The Saucony Kinvara has been a beloved running shoe for over a decade now due to its lightweight and versatile nature.
However, maybe you want to branch out to a different shoe, but still, keep that signature lightweight and natural feeling underfoot — and a similarly affordable price point similar to the Saucony Kinvara.
Shoes similar to the Saucony Kinvara are the Hoka Rincon, Topo Athletic Cyclone, and Brooks Launch because of their lightweight, reliable, and affordable features.
To be fair, there aren’t many comparable or similar shoes to the Kinvara within the same price range, so we can mimic that amazing lightweight trainer, but the price is going to rise.
3 Similar Shoes to Saucony Kinvara:
Top Choice: Hoka Rincon
- Lightweight Responsiveness
- Secure Lockdown
- Natural Cushioning
3 Similar Running Shoes to Saucony Kinvara with a Short Review
1. Hoka Rincon
The Hoka Rincon is a lightweight and snappy uptempo daily trainer with a lower heel-to-toe drop that could alternate well with the Saucony Kinvara.
Made up of an EVA compression midsole and a revised early stage meta rocker, the Rincon provides a cushion but also gives you that signature ground feedback feeling that a runner might desire on their training runs or tempo workouts.
Furthermore, many runners will actually double this shoe as a race day shoe without a carbon plate because of how comfortably it moves at faster paces.
Making up the bottom of the shoe, there is a full ground contact midsole with the EVA that still provides solid traction and a smooth transition. To protect this exposed midsole, Hoka has placed its Hi-Abrasion lightweight rubber strategically in high wear areas for durability and traction
Complementing the midsole is the engineered mesh making up the bulk of the upper material, it is a nice blend of accommodating to your foot, yet sturdy with its lockdown.
To reduce the weight Hoka implements a slim tongue, which still manages to feel comfortable over the top of your foot when you tighten up the laces (most of the time).
For an easier slip-on, there is an accentuated heel pull tab, which works quite well without getting in the way. It also seems to help with holding the shoes as well, as you can just use the pull tabs to carry the shoes around when needed.
While the shoe is comfortable and can provide plenty of performance benefits, it may seem to last a little less long than its counterpart, Saucony Kinvara. However, you still may enjoy around 300 miles of high-performance comfort.
2. Topo Athletic Cyclone
The Topo Athletic Cyclone is a minimal, low drop, lightweight daily trainer designed to disappear under your foot while still providing some pop throughout your toe-off of each stride.
It is often overlooked because Topo is a smaller brand, but it’s truly a high-quality affordable trainer with plenty to get excited about.
My favorite part of the shoe must be the Zipfoam making up the midsole, which is a rigid EVA foam that provides plenty of durability, while still having a relatively soft underfoot—thanks to the insoles—and getting that low to the ground responsive toe-off that many seek in their shoe. Its simplicity may be its greatest trait.
For lightweight protection and grip underfoot there is a strategically placed rubber outsole placed in high abrasion areas on the bottom of the shoe to protect the midsole foam and provide the grip that you need to get through slippery surfaces.
The thread style on the Topo does remind me of some of the Brooks shoes.
Also worth mentioning is the wider base of the shoe in the forefoot area feels like it adds another level of stability to the base of your foot because the space allows for a larger ground contact area. My foot just feels secure when I hit the ground, which was quite enjoyable.
The upper mesh is simple and lightweight, as is the lacing system. Very few issues getting a good lockdown in this one, as it really did feel like my foot was being held comfortably by the eyelid chains within the lacing system.
It is not incredibly comfortable though because it is so stripped back, so if you are looking for the premium instep sensation then you should probably look elsewhere.
The wide toe box is a staple in all Topo Athletic shoes, similar to Altra, but I personally find that Topo has a better lockdown, durability, and build quality overall in comparison to most Altra shoes.
With the Topo Cyclone, I felt all of the benefits of a wide toe box with none of the drawbacks that usually come with it (i.e. swimming around in the shoe because the overall volume is too great).
This is coming from someone with a narrow (b-width) foot—yes narrow foot people can enjoy a wide toe box too if the lockdown is good though. Thankfully, the Topo Cyclone has that spacious toe box paired with an entirely appropriate lockdown for all foot types.
- BEST USED FOR: Topo Athletic Women's Cyclone shoes have been specifically designed to ensure natural and comfortable road running experience. Upgrade your run with our light and fast trainers.
- DURABILITY AND TRACTION: We have strategically placed rubber on the outsole of the new Cyclone road running shoes to enhance traction and durability.
- MORE CUSHIONING AND RESILIENCE: Zipfoam a proprietary midsole compound which is springier than EVA and offers more rebound over the life of the shoe.
- ALL DAY COMFORT: Ultralight materials and seamless mesh upper ensure all-day comfort no matter how long you wear them, delivering a breathable and secure fit.
- 5MM DROP: these women's road running shoes have been engineered with 5mm heel-to-toe drop, encouraging an optimal level of cushioning on a neutral platform. Our highest available drop allows you to access natural running with more under-heel cushioning.
3. Brooks Launch
The Brooks Launch is a staple addition to the affordable shoe lineup year-in-year-out because it provides just enough of everything you need with nothing that you don’t need. Which keeps the price at an exceptionally reasonable price of $99.95 (by today’s standards).
The comfort underfoot starts with the BioMoGo DNA midsole foam, which ends up being a fully custom responsive ride that adapts to your personal foot and ground contact over time.
I was skeptical about this sort of statement at first, writing it off as some marketing word salad, but I was quite pleased with how the foam formed under my foot after around 20 miles of running.
This was the kind of shoe that felt better at 100 miles than it did at 10 miles, which is welcome from a low stack height, lightweight performance trainer.
The Blown Rubber outsole covers much of the bottom of the shoe, protecting the midsole foam and providing just enough grip, but it is built with grooves to increase flexibility for your foot strike and transition to toe-off.
The simple, yet accommodating Air Mesh upper is everything that I’d expect from a Brooks upper, incredibly comfortable, breathable, and fitted. Brooks probably makes the best upper material in the shoe game, at least in general.
My only complaint was that I think the upper may not hold up quite as long as the midsole does, as it seems more prone to ripping on the sides of the shoe.
You may be interested in: I put together a little deeper analysis and comparison between the Brooks Launch & Saucony Kinvara.
- THIS WOMEN'S SHOE IS FOR: The Launch 8 is for neutral runners who want a lightweight shoe with a fast, fun, ride. Durable enough for training but light enough for race day, the Launch 8 is designed to keep up on every run. Predecessor: Brooks Launch 7.
- NEUTRAL SUPPORT: Streamlined yet cushioned, with neutral support, this shoe hits the sweet spot between a race flat and a standard trainer.
- LIGHTWEIGHT CUSHIONING: Brooks lightest BioMoGo DNA midsole cushioning provides a fast ride without any extra weight - perfect for days when you are working on your speed.
- BREATHABLE AND SLEEK FIT: The new one-piece mesh upper creates a closer-to-foot-feel that is more breathable than ever before.
- QUICK TRANSITIONS: The Midfoot Transition Zone is shaped to go from heel to toe quickly. Newly added blown rubber in the forefoot propels you forward for a faster ride.
Kinvara Alternatives Conclusion
So if you’re seeking a similar shoe or an alternative to Saucony Kinvara then these are going to be a great place to start.
Although it can be difficult to find shoes that directly mimic each other across brands and models, you can always find a certain theme to follow. In this case, we see low-stack height, lightweight, reliable, and affordable running shoes that lean on the responsive side.
The Rincon and Cyclone are probably some of the closest shoes to the Kinvara out there because of the similar drop and handling of the shoes, but they still carry some different flavors that might be fun to try.
The Rincon will feel softer, and the Cyclone will have a wider toe box (wide feet rejoice).
The Launch captures much of the same responsive and reliable trainer handling as the Kinvara, but it has a higher heel-to-toe drop that some may not enjoy.
For reference, the Saucony Kinvara has a 4mm drop and the Brooks Launch has a 10mm drop.
That being said, few people have issues moving up in drop, while quite a few people see problems with moving down in drop too suddenly because of the stretch on the calves and achilles.
Anyway, all are great alternatives that capture the essence of the Saucony Kinvara, so if you want a different take on what feels like a very similar overall ride, then give these shoes a try.
Other Running Shoe Reviews & Comparisons
Hi, Jeremy Here,
I am the the guy behind Train for a 5K. On this site, I share everything that learned along my running journey. The content I create is the running training I wish I had before we started this journey. About Me.
Last update on 2023-09-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API