Saucony introduced an update to the popular Kinvara, the Kinvara 3 and a new Kinvara family member, the Kinvara TR or Kinvara trail. Both of these shoes share FlexFilm tm technology in the upper "to secure the foot on the platform throughout the gait cycle." They also share a 4mm heel to toe drop.
|Kinvara 3 and TR. Click to see details.|
I have had 2 pairs of the Kinvara 1 and they were my first low drop (4mm) trainer and racer. I liked them a lot but found the upper became somewhat sloppy over time and the road feel was a bit mushy due to the raised soft rubber lugs. Kinvara 3 appears to resolve both these issues.
Upper: From what I could see the FlexFilm is used extensively in thin strips to secure the upper to the midsole. With this improvement I believe the overall shoe will track better and over time the upper will stay secure on the midsole platform.
Outer Sole: Earlier versions of Kinvara exhibited accelerated wear in the toe off area and on the lateral side of the mid foot for me. In the photo below the red arrows indicate the addition of harder more wear resistant outer sole materials. These patches are broader than the black lugs and look ideally placed. I believe the mid foot patches will also provide a more stable landing point in that key area enhancing the stability of the gait cycle.
|Kinvara 3 -harder outsole materials at red arrows|
New heel outer sole design: The heel is now beveled to reduce heel striking and move the gait cycle forward onto the mid foot. Hard rubber was removed from the medial side of the heel area.
Weight: 7.7 oz men's size 9
Heel/Toe Drop: 4mm
Available: 5/1/2012 and 7/1/2012 different colors available different dates
This new trail member of the Kinvara family shares the use of FlexFilm technology in the upper with the Kinvara 3 as well as the 4mm heel to toe drop. It weighs 8.5 oz men's size 9 and has forefoot stack(midsole and outer sole) height of 12.5mm and heel of 16.5mm. It has a rock plate running from the forefoot almost to the mid foot. I imagine this shoe will have a quite firm stable ride over varied terrain. Kinvara TR is a strong new contender in the light (<10 oz) , low drop, yet protective trail runner category
The lugs look effective on most all surfaces and are less pronounced than the Saucony Peregrine's . The outer sole includes protruding small studs in addition to the wave shaped lugs. I might worry about mud accumulation given overall tight spacing of outer sole traction.
Weight: 8.5 oz men's size 9
Stack heights: 12.5mm forefoot 16.5 mm heel.