Pumped Up Kicks: Saucony Kinvara 7
By Christa Davidson
The Saucony logo was inspired by the Saucony Creek which flows through the Pennsylvania town of Kutztown, where the shoe company has its origins. Saucony is a native word that seems to translate to: ‘the river’s mouth’. If you haven’t been schooled on the proper pronunciation before, here is your lesson. The brand name is pronounced ‘sock-a-knee’ and in learning about the shoe company’s history, I read that at one time this break down of pronunciation was printed on the shoe box. Now there is no reason for you to ever refer to the brand as ‘suh-cone-y’ or ‘sauce-a-knee’ or even ‘saw-cone-y’, ever again and you are knowledgeable enough to educate the shoe salesperson who mispronounces it. You’re welcome.
The teal/citron Kinvara 7 is a flashy, put your shades on, attention getting color combo. I noticed people weren’t looking me in the eye when I had these shoes on and the standard known greeting of “Hi. How are you?” was replaced by “Whoa! Nice shoes.” Even as conversation progressed, I noticed people kept glancing at the shoes like they just couldn’t look away. Saucony (say it properly in your head) makes this shoe in other color options for those who, like me, prefer a more subtle style of shoe. This ombre colour combination sees the teal moving forward from the heel and transitioning to the citron shade that wraps around the front.
I’ve run in other Saucony models but this was my first experience with the Kinvaras so I I’m giving you is my impressions of this shoe from a virgin viewpoint. If my foot could have sighed with pleasure when it slid into this shoe, it may have sounded x-rated. When I started running again five years ago, I was wearing stability shoes that felt like cement blocks on my feet so when I put shoes on that feel like I am wearing socks, it is a sensory treat. The Kinvara 7’s are light and cushiony but not overly so. They are designed to be a natural shoe and as such give you an honest feel of the surface you are running on. I ran in them on a treadmill, a track that is surfaced in rubber, on bare roads and just for kicks, on snowy roads with Yaktrax on. The shoe isn’t designed for the latter but with the help of extra grip I found it comfortable.
Saucony uses a cushioning technology in the midsole called Everun which has been used in other models bit is new to this shoe. In the Kinvara 7’s the Everun is used in the heel of the shoe for a more comfortable landing and takeoff. Imagine it as a layer of responsive, extra cushioning embedded into the midsole of the shoe. It’s like the icing between the Oreo’s cookie wafers, only unlike the icing it lasts through your whole run-meaning it doesn’t get eaten up over the kilometers. It’s as soft and sweet at the end of your run as it was in the beginning.
Flexfilm covers the areas around the front and is exactly what you imagine it to be from its name: a flexible film. Imagine it like super strong saran wrap. I appreciate this technology because whether you need to know it or not, I have an old lady bunion that compares to a foothill in Alberta. The adaptability of the Flexfilm gives my foot the ability to move and be how it needs to be while I run. It doesn’t feel restrictive or contained and there is no rubbing, which supports Saucony’s design theme of this being a natural shoe. It is a neutral shoe and suitable for runner’s who like and can tolerate running without extra support.
The last feature that is notable in this shoe is the Prolock lacing system that helps keep the shoe laced for a loose or snug fit. Behind the outer of the shoe, right around mid foot is an extra lace loop that helps to draw the sides of the shoe up and in depending how much tension you use, allowing the shoe to conform to your foot.
Saucony sponsored runner, David Freake is experienced with previous versions of this shoe and says, ‘The biggest difference (between the Kinvara 6 and 7) comes in the tooling of the outsole/topsole with the addition of Everun. You immediately notice the increase of energy return when you land in your gait cycle. From an upper standpoint you will find it very similar to the previous model’.
The Kinvara 7’s launch on March 1 and will be priced at $139.99.
February 18th, 2016