Thursday, May 9, 2013

Flat and flashy -- the Saucony Kinvara 4.

A while back, I posted about an awesome run that happened to take place while I was wearing an awesome new running shoe. I promised that I'd have a review of those shoes once I had a chance to try them out a little more. Today, I'm back with that review.

I was given the opportunity to try out the new Saucony Kinvara 4 running shoes in this super-fresh neon yellow and pink color combination:

Right out of the box, I loved these shoes. So slick, so comfortable.

For me, though, trying-on comfort doesn't always equate to on-the-run comfort and function. Given how cool the shoes look, though, I was hopeful. My first run in these kicks was really, really great. It was one of those just-about-perfect runs where I ran faster than expected with much less effort than usual. Just great.

After that run, I put the shoes aside for a bit because I didn't want to screw anything up before my April half marathon. The thing about the Saucony Kinvaras is that they have a much lower heel drop than I am used to, so I knew I needed to proceed cautiously.

Take a look at the Kinvaras next to my other running shoes because I think you can really see the difference when they are lined up next to each other:

The Kinvara is there in the middle -- much lower to the ground. They are also a lot lighter than my regular running shoes. Again, caution required.

Once I was back to running after the half, I took the Kinvaras out for a few more runs, including a few stroller runs.

I like these shoes a lot. They are surprisingly comfortable (Saucony boasts about the internal booty construction -- a feature that is worth the boasting!) and supportive, given how light they are and they work well for shorter runs, especially those that are hilly. There is something about the lower heel that makes running uphill seem easier in these shoes. And I'll take anything that gives me a lift on the hills!

The lower drop means my feet are closer to the ground with each step and they feel a bit more "in-touch" with the road as I'm running. A good feeling, but one that does take a little getting used to.

I've been reluctant to try the shoes out on longer runs, however. I guess I'm just a bit of a Nervous Nellie but I feel the need to take things pretty slow with such a different shoe. The Kinvara 4 has a 4mm toe-to-heel drop, which is far lower than the shoes I've been wearing. As I get more used to them, I'll extend my mileage  because if I can wear a lighter shoe for longer runs, I'd like to.

Aside from running, I also like the Kinvaras for squats and lunges. I don't normally wear my running shoes for indoor exercises, but Owen suggested that I give these a shot. He's got the Saucony Virratas -- also a lower drop shoe -- and likes how they work for squats and lunges.

All in all, I'm impressed with the Saucony Kinvara 4s. They are flat and flashy -- and make me feel fast!

Have you tried the Kinvaras? 
Do you like shoes with a lower toe-to-heel drop?

Thanks for stopping by!

Review disclaimer: I was sent a pair of shoes for review, through FitFluential. I was not otherwise compensated and the opinions expressed are entirely my own.