For some time I have been on a quest to find a shoe that is neutral and minimal enough to help me transition effectively to midfoot running, yet still provide enough support because I am not ready for barefoot running (and I don’t plan to). I needed a pair of shoes to use while I transitioned and the Saucony ProGrid Kinvara 2s were recommended to me by a friend. I went to my local running store and picked up a pair. I LOVE the fact that they are very affordable (usually can find them for $90 at the most). They do run small so I had to go up a half size over my normal running shoe size (got a 9.5, when I would normally get a 9).
The first couple runs in them felt good. They are much more minimal than I am used to running in so I did feel a little strain in my feet as I was getting used to a more minimal shoe but they never made my feet hurt. I think I started running in them at the perfect time. It was right after my big string of running races when I was easing off my mileage and concentrating on my form.
Here is the description from Saucony’s website
“Weighing at just 6.7 oz., the accolades continue to pile up for the Kinvara 2, the shoe that is defining the next generation of minimalist trainers built for everyday use. The Kinvara 2’s super light and flexible midsole is made from durable foam, and the 4mm heel-to-toe offset guarantees a close-to-the road feel. Light and breathable, the upper is made from mono-filament mesh that provides a comfortable, sock-like fit and feel.”
So recently I have been ramping up my running miles again and running exclusivity in these shoes (except on the trails). I am very pleased with them. They are so light it is almost like you are wearing nothing. I enjoy them everywhere I run except downhill. They have a pretty generous toe-box so steep downhill on varying terrain is a little tricky but that is not where I would generally run in these shoes (I got the Saucony Peregrines for that!). They have been the perfect shoe while I work on strengthening my calves to support my efforts to stop heel striking when I run. I like the way they are constructed. The material they are made from is really nice and I net they would be great in wet conditions (I live in LA and we just don’t get much rain, except when I am running a marathon or ultra!).
I will be running my first half marathon in them this weekend and I will comment specifically on how they worked for my race. So far I have NOT torn the heel off like a generally do in all my prior running shoes and I am seeing wear mostly on the midfoot (113 miles run so far). I do plan on getting another pair after this pair is dead but I am hoping to get at least 250 miles out of them.