Saucony Kinvara 11 Review – Lightweight, Comfortable, Breathable

Saucony Kinvara 11 review

Today, I’m going to be doing the Saucony Kinvara 11 review.

Let’s give you a few facts and figures on the new Kinvara 11.

The Kinvara 11 is a lightweight neutral road running shoe. It runs off the same four-millimeter offset as the previous version of the shoe. So that’s 28.5mm on the heel and 24.5mm on the forefoot.

When it comes down to weight for the Kinvara 11, the men’s shoe comes in at 8.2 oz and the women’s comes in at a staggering 7 oz.

Sizing-wise, the Kinvara 11 fits my foot shape really well. The shoe is available in three different colorways for men and for women.

Now, let me give you a few more details about this new lightweight running shoe.

Obviously, this is the 11th version of the Kinvara, so the shoe has a lot of heritage at Saucony. The first Kinvara I reviewed on this blog is the Saucony Kinvara 7.

Upper

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The Kinvara comes with a nice engineered mesh which is lightweight and breathable and very supportive fit. You have the FlexFilm overlays on the upper just to give you a bit more support.

The shoe carries the internal strap system to give you a bit more of a specific hold around that midfoot.

We’ve also got this new woven heel support, again, to give you a bit more hold and a bit more lockdown in the rear of the foot.

Midsole

The Kinvara 11 uses Saucony’s PWRUN compound through the midsole, but we’ve also got a top sole of their new compound PWRUN+.

This sits under the insole and is 25% lighter than the EVERUN top sole used in the Saucony Kinvara 10.

The Kinvara offers Saucony’s FORMFIT contoured footbed which is designed to give you a custom-like fit and a comfortable feel.

Outsole

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When it comes to the outsole of the shoe, we’ve got the TriFlex outsole which is designed to be durable but super flexible.

On the high-wear areas, we have Saucony’s XT 900 carbon rubber to give you a bit more durability and improved traction.

That’s a bit of information about the new Kinvara 11, but let’s get stuck into the things we’ve liked and maybe the things we disliked about this new lightweight training shoe from Saucony.

What we like

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Let’s go through the things that we’ve liked first.

Comfort

The first thing we have to talk about is the initial comfort of this shoe. First time on, first run, the Kinvara 11 felt super comfortable.

Yes, it has gone up in weight from some of the previous older versions that I ran in, but I think that added weight for me is a massive bonus.

At 8.2 oz for men and 7 oz for women, the Kinvara 11 is still a light shoe. I think the added weight comes from a deeper more cushioned midsole.

You’ve also got a much more cushioned tongue and a bit more padding in that heel collar. So, straight out of the box for comfort, this shoe performs super well.

Fit

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The next positive is the fit of this shoe. I think this is one super good fitting shoe. The first time I put it on, it felt like I was having a nice comfortable hug around my midfoot.

It almost felt like the shoe had been made for my foot shape.

So, with that internal sleeve in the shoe and with this new woven heel support, you feel super locked in, really dialed in to that midfoot, and really locked in to that heel cup.

The internal makings of the shoe is very soft and very plush and the upper is very soft and very plush.

So, if you’re a triathlete looking for a shoe where you’re going to be going into it barefooted, this shoe would run really comfortable with no socks on, too.

For a shoe that’s quite stripped back and quite light in weight, this is a super comfortable fitting shoe and a really comfortable upper.

Performance

Last but not least when it comes to positives is performance. when I first started running in this shoe, I was having a few calf issues.

The first few runs were out of the box super steady. In a pretty short four or five mile-run, this shoe felt really comfortable straight away.

It actually felt like it helped my calf through that recovery process. As my calves start to improve and settle down, I started to push on a bit in the shoe with a few tempos, a few interval sessions, a bit of speed work, and some longer runs.

What I can say is this shoe really does cross over to every aspect of your running. On them short steady runs, it was super comfortable. On the longer runs, it was really comfortable.

When I wanted to get up on my toes and push on a bit, the shoe became really responsive but still a really comfortable secure ride. Talking about the Ride, make sure you check out our review of the Saucony Ride ISO 2.

Again, the Kinvara 11 is definitely a shoe that will cross over to all aspects of my running, and I can see myself spending a lot more comfortable mileage in this shoe.

That’s a lot of the positives in the new Kinvara 11 and I’ve got to be honest, I really have been pleasantly surprised by this shoe.

I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about it, but it has really impressed me.

Unfortunately, there are a few things we’re not fully convinced about.

What we don’t like

Outsole setup

The first thing is the outsole. There’s a lot of exposed EVA rubber on this outsole and I’m not a massive lover of that.

I always think it’s a good thing to have a little bit more blown rubber on the outside just for durability. We’ve got these little areas under the big toe and on the outer side of the heel, but it’s not a lot, to be honest.

I do load quite heavily through the outside of my midfoot and I tend to wear shoes down quite quickly there.

This rubber looks to be holding up pretty good after 50 miles, but I think again a little bit more blown rubber on that outsole and we’d get a lot more durability from the Kinvara.

The next thing that is another durability issue has to do with the overlays.

Upper overlays

Unfortunately, we’ve got these FlexFilm overlays on the toe box and they’re positioned right on that flex point of the toe box, which is an area of the shoe that takes a lot of stress.

After 50 miles, these overlays started to come away from the upper, which is a little bit disappointing. However, it’s only a slight negative and it’s definitely not going to affect the performance of this shoe.

That is a bit of information about how I felt running in the Kinvara 11 for 50 miles.

Now let’s do some scoring.

Scoring

Price

The first thing to score is always the price. The Kinvara 11 is really affordable and it’s not going to break the bank. As you know, prices go up and down, so it would be better to check today’s price for men and women.

In today’s shoe market, I think the Kinvara 11 is a pretty fair price. I’ve definitely spent some miles in some more expensive shoes of late that feel less responsive and comfortable than this.

The Kinvara 11 is a shoe that will really cross over all aspects of your running. So, if you’re after a shoe to do everything, I think that’s a really fair price.

So for the price, the Kinvara scores 8/10

Comfort and Performance

Where do I start with the Kinvara 11?

This iteration has really impressed me. Sometimes, you get shoe and you’re not sure whether you’re going to like it.

First time out of the box, first run, I fell in love with this shoe. The performance, fit, and comfort are great for me.

It’s that nice balance between a lightweight stripped-back responsive shoe, but then it’s still plush enough to give you comfortable longer mileage.

I can’t really fault the performance of this shoe and I think I’m going to be spending a lot of time and a lot of comfortable time running in this shoe.

So for comfort and performance, I’ve got to score it big and give it 9/10.

Durability

Unfortunately, this is going to be the only aspect of this shoe that maybe we’re going to mark down a bit. I really didn’t want to because I’ve loved my time in this shoe.

I started seeing overlays peeling off after 50 miles and a little bit of wear outside on that heel. This might be down to my poor running form, but whenever we see that in a shoe, we always feel a little bit let down.

This doesn’t mean Saucony didn’t have the expertise to make a really durable shoe as is the case with many other Saucony models, it’s just that they want to make one of the lightest running shoes on the market.

They’ve cut down on rubber, the upper, and the overlays to keep weight to a minimum for people who are really looking for a really lightweight running shoe.

So for durability, the Kinvara 11 is going to score 6/10.

Looks

Last on the list when it comes to scoring is looks.

This is the controversial part of the review and it’s super subjective. When I first saw the blue and white colorway, I did not like it at all. I think white on a running shoe especially in winter is not the best of colors.

White laces are quite a rare thing to see nowadays and the shoe has also got a white woven heel collar. I knew my Kinvara would start to look a little bit grubby after only 50 miles.

Then I saw the yellow and black colorway and my opinion changes right away. The yellow is a super cool looking shoe.

It also comes in an all-black colorway for men and women. So for looks, I’m going to give it a supercalifragilistic 7/10.

Gathering all them scores in, the Kinvara 11 comes in with a really strong 31/40.

Conclusion

Let’s wrap this Kinvara 11 review up with a quick conclusion.

All I can say is I have been really impressed with this shoe. I wasn’t sure I was going to be, but every run I’ve done in it has felt super comfortable.

The Kinvara 11 is one of the best-fitting shoes I think I’ve ever put on my feet.

So if you’re in the market for a lightweight training shoe and you’re on a budget and you can only buy one shoe, the Kinvara 11 is the answer.

If you want a shoe that’s going to cross over all aspects of your running whether it be speed work, track work, marathons, ultra-marathons, the Kinvara 11 is definitely a shoe that can take all them aspects of your running on.

So if you’ve got the opportunity, I would definitely recommend checking out the Kinvara 11.

This is another review done at Steadyfoot. I really hope you enjoyed it guys and hope you found it useful.

Get involved. Have you run in the Kinvara 11? Have you run in some of the previous models? Do you prefer the older shoes or do you prefer the new 11th iteration?

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