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Saucony Kinvara 3: Photos of Spring 2012 Update Posted on

Saucony Kinvara just posted two photos of the Saucony Kinvara 3. The third iteration of the popular Kinvara, which is set to be released in Spring 2012, looks to be a bit more of an update to the original than the Saucony Kinvara 2, which mostly saw just a few tweaks to the upper. My contact at Saucony informed me that these photos are not necessarily the final production shoe, and that some changes might still be made. In any event, given the popularity of this shoe and my own very positive personal history with it, I thought I’d share the photos here.

As the photos below show (Saucony Kinvara 2 above, Saucony Kinvara 3 below), the upper looks to have undergone a more significant update, with what appear to be welded overlays extending in a striped pattern down the length of the shoe. It also looks as if the sole under the back of the heel has been sculpted a bit so that it does not extend as far back behind the heel counter. The 4mm heel-forefoot sole differential has been retained, though the geometry of the “lugs” under the forefoot looks to be a bit different.

Saucony Kinvara 2

Saucony Kinvara 2

Saucony Kinvara 3

Saucony Kinvara 3 – photo by Mario Fraioli of

The next two photos highlight the difference in outsole construction between the Kinvara 2 (top) and Kinvara 3 (bottom). As you can see, Saucony reduced the amount of rubber outsole on the medial side of the heel, and also reduced the number of triangular outsole lugs under the forefoot. It does not look like any rubber has been added under the lateral margin of the forefoot, which will be a disappointment to those who tend to chew up this region (I personally have not had a problem with durability in this area). That’s about the extent of what I can tell just from comparing photos, but I’ll hopefully be able to post more once I get my hands on a review pair, which hopefully will not be in the too distant future!


Saucony Kinvara 2 Sole

Saucony Kinvara 3 Sole

Saucony Kinvara 3 Sole – photo by Mario Fraioli of

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Recent Posts By Category: Running Shoe Reviews | Running Gear Reviews | Running Science
About Peter Larson

This post was authored by Peter Larson. Pete is a biology teacher, track/soccer coach, and dad (x3) with a passion for running, soccer, and science. If you'd like to learn a little bit more about who I am and what I do, click here, or visit


  1. Rkroadrunner says:

    Impossible to tell but I hope they widened the forefoot a few mm. I swear the Kinvara 2 is a tad more narrow than the original.

  2. I think the change in the pattern of triangles on the sole will help disputes pressure giving the lateral edge a bit of a loner life. Can’t wait to get in them!

  3. Lee Rice Epstein says:

    This will be an interesting update. I’m a big fan of the Kinvara in general, but the sole always feels a little “off.” So I’m liking the new pattern of the triangles in the second photo.

  4. The midsole foam looks suspiciously like the powergrid foam in the cortana.  Hmm… 

  5. I literally just got my new pair of Kinvara 2’s in the mail! Buyer’s remorse…

  6. Here’s also hoping for more width in the mid- and forefoot or 2E/4E models.

  7. I hope this new model is more durable than Kinvara…
    Nice shoes btw, but did only 500 km ;(

    • this shoe isn’t meant for more than 500km’s so no surprise on that.  the mirage and cortana are meant for higher mileage.  now, i think they may have changed the EVA in the kinvara 3 to address the durability issue but i bet they will be heavier.  see ya.

  8. Ethan Munang says:


  9. When you get a chance to review this, I’ll be interested to hear if they have lessened the arch any.  I want to like the Kinvara, but the arch kills it for me.  I know I’m in the minority, and Saucony is unlikely to change it, but I’m still hoping.

  10. TheBirdShoe says:

    Thanks Pete — I’m late to this post i know, but the lack of a more durable outer forefoot sole drives me crazy.  i want to love this shoe, but i have a pair of kinvara 2’s with less than 100 miles on them and that part of the sole is nearly gone.  i forced myself to switch from a solid heel strike into a forefoot strike about a year ago (which, though i hadn’t had a particular problem with a heel strike, did make me faster) and my natural forefoot strike is on the outer edge.  Bad news for the kinvara if you want it to last several hundred miles.  Can you recommend a shoe with a similar weight/drop/feel that has a more durable sole?  Based on your reviews (and a desire to do a bit more trail running), I’m tempted to switch to the NB MT101 as an everyday shoe — is the cushioning substantially less in that shoe?

  11. More Triangle! says:

    In my experience,  the only major design flaw of this otherwise great shoe is (very) poor outsole durability, particularly in the lateral margin of the farefoot…and Saucony responds with less outsole rubber in this area???  I am seriously considering developing a Kinvara retrofit business for outer midfoot strikers who want a few extra rubber triangles where it matters most.  

  12. More Triangle! says:

    Saucony just reported on a Runners World post that they will be adding more rubber to the forefoot lateral margin and also making the Kinvara 3 available in wide sizes.

  13. great shoe, even for a heavier person like me! Sad to hear that the durability is not that good. Have had about 70Km’s now they still look good… so far so good! Hope the 3 will be more durable!!!

  14. Not a lot of R&D has gone into this shoe since the Kinvara 1, one would think it’s time the price starts coming down of this shoe to reflect its lower bill of material and durability vs. heavier shoes. OK, I’m not that naive :)

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