Monday, December 17, 2012

Saucony Kinvara 3 Shoe Review

This is my first attempt at a shoe review. I read the shoe reviews in the magazines and I am fascinated by all the ways they come up with to describe a shoe. I sometimes wonder if the writers are just laughing at what they write, knowing we are lapping up those sometimes silly phrases and analogies. It's like wine. Really? How can you write paragraphs about that? I have two things I can say about wine: (1) I like it or (2) I don't like it.

As for the Kinvara 3's, I will say after about 42 miles, I like them. I'll try to elaborate on the switch from my beloved yellow Kinvara 2's to the pink/purple/citron 3's.

First and foremost, I do kind like this particular color combo, and as luck would have it, I have a winter hat that sort of goes with them. Very important.

I was a little scared by the reviews and reports of rubbed heels from the higher rear shoe height. It's true, they do come up higher and it's stiffer too. You can even see the height and stiffness differences in the photo. I prefer the old version.

My solution was to stop my lacing one hole down from what I did on the 2's. I'm not sure my Xtenex laces (stretchy laces swapped in for the comes-with set) will really reach up another eyelet anyway, and they seem stable enough as is. There are actually two unused eyelets on each side if you really like to lace them up far.

The shoe feels a bit stiffer underfoot and sounds different but I'm not aware of or distracted by the shoe, so that's a very good sign. It has the same 4mm drop as the 2's and they weigh about the same (reported at 6.7 oz). The upper, with its 'exoskeleton' is less flexible and not stretchy feeling like the 2's. I miss the slipping my foot into the soft upper of the 2's.

All-in-all, I think I am OK with the 3's but still prefer the design of the 2's. We'll see how they do as the mileage grows in the coming months as I've not trained for the marathon distance in a shoe this light before.

I'll need to add another pair to the mix, and will likely go with another brand to give the feet a little variety. I like to keep the feet guessing. I'll stick with a lighter shoe with the minimal drop and am considering the Brooks PureConnect or Asics Gel Lyte33.