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Mens Saucony Kinvara 9 Review

Mens Saucony Kinvara 9
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A highly responsive racer / trainer with excellent updates. The best all round marathon shoe on the market?

Mens Saucony Kinvara 9 Review

A highly responsive racer / trainer with excellent updates. The best all round marathon shoe on the market?
9.0
0.0
0 REVIEWS
Write a review
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Our verdict

An evolution of the 8 decent previous models, the Saucony Kinvara 9 has been refined slightly but retains its status as a leading firm and responsive neutral racer/trainer. The Kinvara 9 is one of the lightest mileage shoes available, and more than capable of handling longer (20K+ runs) but light enough to handle your speed work. In my opinion the best Kinvara so far!

  • Positive
  • An almost seamless upper
  • An amazing Marathon shoe
  • One of the lightest training shoe on the market
  • Negative
  • With a 4mm drop it may put off some heel strikers

First impressions

The Kinvara 9 is a slight update of the successful racer / trainer product from Saucony. If you have worn previous versions of the Kinvara line, especially the Kinvara 8 you will not be disappointed.

An Everun layer in the midsole and responsive high abrasion EVA midsole, deliver a firm but very responsive ride. 

This latest update is about 0.4oz. lighter than the previous version with is great news, and they have not compromised any structure to the upper. It took no breaking in, and was super out the box.

The shoe is packed with all the usual technology – Flexfilm upper, Everun midsole, TRI-FLEX outsole and stretchy engineered mesh upper so we know roughly what to expect. The shoe recenty won the Runners' World best road shoe award so high praise indeed. Now let’s see how they stack up.

Midsole

There is a midsole design tweak to the Kinvara 9, so its looks slightly different to the Kinvara 8, and brings the look in line with some of the other new updates to the Saucony line, but the overall guts and feel is almost identical to the Kinvara 8. A thin wedge of Everun next to the foot and the high abrasion EVA deliver a superb lightweight shoe that hard to beat by the competition. Build on the Kinvara 4mm drop design, so know what to expect if you have worn this shoe before. Lower drop, means a more ‘natural’ the ride, and I only like to wear these shoes when I know I will be running at a quicker pace on my toes, otherwise I choose a higher stack height of 8-10mm for bulk training.

Upper

The Kinvara 9 sees most of the improvements on the update around the upper. The new version has more structure across the upper than the Kinvara 8 which overall was a little sloppy.

It’s a simple construction with a very clean forefoot, delivering a smooth fit, and easily capable of being worn without socks. The heel and quarters have been bulked up with additional Flexfilm overlays delivering a lightweight supportive fit, and the internal collar fit is greatly improved.

Sole

You are not buying the Kinvara 9 for its outsole technology! It’s a stripped back design with minimal rubber pods in strategic positions to deliver some durability, but this outsole is all about weight reduction. The high abrasion EVA does hold up pretty well, but it is far from high abrasion. You are buying into a lightweight shoe, and this is a well-designed product that grips well and it is very flexible. Expect to get 200-300 miles out of the shoe before it looks a little bare.

Conclusion

A long history of Kinvara products are in good hands with the Kinvara 9. A tweak of an update, that will have fans of the range giving a thumbs up to the new shoe. All the new bits to the shoe, work well and improve the product from the previous version with is great news. The Kinvara 9 vs Liberty ISO is down to price and some rebound provided by full Everun midsole against a wedge of the material. The Kinvara 9 is a stripped back, speed demon, that is ready to race at any time allowing you to ‘feel’ the road. I am running my next marathon in these shoes, I like them that much. 

Technical info

Engineered Mesh - With perforations offering maximum ventilation.

FlexFilm - Offers a seamless, flexible feel.

Additional Overlays - Over the toe box for extra durability.

EVERUN Midsole for enhanced energy return and continuous cushioning throughout the run

Tri-Flex - Delivers increased ground contact for greater grip and optimal flexibility at toe-off.

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Shoe details

Gender Mens
Year 2018
Season Spring/Summer
Current model
Release date 2018
MSRP $110.00
Weight 7.5oz. / 213g
Heal Drop 4mm

Suitabilty

Shoe Type
Neutral
Lightweight
Racer
Surfaces
Road
Treadmill
Weight
Light
Regular