I was very excited in the Saucony Kinvara Pro. Why? Well first, the Kinvara is one of the most popular shoes in the running industry. Second, it seems like Saucony likes to create several shoes that do the same thing. The Endorphin Speed is one of the most popular plated trainers in the running industry. Why create the Saucony Kinvara Pro which has a very similar purpose, a daily trainer with a carbon plate.
Anyway, I was determined to give the Saucony Kinvara Pro a fair shot. The Kinvara is one of the original marathon racing shoes. 10 years ago, it was a hugely popular racing shoe. These days it’s evolved into more of a daily trainer. It makes sense for the Kinvara to get a reboot as a faster workout shoe with the modern day technology of carbon plated.
Saucony Kinvara Pro Quick Facts:
- Weight: 9.5 oz
- Heel-to-Toe Drop: 8 mm
- Price: $180
Saucony Kinvara Pro Fit:
The Kinvara Pro’s upper shares a resemblance with the Kinvara 14 but feels more substantial and less breathable. For a shoe intended for faster runs, this choice seems misaligned with the expectations for a racing shoe. I’ve already found my feet to get hot when running hard or fast in the shoe. It just feels thick and not breathable, a weird choice for someone wanting a shoe to run fast in.
Ideally, the upper of a fast shoe should disappear off your feet. I’ve found the thicker upper doesn’t breathe incredibly well. It’s fascinating because the Saucony Endorphin Elite is probably the best breathing shoe out there. Why not use similar technology with the Kinvara Pro? Besides the weird upper, it fits well and feels good.
I usually wear women’s size 10-11 wide and found the size 11 to fit the best with the Kinvara Pro. It does run a little bit narrow so if you are someone with wider feet, you might want to go up a half size. For a while it seemed like the Saucony Kinvara ran fairly wide, but that’s no longer the case and both the Kiinvara and Kinvara Pro are on the more narrow side.
Saucony Kinvara Pro Ride:
Just looking at the Kinvara Pro, you think wow that is a chunky shoe. In fact, it looks like the chunkiest. How on earth am I going to run fast in something that bulky? It kind of reminds me of early Hoka designs that just looked like massive clonky shoes.
You would be correct in the shoe is chunky and the heel measures at a 42 mm stack height. (Important to note that if you are running and racing for money, then technically this shoe is illegal to race in).
What does the Saucony Kinvara Pro Midsole consist of?
- PWRRUN for traditional cushioning.
- PWRRUN PB for a lightweight, responsive feel in racing shoes like the Endorphin Pro.
- PWRRUN+ sock liner for added comfort in maximally cushioned models such as the Triumph.
- A 3/4 carbon fiber plate supports the SPEEDROLL technology, aiding in a smooth transition from heel to toe.
I wasn’t really sure where the Saucony Kinvara Pro would fall in my lineup. A racing shoe? A workout shoe? A faster daily trainer? After running a few times in it, I realized it was a tempo or long run shoe for me. I like that you felt a little faster, but wow is it firm. I think it took about five runs to really like the ride of the shoe. It is fairly versatile and you can run easy runs or harder efforts, but for me, it works best an uptempo workout shoe.
The Kinvara has never been known to last long and Saucony Kinvara Pro is no different. You might get to run 200 miles in them before they wear out. The Kinvara Pro’s outsole doesn’t have a lot of rubber, which makes it lighter but also means it might not last as long, especially on rough roads or in bad weather. The exposed midsole will wear out quickly. I’m thinking the Saucony Kinvara Pro will last somewhere around 150 miles. Which truthfully is longer than many other carbon plated shoes. So compared to the daily trainer, the Kinvara Pro doesn’t last as long. Compared to carbon plated shoes, the Saucony Kinvara Pro lasts longer.
Final Thoughts on the Kinvara Pro:
If you need shoes that are good for everyday running and also for racing, the Kinvara Pro could be a great pick. They’re a bit stiffer than the Endorphin Speed (or really almost any other shoe), but faster and more ready for action than the regular Kinvara.
It’s kind of funny the Kinvara and Kinvara Pro share a name because they’re not exactly like brother and sister sneakers—more like cousins. I’m not sure if I think Saucony did themselves a disservice for naming it the Kinvara Pro.
Who should buy the Saucony Kinvara Pro? If you want a racing or workout shoe. If you like a firm ride, these are a great option.
Who should not buy the Saucony Kinvara Pro? If you run in inclement weather such as rain or snow, you might find yourself sliding around. If you are someone who likes a softer running shoe, these aren’t going to be your best bet.
My Current Shoe Rotation:
Long Runs: Saucony Kinvara Pro, ASICS Superblast
You Can See All Current Shoe Reviews Here.
Looking to learn more about running shoes? In my ebook, I talk about why you need a good running shoe, a shoe’s anatomy, neutral vs. stable, and even myths of running shoes.
Questions for you:
Have you tried the Saucony Kinvara Pro?
What is your favorite long run shoe?