Is the Kinvara Flawed?

It has been well-documented on here that I love my Saucony Kinvaras.  I just feel like they are the most comfortable shoe I’ve run in.  But my first pair started to fall apart after about 150 miles and my latest pair is starting to do the same.  The interesting thing is that my mom has had two pairs of Kinvara’s fall apart in the same way as mine.

Saucony Kinvara hole

Saucony Kinvara hole

Saucony Kinvara hole

Saucony Kinvara hole

My mom ended up contacting Running Warehouse and returned her shoes because they started falling apart so quickly.  I kind of wonder if there is something slightly wrong with the construction of these shoes.  Or maybe it’s something weird in both of our biomechanics that we break the shoes on both the left and the right sides of the shoes, just where the forefoot bends.

And despite this flaw, I still can’t help but want new pairs of Kinvaras.  I mean… look at these lovely colors available in the Kinvara 2!
Citron Saucony Kinvara 2
purple Saucony Kinvara 2

And there is the Kinvara 3, set to be released in May. (Save money on Amazon shoe deals when it releases in May.)  Taking a look at the photos, the upper looks like it has been reinforced some, so I am curious if the problem would be alleviated.  They’re still pretty attractive!
Saucony Kinvara 3 - photo from

A few Twitter Responses to this post I’ve received:

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[blackbirdpie url=”!/JohnnyHegs/status/165033278523453441″%5D

[blackbirdpie url=”!/jharpold/status/168325586622750722″%5D


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  1. I thought the Kinvara’s were a less durable shoe anyway, that’s why they’re lighter. That’s why I always struggle with which is more important to buy, lightweight vs durability. Saucony makes the the mirage which is supposed to be the answer to the lightness of the kinvara but the lack of durability – that’s what I run in, so maybe you could try that?? 🙂

    • The Mirage has a higher level of stability that I didn’t like running in. I tried a pair of those (they were beautiful too!) but just didn’t enjoy the feel.

  2. Interesting! It’s really strange that both you and your mom would have problems in the exact same places. It’s possible that it has something to do with the biomechanics of your feet, but wouldn’t you also notice similar wear patterns on your other shoes (if not the same sort of breakage)? I’m really curious to hear about whether other Kinvara-wearers have had the same problem. And I think it’s cute that you love them so much you still want a new pair 🙂 Runners are always so funny about their shoes!

  3. I’M starting to question the brand. my guide 4 and omni 8 did not last. i was getting new shoes every 8 weeks. I’m looking for a new brand now.

  4. I loved the Kinvaras, too. I honestly don’t believe I caused the tears. I have never had a pair of shoes tear like that, and I have owned lots of running shoes. And … the 3s are so cute. I just might try again 🙂

  5. OH NO! My sister, Jill just bought a pair of Kinvara’s. She too is a Saucony fan and hopefully she’ll not have problems. I’ve never run in Sauconys because I’m such an Asics fan, but I was seriously thinking about giving the Kinvara a try because Jill raves about them. I’m not sure spending the money will be worth the “try” if they’re going to break down after 150 miles. Hmmmm, something to think about during my run today!

  6. I guess this shoes isn’t design for 150miles. There is also possibilities of your routine can or may cause this kind of flaws, but as what you said your mom has the same problem too. I think the brand has something to do with this.

  7. I love my Kinvara’s. I just bought the purple one – put them on and was able to run in them right away. Great for speed and tempo runs – I would not use them for continuous distance running

  8. Must be a big problem, 2 of my 3 pairs have the same issue as yours. I hope this goes away with the Kinvara 3’s or I may have to find a new favorite shoe!

  9. I’ve got the same problem. Started around mile 150. I did just email customer service @ Saucony so we’ll see what they have to say. I love this shoe, but will not continue running in them if they fall apart this quickly. I cover way too much distance to be replacing my shoes that frequently. Ugh, just when I thought I found my perfect running shoe…

  10. My Mirage’s have broken down by the pinky toes as well after an 80 mile week. I’ve heard that the Kinvara 3 has addressed that problem because almost everybody has had this happen to theirs.

  11. I have run in four pairs of Kinvaras. I am still in a K1 version (>330 miles), and two K2’s (304 and 259 miles respectively). They do not break down for me in the upper at all. Still, I just ordered a new pair as I figure 350 is going to be pushing it. I think these are great shoes and as reliable/durable as any other I’ve had.

  12. I have the kinvara 3 and the uppers are ripping in the same place on the outside of the shoe on both feet. Same place…at first I thought it was just one, but within a week the other did the same. I’m disappointed, haven’t had them very long, but love them…realizing they won’t hold up as long but probably will purchase them again!

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