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Our verdict

The Saucony Kinvara 12 is slightly lighter (10g) and more streamlined than the Endorphin Speed but its not as good in every way. I loved the Kinvara series over the years and this is an OK evolution, but there are better shoes even in the Saucony Range, never mind competitors right now doing the same lightweight job.

  • Positive
  • Kinvara fans will love the tradition Kinvara feel
  • Upper is good looking and a great smooth fit.
  • 4mm drop and lightweight make this shoe a midfoot strikers dream
  • Negative
  • Endorphin range has surpassed the Kinvara technology
  • Lacks the performance responsiveness of many lightweight racer trainers
  • What we thought
  • Technical info
  • Runner reviews (0)

First impressions

Compared to some of the fantastic lightweight perfromance shoes that are hitting the market this season, the Kinvara 12 now unfortunately feels boring and dated. There are honestly now plenty of better lightweight shoes on the market now including the Saucony Endorphin Speed, Sketchers Razor+, adidas adizero Boston or the NB FuelCell Prism to name a few. Huge Kinvara fans of which there are plenty will like the new product but it is time to move on to better pastues for me. 

 

Midsole

Compared to other shoes on the market - the Kinvara 12 new feels very firm indeed, even with a thin layer of PWRRUN foam under the foot. Once the king of lightweight, stripped back training shoes, this shoe now feels like a bit of a dinosaur. The midsole ride is boring and offers none of the energy return modern racer trainers can provide. 

Upper

Striking and great looking as always. The upper is seamless and the tongue fits great, although overall the shoe does fit pretty narrow. 

Sole

Not much to say really, as with all Kinvara's this shoe offers the minimum amount of rubber possible to provide enough durability to use this shoe on a regular basis but ensuring the weight is kept as low as possible. Always a reasonable hard wearing deconsructed shoe, this Kinvara 12 was the same - good but nothing special. 

Conclusion

Left me scratching my head as to where this shoe would sit in my running shoe rotation - there is very little justification to have this shoe and an option any more. I have loved Kinvara's over the years but it is time to update the idea or leave it behind as a great shoe of the past. Foam technology in this category has moved on - I think it is time for Saucony to retire this once great franchise. 

Technical info

  • PWRRUN is a midsole material used for lightweight comfort, rebound, and durability.
  • Strategic Rubber placement in forefoot and heel offers added durability in high wear areas.
  • Engineered mesh comprises the upper, updated to be simple while providing lightweight breathability.

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