Saucony Progrid Kinvara 2 Shoes

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Manufacturer Description

Designed to give you exactly and only what you need, the Kinvara 2 features a lower heel-to-toe ratio that’s built to serve your natural stride. The sole is an ultra-lightweight, durable foam and the grooves cut into the sole (or “siping”) are flat instead of curved. This provides just a shade more stability, which can really matter during the end stages of a run. The upper is a mono-filament mesh that, though incredibly light and breathable, always keeps out the dirt and stones. It’s all completed with a foam heel collar for a snug performance fit.

Features

  • Memory Foam Heel Pods

    Side View
  • Hydrator Collar Lining
  • Endoskeleton Synthetic Lockdown
  • EVA Sockliner
  • Heel ProGrid LITE Midsole
  • High Abrasion EVA (EVA+) Midsole
  • XT-900 Outsole
  • Measured size 9
    • Weight – 220 g (7.8 oz)
    • Forefoot width – 95.3 mm (3.75 in)
    • Stack Height – Heel (20.9 mm), Toe (17 mm), Drop (3.9 mm) without insole
    • Insole – 3 mm
  • Retail – $90

YMMV Review

The Saucony Kinvara was the shoe of 2010. Since it was so popular and had many of the features I look for in a shoe I figured I would give the new model a try. The Kinvara 2 is a lightweight neutral shoe for speedwork, racing, and daily training.

Top View

Design ★★★★☆

The Saucony Kinvara 2 has a fair amount of features for a lightweight shoe. The upper is made out of a mono-filament mesh that is breathable and lightweight, but does not allow any dirt or rocks in. There are synthetic support features attached to the back of the mesh in strategic locations. This snugs the foot down a little more securely. On the inside of the upper is an open mesh, it starts just in front of the heel and wraps the around the front portion of the foot. This open mesh is breathable and also visible through the outer mesh. The tongue is also made of an open mesh and is connected by a gusset for 2/3 the length of the tongue. The lacing system is standard. In the heel of the upper Saucony uses their Hydrator lining. This lining is used in their apparel collection to wick away sweat and provide next to skin comfort. In the heel there are also memory foam heel pods to create a heel pocket for a snug fit. The heel of the shoe has more of a structured feel to it from the rest of the upper, this holds the heel securely in place. Inside the shoe is an EVA sockliner for added comfort and cushioning.

Tongue

The midsole is made out of two materials. There is Progrid Lite under the heel for more cushioning. Progrid Lite is Saucony’s lightest Progrid, 20% lighter than EVA with great cushioning. The shoes also feature full length EVA+ cushioning. This is a lightweight EVA with good durability. The sole of the shoe uses XT-900 carbon rubber in strategic places for durability and traction. The sole also has some siping grooves cut in to provide a bit more stability. The Saucony Kinvara 2 comes in at only 220 g (7.8 oz). The heel/toe drop is only 3.9 mm.

Fit ★★★½☆

The upper of the Saucony Kinvara 2 is lightweight and very pliable. There is only a slight arch in the shoe. The shoe is a neutral shoe so there is not any stability built in. The forefoot is regular width, it fit me really well. The toe area is slightly on the narrow side. I have read from others that the toe section was on the tight side and it was only slightly tight for me. The volume of the shoe is good and the heel is medium width. The memory foam in the heel does a good job keeping your heel locked. Since the shoe is flexible, I have had no issues with my foot moving around.  I am a size 9 in most shoes and the size 9 worked well for me.  If you like the feel of the shoes but find the toe area a bit narrow, you can size up ½ a size to get more room.

Shoe Sole

Performance ★★★½☆

The Saucony Progrid Kinvara 2 Shoes are a pleasure to run in. They are really cushioned. The whole shoe is soft making for a really soft run. I could feel some of the bigger rocks through the sole but all the little ones are gobbled up by the cushioning. The lightweight upper does a good job breathing. The fine mesh keeps out rocks and debris. The one interesting thing I have noticed with the upper is that when my foot flexes the upper bends next to the laces where it is a bit stiffer. This spot is a bit awkward when it flexes, not uncomfortable but just different. At times you can feel it flex back and forth with your feet.

The shoes being so light make it easy to run fast. But the soft midsole makes them feel more like a cushioned trainer. The other thing I have noticed is that there is a limited amount of carbon rubber on the sole. The sections that are not rubber seem to be wearing down quicker than expected. Even the rubber sections are wearing on the quicker side. I do not expect to get much over 300 miles out of these shoes. We will see.

Sole Wear on the Outside Edge

Overall ★★★½☆

Overall the Saucony Kinvara 2 shoes are a well put together shoes. I think they are a good option for a lower drop cushioned shoe. The midsole is really cushioned which makes for a comfortable run. I ran a bit on trail but these are much better on the road. I have run short and long runs in them and they performed well for both. I would not hesitate running marathon distance in these shoes. The toe area is a bit tight but overall the fit is good for many foot types. Unfortunately I do not think they will last much more than 300 miles but we will see. As for being the most popular shoe of 2010, I am not sure I see it. As always, your mileage may vary.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Soft Cushioning
  • Good fit for many foot types

Cons

Click to See Larger
  • Tight toe section
  • Wearing out quickly

Adventures

About the Author

I am an avid runner, cyclist, swimmer, hiker, climber, skier and many other activities that would make this list too long. I started Your Mileage May Vary Reviews in Early 2011 to combine two of my passions: sports and gear.

3 Responses to “Saucony Progrid Kinvara 2 Shoes”

  1. great review. just went to the local running store and they recommended these to me. your assessment is very similar to all the others ive read online and am looking forward to getting out and running on them when my body is tired of my vibrams

  2. The original Kinvaras are amazing shoes, and I don’t feel much difference at all in the Kinvara 2s. I trained for and ran my first marathon using only the original Kinvaras and they were great for both the long runs and the sprints I did. I recently moved to the new Kinvara 2s and the only difference I noticed were a couple of style changes that dont affect performance at all. The only problem I have had with them was when they were brand new and I was still breaking them in, they rubbed the outside of my ankle and gave me a pretty bad cut. But other than that they are amazing shoes and I am looking forward to using the Kinvara chain of shoes for many more years.

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