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Saucony Kinvara 13, yellow with red logo, on a rock

Saucony Kinvara 13:
A Refined Classic
By Chief/Founder Matt Klein, Senior Contributor David Salas, and Contributors Andrea Myers and Megan Flynn

The Saucony Kinvara is the quintessential lightweight trainer. A shoe that provides just enough cushioning for some daily miles while being light and fast enough to do workouts and race in. The midsole still sits fairly close to the ground, which is extremely rare in a trainer or performance trainer from any of the major footwear companies out there. Despite not having a maximal stack height, the Kinvara has continued to be a favorite among a variety of runners and demonstrates that there is still a place for lighter weight, closer to the ground shoes in rotations.

Price: $119.95 at Running Warehouse
Weight: 7.2 oz, 213 g (men's size 9), 6.2 oz, 184g  (women's size 8)
Stack Height: 28.5 mm / 24.5 mm
Drop: 4 mm
Classification: Lightweight Daily Trainer / Workout Shoe

Saucony Kinvara 13, yellow with red logo, on a rock. medial side


Matt: The Saucony Kinvara 13 returns with a large weight drop and refined upper, making it an even lighter and better-fitting performance trainer. A breathable but secure upper provides a solid lock down while being far lighter than the previous. The sole continues to sit nicely between firm and soft. Featuring a highly flexible forefoot and a lower drop, the Kinvara 13 excels as a workout shoe and performance trainer for those who want a simple but fast shoe. 

David: The Saucony Kinvara 13 is a lightweight performance trainer for those looking to have a natural ride underfoot. The shoe does not have a dramatic drop and has good flexibility throughout the shoe. This is one of those shoes where it is "all you". There is just enough cushion to handle long runs and just enough durability for those that are looking for that in a daily training shoe. For me, this is a lightweight performance shoe great for long runs and fartleks. It isn't a shoe that has many bells and whistles but features a nice upper with good platform integration.

Andrea: The Saucony Kinvara line has been one of my favorites for years. The 4mm drop, lightweight cushioning, and flexible midsole makes it one of the most natural feeling shoes on the market. In recent years, the Kinvara had lost some flexibility and the shoe didn’t feel as natural as early versions. The Kinvara 12 moved closer to the original Kinvara in flexibility and performance and was definitely a step in the right direction. The 13 is the lightest Kinvara ever thanks to a redesigned upper that took over 1 oz. off the weight of the 12.

The Saucony Kinvara 13 is Saucony’s lightweight, mildly cushioned, neutral trainer. I have run (and raced) in many versions of the Kinvara and for me, the 13 has the best fit and most natural ride. The PWRRUN cushioning is soft enough for easy runs and responsive enough for strides and intervals. The redesigned mesh upper disappears on the foot and gives the Kinvara a slipper-like feel. The Kinvara 13 is definitely in the running for the best lightweight neutral trainer of 2022.

Megan: Saucony’s Kinvara line is known for being a classic lightweight, low-stack daily trainer and the Kinvara 13s stay true to this, with a few subtle changes to improve the shoe. This newer version weighs in ~1oz. lighter than the previous model without taking away from the ride or comfort of the shoe. The change in weight can likely be attributed to the new mono mesh upper design with reduced overlays and increased breathability. The Kinvara line has been one of my favorites for a while, and I was pretty excited when these showed up for testing. Upon initially holding them, I could tell they were lighter than the previous model. Upon putting them on, it was immediately clear that they had a better midfoot lockdown. The lightweight quality combined with the responsiveness of the PWRRUN foam make the Kinvaras a versatile shoe to be used from easy runs and down to interval-type work. The modifications made to the Kinvara 13s make them the smoothest, most responsive, and lightest version yet. They’ll continue to be a top choice for me as a daily trainer.

The Kinvara 13 is a minimal, lightweight daily trainer with a relatively simple design compared to many newer trainers which have started to include different types of plates. To have a shoe that sticks to the basics and is a very natural feeling shoe, it is a great option to have to work on form and gait mechanics. In addition, the low stack allows for increased ground feel which is important for proprioceptive awareness. The PWRRUN midsole’s flexibility allows for natural movement and mechanics of the foot while the lightweight quality allows for quick turnover, say if you wanted to do strides at the end of an easy run, for example. Overall, the Kinvara 13s continue to be a great option as a back-to-basics, classic, neutral, daily trainer.

Saucony Kinvara 13, yellow with red logo, on a rock. upper


Matt: The Saucony Kinvara 13 fits me true to size in my normal men's US size 10. The width is normal throughout the length of the shoe with a little extra width in the forefoot. The volume is slightly low as the mesh sits slightly lower at the forefoot. The engineered mesh is extremely breathable, but has strategically placed overlays that secure the foot well. The heel counter is significant and locks the heel in well. There is some heel collar cushioning, but those with heelsensitivities should be cautious. The upper at the heel is thicker, then starts to thin slightly as you get to the midfoot/forefoot. The tongue is gusseted and sits securely against the foot. The laces can be tightened to get a locked in fit. The heel and midfoot are plenty secure that I did not need to lace lock the shoe. The forefoot opens slightly and has specific panels on the medial and lateral side that provide some stretch. The upper has solid security and despite some trail use, I never had any slippage. It is light enough that I forgot about it most of the time, but turning quickly during fast efforts gave me plenty of confidence that my foot would stay on the platform. Overall, the fit is light, secure and fairly normal width in the heel and forefoot with a slight increase in room in the forefoot.

David: I really liked the upper of Kinvara 12 and so I was a little nervous about the upper update. They knocked it out of the park. The dimensions are done great. The width is normal through the heel and midfoot with a normal to slightly wide forefoot. The engineered mesh feels a little more plush on foot than the previous model 12 but still lighter and more airy. The tongue is lightly padded and leans right in between that thin performance tongue and a padded training tongue. There are minimal overlays throughout the upper but where they are placed they do not irritate or impede. The upper is very well done and very cozy for the weight the shoe is able to maintain. There is a heel counter that goes up about 1/2 to 2/3 of the calcaneus along the back and extends slightly forward towards the midfoot. It is lightly padded and integrated well. Overall the weight to reinforcement ratio here is done great. The upper is incredibly lightweight but still locks down well and is very comfortable throughout. I think it should also be noted that I did not need to heel lock the upper on this shoe, as I have for many of the recent offerings. The dimensions on this model are done quite well.

Andrea: The Saucony Kinvara 13 fits true to size in my usual women’s 9.5. This is the best fitting Kinvara I have worn. The breathable and soft mesh upper is made of several panels and does an excellent job of locking the foot into place. The mesh is soft enough on the interior of the shoe that those who prefer sockless running could do so. There is enough width across the ball of the foot that I did not experience any hotspots on my 5th MTP (little toe joint), which is a problem I did have in previous versions of the shoe. There is a firm external heel counter and a lightly padded internal heel collar that I did not notice at all. The tongue is thin, gusseted, and extends further up the front of the ankle than previous versions of the Kinvara. I think that the added tongue length contributes to the slipper-like feel of the shoe, as it is an additional feature that helps keep the tongue in place. There is a black felt Saucony logo on the front of the tongue that protects the front of the ankle from the laces. The flat laces contribute to the shoe’s excellent lockdown without lace locking.. There are not many shoes that contour to my foot as well as the Kinvara 13.

Megan: The Kinvara 13s fit true to size in terms of length and width. The heel and midfoot fit like a slipper, with the mesh upper and gusseted tongue hugging the foot. The lightweight, breathable, mono-mesh upper allows the shoe to be more adaptable to various foot shapes/sizes by conforming to the foot. The tongue is padded with a built-in sock adding to the comfort by essentially hugging the foot inside the shoe. The heel counter provides stability in the rearfoot and locks the heel in well with more internal cushioning toward the top of the heel. The midfoot provides excellent lockdown of the foot thanks to the lacing system, gusseted tongue, and mesh upper conforming to the foot. The tongue extends up to the ankle providing a more secure and comfortable fit. The forefoot opens up slightly allowing for natural mechanics of the foot throughout the stride. There is a mild toe bumper providing slight protection from the elements as well. Since I’ve started wearing the Kinvaras (Kinvara 7 was my first pair I believe), the 13s have been the best fitting yet.

bare outsole of the kinvara with two pieces of outsole on toe and heel


Matt: The Saucony Kinvara 13 is a great example of a performance trainer. Coming in at 7.2 /6.2 ounces (men's size 9, women's size 8), the PWRRUN midsole provides a balance of cushioning and responsiveness that lends itself to both running fast and training if you are used to lower stack heights. The ride is far closer to the ground than current maximalist shoes, but is consistent with previous Kinvaras. The heel does have a bevel, which provides a solid transition also thanks to the decoupling. The sole is flexible throughout the shoe, particularly through the forefoot. This is a shoe that while cushioned, requires a solid amount of toe mobility to transition through. There is a 4mm drop, but like many Kinvaras is not something I noticed (and weirdly feels more like 6-7mm drop, like almost all the Kinvaras I have run in).

The ride provides a unique balance of having enough cushion for shorter daily runs and being light enough for workouts. Most people used to current shoe design will find this shoe may work better as a workout shoe, especially if they are looking for a non-plated, flexible shoe. There is enough cushioning for me for runs up to 8 miles, but then I start to fatigue. Those used to more maximal shoe designs will want to take time to transition into this shoe as it requires more work from your body and especially the ankle. The sole and design make it a great workout shoe as it responds well to faster speeds. It is not the fastest shoe given the flexibility, but does quite well on tempo runs, fartleks and intervals. Most people may not be able to use this as a long run shoe due to this design not being as common, but for moderate to shorter length workouts it will do well.

Durabilty-wise, the Kinvara 13 is doing extremely well. I have 35 miles in my pair with almost no wear on the outsole. The upper, despite being a little dirty, has no seams loose. The original Kinvaras were known to tear at the upper, but the design of this upper looks to be durable. The outsole has traction that is best for road or track. The small flex grooves do grip the road well even on wet surfaces, but the exposed outsole may get torn up on trails. I expect a normal amount of miles for a lightweight performance trainer and potentially more given the current progression.

David: The Kinvara 13 performs like many would it expect it to. This is a lightweight performance trainer with a flexible sole throughout that lets you do you. The PWRRUN midsole is an EVA blend that has a little bit of suspensiveness and responsiveness to it but it isn't anything overly bouncy or powerful. This is a shoe that gives you what you put into it. For the most part the sole is relatively flat throughout with a lot of flex grooves throughout the exposed EVA outsole. There is a heel bevel that has a slight decoupling in the heel that does seem to be beveled well. There is a slight toe spring but this shoe relies more on the natural flexibility of the shoe. For those that have stiffness through the metatarsals and through the great toe this may be a challenging shoe, but fore those that like a flexible low riding shoe this could be a great option. The shoe only weighs 7.2 ounces size 9 and that lightweight feeling is certainly present when running in the shoe. Similar to previous models the shoe has a relatively narrow last and outsole through the midfoot and so for those that are sensitive to narrow platforms they won't be getting too much stability from this shoe. For the purpose of the shoe this shoe hits the spot though. It is a nice hybrid for those that like a more minimalistic shoe but just need a little bit more on it. The only thing I might like to see would be creating a little more outsole coverage through the forefoot to stiffen the ride up ever so slightly without adding too much weight. This would make the shoe a little less slappy through the forefoot when running fast. Outside of that the performance of this shoe is quite good and will still please the Kinvara following.

Andrea: The Kinvara 13 is one of those rare shoes that is neutral, lightweight, soft enough for easy runs, and responsive enough for intervals. It feels just as good at 8:30 pace as it does at 6:00 pace for me. The PWRRUN cushioning seems to be able to handle a larger range of paces because while it is soft, the stack height of the shoe is on the lower side, which makes the shoe more responsive at faster paces. On recovery days after a workout or long run, the midsole felt soft enough that I was able to run at a truly easy pace and feel better by the end. During strides or intervals, the midsole firms up and the shoe feels more like a mildly protective racing shoe as compared to a soft easy run shoe. The toe spring is a key feature at faster paces; without it, I think the 13 would feel a little flat. The beveled heel and longitudinal grooves in the midsole may provide very mild guidance from initial contact to push off, but the overall feel of the shoe is natural and free. I prefer shoes that let my foot do what it wants to do, and the Kinvara 13 is one of the best examples of a shoe that does so. For runners who prefer a non-plated racing shoe, the 13 could be a good option for distance up to the half marathon.

I have 40 miles on my Kinvaras and the outsole shows nearly no wear. The reinforced rubber is only on the posteriolateral heel and medial forefoot, whereas I normally wear outsoles at the lateral midfoot. It will be interesting to see how many miles I get on these, considering that I normally get only 200 miles on the New Balance Beacon, which has a similarly designed outsole.

Megan: The Kinvara 13 is a versatile shoe in that it provides stability for easy runs but has the responsiveness and lightweight quality that could make it an option for intervals or tempos. I primarily used the Kinvaras during easy recovery runs, long runs, and strides. They’re comfortable for logging a lot of miles in and confident that they can pick up the pace to feel fast and smooth on strides. I used the Kinvaras for runs ranging from 5-14miles and they were comfortable for the entirety of each run.

The PWRRUN foam in the midsole has a perfect combination of flexibility and responsiveness, making this shoe comfortable at easy/recovery paces and allowing for an easy transition into interval/tempo paces. The mild toe spring also helps pick up speed for intervals or strides at the end of an easy run. The heel is beveled and has longitudinal lines through to the forefoot which provides some guidance during stance but does not take away from the natural feel of the shoe. The midsole has PWRRUN foam which is flexible allowing for a natural ride and is also soft enough to use on true recovery days. The Kinvara’s ability to allow for natural mechanics in the foot is a highlighting quality of the Kinvara line. With a low stack height (4mm), it allows for increased ground feel which provides more proprioceptive feedback. This allows for improved awareness of position in space and decreases injury risk. The low stack height and drop also contributes to a less aggressive minimalist feel versus a true minimal shoe with a 0mm drop.

The outsole of the shoe provides improved traction from previous models. In the Kinvara 11s and 12s, I noticed that the outsole had minimal traction in rainy/wet conditions. The 13s held up in multiple rainy runs but not so well on a couple icy days. It also has reinforced rubber on the posterior/lateral aspect of the outsole providing a crash pad to minimize shock upon initial contact. There’s also reinforced rubber at the forefoot promoting improved push-off. I have ~60miles on the shoes and there is minimal wear on the outsole. This is a great option for someone looking for a shoe to use for both easy runs and harder workouts.

rear heel of kinvara. narrow


Matt: The Saucony Kinvara 13 is a flexible neutral shoe. This is not a shoe I would generally suggest for those with stability needs. However, the Kinvara series has always worked for me and provided what feels like mild stability in the midfoot. This version feels the same. Like previous Kinvaras, version 13 has a heel and midfoot that are similar widths. There are sidewalls in the midfoot and the arch feels higher on the medial side. The lateral sidewalls is more noticeable and seems to provide mild midfoot guidance forward no matter which way you roll. This provides some proprioceptive input into the medial arch, which provides me some mild stability there. The decoupled heel is also designed to create a little more lateral bias at the rearfoot, which seems to stabilize my heel and mechanics well upon landing. The thicker heel counter locks in the heel well which seems to provide some minor guidance as well in the rearfoot. There is medial and lateral sole flare in the forefoot, but overall it is quite flexible there. The flexibility seems to facilitate a forward progression extremely well. The Saucony Kinvara 13 is not a stability shoe by any means, but does seem to have some mild guidance in the heel and midfoot.

David: The Saucony Kinvara 13 is not categorized or designed to be a stability shoe. This shoe in a lot ways is the opposite of that but the shoe does well enough to still handle some stability accommodations. The flexibility of the sole, narrow last, and lack of a full contact outsole definitely take away from some stability elements. However, the upper integration and use of sidewalls help a lot. The lockdown from the upper and security felt from it give you a lot of trust in using this shoe on the road or even off when moving into turns or unstable conditions. The sidewalls really give a nice sensation of hold and connection to the platform as well. The heel counter essentially transitions into the sidewall on both the medial and lateral aspect of the shoe where the EVA midsole creates a literal small wall on the sides of the shoe in that region. There is some slight guidance from the shoe despite how flexible and natural riding it is.

Andrea: The Kinvara 13 is a very neutral shoe with minimal non-traditional stability features. The beveled heel, longitudinal grooves in the midsole, and toe spring provide very mild guidance, but do not actually control or dictate motion. The well designed mesh upper and tongue provides excellent lockdown, which does stabilize the foot in the shoe. The 4mm drop and flexible sole do require good gastrocsoleus and foot intrinsic strength, so runners who are accustomed to higher drop should transition cautiously to the Kinvara.

Megan: The Kinvara 13 is a neutral shoe, however provides mild stability for being a relatively minimal shoe. First, the midfoot provides excellent lockdown. This is attributed to the lacing system, gusseted tongue, and mesh upper which essentially ties the foot down and locks it in place, providing security when making turns. Second, the heel counter is thicker which stabilizes the rearfoot while additional inner padding gives a snug feel. Third, the longitudinal line in the outsole provides very mild guidance during stance. The last of the shoe is narrower in the midfoot which puts additional work on the posterior tibialis to eccentrically control during pronation from initial contact to midstance. Overall, as a neutral shoe the Kinvara 13s satisfy their role in terms of stability.

kinvara up close on a log

kinvara up close on a log, medial side


Modern Minimalism, By David Salas
Throughout literature and anecdotal definitions a minimalist shoe is normally defined by having a lower stack height than the average running shoe, a flexible sole throughout, and lower heel-to-toe drop ratio. Coetzee et al., (2017) attempted to make an objective definition for minimalist footwear defining it as having a heel stack height of 20mm or less, a drop ratio of less than 7mm, weight less than 200g, and a flexible sole throughout without the use of external variables like posting or plates. The Kinvara fits nearly all of these definitions just missing the heel stack height and barely missing weight. In a lot of ways, this shoe is the bridge between minimalism and traditional training shoes. These shoes can be very lightweight and fun to run in but some transition time may be needed to get used to them. Because of the increased flexibility throughout the sole and lack of significant geometry or external variables the body may have to work harder in some regions to run effectively in these types of footwear. It is often reported that minimalist footwear does require more work at both the foot and ankle (Davis, 2014). Shoes like the Kinvara do have a place in the wild west of super shoes as it gives a sense of normal stride back to the runner and can even be used to transition with workouts into more lower profile racing shoes for some. A simple shoe that can have a large contribution to the running community.


Coetzee, D. R., Albertus, Y., Tam, N., & Tucker, R. (2018). Conceptualizing minimalist footwear: an objective definition. 
Journal of Sports Sciences36(8), 949-954.

Davis, I. (2014). The Re-emergence of the Minimalist Running Shoe. The Journal of Orthopedic and Sports Physical Therapy (44, no. 10). 775-787.

Do Minimal Shoes Increase Risk of Injury? by Andrea Myers
The Kinvara is a good example of the partial minimal shoe category. It has low drop (4mm), lower stack (28.5/24.5mm), a mildly cushioned, flexible sole; and minimal stability features. Some runners choose (or are recommended) partial minimal shoes in the hopes that they will get the benefits of barefoot running (forefoot strike, decreased vertical loading, increased cadence, reduced knee pain) while having some of the underfoot protection and cushion of a more traditional running shoe. Unfortunately, multiple studies have found that runners are at increased risk of injury in partial minimal shoes because runners do not alter their running form the way they might if they were actually barefoot. If a runner heel strikes in a traditional shoe, they are likely to continue to heel strike in a partial minimal shoe. A study on 14 male heel strikers done at the University of Delaware (Willy and Davis 2014) compared the runners’ gait kinematics in the Nike Pegasus and the Nike Free 3.0. The Nike Free 3.0 has a 4mm drop, stack height of 17mm heel/13mm forefoot, and weight of 8.0 oz. They found that the runners maintained their heel strike pattern in the Pegasus and the Free, but had increased vertical impact peak and average vertical loading rate in the Free. There was no difference in step length or cadence between the two shoes.

Researchers at Deakin University in Australia (Bonacci et al 2013) examined running kinematics in highly trained runners across four shoe conditions: barefoot, minimalist (Nike Free 3.0), racing flat (Nike LunaRacer 2), and the shoe in which each subject was currently completing the most training mileage. They found no differences in running kinematics between the 3 shoe conditions, but significant differences between all 3 shoe conditions and the barefoot condition. They concluded that minimal shoes like the Free do not replicate the kinematics of barefoot running and runners will have similar mechanics to that of a more traditional shoe.

Another study out of Australia (Ryan et al 2013) found an increased incidence of injury in runners using partial minimalist footwear. They randomly assigned 103 runners with neutral or mild pronation one of three shoes: the Nike Pegasus 28, Nike Free 3.0 V2, or the Vibram 5-Finger Bikila. The runners completed a 12 week training program for a 10k race. At the end of the 12 weeks, 99 runners remained in the study. 23 runners sustained an injury, with the Nike Free group having the most injuries (12) and the Pegasus the least (4).

The above research does not mean that everyone who runs in a partial minimal shoe is going to get injured. Partial minimal shoes happen to be my personal favorite category of shoes to train in, but I have run for several years in 0 or low drop shoes, self-select a midfoot landing pattern, and I work to maintain calf and foot intrinsic muscle strength. The main takeaway message is that partial minimal shoes do not provide the potential benefits of true barefoot running, and should not be used for such purposes. If a given runner heel strikes in a traditional running shoe, that runner will likely continue to heel strike in a partial minimal shoe. With less cushioning under the heel, a partial minimal shoe may lead a runner to higher impact forces and increased injury risk. Dr. Irene Davis, a well-known expert on minimal and barefoot running, recommends that runners who wish to adopt barefoot running mechanics should use true minimal shoes (such as Vibram FiveFingers) and do so over the course of many weeks or even months (Davis et al 2014).


Willy RW, Davis IS (2014). Kinematic and kinetic comparison of running in standard and minimalist shoes. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 46: 318–323.

Bonacci J, Saunders PU, Hicks A, et al (2013). Running in a minimalist and lightweight shoe is not the same as running barefoot: a biomechanical study. British Journal of Sports Medicine 47:387-392.

Ryan M, Elashi M, Newsham-West R, et al (2014). Examining injury risk and pain perception in runners using minimalist footwear. British Journal of Sports Medicine 48:1257-1262.

Davis, I. S. (2014). The re-emergence of the minimal running shoe. Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy, 44(10), 775-784.

kinvara up close on a log, stylized


Matt: The Saucony Kinvara 13 is an excellent progression for the series. The weight drop yet increases in upper security is fantastic. My only caution is with the more pronounced heel counter. I would be curious if an external heel counter could be utilized or if a split counter design (like Adidas) could be used to save weight. Outside of that, the Kinvara continues to evolve nicely while maintaining losing the essence of being a lightweight performance trainer/workout shoe. 

David: The Saucony Kinvara 13 does really well serving its purpose. I think the upper was a step in the right direction for sure. My only recommendation really lies in the transition through the forefoot. For nearly all uses it does well the way it is but the shoe can come off a little bit slappy through the forefoot when running fast. Because of how much flexibility is in this shoe the forefoot can get that slapping sensation upon loading and then you would flex through it into toe-off. I would like to see it get a slightly firmer forefoot while still maintaining some flexibility by just increasing the outsole coverage a tad through that region. That wouldn't affect the weight or flexibility too much but could make the shoe a tad more snappy.

Andrea: I have run in many versions of the Kinvara, including the original. The 13 is by far the best version of the shoe due to the improved upper and responsive PWRRUN cushioning. My main recommendation is: don’t change a thing. The only minor feature that could be improved is the location of the XT-900 rubber on the outsole. For runners who midfoot strike, extending the lateral piece of rubber towards the 5th MT may enhance the durability of the shoe.

Megan: I have been running in the Kinvara line for years now and they have become my go-to daily trainer. Every time a new version comes out it doesn’t seem possible for the shoe to improve, but Saucony continues to impress me. One change could be increasing the toe spring to make them even more responsive and a better option for workout days. But if Saucony kept this shoe as is, I would not have a problem with that.


Matt: The Saucony Kinvara 13 is a lightweight performance trainer/workout shoe for those who want a light, flexible and balanced ride. This is the lightest Kinvara to date, yet it maintains its ability to balance having enough cushion for moderate distance runs and enough snappiness when the pace picks up for workouts. The upper fits normal width but is lightweight, breathable and extremely secure. Despite maintaining its essence, the Kinvara 13 still has a place for those wanting a lightweight trainer that sits closer to the ground with some flexibility for testing your own body in a more natural sense than what is allowed by the majority of running shoes in today's era. 

David: The Saucony Kinvara 13 is a neutral performance trainer for those looking to have a flexible and natural ride in their shoe. The shoe is very lightweight weighing in at 7.2 ounces in Men's size 9. This is a shoe that is "all you" and serves quite well for long runs and for fartleks. For those that can handle it there is some durability that can handle some daily training miles as well. The biggest update of the shoe is the upper and I think they improved it by making it more breathable yet still more reinforced and plush at the same time.

Andrea: The Saucony Kinvara 13 is for runners with neutral mechanics who are looking for a lightweight, cushioned, and responsive trainer. The Kinvara is a rare shoe that can handle both easy runs and intervals. Runners should not expect that the Kinvara will result in changes to their gait mechanics that may occur in a true minimal shoe or with barefoot running.

Megan: The Saucony Kinvara 13s are a great neutral shoe option for anyone looking for a lightweight daily trainer, a tempo shoe, or even a potential lightweight racing flat. My main use for them is daily, easy runs and no matter the duration of the run, they never cause any discomfort. The Kinvaras proved to be a good transition to more minimal shoes in my experience because they provide enough cushioning in the midsole and subtle stability where needed. Actually, they were one of the first neutral shoes I ran in when transitioning from stability shoes to neutral. They’re my “home-base” shoe for when I feel that I need a true recovery day or if my body is feeling a bit beat up during a tough training week. I would recommend using caution for those switching from a higher drop to the 4mm drop of the Kinvaras. Add in extra foot/ankle and calf strength before making the switch.

Peanut, the dog with a kinvara pair


Fit: A- (Solid lockdown despite being much lighter than previous. Normal width with a slightly wider forefoot. More significant heel counter)
A- (Lightweight performance trainer. The balanced ride between cushioning and speed. 7.2/6.2 oz weight makes picking up the pace extremely easy. Feels more like a workout shoe now, but still has enough cushioning for moderate distance runs.)
Stability: B+ [Neutral] (Higher arch provides mild medial midfoot proprioceptive input, heel counter stabilizes rearfoot along with decoupled heel. Provides mild guidance for those who need at midfoot and heel but not at the forefoot. Not for those who need a rigid shoe due to high flexibility)
DPT/Footwear Science: A- (Excellent design lowering weight while maintaining cushioning and improving upper security. May need to consider midsole foam update at some point. Those with ankle mobility deficits may have difficulty here, but those looking for a more flexible shoe will be at home here.)
Personal: A- (I am a huge Kinvara fan and this one is such an improvement with regards to fit and ride. Felt like I was running with an old friend the second I put them on. Not for longer distances, but )
Overall: A-/B+(A simple shoe done well in a complex era. Great for those who want a performance trainer that can easily handle workouts but still has enough cushioning for daily training if you have adequate lower body strength and mobility). 

Fit: (Very well done. Good dimensions, lockdown, and hybrid between plush and performance upper.)
A- (Really natural and flexible ride throughout. Responsiveness could be improved a tad by just increasing the rigidity through the midfoot a tad)
Stability: B- (The upper and sidewalls help. Though there isn't much outsole coverage, a relatively narrow last, and a lot of flexibility throughout the sole. For those that can handle that it should serve them quite well but it won't be for those that have stability demands.)
DPT/Footwear Science: B (I have been noticing that Saucony has been paying a lot of attention to uppers. They did a great job of improving integration with platform and reducing weight at the same time.)
Personal: A- (A niche shoe for me but a shoe I really like for long runs and fartleks. Or doing strides in.)
Overall: B+/A- (A well done straight forward shoe. Flexible low riding sole with enough protection for training. For those wanting a natural ride under foot they'll get it here.)

Fit: A (best fitting Kinvara I’ve tried, slipper-like fit, excellent lockdown) Performance: A (rare shoe that can be used equally well on easy runs and intervals)
Stability: B (a truly neutral shoe with minimal stability features)
DPT/Footwear Science: B+ (partial minimal shoes do not offer the same potential benefits as true barefoot running or minimal shoes and may contribute to an increased risk of injury)
Personal: A (best Kinvara yet, redesigned upper and lower weight is a huge improvement)
Overall: A- (great fit and performance for runners without stability needs, runners who are accustomed to higher stack and drop should be cautious if trying partial minimal shoes like the Kinvara)

Fit: A (They fit true to size and are easily adjusted for secure lockdown at the midfoot)
Performance: A- (They fulfill the role of being a lightweight daily trainer in terms of comfort and responsiveness. However, they could use a bit more of a toe spring to help improve push-off and promote a forward lean)
Stability: B+ (They’re narrower in the middle of last which requires more control eccentrically through pronation. The upper helps to secure the foot and provides stability in that way. They are neutral trainers though and they do satisfy that role.)
Personal: A (I can’t think of anything that I would change to improve this shoe. I am a big fan and will continue to use them as a go-to trainer)
Overall: A- (The fit and ride are the best yet for the Kinvara line. They have minimal stability, but satisfy the role of a neutral shoe)


Our team does a full breakdown of the Kinvara 13!

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Ultraspire Fitted Race Belt: The best way to carry your phone and goods on the run. No bounce and various sizes for waist
Skratch Recovery, Coffee Flavor: Mental and physical boost post run. Coffee flavor is excellent and goes great straight into a fresh brewed cup
Feetures Socks: Massively grippy socks that will make you feel more one with the shoe
Huma Chia GelNatural and goes down easy. Powered Contributor Nathan Brown to his marathon
Trigger Point Foam Roller: Help get those knots out post-run and feel better for tomorrow
Theragun Massager: This small version is great on the go for working tired legs
Ciele Hat: Our team's favorite running hat of choice!


Craft CTM Ultra Carbon 2 Review - The plated sibling to the Ultra 2
Best Shoes for Posterior Tibiais Pain - Podcast
Craft CTM Ultra 2 Review - A max cushioned road/trail hybrid with huge volume
Craft CTM Carbon Race Rebel - Powered by the light UD Foam Pro and a plate
Saucony Peregrine 12 - A lighter, yet more protective update to the trail runner
Hoka Speedgoat 5 - A well-refined update to a great trail series from Hoka

Find all Shoe Reviews at Doctors of Running here.

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Matthew Klein, PT DPT PhD(c) OCS FAAOMPT

Doctor of Physical Therapy
Board Certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist
Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapists

Dr. Matthew Klein is a 150 lb male with notable PRs of 14:45 for 5k and 2:32:44 for the full marathon.  He typically runs 70-100 miles per week and trains at a variety of paces from 8min per mile recovery runs to 4:40 per mile 1k repeats.  He prefers firmer and responsive shoes with snug heels and medium to wide toe boxes.  The stability guy of the group, he also prefers a little stability in his footwear. However, as a researcher, clinician and running shoe aficionado, he will run in anything. 

David Salas PT DPT CSCS
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist

Dr. David Salas is a 135 lb male with notable PRs ranging from 3:54 in the 1500m to 1:08:36 for half marathon. He typically runs 60 to 70 miles per week and trains from about 7:30 recovery runs to fast shorter efforts at 4:30 pace. He normally prefers neutral shoes with a firmer ride, but is completely open to other types of shoes.  He is a footwear enthusiast at heart and will always appreciate a high quality shoe when it comes around. For updates on training or testing, 

***Disclaimer: These shoes were provided free of charge in exchange for a review.  We thank the  people at Saucony USA for sending us pairs.  This in no way affected the honesty of this review. We systematically put each type of shoe through certain runs prior to review. For trainers and performance trainers, we take them on daily runs, workouts, recovery runs and a long run prior to review (often accumulating anywhere from 20-50 miles in the process). For racing flats we ensure that we have completed intervals, a tempo or steady state-run run as well as a warm-up and cool down in each pair prior to review. This systematic process is to ensure that we have experience with each shoe in a large variety of conditions to provide expansive and thorough reviews for the public and for companies. Our views are based on our extensive history in the footwear industry and years of testing and developing footwear. If you are a footwear rep looking for footwear reviews or consultations on development, we are currently looking to partner with companies to assist, discuss and promote footwear models. Partnership will not affect the honesty of our reviews.

Please feel free to reach out, comment and ask questions!
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Best Shoes for Posterior Tibiais Pain - Podcast

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