Remember back when I was going to write shoe reviews? I reviewed the New Balance MT 10 and was really hoping the shoe companies would pick up on what great reviews were happening on this blog and the boxes would start piling up on my doorstep. Unfortunately, the genius of this blog seems to be lost on the rich shoe company executives as these high-powered CEOs prove once again how out of touch they are with your average, working-class American. So, I've had to resort to buying my own shoes to review.
I usually spend way too much time at Run-n-Fun, Marathon Sports, The Runner's Gate, and StartLine because I like to try on and run in no fewer than 18 pairs of shoes before deciding which one feels best. Last spring, at StatLine, I heard they had a sale on Saucony Fastwitch. It turned out they didn't have a sale, but it also turned out that I didn't like the Fastwitch as much as I liked another pair of fancy shoes, the Kinvaras.
They were comfortable out of the store as well. I enjoyed them so much I put over 500 miles on them until I wore a hole in the side of the upper. I was so impressed with the Kinvaras, I decided I should try out the Kinvara 2s.
I really appreciated how light Kinvaras were, and the Kinvara 2s feel almost identical. They have good cushion and my feet have never gotten sore while running in them. One complaint I have about the Kinvaras, original and sequel, is they’re a bit narrow. My right foot seems to want to spill over the last instead of being able to flatten out on impact. The Kinvara 2s feel a little bit better in this respect, but it might just be in my head. The only other problem I’ve had with them is how they started to feel after I got a pair of Saucony Hattoris.
I love the Hattoris up to about four miles running easy and three miles running fast. They stay out of the way, are super light, and let my feet do what they’re supposed to do. The problem I have with the Hattoris are their complete lack of cushion. I’ve had the same problem with other racing flats—the bottoms of my feet get hot. If I’m going slow it doesn’t bother me for a while but when I’m doing a hard workout or racing my feet get hot—almost like a friction burn.
Now I’m going to have to make a choice for my next pair of shoes—after running in the Hattoris my Kinvara 2s feel a little clunky. I can’t feel the road in them at all and even at seven ounces they are noticeably heavier than the four ounce Hattoris. Do I keep up with the Kinvaras and use the Hattoris for speed workouts and short races? Do I see if I can get my feet used to the Hattoris enough that I could run a 10k in them? Or, do I look for something in between the Hattoris and Kinvaras?
Luckily I have a long time to make that decision. The shoe companies probably aren't going to start sending me their newest models, I've got two pairs of Kinvaras I’m rotating along with the Hattoris, I still use the New Balance MT10s for trail running, and snowshoe running is right around the corner. And, at the rate I’m going with staying busy with work and getting knocked out of commission for a week with kidney stone surgery, it’s going to be awhile until I’ve got enough miles on my shoes to buy a new pair.