Yesterday marked an entire week of running in nothing but my Saucony Kinvara’s.

Last Sunday ended up being a rest day for me because we left at o’dark thirty for our vacation on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Instead of packing my Saucony Ride’s I packed only my Kinvara’s to see what a week of running in them would feel like.

My thoughts:

I’ve been running in the Kinvara’s ever since they came out but have mostly only used them for speed work, including tempos, fartleks, etc. The longest distance I have run in them is 10 miles.

A common misconception when it comes to the Kinvara’s is that they are just a lighter weight version of other Saucony neutral shoes, they are not. The Kinvara’s have a different heel to forefoot ratio than your regular running shoes. This means you should never just jump right into wearing them for all of your runs or for longer runs. One must work into wearing minimalist type shoes in order for your body to adjust slowly to the change.

Have I jumped on the minimalist band wagon? NO.

I do believe that you can work in shoes like the Kinvara or the Hattori to your workouts but I don’t believe that switching to them or even running barefoot is for me.

Why? I constantly hear the argument that man was meant to run uninhibited and that these shoes allow the foot to do what it naturally does. To which I argue[the short version] – sure man was mean to run naturally but our ancestors did not run 50+ miles a week on asphalt and concrete paths. They did not run for no other particular reason than the joy of it, for 26.2 miles or more, as fast as they could. Running was part of their life but not the way we run now.

I have never had a running injury that has sidelined me – so I am of the belief – if it ain’t broke – don’t fix it. I also have been told that I am fairly biomechanically efficient and I am completely dead neutral.

Note: If you are not neutral these types of shoes will effect you even more than a person who runs neutral naturally.

After a week of running in them and no other shoes my Achilles felt sore, which I expected to happen. I also felt some soreness in my hamstrings, which I think is from a combination of the shoes and also from picking up the pace a bit on my runs based on my new marathon training zones for the fall.

Do I like Kinvara and will I keep running in it? Yes, absolutely. I however do not think that any shoe is a magic shoe. Hard work is the only way to naturally increase your speed or better your performance. The Kinvara’s are awesome in my opinion but they are not going to make me magically faster. I won’t be throwing out my Saucony Ride’s any time soon.

Monday – Day 1: 10 Miles on the roads at the beach
Tuesday – Day 2: 5 Miles in the sand on the beach
Wednesday – Day 3: 7 Miles on a combination of roads and beach
Thursday – Day 4: Rest
Friday – Day 5: 5 Miles on the roads
Saturday – Day 6: Rest
Sunday – Day 7: Rest
Monday – Day 8: 6 Miles on W&OD Trail pushing both boys in my double stroller  [double stroller timed mile – mile 5 – matched my 6:16 PR]

After having run in Asics, Brooks, Mizuno, Fila, Nike, New Balance and Saucony, I now only run in Saucony. The three shoes I currently train and race in are the Saucony Ride’s, Saucony Kinvara, and Saucony A4’s.


  1. I experimented with the Kinvaras and am sticking to non-minimalist footwear. The Kinvaras gave me MAJOR arch pain on anything over 3-4 miles. Now I just wear the as casual shoes which I like.

  2. Allison says:

    I like using my Kinvaras for speedwork and short races (5k or less), but I'm hesitant to try them for anything longer. I just don't think my feet/legs would be happy with me.

  3. SupermomE12 says:

    Well I guess that answers that. :) Thanks!!!

  4. Elizabeth says:

    It seems like so many folks are bowing down to the Kinvara as the ultimate fast shoe. Its nice to see you have such a balanced perspective! I agree with you abput barefoot running.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Ive had these for a year as well. I prefer minimalist shoes for the comfort, but after 3 miles these would also cause me pain in right foot's arch. (note I have mid to high archs)

    Just curious, for those of you who also experienced the arch pain after a while, what type of shoes did u revert back to?

  6. Anonymous says:

    Just this weekend I went shopping for new running shoes and came home with 2 pairs- Rides and Kinvara 2s. I did my first run (a short steady pace 2 mile run) Monday to see how they felt and I liked them. But my plan is to do my longer runs in the Rides for now and slowly work into the Kinvara 2s as the weeks progress. I have not bought into the whole minimalist shoe fad as a cure all either. But I will say that I did love the Kinvaras on the short run I did and liked the Rides today as well (much better than the Triumphs which I have been running in for 2+ years now).

  7. I have a mild arch pain in the left foot when I run on my Kinvaras, which goes away by the next day. I don't have this running the same distance on VFF Bikila LS. I wonder if I should cut out the arch support from the insoles, or get rid of the insoles altogether

  8. I also feel discomfort in the arch, but only in the right foot. It feels like there's a bump right where the seam in the arch is, but only in the right shoe. It doesn't lead to pain, I actually start to feel it less after a couple of miles. Removing the insoles doesn't help. I wonder if it's a production error.

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