Earlier today Saucony posted a preview of the Kinvara 5 on their blog (thanks to Marc S. for the alert!). I was disappointed by the Kinvara 4, with my main issues being the tight forefoot fit and lack of stretch in the upper. Others have also reported durability issues with the monofilament upper material. It seems Saucony may have heard some of this feedback and have attempted to address these issues of the 5th iteration of one of my favorite shoes.
With the Kinvara 5, Saucony has incorporated a different type of mesh (which they say is more durable) with lots of welded overlays in areas that tend to tear – the mesh almost looks like that found on the Grid Type A5. They’ve also added additional rubber to the sole to increase durability, and the midsole is made from a more durable EVA (hard to tell if those lateral forefoot pods are EVA or rubber from the photos). Here’s how Saucony describes the sole updates:
“The Kinvara 5 midsole/outsole platform is also new, and made from an enhanced EVA+ material with better abrasion resistance than ever before. On the outsole, we also added small placements of iBR+ rubber to provide more durability and cushioning on the outer side of the foot, where heavy wear is typical for many Kinvara fans.”
It sounds like Saucony also played with the interior of the new Kinvara in ways that might make it friendlier for sockless wear – I like the sound of this!
“We also heard requests for a smoother, softer collar lining next to skin (or sock). This version of the Kinvara features a super soft new material called RunDry® that creates an amazing step-in feeling and helps guard against hot-spots and chafing during the run.”
I had heard that the new Kinvara would be more “trainery” than previous editions, and it does look like a more complex shoe, but Saucony reports that the new model adds these features without sacrificing the light weight that Kinvara fans have grown to love.
Release date for the Kinvara 5 is May 1, 2014, and I’m hoping the K5 redeems one of my favorite shoe models after a disappointing 4th edition!
What do you think, are the changes for the better or for the worse for the Kinvara?