Saucony Virrata/Kinvara 3

edited January 2013 in Saucony

Here's the situation. I started running a few months ago in Brooks Launch 12 mm drop shoes. I read about Merrell barefoot line and the Saucony Kinvara 3's on the site. I purchased the Flux Glove, zero drop, 4mm midsole, from Merrell in late december and have begun transitioning to them. So far I'm up to 1 mi. 3 times a week, and they feel great. I'm considering purchasing another 4mm or zero drop shoe with more cushion to rotate with as I move into full time zero drop running. So should I wait for the zero drop Virrata or purchase the 4 mm drop Kinvara 3 in the Saucony line? Any input is appreciated.




  • Not sure how you fit shoes, but if you're going to try the Kinvara, the Mirage might also be worth a look, too.  Personally I don't see the point in having two zero drop shoes if your goal is transition.
  • If I were in your shoes I'd go Kinvara as I like 4mm over long distance and I like to mix up drops, but can't give a firm opinion since I have not tried the Virrata yet.
  • Thanks guys for the input. Agreed on two zero drop shoes being redundant for transition. I'm going to give the Kinvara a shot. This site has been a great resource Pete, keep up the good work.
  • First run in the Kinvara 3 was 2 miles, easy midfoot stride for me in this shoe. Shoe was a big step up in cushion, but felt a little out of touch with the surface compared to the Flux Glove. I found myself slipping a few times to a mild heel strike and then correcting. I'm looking forward to rotating the two during transition and to improve my running form. I'll be watching for the Virrata review.
  • My LRS called today and said my new Saucony Virrata's were in. I was shocked since I thought they weren't due until mid February! I picked them up right away and tried them on. I got the black and citron ones and they look awesome. I couldn't run in them today because of blinding snow and sub zero wind chills here in Western New York. Straight temperature here is 7 degrees with wind chills near 20 below.

    Walking around, they feel great. Light and flexible, not quite as flexible as NB MR00's but more flexible than Kinvara 3's. The toebox is NOT wide at all, reminiscent of the original Kinvaras. They are definitely bullet shaped. I sized up to a size 12 from my normal size 11.5 and they feel like they'll work. Word of caution to those of you who have wide feet, these shoes probably aren't for you.

    Anyway, they feel great wearing around and I can't wait to run in them! I'll report back when I get some miles in them.

  • Darn I was hoping to try these but with the toe box width NOT wide this is a no go for me.  The Kinvara toe box was a bit snug on me so this will not work. Thanks for the mini review.
  • Just posted a guest review of the Virrata with comparisons to the Kinvara:
  • Maybe my feet are wider than your reviewer, but they definitely feel more narrow in the toebox for me than the Kinvara 3. In fact, I had to go a half size up due to the width. They seem to have more of a "straight" last comparable to Ride 5's. The Kinvara 3 last is slightly curved.
  • The only thing I'm worried about with the Virrata is that it might have a little too much cushion for my liking. I currently run in a pair of Hattori LC.
  • Well, I finally have had the opportunity to put some miles on my Virratas. All I can say is WOW! I'm impressed. I have approximately 20 different pairs of running shoes from different brands(all minimal and transitional) and nothing comes close. The ride is smooth as butter with a great transition from midfoot to toe off. They are soft, very similar to Kinvara 2's but with a lower heel (I prefer a soft"ish" midsole). They perform well for all distances, I think I'll wear them for my marathon in May (sorry trusty Kinvara 3's!), I've even worn them for tempo runs. Disclaimer: I'm not a huge fan of racing flats with super thin firm soles and never will Some faster runners may not prefer them for speedwork due to the softness and flexibility.

    Initially I was worried about the width in the forefoot, they seemed snug, but after sizing up a half size and getting some miles on them, there is plenty of room. My foot is average width though and I still think runners with wider feet will look for other options.

    The durability of the uppers seems like it will be okay and the only "knock" on the shoe is the durability of the outsole. After only approximately 30 miles on mine, the outsoles are showing wear. I used to tear up the outsoles on my Kinvara 1's and 2's prematurely and it looks like I'll do the same in the Virratas. There is a caveat, I DON'T CARE! If I have to replace these earlier then my other shoes, I will. They are that good!
  • I agree with Sentzation - also requested a half size up after running in my usual 10's, but I think I'm really going to like the Virrata. I also like a softish shoe for distance, and these feel great. 
  • I wouldn't care either if the shoes might wear out a little quick if the shoes are great.
  • Good to know about the half size up for width. I'm a size 15, so no upsizing option for me. I may pass on the Virrata until the next gen to see if width has changed and possibly improved durability. The Kinvara 3s and Flux Gloves are working well for me right now.

  • ok I was not a fan of either zero drop shoes (tried Altra, Skora, and the Pure Drift all a no go IMO).  Also not a big fan of the Kinvara 3.  So trying this shoe was a bit of a chance for me.  I was surprised by the width of the toe box (wider than the Kinvara to me).  Shoe felt great on and great running.  I have only put 14 miles on them but I really like them and this surprised the heck out of me.  Agree with Pete went up a half of size (from my normal 11.5 to 12 and it worked).  This one appears to be a winner.  Will wait and see how the durability is on the shoe.
  • Has anyone run in the Go Run and Virrata? I know the Go Run is 4mm drop but would be interested in peoples view of the comparrative ride, width, flex etc

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