Of course it's not a true minimalist shoe with its 4 mm drop but it's the best shoe I've ever run with so it deserved to be featured here LOL.
It's not either a real transitionning shoe. I personnaly think that the KINVARA is a lightweight training / racing (any distance from the 5k to the Marathon) shoe for those already accustomed to front / middle of the foot striking.
If I hadn't run, before, hundreds of miles in VFF, Kigo and the like, I wouldn't be so enthousiast about them. Kinvara aren't for heel strikers.
Freelance writer for JOGGING INTERNATIONAL magazine
Freelance writer for http://runners.fr
I'm on my second pair of these shoes. I was just telling my wife yesterday that these are probably my most favorite running shoes I've ever had. After running for over 15 years now, and thinking I needed a supportive, cushioned shoe, I obtained a pair of these from a friend. I can honestly say that I have never had a bad run in these shoes. They are so comfortable too, I could wear these as slippers around the house. I've run up to 20 miles in these, and had no problems with them at all. I'd definitely recommend these shoes. Especially the neon green ones. If they don't make you faster, they'll at least make you look faster!
Have over a 100 miles in this shoe and I have got to say it is an awesome shoe and a great addition to my inventory. I like rotating shoes using different brands and this one is a real keeper. Had some great runs in it. Has a real quick feel to it.
I have run a few times in these shoes and really like them. I am ~5'10 @ 195lbs and find that my legs feel fine after a few intervals and 5km runs in them. My calves were a little sore, but I suspect it's because they had to stretch a little more then usual compared to my standard running shoes.
Overall, I recommend these shoes.
I am still working on slowly increasing my barefoot distance. This shoe has been amazingly helpful for transitioning from "regular" shoes to minimalism! They are light weight and super comfy.
I highly recommend if you are thinking about heading in the minimalist direction. These only helped confirm that my feet and body love running free!
The Kinvara is a lightweight shoe with some nice cushioning but I consider it more of a transition shoe than a true minimalist. My size 11 US shoes weigh in at 8.4 oz and 8.6oz so they are definitely lighter than many traditional running shoes. (Now that I know there is a weight difference, I will probably start running lop-sided or something crazy.) There is a heel-toe drop in them and enough of a sole that they still look and feel like a traditional running shoe. I am a fore-foot striker so I notice the Kinvara's heel more than I would like but the fore-foot cushioning in the Kinvara gives me a nice break in between my VFF KSOs and other minimalist shoes.
I am a firm believer in running in more than one type of shoe so the Kinvara is a nice addition to a minimalist inventory. As a road-only runner, the soles on my Kinvara are getting the expected wear but it is too early to see how long the sole will hold up to moderate mileage. With the raised triangles on the sole, I suspect I won't get the mileage I'd like out of the shoe before the little triangles wear down. They are definitely comfortable, though. I am happy with my Kinvaras but will try something more minimalist before I would consider buying another pair of them.
I agree with the other reviews that this shoe is a very good transition shoe for those looking for something a bit less clunky than their traditional shoe. I could not beleive a shoe could feel so light compared to my old Asics 2150s. I can't wait to continue my transition to an even more minimalist shoe, but this shoe makes the leap a little less painful. I am concerned about the overall construction of the shoe as there is not much to it, but that is compared to a more traditional shoe. A true minimalist might say there is still too much there. The heel is still ample even though it is made of simple foam which gives the runner more play than a harder rubber material. The worry is that this foam will break down quicker, but if one is transitioning to a mid/forefoot strike, this will hopefully not be the case. Overall a great shoe and only time will tell how durable it is.
They are pretty nice shoes. Very lightweight and pretty flexible. also very comfortable to me.
I can't say enough how much I love the kinvara - they're the perfect shoe for when my calves are sore from running in my vibrams too much, or when I'm going a distance I haven't worked up to in the vibrams yet.
I also use the Kinvara for recovery. Can't be happier with it as a recovery but every time I run in them it just makes me love my huaraches and my Brooks Mach 11 that much more as daily runners.
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