Saucony Kinvara 11 Intro
The Kinvara 11 runs true to size and provides a snug, but comfortable midfoot fit. This shoe gives runners the benefit of a 4mm heel-to-toe offset.
I tested the Kinvaras on road and natural-surface paths; they performed well on both. I appreciate that the shallow ridges in the outsole do not pick up road debris or rocks.
The ride is soft but snappy — ideal for long runs, thresholds, and tempos. Kinvara’s die-hard fan base will be pleased to discover that this version stays true to the run-ready spirit of the shoe.
They provide an expert balance of comfort and performance.
Saucony Kinvara 11 First Impressions
My first real test-run in the Kinvara 11 was 8 miles with hill sprints at the end – the perfect opportunity to get a feel for the shoe’s ride and performance at variable grades and speeds.
As usual, they required absolutely zero break-in. Nothing feels finer than a fresh pair of Kinvaras!
They felt as peppy, lightweight, and nimble as version 10, maybe even slightly more responsive as a result of the new midsole foam technology.
Saucony Kinvara 11 Sole Unit
New to the Kinvara 11 is the PWRRUN foam midsole that replaces the EVA+ midsole of last year’s model. There is an additional 5.5 millimeters of foam in version 11 than version 10.
The difference in feel is fairly negligible between the EVA+ and PWRRUN. What matters is that PWRRUN continues to deliver on the Kinvara promise by striking the perfect balance between responsiveness and lightweight cushion.
For better or for worse, very little injection-blown rubber is used in the outsole to keep the shoe’s weight down, leaving the foam midsole exposed to ground contact.
Blown rubber is only placed in the most crucial locations under the big toe and under the lateral side of the heel.
The result is that wear is immediately noticeable after just the first run. However, Saucony claims that the PWRRUN foam is its most durable yet.
Saucony continues to employ the chevron-pattern in the outsole to provide appropriate flexibility and distribute shock evenly across the sole.
On the Kinvara 11, the chevrons have a more beveled edge than years past which contributes to a more slippery ride in wet conditions.
Guidance lines continue to extend through the center of the outsole from heel to toe, encouraging a straight and smooth transition from landing to toe-off.
The FORMFIT insole remains a staple in the Kinvara line and further enhances the contoured and comfortable fit of the shoe. The heel-to-toe offset is 4mm – the Kinvara standard.
Saucony Kinvara 11 Upper Unit
The seamless Kinvara 11 upper is soft and comfortably hugs the foot. With very minimal printed overlays (Saucony logo only) and engineered woven mesh, the upper feels great against the foot and moves naturally with every stride.
Saucony didn’t make any major updates to the upper this go-around. The changes are in the details.
Stitched leather-like overlays at the top three shoe-lace eyelets are imprinted with the Kinvara 11 name on both the medial and lateral sides of the shoe, giving it a premium touch.
The center shoe-lace eyelet closest to the toes has been eliminated. I applaud this seemingly minor update that actually improves the feel of the shoe.
The laces are no longer pulled down near the top to the metatarsal heads, which I appreciate. In previous models, I unlaced the shoes and re-laced them, skipping the center eyelet near the toes. I am happy not to have to do that anymore!
As previously mentioned, I’m happy to report that the “Achilles Pillows”, a new feature in the Kinvara 10, did not make a reprisal in this year’s update to the shoe.
The heel counter has been returned to normal in the Kinvara 11 and it feels great. Likewise, the tongue is just right – not too pillowy, not too flimsy.
Really, the only disappointing feature of the shoe is that the laces are short.
They definitely do not provide enough real estate to work with if you’re a runner who needs to use the upper eyelets for the “runner’s lace” configuration in order to prevent heel slippage.
Saucony Kinvara 11 Conclusion
The Kinvara has long been Saucony’s flagship shoe for good reason. The Kinvara 11 is true to form and continues to provide lightweight, high-performing comfort for neutral runners.
Minimal updates improve the functionality of the shoe and give a premium feel. I’m looking forward to keeping these shoes in my rotation through spring half marathon training and summer mileage.
We purchased a pair of Saucony Kinvara 11 from runningwarehouse using our own money. This did not influence the outcome of this review, written after running more than 50 miles in them.