Monday, June 6, 2011

First Run in Saucony Kinvaras

Back to the roads this morning!  Today was the first day that I ran in my new Saucony Kinvaras.  It was also the first day I ran after a tough run Saturday on basketball-shelled legs.  I had played basketball last Thursday and my legs were shot, so Saturday was rough.

The basketball pain is almost gone; still some remnants in my quads and shins.  By my next run (probably Wednesday morning) I should be just fine. 

As far as the Kinvaras, they’re looking promising.  For those of you who may not be familiar, they are not true minimalist shoes but a significant step toward them.  Chiefly is their small drop from heel to forefoot: about 4mm compared to my Nike Pegasus 27’s which are around 10-12mm.  The Kinvaras maintain a bit of cushioning, though, unlike minimalist shoes like the Vibram Five Fingers.  They feel very comfortable when you put them on, often described as a house slipper feel. 

I picked them up on Sunday from the local specialty running store.  I had told the salesperson that I was looking for a shoe with less of a drop, not intending to go completely minimalist but find one that is not so tall in the heel.  I have concentrated on mid or forefoot striking and it feels pretty natural to me, so I don’t think I need a lot of reinforcement in the heel anyway.  The Kinvara wasn’t a shoe I had thought much about.  When he handed them to me, it felt like he gave me a handful of feathers.  These things are light!  So light it is a bit disconcerting when you are used to having a bulky, supportive shoe.  When I put them on, they felt great.  I also tried the Brooks Green Silence but didn’t like it nearly as much. 

So today was their first spin.  I didn’t notice too much in the beginning.  I tried to concentrate upon my form a bit today, keeping upright, with my legs under me, striking mostly on the midfoot.  A mile or so in I felt a sensation in my left arch.  I wouldn’t call it pain, just a slightly noticeable feeling probably due to an increase in stretching it.  Early on when I started running, I had a little bit of an issue with this arch. Post run, I didn’t feel any pain at all there, so as I said I attribute it to a more natural movement and stretching of the arch.  As I progressed, I could feel my quads working a bit more.  Nothing felt odd or painful, though.  I actually went further continuously running than I have to date.

Post run is when I really felt the difference.  My legs still felt quite fresh.  Normally I have the urge to rip the running shoes off, but not with the Kinvaras.  They’re so light and comfortable it is no big deal to leave them on a bit. 

I’ll probably switch back and forth for a while, particularly due to the fact that my Pegasus’s have some life left in them.  We’ll see how the Kinvaras do over time, but they’re promising and could become my shoe of choice. 

Saw lots of rabbits this morning.  They didn’t seem too concerned with me; probably saw my slow pace and decided there was no way that I could catch them.  Also had to fix my cell phone arm band.  One of the Velcro patches to attach the strap had come loose.  A little super glue did the trick. 

Finally, a couple of weeks ago I tweeted about a turtle that had passed me during a morning training run, complete with a picture.  I’m sorry to report that my friend perished in a traffic accident.  I saw him in the middle of the road and he didn’t look good.  A quick turtle, but not quick enough.  For us slow runners, it was a true loss.

Enjoy your progress!  Travis

 My friend the turtle during happier times.


  1. Alternating shoes for awhile is a smart move Travis. You need some time to develop the calf and achilles for the lower heel.
    Sorry to hear about your friend too.

  2. Thanks, Dan...wasn't sure if that was a good idea or not. I'll stick to the plan then!