Saucony Kinvara 13 - Women's Review
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Saucony Kinvara 13 - Women's
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|Pros||Lightweight, comfortable, affordable, responsive||Comfortable, responsive, many size options available, durable, traditional fit||Well-cushioned, protective, available in multiple width options, stable and supportive||Stable, comfortable, durable, responsive, well-constructed||Lightweight, well-cushioned, stable, comfortable|
|Cons||Less laterally stable, somewhat narrow fit||Heavier than some, somewhat pricy||Heavier than some, support structures might feel too rigid for some runners||Slightly heavy, might feel too rigid to some||Wide footprint, 5mm takes some getting used to|
|Bottom Line||This lightweight and responsive shoe is our go-to for faster-paced runs where we crave the sensation of flying||This smooth-riding, highly responsive, and traditionally shaped running shoe is your one-hit wonder when it comes to running shoes, from speed days to long efforts||This all-around fantastic shoe will support your musculature and provide comfort no matter the distance of your endeavors||This traditional running shoe provides exceptional support and comfort, great durability, and a predictable running shoe fit||This well-cushioned and comfortable running shoe provides lightweight comfort and protection for your joints as you pound pavement|
|Rating Categories||Saucony Kinvara 13...||Brooks Glycerin 20...||Brooks Adrenaline G...||Brooks Ghost 14 - W...||Hoka One One Mach 5...|
|Landing Comfort/Cushioning (25%)|
|Upper Comfort (15%)|
|Specs||Saucony Kinvara 13...||Brooks Glycerin 20...||Brooks Adrenaline G...||Brooks Ghost 14 - W...||Hoka One One Mach 5...|
|Weight (per shoe, size 7)||5.86 oz||8.61 oz||8.11 oz||7.79 oz||6.42 oz|
|Heel to Toe Drop||4 mm||10 mm||12 mm||12 mm||5 mm|
|Width Options||Regular, Wide||Regular, Wide||Regular, Narrow, Wide, Extra Wide||Regular, Narrow, Wide||Regular|
|Upper Material||Engineered mesh||Synthetic mesh||Mesh||Engineered mesh||Engineered mesh|
|Midsole Material||EVA||EVA foam||EVA||DNA loft, BioMoGo DNA||PROFLY foam|
|Sole Rubber||Rubber||Rubber||Rubber||Rubber||Rubberized EVA|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The most recent Kinvara boasts a renegotiated upper that makes one of Saucony's most comfortable shoes even more comfortable and an already-responsive shoe even more responsive. Even though the 13 is loaded with techy features to provide speed and comfort, this neutral runner is lighter than prior models, with a women's size 7 weighing in at only 5.86 ounces per shoe. With a 4-millimeter heel-to-toe drop and a beveled midsole, we think you'll love the feel of the Kinvara 13 as much as we do.
The Saucony Kinvara 13 is a perfectly responsive, everyday running shoe. It lacks some of the more technologically-advanced features of shoes made for racing, but for everyday speed, this shoe kicks. The updated beveled midsole provides exceptional energy return and Saucony's iconic PWRRUN cushion gives you an unexpected pep in your step.
The svelte body profile helps ensure that the shoe stays snug on your foot, which we always feel adds to the responsiveness. Even the most responsive shoe can feel like a flipper if it doesn't suit your anatomy correctly. Saucony even offers a wide version of the Kinvara, which allows for a comfortable fit on a wider range of runners.
We continue to be amazed at how Saucony can produce a lightweight shoe with such great landing comfort. It is not a plush shoe, but the thoughtful placement of cushioning makes the Kinvara standout when it comes to landing comfort. Even after longer runs, our legs never felt pounded out because of the landing comfort that the Kinvara provides.
When compared to prior models, the underfoot cushioning doesn't pack out as quickly, which allows you to comfortably pound the pavement for longer. The minimalist cushioning is perfectly paired with the flexible sole of the Kinvara, which makes for great landing comfort. If you are looking for a well-cushioned, more maximal-style shoe, the Kinvara won't hit the mark for you. But if you want a semi-versatile shoe that feels weightless without feeling like you're running barefoot, this version of the Kinvara will provide exactly what you need.
This is the only metric in which the Kinvara 13 doesn't rank as highly. Though this is to be expected for such a lightweight offering, this knocked a few points off of the overall score.
The stability of the Kinvara 13 is a bit below average. The entire upper, including the lateral edging, is made of a single piece of engineered mesh. While this lone piece of mesh provides a great overall upper for the shoe, it is not laterally reinforced in any way. This is new when compared to prior models of the shoe, which were constructed of overlapping mesh that created a bit more security. If you have muscular imbalances, a tendency to overpronate, injury, etc, you'll find that the Kinvara doesn't have the support to help mitigate this. There are plenty of shoes on the market that are specifically designed to help correct these movement patterns, but the design of the Kinvara just is not up to the task.
This is where we have seen Saucony put forth the greatest strides when it comes to the Kinvara 13. A few versions ago, the upper was more cumbersome and rigid. The upper has been reconfigured again and again to create the magic that it is today.
As mentioned, the upper is now made of a single piece of engineered mesh, which creates a flush feeling inner. The lace bed is fairly thin but made of a flexible and stretchy textile that anchors to the midsole. The heel cup is plenty cushioned but also gives under pressure. All of the stretchy and well-laid materials culminate in a shoe with superior upper comfort.
We still are not sure how they do it, but Saucony continues to throw down ultra-light shoes that are stacked to the gills with features. The Kinvara 13 upholds this pattern. Each women's size 7 shoe weighs under 6 ounces, which is extremely light. The weight of the Kinvara is well distributed, which allows the shoe to feel even lighter while strapped to your feet. The low weight of these updated kicks is the main reason why running in them feels like flying over the pavement.
Should You Buy the Saucony Kinvara 13?
The Kinvara 13 earned our Best Buy award for a reason; these shoes offer some serious bang for your buck. They have become increasingly more durable with each release – from the rubber soles to the specifically-placed cushion, these shoes have held up well throughout our testing. Saucony even added a more durable rubber to highly worn areas of the outsole for increased durability. The versatility of the Kinvara adds extra value. They can be worn on long or short runs for prime comfort and speed. We definitely think the Kinvara is a worthwhile buy for the value and comfort.
What Other Road Running Shoes Should You Consider?
The Saucony Kinvara 13 truly earns its spot atop our proverbial podium. If you're after a responsive, lightweight, and versatile shoe, you'll be pleased with our Best Bang for the Buck award winner. If you want a shoe that boasts a bit more structure, check out the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22. If you like the idea of a light and speedy shoe but want something that is geared towards speed and speed alone, give the Saucony Endorphin Speed 3 a try.
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