Saucony Kinvara 8

7.9
7.9 score
Runnerclick score (7.9)/10

Our overall Runnerclick score is based on 3 different factors: Editor's rating after in-depth testing. User ratings submitted on this page Overall score from the "reviewmeter" based on reviews across the web the weight of each factor is: 40% editor rating 15% user ratings 45% reviewmeter
0
Editor rating: 8.6 / 10
User's rating: based on 1 user ratings
1 star
0%
2 star
100%
3 star
0%
4 star
0%
5 star
0%
Add your Rating
All Saucony Shoes
Saucony Kinvara 8 Review Facts
Watch Video Review

The Saucony Kinvara line has long been known as a versatile, lightweight and comfortable running shoe, making it one of the most popular trainers available. As the successor to the Kinvara 7, the 8th version of this shoe offers much of the same quality as its predecessor, and then some. Kinvara’s engineering philosophy has been consistent in delivering a low heel-toe offset, ample amounts of underfoot cushioning, and a lightweight design. In regards to these qualities, the Kinvara 8 surely holds true to form. What makes this new model an improvement from the former is the adaptation of the EVERUN topsole and its highly breathable upper mesh design. Altogether, the Kinvara 8 is a versatile shoe able to handle long and slow-paced workouts as easily as fast-paced training sessions. For a very reasonable price, it gives runners the natural experience they’ve found in previous versions of this trustworthy shoe.

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Versatile
  • Lightweight
  • Responsive EVERUN topsole
  • Upper mesh design
  • Pro-Lock midfoot technology
  • Very comfortable
  • Reasonable price
Cons
  • Lack of optional widths
  • Outsole rubber lacks durability
  • Pro-Lock midfoot technology
See How
What are buyers saying?

We have spent 3.2 hours analyzing a total of 690 reviews.

These reviews are then categoried into "Positive" and "Negative" feedback.

Below you will read a summary of them:

Positive
  • I found the combination of good flexibility mixed with nice cushion gives me a very comfortable and supportive run. Traction was fine and I felt comfortable with the level of shock absorbing, very comfortable. I wear socks so I do tend to get sweaty feet but so far these have helped me keep dry feet and avoid and friction. The shoe is good.
  • I quit weight lifting and moved onto running, I love the cushion and the lightness of the shoe, the toe box area feels spacey but the forefront a little tight but not enough to be a problem for me. The shoe grips well on dry surfaces and I'm waiting to see how it will perform when the weather changes over to wet. So far, i recommend it for dry weather running and air ventilation seems good, no sweaty socks yet.
  • These are much lighter than the previous, I noticed this on my first run, the cushion seems to have been improved and I certainly like the upper as it does give breathability better than previous shoes which I have tried. Stability is not great but it is ok, nice color choice.
  • First thing I noticed when running in these is that they are a lot lighter than New balance. I like the padded tongue and it stays in place so no slipping problems. The shoe gives good support to my feet and the cushion layout works great. My feet are between sizes but these shoes fit true to my feet which was a nice surprise, no need for thick socks.
  • I found the combination of good flexibility mixed with nice cushion gives me a very comfortable and supportive run. Traction was fine and I felt comfortable with the level of shock absorbing, very comfortable. I wear socks so I do tend to get sweaty feet but so far these have helped me keep dry feet and avoid and friction. The shoe is good.
  • I'm a newbie into running and i have started with these, lot's of cushion so I had no problems with shock while running, nice strike on my forefoot and a good return, as it is summer now I appreciated that the shoe upper let's my feet breath, nice shoe, very happy I picked it.
  • Took these for a 5 mile run, they were terrific, iI could feel good shoe protections and lots of cushioning, very might and bags of flexibility when it's needed. The heel is perfect and the upper gave my feet lots of air to keep them dry.
  • The shoe seems ok though the teal inside is far thicker than it should be compared to the outer? The cushion is good and needs to be because the shoe runs small to sizing. So far I have put in 25 miles and I'm impressed by the cushioing, the upper has very good breathability, so far the shoe feels good, will keep updating about it.
  • Bit tight in the middle area and i'm hoping that this will stretch and fit better in the future, I often get toe box space issues but I'm pleased to see these give plenty of space, so no rubbing and no blisters with these. The lighter version is nice and comfortable and the performance for breathability feels improved in the upper. Love the everun cushion, very good.
  • Been with this line for a lot of years, I’m cautious about upgrades and these are not always what we runners want but so far these shoes are good, they feel lighter, cushion is better the upper lets the feet wick away sweat. Some issues with the size but they fit close enough for me.
Negative
  • I bought it but it’s no good for me, the departure from previous models is too much, the shoe stability gave me huge issues and I ended up with Achilles and shin problems, I think these are from using this shoe, I was also noticing that there is slippage in the heal area. I gave them away.
  • The shoe lacks shape and likable contour, within a month the the outsole grid is starting to peel as the shoe is not molded but only glued. The padding makes the shoe feel puffy and as I run it starts to make the shoe feel tighter and any comfort from cushion is lost due to the tightness. Width is off for this shoe and overall it’s ok when I first put it on but after awhile it starts to feel uncomfortable.
  • The shoe top is over padded, especially with the tongue, this makes it far too tight while running especially when my feet warm up and expand and the mid area of the shoe starts to feel too tight. I get the idea of updating but for this shoe they need to think again. Sizing is a problem and add to this that the cushion built into the upper of the shoe and tongue are ok at the start of a run but after a few miles the shoe starts to feel tight to the point I have to stop and loosen the laces. The sizing is messed up and it’s very difficult to get around this problem due to the padded tongue.
  • The mid section is far to narrow compared to the previous shoe, I have a foot size of 11 and I have found that the uppers cut blood circulation to my feet, I have put in 25 miles and this shoe is not comfortable at all.
Reviewmeter
The Reviewmeter shows you an overall score that you can easily refer to. The highest rating is 10 (100% positive feedback)
Of the 690 reviews we found in total, 14% were negative, and 86% were positive.
8.6
1
5
10
Outsole
Outsole

Outsole

Saucony’s Kinvara 8 builds its outsole using the same recipe that made the Kinvara 7 an improvement from the Kinvara 6. The sixth version used triangular rubber pods which had little success while dispersing impact. The Kinvara 7’s outsole instead was constructed using Saucony’s Tri-Flex rubber technology which improves flexibility. Constructing the Kinvara 8 with the same Tri-Flex rubber ensures the shoe remains lightweight and offers protection. The added surface area gives the shoe a larger platform and increases its stability. The heel is molded with the same XT-900 carbon rubber found in the Saucony Xodus 2.0, thus adding traction and durability.

The outsole also features injection-blown rubber, or iBR+ rubber, strategically placed around the lateral arch and the forefoot. The new technology is 33% lighter than standard blown rubber, meant to improve traction and durability, while also absorbing three times the amount of impact than standard material. Some drawbacks of the blown rubber include an increase in the shoe’s weight and its specific placement. Its location leaves the midsole foam highly exposed to ground contact. Runners and other reviewers noticed wear after 50 miles.
Midsole
Midsole

Midsole

The midsole of the Kinvara 8 is a moderately thick layer of Saucony’s SuperLite EVA cushioning, or SSL EVA, that runs along the full length of the shoe. This blend of EVA cushioning maximizes the shoe’s energy return and durability all while minimizing its weight. The midsole cushion is more dense in this model than it has been previously, yet it is equally as soft and maintains its integrity longer than standard EVA foam. A heel insert, roughly 2-3 mm thick and made from a thermoplastic polyurethane based EVERUN material, contributes more cushioning for the foot as well. To some reviewers’ dismay, the midsole is left vulnerable by the location of the outsole’s iBR+ blown rubber. In large, this is a very similar midsole to the seventh edition of the Kinvara, except the midsole of the Kinvara 8 is overlaid with EVERUN topsole, a new technology that places the cushioning closer to the foot.
Upper
Upper

Upper

Saucony’s Kinvara 8 shows off a redesigned upper with engineered mesh fused with FlexFilm, an inner shoe sleeve and midfoot straps that provide the shoe its secure fit. FlexFilm is a lightweight, yet durable, material that is melded to the upper shoe. It allows for fewer layers of a shoe, resulting in a flexible and seamless feeling. Saucony’s Pro-Lock lacing system has been met with mixed feelings. Some think that it successfully holds the midfoot in place without localizing pressure points. On the other side, it is said to be unnecessary while constricting the foot. In regards to the lacing system, some users found the laces were, “too flimsy,” and less durable than desired. A removable insole gives the runner more cushion and an inner shoe-sleeve hugs the foot securely.
Weight
Weight

Weight

Saucony’s line of Kinvaras have generally been known for their lightweight properties. Weighing in at 7.9 ounces, the eighth edition follows the norm. With perforated mesh and the SSL EVERUN cushioning, the upper and midsole of the shoe are composed of leading lightweight technology. The outsole, with the added components, maintains an excellent cushioning-to-weight- ratio. Keep in mind, the Kinvara 8 did add weight since last year’s model with the addition of the iBR+ blown rubber.
Breathability
Breathability

Breathability

The Kinvara 8, composed of open-poured perforated mesh, is a very breathable shoe. It breathes better than the Kinvara 7 due to the reduction of FlexFilm. The Kinvara 7 had FlexFilm throughout the middle and forefoot of the upper, whereas the eighth model uses it sparingly near the inner midfoot and lateral forefoot. By using less, the shoe’s ventilation is better and the absence of material results in less weight. Although less prevalent in this year’s model, the FlexFilm still lends its qualities to help refine the look of the shoe and help it breathe.
Comfort
Comfort

Comfort

The Kinvara 8 is noted as a “supremely comfortable” shoe and noticeably softer than previous versions. The Run-Dry fabric that the inner shoe-sleeve is made from provides runners with more cushioning on their instep. After all, this shoe was built to include a pillar of high-performing comfort. The EVERUN midsole, with added topsole comfort and a removable insole, is one of the biggest contributors to the comfort level of the shoe. The additional rubber on the outsole was incorporated in part to add some aspect of comfort. However, the shoe’s lacing system has left some users dissatisfied. The Pro-Lock lacing system, otherwise an internal lock system, is considered by some as unnecessary and may hinder the natural movement of the foot. As a solution, laces had to be loosened even for those who possess a more narrow foot. The negative side effects could cause discomfort for runners with low arches or wider feet.
Style
Style

Style

The Kinvara 8 was built with the line’s signature simplicity and a minimal structure in addition to a smooth and sleek-looking design. The new model has more mesh in its upper. The singular-dense, perforated material gives the Kinvara 8 a more refined look than the seventh edition. The thinner, almost transparent layers make the shoe appear more compact and more of a ‘race-day’ looking shoe.
Durability
Durability

Durability

A pair of Kinvara 8’s will not be remembered for their longevity. The time you spend wearing these shoes, however, will be remembered for the quality of miles as opposed to the quantity. The tread is known to wear quickly. Despite the added iBR+ blown rubber, which was intended to add durability, degeneration begins to occur after a short time. Some reviewers described slight wear on the outsole just after 15 miles. The layer of Flex-Film found in the upper mesh was included to improve the durability of the mesh, which it does. If Saucony fans are looking for a long-lasting shoe, then the Freedom ISO is another option that trumps the Kinvara 8 in durability.
Protection
Protection

Protection

With the shoe’s minimalistic construction and highly breathable upper mesh, the Kinvara 8 does not offer runners great amounts of protection. While the shoe breathes great, this valued characteristic means the foot is less able to protect during harsher elements such as wet and cold. Before its attrition, the iBR+ blown rubber does protect the bottom foot against frequent contact zones.
Responsiveness
Responsiveness

Responsiveness

The inclusion of the EVERUN midsole in the Kinvara 8 provides optimal energy return while also lending support to the foot. This shoe is responsive enough to handle races of various distances as well as daily recovery runs. The Kinvara 7 included only a small portion of EVERUN cushioning within the heel. The eighth edition incorporates the technology throughout the entire midsole, thus lending its 83% increase in energy return to the entire foot. Consequently, the material adds weight to the shoe. The outsole’s construction gives minimal contribution to the responsiveness. With that, the Kinvara line has always been known for its excellent responsiveness and the return in energy you, the runner, receive from this shoe is ample for your speed training as well as your endurance work.
Support
Support

Support

The Saucony Kinvara 8 offers the same, if not more, support than its most recent model. The entire EVERUN midsole and supportive heel do nothing but aid in the shoe’s stability and improve its comfort. The EVERUN cushioning equals more support and a natural running experience. When doing speed training, the cushioning system successfully supports the arches of the foot. Runners will also find that less support in the heel suits the shoe better for speed training rather than continuous turns on a track. The Pro-Lock lacing internal strap system and isolated shoe-hole give the upper its supportive build while locking the foot down with its minimal overlay and light material. Some users thought it to be unneeded as the shoe’s other properties provided ample enough support.
Terrain
Terrain

Terrain

The Kinvara 8 was born to be a road shoe. None of its properties suggest it as a shoe capable of handling technical terrain. Its design is unstructured, lacks any stiff points and includes soft cushioning throughout the entire shoe. It may not hold up as well on wet and slippery roads either, as the shoe is neither waterproof nor water resistant. The Kinvara 8 is best suited for roads and track surfaces. The shallow ridges of the outsole do a good job with not picking up small rocks and other debris. In the opinion of other reviews, the Kinvara 8 is a stripped down version of the Saucony Ride and handles itself in a similar manner on identical terrains.
Price
Price

Price

You can find a pair of the Saucony Kinvara 8’s anywhere from $100-$110. For an extremely versatile shoe, they come at a very reasonable price. Its design accommodates several running styles while maintaining its lightweight and comfortable qualities. There are other shoes on the market that accomplish the same goals but at a steeper price. While the three-digit price range may widen your eyes a little bit, know you are getting a bargain in the newest addition to the Kinvara shoe line.
Traction
Traction

Traction

The Kinvara 8’s chevron-patterned outsole is built to maximize traction. The chevrons are constructed in a way to maximize the shoe’s traction. However, the new iBR+ rubber is strategically placed along the bottom of the shoe - specifically within high-wear areas. A commonly found issue arises when the rubber begins to wear, which is said to occur quickly, and traction decreases. During wet conditions, the shoe’s grip becomes ‘sketchy’. Coupling that with the lack of blown rubber along the lateral forefoot limit this shoe to dry roads and tracks and possibly some manicured trails.
Flexibility
Flexibility

Flexibility

Last year’s model of the Kinvara was known to be somewhat stiff for men and women, possibly due to the amount of Flex-Film used in the upper and lack of an entire EVERUN midsole. Saucony made sure that wasn’t an issue with the Kinvara 8. Removing most of the Flex-Film from the upper, the shoe allows itself to move and breathe more freely. By using Tri-Flex rubber in the outsole, and adding the EVERUN technology to the midsole make the Kinvara 8 an extremely flexible shoe.
Stability
Stability

Stability

By providing enough surface area for the shoe to have an ample amount of ground contact, smooth transitions and more stability throughout each stride, the Kinvara 8 makes itself as stable as the Kinvara 7. In the eighth model, runners will feel a stiff heel counter and Saucony’s XT-900 carbon rubber composing the rearfoot outsole. The remaining outsole, made of Tri-Flex rubber, gives the shoe its platform and increasing the stability. This shoe is soft and comfortable at slow speeds and stable and firm enough to handle faster-paced workouts. The midsole lacks a medial post, which would enhance the stability of the ride.
Drop
Drop

Drop

At 4mm, runners are going to find a reduced heel-to-toe drop in the Kinvara 8. As opposed to what they were given with the seventh model. Although the difference is less than a millimeter, runners will be brought closer to a neutral plane - albeit at a cost. Shoe’s with a lower drop, such as the Kinvara 8, generally result in added stress on lower leg tendons and ligaments for the less experienced. Traditional trainers, like the ASICS GT-2000 4, have an average drop of 10-12mm. Minimalistic shoes, on the other hand have much lower drops like 4mm. At 0mm, some have none at all. The 4mm drop is ideal for midfoot strikers, although the Kinvara 8 may still be enjoyable to those who strike with their heels.
Key Features
Key Features

Key Features

• EVERUN topsole construction
• “Pro-Lock” lacing system
• iBR+ rubber blown outsole
• Flex-Film a
Bottom Line
Bottom Line

Bottom Line

The Saucony Kinvara 8 is a very nice update from the seven. Bottom line, runners who stay with the Kinvara line get a shoe they trust and love with an increased amount of cushioning and comfort. Whether your plans include a regular jog or competition, the Kinvara 8 is a lightweight trainer that can handle the variation. The added layer of Saucony’s EVERUN topsole and wider toe-box add significant improvements while keeping the newest model true to the Kinvara roots. At its suggested price, the quality and flexibility of the Kinvara 8 come at a bargain. Buyers should be aware of the longevity of the shoe. While it is not the longest lasting shoe, the time you do spend with the shoes will be time well spent.