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Saucony Kinvara 14 - Women's Review

This affordable shoe is comfortable as a daily trainer and allows you to pick up the paces with its flexible responsiveness
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Saucony Kinvara 14 - Women's Review (The Kinvara is a lightweight, foam-based runner that feels nearly weightless underfoot.)
The Kinvara is a lightweight, foam-based runner that feels nearly weightless underfoot.
Credit: Prudence Amsden
Price:  $120 List
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Manufacturer:   Saucony
By Ally Arcuri ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Oct 9, 2023
74
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#7 of 19
  • Cushioning and Landing Comfort - 25% 7.5
  • Responsiveness - 25% 7.5
  • Stability - 20% 6.0
  • Upper Comfort - 15% 7.0
  • Weight - 15% 9.3

Our Verdict

The updated Saucony Kinvara maintains all of the levity and pep of previous iterations while also retaining its killer price point. Weighing in at just 5.55 ounces per women's size 6.5 shoe, the Kinvara 14 is light with a midsole full of PWRRUN foam for comfort and kick. It offers plenty of underfoot cushion for daily needs, resulting in an incredibly comfortable shoe that feels nearly weightless yet plush. This road shoe lacks a bit of support and stability, so if you want stability, this may not be a win for you. We also recognize that many folks do not like the changes between version 13 and 14. But if peppy underfoot cushion, breathability, and a weightless fit are what you're after, we feel the Kinvara is at least worth checking out.
REASONS TO BUY
Affordable
Lightweight
Comfortable
Flexible
Responsive without a plate
REASONS TO AVOID
Lacks support
Less stable

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Bottom Line While not a race-focused shoe, this affordable and bouncy option will keep your legs turning over quickly and easilyThis running shoe offers the performance technology and comfort needed to be your go-to shoe, no matter your running goalsWith strong responsive bounce and enough comfort for long runs, this shoe will suit marathon hopefuls and speed demons alikeThe structure and comfort of this shoe make it a highly recommended option for long distance runners who want a reliable road running steedThe big underfoot stack of this shoe provides great comfort and more responsiveness than expected, though the overall fit will not appeal to all
Rating Categories Saucony Kinvara 14... Asics Novablast 4 -... Puma Deviate Nitro... Brooks Adrenaline G... Hoka Clifton 9 - Wo...
Cushioning and Landing Comfort (25%)
7.5
9.0
7.0
8.0
8.5
Responsiveness (25%)
7.5
7.5
9.5
6.5
7.0
Stability (20%)
6.0
8.0
7.0
9.0
8.0
Upper Comfort (15%)
7.0
8.0
7.0
9.0
7.0
Weight (15%)
9.3
6.9
7.4
5.8
7.2
Specs Saucony Kinvara 14... Asics Novablast 4 -... Puma Deviate Nitro... Brooks Adrenaline G... Hoka Clifton 9 - Wo...
Weight (per shoe, size 6.5) 5.55 oz 7.36 oz 7.02 oz 8.21 oz 7.16 oz
Style Neutral Neutral Neutral/race Supportive Neutral/maximum
Sizes Available 5 - 12 US 5 - 12 US 5.5 - 11 US 5 - 13 US 5 - 12 US
Measured Heel-to-Toe Drop 5 mm 9 mm 8 mm 12 mm 6 mm
Measured Heel Stack Height 30 mm 40 mm 34 mm 34 mm 34 mm
Measured Forefoot Stack Height 25 mm 31 mm 26 mm 22 mm 28 mm
Claimed Heel-to-Toe Drop 4 mm 8 mm 6 mm 12 mm 5 mm
Claimed Heel Stack Height 31 mm 40.5 mm Not stated Not stated Not stated
Claimed Forefoot Stack Height 27 mm 32.5 mm Not stated Not stated Not stated
Measured Outsole Length 10.13 in 10.65 in 10.31 in 10.50 in 10.44 in
Measured Outsole Width 3.96 in 4.32 in 4.00 in 4.25 in 4.15 in
Upper Mesh Engineered knit mesh Mesh Engineered air mesh Engineered mesh
Midsole PWRRUN, PWRRUN+ FF Blast Plus Eco Nitro/Nitro-Elite DNA Loft v2 EVA foam
Outsole XT-900 rubber AHAR outsole PumaGrip ATR Rubber Rubber Durabrasion rubber
Measured Outsole Hardness 63 HA at inner toe/outer heel, 35 HA rest of shoe 59 HA 65 HA 47 HA 36 HA at arch, 73 HA rest of shoe
Heel Tab Type Finger loop Finger loop None None Extended heel pull
Width Options Regular, wide Regular Regular Narrow, medium, wide, extra wide Regular, wide
Heel Compression Stiffness 40 lbf 44 lbf 35 lbf 52 lbf 41 lbf
Toe Compression Stiffness 42 lbf 38 lbf 40 lbf 56 lbf 42 lbf
Toe Box Volume 6.7 in^3 6.2 in^3 6.7 in^3 6.5 in^3 6.5 in^3
Rocker Angle 26.0 deg 22.0 deg 12.5 deg 26.5 deg 18.5 deg

Our Analysis and Test Results

The cushion of the Kinvara 14 allows your feet to ride relatively high off the ground — even more so than the previous version, something that's left users very divided. For us, this underfoot stack, combined with a breathable and flexible upper, helps make the Kinvara a comfortable daily trainer that we enjoy wearing.

Performance Comparison


saucony kinvara 14 for women - the kinvara has a flexible outsole, which is unlike most...
The Kinvara has a flexible outsole, which is unlike most race-focused shoes. It still provides added pep, but it is combined with strong underfoot cushion.
Credit: Prudence Amsden

Cushioning and Landing Comfort


The Kinvara 14 is loaded with PWRRUN foam underfoot. This lightweight foam comprises a large majority of the shoe and allows for great landing comfort as you run. Unlike some shoes that rely on plush insoles or soft-to-the-touch interiors, the Kinvara has a minimalistic insole. The simple insole sits atop the foam midsole, which absorbs impact as it propels you from stride to stride. We measured the heel side of the Kinvara, which stands at 30mm, and the toe side at 25mm (though Saucony claims 31mm and 27mm), which feels just right for this style of shoe. The interior of the Kinvara packs out just enough to create a specific-to-you feeling fit, which helps retain landing comfort and cushioning over the long term.


The lightweight mid and outsoles of the Kinvara 14 are incredibly comfortable and shock-absorbing but are more susceptible to abrasions than shoes with durable rubber outsoles. If your runs take place on tracks and roads, the XT-900 rubber outsole (that feels like a type of foam) is right at home, but think twice before wearing the Kinvara on mild trails and gravelly bike paths because it will cause the outsole to degrade more quickly.

While more flexible than many of the shoes in our roundup, the Kinvara offers comfortable underfoot cushion.
Credit: Ally Arcuri

Responsiveness


The Kinvara has come to be known as a do-it-all daily trainer, but with this version, Saucony took the shape in a slightly different direction. The resulting ride is more responsive than prior versions. While not a dramatic speed shoe, the Kinvara has just enough of a convex shape to be noticeable. This is different than in versions past, and while not unpleasant, it is notable. Each footfall rebounds into the next, making for a responsive ride overall.


The outsole is more flexible than most speed-focused shoes, which tend to have propulsive plates embedded in their outsoles. The flexibility makes the Kinvara slightly less responsive than firm-soled racing shoes but ultimately adds to the nimble sensation of its ride. If you want a shoe that you can comfortably lay down speedy paces in, this is one to consider. This shoe splits the difference between an extreme racing shoe and a comfortable daily trainer, making it a great middle-ground for runners who want comfort and responsive energy return.

Even with a flexible outsole, the Kinvara offers strong responsiveness for a daily trainer.
Credit: Ally Arcuri

Stability


The significant heel stack of the Kinvara 14 makes it less stable and sensitive than its predecessors and other shoes in our roundup. While not an unstable shoe, it sits high and lacks discernable structures for support.


As a neutral shoe, this is somewhat standard, though the uppers of many neutral shoes are latticed in such a way as to create inherent stability. The heel cup hosts a bit of stiffer foam, providing some security in the rear of the shoe. The engineered mesh upper is easy to flatten and has no real structure, making this shoe one that we recommend to runners who are already confident in their gaits.

saucony kinvara 14 for women - the lack of lateral structure and tall stack take away from some of...
The lack of lateral structure and tall stack take away from some of the stability that could exist in the Kinvara. It is not necessarily an unstable shoe, but if you know you like the a supportive shoe, this likely won't be your perfect match.
Credit: Ally Arcuri

Upper Comfort


The lightweight, engineered mesh upper of the Kinvara 14 doesn't boast much in the way of upper cushioning. This back-to-basics upper is flexible and will mold slightly to fit your foot shape. This turns the upper into a unique-to-you, sock-like fit that becomes more comfortable the more you wear it.


The firm cushioning surrounding the heel cup is enough to secure the heel and prevent hot spots but is notably less than what is on more comfort-forward kicks. The tongue lacks cushioning, which some runners might find uncomfortable. It is well-shaped and partially attached, which encourages it to lay flat. Our testers liked the sensation of this fit, but runners who prefer a plush tongue are out of luck. The Kinvara 14 isn't the shoe we recommend if you want 360-degree cushion, but if you want underfoot levity, comfort, and a flexible outsole, this might be a great option for you.

saucony kinvara 14 for women - the lack of structure in the upper allows the kinvara to conform to...
The lack of structure in the upper allows the Kinvara to conform to your footshape in a truly comfortable way.
Credit: Ally Arcuri

Weight


The lightest-ever weight of the Kinvara 14 is impressive. At 5.55 ounces per women's size 6.5, it is one of the lightest in our lineup, beating out some of the most race-ready options in the group.


In the world of running shoes, the more plush options tend to weigh more than the minimalistic-style shoes. This version of the Kinvara strikes a nice middle-ground since it offers plenty of foam for underfoot comfort but also feels nearly weightless on the run.

saucony kinvara 14 for women - though the outsole is made up of a kind of rubber, it feels and...
Though the outsole is made up of a kind of rubber, it feels and behaves a lot more like dense foam, which creates the weightless sensation the Kinvara is known for.
Credit: Prudence Amsden

Should You Buy the Saucony Kinvara 14?


The Kinvara is a unique shoe, and while its uses span a variety of running needs, it isn't exactly for everyone. It has a minimalistic upper and is ultra-lightweight, so if featherweight gear is calling your name, the Kinvara is worth checking out. But there are shoes with better-constructed launch pads for speed, and there are shoes with better stability. Runners in need of support will find the floppy upper of the Kinvara to be lacking, but neutral runners in search of a lightweight shoe with thick and airy underfoot cushion will love the ride that this shoe offers. Keep in mind that the stack height on the Kinvara 14 is notably higher than the 13, and folks seem pretty divided on this change. Some love the 14, but just as many others vehemently dislike it and say that it feels like an entirely different shoe. If you loved the 13, we recommend trying the 14 on before just ordering it out of loyalty.

saucony kinvara 14 for women - if an affordable daily trainer is what you are looking for, the...
If an affordable daily trainer is what you are looking for, the Kinvara is a budget-friendly choice that might hit the right marks for you.
Credit: Prudence Amsden

What Other Running Shoes Should You Consider?


If a responsive road running shoe is what you're after, there are a few options that outshine the Saucony Kinvara in that metric. The Puma Deviate Nitro 2 includes a platform in its midsole for supreme energy return. Constructed in a similar way, the Nike Vaporfly 3 has a propulsive launch plate. Both of these speedy kicks feel more race-ready than the Kinvara, so we encourage PR-chasers to check them out. If you were drawn to the Kinvara because of the underfoot cushion it offers but want something with a bit more upper comfort and meat, the Hoka Clifton 9 might better suit your needs.

Ally Arcuri