Durability: My greatest concern when I purchased the Kinvara 3's was durability. Would the sole wear as quickly as the Kinvara 2's, and would the upper get holes in the mesh. The uppers and the sole are a little more durable than the Kinvara 2's. I have gotten a small tear in the mesh on the outside of my left shoe, but nothing like the Kinvara 2's. I quickly wore a hole in the mesh on my Kinvara 2's leaving my big toe exposed to the elements. I was worried about the soles on the Kinvara 3's after my first few runs, because I could already see some wear. Fortunately, the soles did not continue to deteriorate at a rapid pace. In fact, after 300+ miles I still have a few long runs left in these shoes.
Comfort: I loved the Kinvara 2's, but the toe box was a little tight. The Kinvara 3's are a little roomier and provide a better fit on my wider foot. Like the Kinvara 2's, the best part about these shoes is their light weight paired with a low heel to toe drop of about 4 mm (per RunningWarehouse.com), which results in a comfortable, more minimal shoe. By no means are these "barefoot," zero-drop shoes, but they are a great transitional shoe for the runner looking to venture into the world of minimal running shoes without completely abandoning a cushioned ride. The Kinvara 3's do seem to be a little less flexible than the Kinvara 2's, which results in a slightly less minimal feel. This could be good or bad. Personally, I was thankful that the shoes were a little less flexible during my last Marathon, because it seemed to help delay muscle fatigue in my legs.
Appearance: Appearance isn't everything, but I'm a sucker for bright shoes with bright laces. The Kinvara 3 offers several color schemes that meet this criteria. Not sure I would wear them to dinner, but they are perfect for an early morning date with the pavement.
Final Verdict and Recommendations: As I stated in the opening paragraph, I chose to run the Rocket City Marathon in the Kinvara 3's. This was my third and most successful Marathon, resulting in a PR of 3:44. The decision to wear the Kinvara 3's was made after much deliberation and several long runs in various shoes. At 7.9 ounces (per RunningWarehouse.com), these shoes are light enough to race in, yet they provide the cushioning needed to compete in comfort. So far, this is the best "Marathon Shoe" I have found. My one recommendation to Saucony is that they continue to work on improving the durability of these shoes in their next generation. Please share your experiences with the Kinvara 3's and enjoy the pictures below.
Other Saucony Kinvara 3 Reviews: