Monday, 26 July 2010

Shoe Review: Saucony Kinvara

The minimalist footwear revolution has been in full swing for several years now ever since the Nike Free appeared and made minimal mainstream. While some manufactures like Vibram have taken things to the extreme conclusion i.e. almost non-existent the first Saucony offering in this space is somewhere in between traditional and minimal.

The thinking here makes lots of sense. While its without doubt that our feet evolved to cover long distances unshod the reality is that most of us in the western world have been wearing footwear for most of our lives. The muscles in our feet and legs have become accustomed to this and simply throwing off our footwear and going minimal tends to result in many compensatory injuries.

The smart strategy is to move from full blown trainers to barefoot in a number of steps - if you pardon the pun. So some barefoot walking and exercises can be combined with a more minimal running shoe design. And this is where the Kinvara comes into its own.

The heel is lower than a conventional trainer without been super close to the ground, the forefoot too. The weight is reduced to a mere 218g, a number that many racers would be pleased to hit. And the shoe is softer and more flexible than a conventional trainer.

My first run was a bit strange, especially getting used to the softer ride but I quickly adapted and it started to feel more natural. I really noticed what was going on with my feet when I run, in a similar way that I do when wearing spikes for a grass session. I've now used them regularly for runs up to about an hour in length to give myself time to adjust to them. I reckon that to get the most out these type of shoes you should also do some specific foot and leg strengthening exercises to accelerate the rate at which your stability develops.

Time will tell how well these shoes wear so I will report back when they have several hundred miles on them.

1 comment:

saucony shoes said...

Good review for saucony shoes. This shoes is good shoes for running and very comfortable too.