The Kinvara is a fan favorite and a staple in the Saucony line up and when it launched almost 12 years ago, it represented something much different from what was on the market. That being said, the recipe hasn’t changed all that much over the years so the Kinvara 13 is very similar to what you have seen before. You can expect a super light, decently cushioned, firmer, and speed-oriented shoe targeted at runners who like a little less structure and a little more flexibility as well as a stiffer ride. The 13 runs just as well as it always has but note going in that the only real change on this model is the upper.
Quick Details, Specs, and Availability
- Gets an upper update, but other than that remains true to the formula of low weight, firm, and fast.
- Weight – 7.2oz or 204g for a US Men’s 9, 6.2oz or 176g for a US Women’s 7
- Cushion – 28.5mm of cushion and a 4mm heel/toe drop
- Pricing – $120.00 USD
- Colors – 5 options
Construction and Materials
- Upper – Features an updated mono mesh upper that is lighter than ever making it highly breathable. Bootie fit interior, moderate collar padding, and minimal structural overlays.
- Midsole – Features their PWRRUN cushioning end to end with a slight split tail heel.
- Outsole – Saucony uses their XT-900 rubber in high-wear areas but they are very minimal on here.
What we loved
There’s honestly a lot to like about the Kinvara 13 simply because it stays true to its roots and that’s a decent recipe. Also, if you have run in any prior iteration then this will probably feel great to you as the upper is an upgrade. The PWRRUM foam midsole is a bit firmer, but there’s enough cushion here to protect you underfoot while still being light enough to really let you turn it over. The bootie-like upper feels great on your foot holding you in place throughout your midfoot and heel and the toe box has been expanded a bit to allow for a bit more flexibility upfront.
In a run, the Kinvara 13 can really throw down due primarily due to its low weight. There isn’t a lot of game-changing technology in here, these Kinvara’s are just really simple and you can run the heck out of them. There is a reason why elite athletes have used these for years and are always worried to switch them up.
What we didn’t
As for what we don’t like, that’s a tough one. The 13 is just as good as all its predecessors. That may be the problem though as it just feels like more of the same and with so much change happening in the market, I think we’re hoping for a bit more. The midsole is only single-density so it’s one big block of foam and there is no softer cushioned landing area paired with a responsive toe off. The upper has also started to widen even more which means runners with narrower feet will probably start to feel like it is getting too roomy. Even for me, who has a very average foot, those laces are really pulling close. It’s also never been the most durable shoe given the very little rubber on the outside wall so even if you do purchase these maybe reserve them for your speed days or even your races. They just will not stand up the way a lot of shoes do to a daily grind.
Again it is hard to find fault because they still run really well but with so much variation out in the market we just want these to be much better. Saucony may not do this simply because they don’t want to cannibalize other areas of their lineup so our guess is the 14 will probably feel a lot like this. Time will tell.
So as we said, there aren’t a lot of changes with the Kinvara 13. The improved upper feels great and looks awesome but don’t expect a lot of dramatic changes to your runs. If you love the Kinvara platform, then you will love the 13. If you are looking for something a bit more up-tempo and more modern then we would probably push you towards the Endorphin Speed line. If you like a really classic feel and a bit of a firmer ride then the Kinvara 13 will be a great choice for you. It is a simple shoe but, as always, highly effective.
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Check Out Other Reviewers Thoughts
As always, we gather together some of our favorite reviewers so you can get a well-rounded view of the shoe. Here are our favorites.