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Posted: May 7, 2013  

Athletics: Saucony® Launches Award-Winning Kinvara 4

Named 'Best Update' by Runner's World, brand's iconic natural motion running shoe hits retail, supported by brand's largest launch effort to date

LEXINGTON, MA (May 6, 2013) – Building on its award-winning pedigree, Saucony today announced that the Kinvara 4 has been named "Best Update" by Runner's World in the publication's 2013 Summer Shoe Guide, just as the brand's fourth-generation natural motion icon arrives at select run specialty retailers worldwide. Rather than a revolution, the new Kinvara steps out as a performance-inspired evolution, with just enough upgraded design features to exceed the expectations of even the most ardent "Kinvara faithful." The Kinvara 4 will be supported with the brand's largest launch effort to date, and features The Saucony Race to Kinvara, a first-of-its-kind, innovative mobile marketing initiative.

Kinvara 4 Runner's World Review:

"'Don't mess it up!' That's generally the plea of runners who have fallen in love with a particular shoe," said the Runner's World editors in their review of the Kinvara 4. "Kinvara faithful, rejoice!" exclaim the editors. "The fourth version of this lightweight, cushioned trainer remains mostly unchanged, though subtle tweaks make this already solid shoe even stronger.

"First, the shoe gets an upgrade in midsole foam; lighter and higher-quality material results in slightly softer cushioning. Wear-testers report that the shoe remains firm enough for faster paced workouts. The most apparent change is on the upper. The visually prominent overlays that wrapped from side-to-side have been replaced with just a few strips radiating out from the end of the eye row (near the base of your toes), giving the shoe a cleaner look while still providing enough structure," added the Runner's World editors.

"We couldn't wait for Runner's World to put the new Kinvara through its paces," said Patrick O'Malley, senior vice president of global product for Saucony. "The whole team is honored to bring home another award for both the brand and the Kinvara, a shoe that's inspired enduring popularity with a cult-like following. There's always a huge responsibility in updating a legendary shoe. With this latest iteration, the team focused on maintaining the things people love about the Kinvara, while at the same time, making an even better running experience for them."

Kinvara 4 Marketing Launch:

Saucony is supporting the Kinvara 4 with the brand's largest launch effort to date. The multi-faceted campaign includes print and online advertising; a Kinvara 4 microsite (Kinvara4.saucony.com); in-store POS; and a broad-based social media outreach. An aggressive early release program targeted at run community bloggers generated advanced buzz and enthusiasm for the new Kinvara 4.

Additionally, The Saucony Race to Kinvara, an innovative digital marketing initiative that leverages mobile connectivity to engage the brand's run specialty retail partners, launches this week. The online competition culminates with the selection of teams of retailers, with each individual receiving an all-expense paid trip to Ireland to participate in The Saucony Race to Kinvara. Kicking off on July 12th, the three-day, 250km (155 miles) relay race begins in Dublin and ends in Kinvara, the namesake of Saucony's iconic natural motion running shoe.

"The short history of the Kinvara is already a successful one, having come out of the blocks as "Best Debut" from Runner's World in 2010," said Chris Lindner, chief marketing officer and senior vice president of commerce for Saucony. "This latest chapter of the Kinvara now stands as the brand's biggest launch ever with The Race to Kinvara being a truly fun way for the brand to create excitement and engage with our run specialty partners."

Kinvara 4 Product Detail:

Weighing only 7.7 ounces (based on a men's size 9), the Kinvara 4 is a performance training shoe with a 4mm heel-to-toe offset that positions the runner's foot during impact in a way that creates a greater range of motion than traditional running shoes (with a 12mm heel-to-toe offset) for the Gastrocnemius-Soleus-Achilles tendon system, allowing for a more powerful stride.

The Kinvara 4 is a perfect synthesis of celebrated design elements from previous versions with the most apparent change being the shoe's redesigned upper. FlexFilm™ technology, a lightweight, highly dynamic flexible film welded onto the breathable mesh upper has been readjusted to allow for more ventilation while still maintaining enough structure. Conversely, more FlexFilm™ was added to the midfoot and heel area to better frame and secure the foot through all phases of the gait cycle. Memory Foam heel pods along the collar add to the ultra-secure ride.

The Kinvara 4's midsole cushioning technology has also been upgraded from ProGrid™ to PowerGrid™, a premium engineered foam that's 15% lighter and 30% more durable than standard EVA foams. Located in in the heel landing zone, the PowerGrid system absorbs impact and transmits energy back into the runner's stride with maximum efficiency and minimal impact. XT-900™ premium carbon triangular rubber pods are strategically placed on areas of the shoe's outsole for enhanced durability and exceptional traction. A beveled heel facilitates a natural rolling movement from heel to toe.

Availability:

The Kinvara 4 is available at select specialty run retailers in men's sizes 7-13, 14 and 15, and women's sizes 5-12. The suggested retail price of the Kinvara 4 is $100.

To find a retailer near you, call 800-365-4933 or visit Saucony.com.

To read the entire Runner's World 2013 Summer Shoe Guide, check out the June issue of Runner's World on sale at newsstands now, or visit www.runnersworld.com.

About Saucony: Saucony, a division of Wolverine Worldwide, is a leading global running lifestyle brand that fuses performance, innovation and style to create compelling footwear and apparel with its widely recognized brands Saucony and Saucony Originals. Founded in 1898, Saucony continues to inspire runners everywhere with its award winning innovations, including the "Geometry of Strong(TM), ProGrid(TM), PowerGrid(TM) VIZIPRO® and AMP PRO2(TM) apparel. At Saucony, a good day is when we get to run. A great day is when we inspire someone else to run. For more information, go to Saucony.com.


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