First Run – in My Saucony Kinvaras 2

I have had way too may “first runs” lately, but this one felt different than the other shoes I have tried out lately. As I discussed in my Running Shoes – Time to Rewind and Start Over post I chose the Saucony Kinvara 2. Even though they were on my top 5 list, I had been hesitant to try them because of what had happened to my previous Saucony shoes (heel wear and blister problems). However, nothing else was working and I really do love the fit and feel of Saucony shoes, so I decided to look very closely at the Kinvaras.

I am glad that I did, the heel is designed differently than other Saucony shoes that I have run in and hopefully this design change, fixes the issues I have had with them in the past.

When I tried them on, there was no doubt that they were going to come home with me.

They did and here they are:

Saucony Kinvara - Notice that they are not black and orange 🙂

Saucony Kinvara - Coast Guard Blue and White - they just need a little International Orange thrown in 🙂

Saucony Kinvara - The Box

Enough of the pictures already, how did they do on my feet during the run?

How were they

FANTASTIC – this is a PG-13 site, so I can’t write what I really said-but the sailor did come out and play for a while. 🙂

They were comfortable, I easily maintained my form for most of 3.1 miles (except when I was screwing around with my iPhone‘s arm band, which I eventually threw in my pocket). I knew the calf strain was there and had to back off my lean when I was going faster, but at more reasonable speeds, it was hardly noticeable – big freaking difference!!!!

The shoes are light and fast – and yes I like them a lot so far.

The only thing I noticed at all was that they were a little tight on my right forefoot, not uncomfortably tight, just more snug than the left, so that is something that I will watch to see if it loosens up a bit, after I wear them for a while.


Here are my splits for the run today:

The first mile in a new pair of shoes is always slower, as you get used to how they feel, plus I was messing around with how I was carrying my iPhone for the GPS program. That is my next project finding a great way to carry it once the weather turns warmer and I don’t have pockets to carry it in or else find a GPS watch that I have on my wrist – who know maybe I will win one of the contests going on.

I am definitely very happy with my mile 2 & 3 splits for a first run and my cadence was very close to my goal of 90.

The reality is that

Now I wish I had gotten my Saucony Kinvaras earlier and not done the run-a-round routine, if these work as good as I think they will, next time I will know to start with the Saucony, instead of waiting like I did this time.

The Kinvaras have had the best start of all of my shoes in a long time! Now let’s see how they do from here.

Next report at 50 miles.


13 comments on “First Run – in My Saucony Kinvaras 2

  1. I like how you are able to test all these shoes! It sounds like you’re converging on these here. I am so new to running (working on my second year). I have several stores in the St. Louis area and finally went into Fleet Feet and got “fitted” and tried out three different pair. I finally settled on the Brooks Adrenaline. I am 210 lbs so I go through shoes about every 10 weeks on average, unless I turn up the mileage for a marathon (ok, I’ve only done one LOL), then much sooner. I am watching how you minimalist approach is going, since I’m tempted. Though, I get the impression to go slow…and with a half coming in 8 weeks, I will likely try once this pair needs to be shelved, and I have time between now and the Marine Corp Marathon (if I can get a slot).

    As for the phone thing. Today, Mrs. Smiddy and I ran in a local 4 mile race, the Truffle Shuffle. It was low thirties, sunny, slight breeze, so I wore a velour type sweat jacket (not one of the newfangled tech types) which I carry my phone in my pocket and it seems to ride well and the GPS works pretty good. Later, since today is my Long Run day (I got 10.27 more miles), when it warmed into the mid forties, I use my Nathan water belt, with a Amphipod carrier. My phone and gels fit nicely in it, and the Nathan belt is custom fit and sturdy so I don’t ever notice it, so I ran in a shirt without the jacket and the belt. My phone is an hTC EVO 4G, which is a little more stout than an iPhone, but rides in the Ampripod nicely. It is easy to get in and out of the pouch. The pouch is much like I’d imagine neoprene wet suit materiel to be, so it stays dry. I have tried iFit belts, and they may have cause me some issues with my sciatic nerve (but that’s another story), so it was uncomfortable, and the pouch for my phone was too tight, though the bib ties were nice and the gel holders were also, but with the fit, I had to put it aside. I hope that gives you some ideas.

    I like your times, much faster than me. I’m aiming to get my Tempo Runs to 8:50’s so I can break a two hour half (The Go! St. Louis). If I want to do under four in the Marine Corp, I need to get down to 8:30’s. Speed work over the summer should get me there. Of course, I’m tempted to do a 50k in August, but slow, they give 8 hours to do as much as you can…but I haven’t committed yet. 🙂 Again, your times rock, and thanks for sharing!

    • Hi Aaron – Thank you for commenting. Believe me I wasn’t planning to test this many shoes, I was just trying to find a pair that work for me and ended up trying far too many pair on and bringing home 2 pair that didn’t work. Hopefully the Kinvaras will be a great shoe for me and I can stop searching.

      I made the Switch to more minimalist to help with changing my form, which I have been working hard on since December, the higher heeled shoes (for me at least) cause me to want to rung with a rear foot strike and I want to go to a more fore foot strike style.

      I am glad that my shoes last longer than 10 weeks, otherwise TheWife would definitely send me back to work to support my running habit :-). I hope that you get the slot for MCM it is a great Marathon, I hope to get one next year, if the body holds up.

      My advice on moving to minimalist shoes is to go slow, especially if you have been running in regular shoes for a long time and do not have much opportunity to walk around barefoot. Everyone is different as far what they need to do for a transition, it is a different way to run and I think better. The Merrell website has probably the best detailed info on the nuts and bolts of transition to minimalist shoes. For now I am going to stay with the zero to 4mm drop with cushioning. My calf just isn’t holding up to less than that.

      Thanks for the info on the phone holder while running – I will look closer into it, I looked at some of the Nathan gear at Dick’s yesterday, it wasn’t quite what I was looking for – I will find it though – eventually.

      Everyone is a bit different on how fast or long they go and our goals are different, thank you, in running speeds are relative, one person’s PR pace is another’s slow run, so I don’t worry about the speeds so much, I am just trying to meet some of my goals this year. I don’t put them up on the blog because I am narcissistic (as some have implied), but more to have an easy place to look back to see if I am improving. Thank you for the compliment though.

  2. Here are the links to the belt and the pouch:

    I put the pouch on that belt and you can’t tell it is there.

    I will try to provide a positive influence on your narcissism, I promise. 🙂 I know I can’t go on a run without “monitoring” myself though. So perhaps I’m in that boat with you.

    Thanks for the advice on the shoes. I will let you know if and when I go minimalist.

    • Aaron 🙂 Running is the only activity that I really like to follow numbers, charts and graphs, otherwise I try to avoid it – go figure, part of being a runner. I will be interested to see where you go with the minimalist shoes, if you do. I like to hear of other people’s experiences and how they compare to mine.

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