Men's SAUCONY® KINVARA 5 :: Kick it up a notch, enjoying comfort and performance that's better than ever in the newly upgraded Men's Saucony® Kinvara 5. Get a smooth, responsive ride that's sure to rock your world with the 5's new ProLock lacing system that'll give you an ultra dynamic fit that adapts to your every step. Ease through transitions silky smooth thanks to this running shoe's new outsole pods, and enjoy an even plusher feel, compliments of the re-designed collar. Plus, you'll count on the Kinvara 5 to stand the test of time because it now features extra durable mesh in the upper. 7.7 ounces
Have been a faithful Kinvara runner since they introduced the shoe. They've made a lot of changes across the generations, some good and not so good. This fifth generation shoe really gets it right!
The mesh they use, which has offered good ventilation but tends to crack, has been updated. The new one seems much more flexible, and while new, I can anticipate that this one will last. Still using the "Flexfilm" for structural support, and the new array is great. There is also an integrated lockdown for the foot that is similar to the flywire seen on Nike shoes. It really does a good job. Saucony added quite a bit of padding around the heel cup and tongue compared to the K4.
Sizing, which has been inconsistent from generation to generation, is true and the same as the K4. No need to size up for me...have used a 12 at times with earlier models. One of the biggest improvements is a wider and roomier toe box. I'm not saying it's spacious as all get-out, but a comfortable D width. Fit like a glove.
One of the best improvements is the sole design, which is a bit more flexible in the forefoot. The flex point is about another inch back from the toe than it was on the K4. Feel of the shoe was like a well broken in K4. A deep longitudinal channel in the sole gives a much softer feel to the sole overall (thought the K3 and K4 got increasingly hard), and I believe this is the source of the extra flexibility in the fore/mid-foot area.
Still using the EVA+ material, but the feel is cushy. Carbon rubber lugs were added at wear points, which should yield better longevity. I generally get about 250-300 miles out of a pair, so any improvement on life is welcome.
So, comfort of the shoe on the foot is fabulous, really a huge improvement though the earlier ones were okay once broken in. Performance wise, great shoe. Feels good, silky feel on the road and comfortable. Fast and light, too. Only two knocks on the shoe so far: 1) wish they offered at least one light colored shoe to start (not a black/dark shoe fan, gets too hot in the sun for me), and 2) heel doesn't lock down quite as securely as the K4...however, I understand that it's a bit of a trade-off for a bit of comfort around the heel cup. Might just take some tinkering with lacing to dial it in.
At any rate, highly recommended shoe for "minimalist" aficionados. Good price point, too. All the best features of the earlier Kinvaras, with MAJOR upgrades. Yippee!
Dave the running French Hornist
Great shoe. Best Kinvara? Not so sure
I have been a big fan of the Kinvara since its inception. I have and continue to train and race in other shoes, both by Saucony and others, but the Kinvara remains one of my absolutely favorite shoes.
To me, the 5 is both a step forward and a step back from the 4. It remains fast and light, and just pure fun to run in. The sole has just the right balance of cushioning and proprioception.
The 5 seems to have just a bit more protection from the road than the 4. It is not really noticeable on smooth pavement, but it is better on gravel or dirt with rocks.
The 5 also seems to have more durable mesh than the 4. Like some of the other reviewers, the mesh on my 4's got holes around my little toes pretty quickly. I personally didn't have much of an issue with that, but for what it's worth, the 5 has seemingly more durable and double-layered material in the upper. But that's both a plus and a minus. While it makes the shoe more durable, I think it is less comfortable if you run sockless. That new mesh is a bit scratchy in general and especially on the seams. Initially, I was forced to put BodyGlide on the top of my foot if I ran in them sockless.
Another touted improvement is the Pro-Lock lacing system. I agree with others that it works well; however, I didn't think the previous system (no fancy system) had any issues. And there is a downside to the Pro-Lock system: it includes these thicker tabs on either side of the mid-foot. When I run sockless, I have to be careful to tuck them in just right (which kind of defeats the purpose of running sockless for triathletes: to cut down on the time it takes to get shod). I have even had some irritation in that area when running in socks in hot weather.
Bottom line: for pure runners who always run in socks and can take their time putting shoes on, it is basically as good a shoe as the Kinvara 4, but a bit more durable and a bit more protective on rough surfaces. For triathletes, it's still a great shoe, but with a couple of annoying features. My ideal Kinvara would have the sole from the 5 and the upper from the 4.
New York, NY
Best Kinvara yet, but different
I have been running with Kinvaras since the 2, and I did not like the 3. The 4 is a great shoe, but the 5 is even better. Now, I think the progression here has been toward more structure and cushioning and a progressively wider toe box. I love the toe box in the 5--very roomy and allows your forefoot to spread out and flex the way it should. The toe-off is really enhanced, and the whole front of the shoe is somehow more cushioned and yet more flexible. The heel cup is a bit higher and more structured and snug in a good way. There seems to be less arch support, which is fine with me because I am running more on my forefoot anyway. The lacing system allows you to tighten the laces at the top while leaving the laces in the arch and toe areas looser and more roomy. The cool thing is that they stay that way throughout your run! The shoe feels less "minimal" but still allows you to run naturally with good cushioning throughout. But the best part is the roomy toe box! Thank you, Saucony!
Not quite as good as I had hoped
I had also purchased at the same time the New Balance fresh foam, which I seem to favor. This Kinvara does not feel nearly as cushy. Also, I discovered a peculiarity. I had purchased two Kinvaras: one green; one black. Perhaps they come from different factories. The green one had to be returned because the heel tab is too hard, i.e., too much heel clutching, which I feel makes the shoes too stiff and places tremendous stress on the Achilles tendon. I had purchased them because I understood that these shoes are relatively remarkable for having minimal heel clutching - but only the black one does. My son, 22, ran in the black one and he thinks the shoes are wonderful. I recommend the black one, not the green one, for a person who likes a shoe with relatively little heel clutching.
Joe Billy Bob
Upper Material Too Stiff
The material over the toe box is way stiffer than that of the Kinvara 3. I got scabs on multiple toes from the crease in the upper - from a 3-mile run! I gave them a reasonable break in period before going sockless - which I did from virtually the get go in my Kinvara 3s. Plus,4mm drop or not, these are NOT minimalist shoes. They are stacked high like platform shoes - ok traditional running shoes - way too cushy, have too much padding around the ankle and tongue, and do not give anything close to the road feel of the Kinvara 3. Saucony blew it - what were they thinking?? Kinvara 5s are a huge disappointment. I'm returning them and looking online for Kinvara 3s, which I LOVED, since Road Runner no longer carries them.
Go For Three
I've worn each model of the kinvara for the past 5 years and I usually just grab the out of date model because it's so much cheaper and not significantly different. This time I went all in and spoiled myself with the 5 and I must say, no ragrets homies. The one complaint I have is that the molding on the upper around the toes is a bit stiffer than the older versions and I found it pinching my tender little pinky toe the first couple times I ran in them. But after a few miles they fit like a glove and that little piggy is running free and happy. And when the little piggys are happy, I'm happy. Once again, the kinvaras don't disappoint.
BG Red Barron
Kinvara, I've missed you
I jumped on the Kinvara train with the first edition of the shoe. I left the shoe after developing some knee pain that I'm not convinced was due to the shoe in the first place. I have been primarily running in the Saucony Mirage and the Brooks PureConnect for the last few years.
I decided to try the Kinvara again with this year's model after I read that the toe box was made wider. I wore them out of the box for an 8 mile run, while I still had a blister on my little toe that happened from a run in the PureConnects. I had zero pressure on the blister, and the shoe felt great. No break-in required. I've since worn them again on a 5K, and they feel fast.
I love this shoe and I can't wait for the Kinvara 6. These shoes fit perfectly and feel fast. My only complaint would be that after a 9-mile road run two days ago, my arches are in a lot of pain. The Kinvaras are light and might be better for shorter runs, but I know there are pros that have ran a full marathon in them. I think my feet just need to get used to the Kinvaras on longer runs.
Mill Creek, WA
Improvements and changes.
I've been running in the Kinvaras since version 2 and I have to say this is my favorite one yet. The heel rubbing I had with lower socks in the 3s and 4s seems gone and the new lacing, while different, provides the ability to tighten up without any problems across the top of foot. Will definitely purchase another pair and have high hopes for NY marathon this year.
Mar Vista. CA
Great, but too many "upgrades"
I like the changes to the tongue and lace area but not the extra cushioning on the achilles (I preferred the less cushioning on the Kinvara 4). It also seems like the shoe is better constructed around the forefoot since the mesh on my Kinvara 4s tore easily. The colors could be better.
So far, so good
I returned a pair of the Brooks PureFlow and got these. So far I like them a lot better, but I have only put a few dozen miles. I mainly run trials in New Balance 110, so I like a road shoe that is light, low heel/toe drop, but with some cushion. I can't speak the durability yet...
Gets better every year
I find these better than the previous iterations. I find them to be better cushioning, more traction, better material on the upper and a better fitting collar. That being said I only use them for my runs of 8 miles or less.
Light and fast but supportive for marathons
Fast and light. I use as my racing shoe for a 5k to a marathon. Never had any issues with prior versions in multiple races at those distances and all in between. One half in with the newest shoe and worked like a charm.
Love this shoe
While I loved the previous versions of the Kinvara, I would definitely say the changes made to Kinvara 5 make this an even better shoe. I love the extra padding around the ankle and the cushioning feels just right.
Solid update to great shoe
Loved the 4's despite shoes tearing near small toes. Ran Twin Cities Marathon in 5s and they performed great (too bad I didnt!)
Was a Sir Isaac fan until they stopped making them and needed something new. First run in these felt great.
A great shoe for aging legs
Great shoe for the older runner. Light weight and good traction. Not too garish.
Love the odd Kinvaras
Along with the Kinvara 1 and 3, the 5 is an outstanding shoe for the right runner. I have worn over 20 pairs of the odd numbered iterations of this shoe at distances from 5K to Marathon. Great shoe
Felt great right out of the box. Soft, light, and responsive. Great fit.
Your Help Is Here
Shop with confidence knowing your team of Fit Experts is waiting to answer all your questions.
You can always find your perfect product and your perfect fit.
Your Road Runner Sports Fit Experts will make sure you get exactly what you want and have tons of fun in the process!
Give us a call, chat, or email!
Call 800-743-3206 to
Get help with your order or finding a product
Learn how to find your perfect fit for shoes, apparel and gear based on your feet, body, and training goals
Or just to have a great time talking about life, liberty and the pursuit of running!!!