A5 vs Kinvara 3 Sizing

edited November 2012 in Saucony
Considering the Saucony A5 is a racing flat, shouldn't it fit more snugly? In your review you mentioned you had to go up a half size. I'm wondering if I train intervals and tempo runs in Kinvara 3s at a certain size (thumbs width spacing between longest toe and front of shoe), what size should I go with for the A5s if I plan on using them for 5/10k races. A half size lower, which fits quite snugly but with a slight bit of room in forefoot, or the same size as the Kinvara 3s?

Running Warehouse notes in their video that racing flats should fit more snugly which is why I'm confused why you chose a half size larger than normal.


  • My A5's and Kinvara 3's are both a Women's size 7B, but I find that the Kinvara 3's are a touch narrower than the A5's on my feet.  My feet are on the edge of standard and wide so some shoes in a B width are too narrow like the Brooks Pure Project shoes (both the Flows and Connects cause horrible blisters on my feet).
  • I don't necessarily believe that a flat needs to fit snugly. A shoe should fit comfortably - for me that meant going a half size up in the A5 over the Kinvara 3. If I had gone a half size down I wouldn't have been able to wear it at all. I'd say stick to your usual size and see how it feels if you want a snug fit.
  • Interesting tintallie, I used the PureConnects for about a year, and although I didn't get any blisters, I had severe pain on the outside of my foot after running a few hard 10Ks throughout the year. After trying everything, I finally figured out that the problem was that the PureConnects were too narrow. That's why I recently switched to the A5s and Kinvaras. I'm hoping this will resolve the pain in my foot. It definitely feels more comfortable due to the width increase. Thanks for your feedback.

    Runblogger, I started running last year and so I don't have a usual size. I've been using the same size as my regular shoes with the already narrow PureConnects and have concluded that they are the cause of all the foot pain I've been having. So I guess my new default size will be a half size up, so the extra width of the Sauconys compared to the PureCnnects, combined with the extra width of moving a half size up should help immensely. So far the feel great. Thanks for your great blog.
  • Thanks! I will say that the Pure Connects are among the narrowest shoes I have ever worn, one of the few I returned without running in them. You should definitely feel an improvement with the Saucony shoes in terms of width.
  • This is a photo of the blisters from a pair of Brooks PureFlows after my 10km Stampede Road Race on July 8: http://www.dailymile.com/people/tintallie/photos/484670

    That is 4 blisters on top of each other that gradually piled on top of each other.

  • tintallie, ouch! However, that might provide good feedback that those shoes aren't working for you. For me, the insidious thing was that there were no physical signs at all. They felt great, and there was no pain for regular training or even 5k races. I went to a podiatrist who told me to wear inserts. The narrowness was so slight that nobody could tell me the cause, and I didn't have enough experience to realize the problem either. Lesson learned. I'm going to definitely pay attention to Runblogger more carefully in the future. And listen to my feet.

    It's only been a week but already my foot is completely healed. It's unreal. Now I need to decide whether to stick to my Ghost 4s for long/easy runs, or just use the Kinvaras for tempo/intervals + long/easy runs.
  • tintallie - I get hot spots in the same area in the Pure Grits - no idea why as they fit really well.
  • Peter - I think it might be the construction of the shoe and the seam on the upper.  I never had any problems with the uppers on the Kinvara 3, A5 or Peregrines.
  • I've had both Kinvara and A5 shoes in the past (I now use On running shoes) and I needed a half size bigger in the A5. Shoe sizing is not very exact (big understatement) and so varies both between brands and within a brand. I've also from time to time noticed inconsistency in different pairs of the same shoe.
  • RunLondon - what do you think of the On shoes? They've offered to send me a review pair but I haven't followed uo.
  • Would say that On shoes are definitely worth a try. I really like them (I use Cloudsurfer and Cloudracer)
  • I have a half size higher in the A5 than I do in the Kinvara per Pete's suggestion. I find that the A5 might be a hair wider than the Kinvara, but otherwise when laced properly they fit snugly. I think if it were any shorter my big toe would be too close to the fron tof the shoe.
  • I very recently purchased the A5s and Kinvara 3s, ironically after finding this site to replace my Brooks which went over the 450 mile mark.  I purchased them through running warehouse where it told me to put in my current shoe (Brooks Pureflow, size 10.5) and in both cases of the Saucony's had a size 11 as the 'best fit.'  Even better than that, on the site, it showed exactly how the shoe would fit - snug through the middle with a little extra toe room.  At this point I have ran a 4-mile track run and a 10k race in the flats, and they feel fine (I have also been on multiple runs in the 3s, including an 8-miler yesterday).  I am glad I got an 11 in both shoes as a 10.5, although it felt good with the Pureflows, would've been overly snug with the 3s and A5s.  I also have had no blisters - however, as a piece of advice for tintallie, I always put moleskin on my 'hotspots' before I go for a long run (over 10k).  I even occassionally use them for a 10k, if I'm going to be racing it hard.  So, for the 10k this past weekend, my first race in the A5s I did use the moleskin.  Recap of my Saturday race, the first in the flats, is at the link below:


  • Hi Runblogger and Runlondon - just adding a comment regarding the Saucony's and On's. 

    I'm curious to try the A5's having just used the Kinvara 3's the past year. I ran the marathon for the Ironman Challenge Copenhagen w/out socks in the Kinvara 3's and they worked great (other than the slight chafing on my ankle). I don't like wearing socks in any of my shoes and sounds like the A5's in the same size would work and be just as light/responsive/comfortable as the Kinvara's. 

    I picked up a pair of the On Cloudracer's and have done a few runs in them w/out socks. After a few 10 miles runs, I found they work pretty well, but found the bone right below my toes (metatorsal?) got pretty sore vs the Saucony's (or even the Kswiss kwicky blade lights). They feel a little "longer" and not as snug as the Kinvara's. I was able to wear 10.5 US in On's and Kinvara's. No blisters or hotspots for any of the shoes for me. 
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