Refinement is central to an effective modern day running shoe. Most brands and shoe generation you come across are more often than not are a tweaking of previous models and the Saucony Kinvara 4 is no different. Where this particular line of Saucony has really shined in the past is with their minimalist approach, giving you as pure a running experience as possible with just enough of each factor to ensure you remain wholly satisfied as a customer, and the Saucony Kinvara 4 is no different. For advanced runners of all ages, this should definitely be a shoe towards the top of your wish list.
The minimalist approach is not limited to the integral shoe design. The appearance, especially on the upper of the shoe follows a similar pattern but this is something that works to the shoe’s advantage. Any design lines present give the show a look of motion and of excellent running capabilities, and when combined with the three color scheme present is looks sufficiently bold enough to make the shoe identifiable.
As previously mentioned, the materials utilized in the Saucony Kinarva 4 are excellent and help contribute to the real minimalist approach of the brand. FlexFilm fabric, utilized on the overlays of the soft fabric provides sufficient room and support on the outer walls, whilst the ribcage design employed on the roof of the toe box does not offer quite as much protection as the previous model, but this means the excellent flexibility rate of the shoe is kept intact.
A similar approach is taken in the Saucony Kinvara 4 in relation to the insole of the shoe. The foam utilized on the insole is incredibly comfortable and is uninterrupted by additional support and structure, yet remains incredibly cushioning to the foot. Wear in times for the insole itself are also reduced compared to other shoes for most users, which is a refreshing change when compared to other bulkier models available.
Once again, there is a small evolution of the sole design but not a huge difference, meaning that many of the features of the Kinvara 3 are retained. The Saucony Kinvara 4 has hard reinforced rubber pads on your usual high wear areas, with a lighter material in-between to save weight. There has been a small reconfiguring on the heel cushioning, with Saucony’s ProGrid system being replaced with Powergrid, that is just as durable yet a little lighter on the foot. Rigidity remains the same.
This means that in terms of cushioning and comfort of the shoe, the Saucony Kinvara 4 comes out with multiple boxes ticked. The heel itself is a little lower by some 4mm compared to previous generations, but the ride is smooth and forgiving with enough force being exerted during the strike to feel like you are going places without discomfort. Pronation was also not an issue thanks to the excellent heel and outsole of the shoe.
The flexible nature of the Kinvara 4 is also something to be admired. With the reworking of the upper sole of the shoe, one would perhaps expect a less controlled exertion through the foot but the overall stability and control are still excellent. This also makes hill climbs and strike pleasurable thanks to good arch support throughout the midsole.
- This is a tried and trusted formula, that adjusts what was found previously to turn it into a more refined product
- Much lighter than its predecessors, making it easier on the foot
- Good breathability and overall wear
- Excellent ankle support thanks to the extensive insole design
- Good cushioning from one of the simplest yet most effective sole designs available
- The toe box is rather narrow, which may start to become an issue for users with large feet
- Upper material is a little less durable than previous incarnations, although for most this will not be an issue
The Saucony Kinvara 4 is proof that simplicity in a shoe where rigorous testing and modeling has occurred is not an issue. This is a durable, effective and competitively priced product that should be considered if you are in the market for a running shoe that is ideal for intermediate and experienced runners. I hope that this Saucony Kinvara 4 review has been helpful.