Finally, the all new Saucony Kinvara 4 has landed in Malaysia and I'e finally gotten by hands on it. Apart from the cosmetics, nothing much has change except for 4 minor tweaks to it. However, I will not go into details yet as I will prefer to run it in before giving a full blown review. And I've the Craze Ultra 100 miles this coming Saturday to test it out, or shall to "Kickassimus" with it!
Upon putting the shoe on, I am glad nothing much has changed. The DNA of the Kinvara 3 which I've fell in love with was still there. The Kinvara 3 was after all the my shoe of choice that went through all the punishment at the 6 days Circuit Race 2012 and the one that conquered the 87KM Comrades Marathon 2013 "Up" run.
Some noticeable upgrades which I can feel immediately after putting them on is the increase in flexibility over the Kinvara 3. Not much but it s something worth mentioning about. The multiple layers of Flex Film has now been reduced at the front making it a more open vamp. This also increase air flow into the shoe, most noticeable if you swing your legs around. A slight increase gush of wind can be felt compared to its predecessor.
The collar also feels softer but yet more secure too. The reduced Flex Film at the toe box is now being "moved" to the collar area giving a snug fit over the ankle. I foresee a much improved stability upon cornering.
And finally, the cushioning system. An upgrade from ProGrid to PowerGrid foam on the heel insert. A lighter, softer and yet more responsive foam to offer protection for those who heel strike. As for the mid foot to forefoot area, it still retains the same firmness I enjoyed so much on the Kinvara 3 which is very balance.
So my early impression on the Kinvara 4 is indeed a positive one most importantly is because it retains much of the same formula as its 3 predecessor. Just minor tweaks to improve from a good to great shoe. How will it fare then? Review soon after Craze Ultra 100 miles and hopefully I can complete the distance this time.
My Kinvara 4 seen here with my all South African Falke Energizer compression socks for this weekend's Craze Ultra 100 miler. Safety yellow for safety first.