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$100, 8.7 ounces, www.saucony.com
Modeled after Saucony’s popular performance-focused road shoe, the Kinvara, the Progrid Kinvara TR is a lightweight shoe with a four-millimeter heel-to-toe drop. Firm midsole cushioning stood up well to testers’ high mileage. A gusseted tongue kept out debris and a toe bumper helped prevent toe bruising on rough terrain.
A “FlexFilm” coating (heat-welded overlays) wraps the upper, adding integrity to the shoe’s structure and securing the foot without adding much weight. A solid rock plate running from the mid-foot to the toe offers protection without making the shoe too stiff.
Traction: Multi-directional V-shaped lugs aided up- and downhill traction, while multi-sized rubbery studs increased traction in sloppy conditions.
Fit: The shoe runs slightly small. Since it is narrow, the shoe is best for a low- to medium-volume foot. Added memory foam in the heel counter also secures the Achilles.
Best For: Narrow-footed testers running short-distance training runs and trail races on fairly tame terrain. The shoe performs well on runs with multiple water crossings thanks to water-shedding mesh.
The Downsides: A narrow-fitting toe box caused discomfort for wide feet. One tester complained of numb toes while another said his toes “felt smashed.”
Tester-monial: “This shoe is light, fast and nimble—I felt race-ready wearing the Kinvara TR. I will definitely use it for fast training and trail races of marathon distance or less.”
–Zeke Tiernan, Basalt, CO