Recently I decided to try the Saucony Kinvara 11. It’s been a few years since I’ve run in the shoe. In fact, the last time I consistently ran in, it was the Saucony Kinvara 7. Time flies.
I’ve tried on most versions, and the Saucony Kinvara 11 feels similar to the Kinvara 10. It does keep most of the same features as the Kinvara 10 as well. The ride is still fairly soft, but there have been some updates to the midsole and the upper.
Saucony Kinvara 11 Quick Facts:
Weight: 9 oz
Heel to Toe Drop: 4 mm
Saucony Kinvara 11 Fit:
One of my favorite features of the Saucony Kinvara 11 has always been fit. The Saucony Kinvara 11 has always been a more minimal shoe in terms of seams and upper. In fact, the upper is really just engineered woven mesh. There isn’t much as far as printed overlays.
I appreciate the Kinvara is the slightly higher heel cup than the rest of Saucony’s line. Oftentimes, Saucony shoes feel to low in the back, and you feel like you’re “slipping out,” but the Kinvara doesn’t have that issue.
Most of the updates to the fit of the Saucony Kinvara 11 are in the details. Generally speaking, it still fits the same. I’ve always appreciated the Saucony Kinvara fits well and doesn’t need any break-in period. If, for whatever reason, I bought them the day before a marathon, I know I could race a marathon in them and be fine.
Saucony removed the stitched overlays at the top three shoe eyelet. They did that is almost noticeable to remove the center shoe eyelet, which honestly makes the Kinvara just fit better.
In running shoes, I generally wear between a women’s size 10-11 wide. I found the Saucony Kinvara 11 size 11 fit true to size. If the Kinvara were made in wide, I would have probably chosen a 10.5 wide.
Saucony Kinvara 11 Ride:
The foam used in the Saucony Kinvara 11 has gotten an update. To get technical with you, the PWRRUN foam midsole replaced the EVA+ midsole of previous versions. To be honest, it doesn’t feel like there is that much of a difference in the ride between the two foams. While I didn’t run a lot in the Kinvara 10, I did a couple of runs (not really enough to merit a shoe review). The PWRRUN foam continues to provide the balance of responsiveness and cushion, plus there is an additional 5.5 millimeters of foam in the latest version.
The Saucony Kinvara 11 is lightweight, and one way Saucony did this was to remove most of the blown rubber on the outsole. This means that the foam midsole is exposed, and the shoe isn’t going to be as durable as many trainers, such as the Saucony Ride. I actually noticed some wear in the first 20 miles of running in the shoe.
As far as traction, the Kinvara provides decently in inclement weather. It’s not my first shoe to take on bad weather days such as rain and ice; it isn’t the worst choice either. I worry about doing races or hard workouts in rainy or slick conditions in the shoe because I’ve felt like I’m sliding around.
I’ve run several types of runs in the Kinvara, including long runs, easy runs, and workouts. For me, the Saucony Kinvara 11 has always performed the best as a longer run/workout shoe. I wouldn’t run track workouts in it, but it’s a good option for tempo work or longer fast runs. With the 4 mm drop, I appreciate how it rolls from heel to toe easily and doesn’t feel cumbersome or heavy on my foot.
Saucony Kinvara 11 Conclusion:
The Saucony Kinvara 11 is one of Saucony’s staple shoes. Even with the carbon plated shoes out now, Saucony continues to keep the Kinvara around. (Which so many brands have gotten rid of shoes like these). The Kinvara 11 is definitely one of the better versions of the Kinvara. It’s a great option if you are looking for a lightweight trainer, workout, or racing shoe. Keep in mind; due to the lack of rubber, you probably won’t get the standard 300-500 miles out of it, though.
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Questions for you:
Have you tried the Saucony Kinvara 11?
What is your favorite running shoe?