My children have a tendency to get into things and move things around. As a result, the original insoles for my Saucony Kinvara 2 running shoes have been sitting in plain sight for a few days. It suddenly dawned on me how thin they were compared to the spongy insoles I had replaced them with on the advice of my physical therapist, and I realized my judgment of the shoes was made based on the insoles Saucony didn’t intend them to be worn with. So I switched them back out, and it makes all the difference.
No offense to my PT, but he was wrong.
The toe box is suddenly much roomier. Because my feet sit much lower in the upper than with the thick insoles, I have to tighten the laces, and this has re-shaped the last. I now see what the associate at the running store meant when she said it was a good last for my feet. My metatarsals still push out on the sides a bit, but this is now minimized, as the shoes are shaped differently width-wise as my feet are now several millimeters lower in them. They also run much better on these Paradise hills. The heel-to-toe ratio is improved with the original thinner insoles, so it’s much easier to land on the balls of my feet.
I’ve put almost 300 miles on these shoes, which is more than I expected when I noticed the sponginess of the upper. With the original insoles, I’ll be able to get a few dozen more out of them (and if I had replaced them sooner, I’d have prettier toenails!).
I still think the outsoles are thicker than they ought to be, as I’d prefer to sit lower to the ground as I run. And I don’t like the funny way they splay out at a 45° angle (they feel like snowshoes in that way). But they now come in 3rd place of favorite running shoes, and if I could find some on clearance, I’d even keep them in stock to help extend the lifespan of the other shoes in my rotation.