minimal shoes on the market. From the second I put those shoes on my feet, I was in love. My feet felt right at home. It was a match made in heaven.
From the moment I started running in them I understood how people got injured in minimal shoes so frequently – it is hard not to wear them all the time because they just feel SO good. I tried to remember the big picture and was careful about how I built my mileage in these shoes. I kept track of my mileage and wore them at first just to the track once a week. As the season progressed I spent more and more time in my Kinvaras and toward the end of the training cycle I found myself in them for more than 30 miles a week, wearing my traditional running shoes (the Asics Cumulus, at the time) only for long runs and recovery runs. My traditional running shoes started to feel like big boats to me – heavy and clunky and pillowy. I really could not imagine wearing such a heavy shoe for my marathon. The decision was made – the Kinvara was going to be my marathon shoe. It was an excellent decision.
When I found out that Saucony was updating the shoe and making some changes, I was EXCITED but also nervous. How could they improve a shoe I loved SO much? What if the changes didn’t work for me – would I be back at square one searching for the perfect shoe all over again? Everything I had read told me I had nothing to worry about – that the changes were all thoughtful improvements that would only result in me loving the shoe even more. I couldn’t wait to find out for myself.
You can only imagine how excited I was when I was asked to try out a pair of the new Kinvara 3s a few weeks ago, before they are available to the general public in May. I was BEYOND thrilled. When the box arrived the mail last week, I could not wait to put those shoes on my feet.
I ran in them a few times last week and then raced in them over the weekend – setting a new PR in the 10 mile distance. These shoes do NOT disappoint. Not even close. Saucony did all they said they did – they took a GREAT shoe and made it even BETTER.
Here’s what I love most about the new Kinvara 3s:
They are more durable – Saucony made changes to the bottom of the shoe, adding more rubber to the mid foot and toe-off areas. They will last longer and hold up to more mileage as a result.
They look cool – The Kinvara 3 comes in an awesome variety of super bright, happy colors. I would love a pair in every color combination, please.
More flexible and lighter up top – The upper of the shoe uses a technology Saucony calls “FlexFilm.” The material is light and sleek and flexible. SO comfortable.
There really isn’t anything I don’t love about this shoe. It is everything I love about the 2 — and MORE. The Saucony Kinvara 3 is my new fast shoe. Every single time I put them on my feet I am going to run my best and FIND MY STRONG.
Here are some great links where you can learn more about this awesome shoe:
* Disclaimer: The shoes were complimentary, but the opinions expressed are my own. *