minutes per mile blog

the great shoe review: adizero boost vs. fli-lyte vs. kinvara

Remember a few weeks ago when I asked for your shoe recommendations? I narrowed my search down to three and ordered them all! Thank goodness for Amazon Prime Fashion — free shipping and returns :)

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In case you’re wondering why I was in a running shoe dilemma, here is the short story: I’ve obsessed with Brooks PureConnects for the past five years or so. I’ve gone through at least seven pairs!

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I love the narrow fit and minimal-ish feel of the PureConnects. They’ve taken me through thousands of miles and so many races. So when Brooks announced they were discontinuing them I was heartbroken.

I asked you guys for suggestions and also used Runner’s World Shoe Advisor to help me find a replacement. Then I did some additional research and read lots of reviews. At the end of my journey, I’d narrowed my shoe quest down to four candidates: The Adidas Adizero Adios Boost, Topo Athletic Fli-Lyte, New Balance Fresh Foam Vongo, and Saucony Kinvara.

Here are the basic specs (weight and drop) of each shoe, as well as the price on Amazon. I included the PureConnects just as a comparison!

Brooks PureConnect 4 Adidas Adizero Adios Boost 2 Topo Athletic Fli-Lyte New Balance Fresh Foam Vongo Saucony Kinvara 7
Weight 6.8 oz 7.0 oz 7.2 oz 8.4 oz 6.6 oz
Drop 4.3 mm 9.1 mm 7.0 mm 4.3 mm 6.2 mm
Price N/A $109 $99.95 $119.95 $100

I was going to order all four pairs to test them out, but then I ruled out the New Balances based on three facts: 1) I had a terrible experience with my last New Balance shoes; 2) they were the heaviest of all pairs; and 3) they were the most expensive of the bunch, too. I had a feeling they wouldn’t be a good fit, so they got nixed in round 1.

I ordered the top three candidates and gave them all a test run!

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Just by picking up and looking at the shoes, I thought that Adidas Adios Boost would be the winner. These felt so light and looked so thin!

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I loved the narrow fit of Adios Boost and the light feel. Plus, the sea foam color is too cute! However, the soles felt hard and the shoe in general just felt cheap when I ran in them. I didn’t have a good test jog in these and felt like my feet would start hurting after a mile. Also thought the shoes would fall apart after a couple of months. So, these shoes ended up taking last place. Womp.

Next up: The Topo Athletic Fli-Lyte! I’d read rave reviews of these shoes and was eager to try out a lesser known brand. Just looking at the shoes, you could tell that they were made of high-quality material and the designers had put a lot of thought into them. As you can see, the shoes have a very wide toe which is intentional so that the toes have room to spread out. Topo is a believer in “natural running” so have incorporated that philosophy into the design of their shoes.

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I really wanted to love these shoes and appreciate the thought put into them! However, they were just too wide for my narrow foot. They felt clunky and awkward when I ran in them. Besides the width, everything else about the shoe was great. Perfect amount and placement of cushion, and great sturdy laces as well. These shoes weren’t the right fit for me but I might recommend them to someone with a wider foot.

Last up: The Saucony Kinvaras! I actually thought these shoes would take last place but they ended up being the winner!

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The Kinvaras were the lightest of the bunch in terms of weight, and they felt that way — but not in a cheap sense like the Adidas did :). Even though the Kinvaras **look** big cushy, they’re actually a breeze to jog in and don’t feel heavy or flat. Looking back, it’s not a huge surprise that I loved these shoes the most given that they’re most similar to the PureConnects in terms of weight and drop. I also just remembered that I had a pair of Kinvaras about 9 years ago and loved them. The design has definitely changed since then, but the basic features I loved then seem to have remained the same!

I’ve covered about 30 miles in these babies since ordering them and have been very happy so far! If you’re also feeling emotionally shattered after the death of the PureConnects, this is a great shoe to help ease the pain. Last note: Order half a size up. I ordered an 8.5 (what I wore in the PureConnects) but ended up exchanging them for a 9.

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Thanks again for following me on my running shoe shopping journey. Hope that my reviews help other crazy shoe people out there!

7 thoughts on “the great shoe review: adizero boost vs. fli-lyte vs. kinvara

  1. I love Saucony too………..I alternate between Brooks Ravenna and Saucony Guide. When I first tried Saucony I was afraid they would be heavy because they looked heavy, but they are so light and easy to run in! I have wide toes, so I order the wide on those, but maybe in the future I will have to try the Topo shoes.

  2. I have been running in Kinvaras for about 3 years now! I have 2 pairs at any given time, one I beat up at the gym lifting and one I only run in. At this point I may or may not have a pair for hiking and a pair for yardwork… I love them.

    PRO TIP – different colors cost different amounts on Amazon. I rotate with the 5s, 6s, and 7s; there is very little difference and I hardly notice it. I tend to spend about $60 on them every time I buy a new pair! The colors always look awful (in my opinion) online but once I slip them on I always love them.

    Congrats on the pregnancy Mary!!! <3 <3

    • thank you! haha yes, i noticed that some of the colors were different prices on amazon but luckily as a prime member i got a 10% discount anyways so i thought i’d splurge on the purple :). good to know you run in the 6s and are happy with them — i thought i read somewhere that the 6s were a bad model so was afraid to purchase them. next time i’ll go with those because they were even cheaper!

  3. Thank you for giving the Fli-lytes a shot! So glad you found another shoe that works well for you, even though I wish it was ours!