How does that Proclaimers song go?
“And I would walk 500 kms”? Kind of, but I now use the metric system
“And I would walk 500 more”? No way! 500km max!
Right, first things first, don’t expect this to be a Kinvara shoe review. Spoiler alert; I love them.
Well, actually I like version 10 a lot but not sure it has been love with this iteration. I save that for version 8 (and maybe 9). Yep, that is right, I am not a Kinvara OG lover, and in fact I don’t like the styling nod the v10 makes to the OG with that weird diamond shape on the heel. I am glad they got rid of the Pro-Lock though
I do love the feel and improvements made to the v10 upper and if it wasn’t for the v8/v9 midsole I would indeed love it best of all.
I knew I would enjoy and use fully any Kinvara to be fair, so much so, that I immediately bought two pairs in different colours with an intentional idea of wearing different colours on each foot. In this case I wore the grey on the left and the red (orangey?) on the Right. I figured, why not be a bit quirky for fun. I don’t run for fashion (hahaha, absolutely not!), I run for running.
With the Kinvara, I use it for everything; speed work, easy paced runs and epic long ones. If I had to choose one running shoe for everything, it would be this shoe.
But I don’t get as much use out of it before I stop using.
The general recommendation is 500-800km. But with the Kinvaras I limit myself to between 400 and 500km. The reason being that I am a heavier runner. At my current weight (90kg) I get around 450-500km. I don’t like to risk any more than that. I have had a few injuries/niggles in the past due to using a shoe for too long. (As reference, with the UltraBoost I get 1000km. It just lasts and lasts!).
So I have 450km done in my Grey Left, Red/Orange Right combo and I thought.. hang on. I can compare EXACTLY the same pair as a before and after scenario. I can also compare if the colour makes a difference? (maybe colouring the midsole impacts longevity?)
I think running shoe reviewers need to make sure their readers know what type of runner they are, as I know superlight runners who get twice the distance out of a shoe as me. So with that in mind, I am 90kg, I used the Kinvaras as my go to speed work shoe (4:00/km) and long run shoe (up to 42km at 5:10/km). I am a rear foot striker for slower days and mid foot as the speed picks up, so this shoe sees me doing it all. I run in neutral shoes only and levitate towards shoes that are flexible (usually).
I will let the photos speak in the main part for themselves, but here are my highlights that the photos don’t all pick up.
- They needed breaking in. Took about 80km before I thought they were really at their best
- At 450km the forefoot midsole is feeling thin and compressed. I could run a further 50km, but would stop there due to the forefoot midsole
- The midsole is compressed, but nothing I wouldn’t call normal for this style shoe
- Outsole is holding up pretty well considering usage. Could be better as you can see how much it has worn down, but it is far from bald
- The shocker is the damage in the heel cup. Never had that before. (I do love those bumpy bits inside the heel. Yep, ‘bumpy bits’ is the official name for them!)
- Nah, colour doesn’t really make much difference J
- The hard rubber bits really assist in longevity if placed well (and where not placed – I love the contact soft feel on exposed midsole)
- No real difference IMHO on heel compression (leaning of heel counter) – for me that is cool as I used to pronate (when heavier and lacking leg strength)
Anyway.. I think it is a fascinating chance to compare the real difference between used and unused