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Monday, June 4, 2012

K-Swiss Blade Foot Run [zero drop; cushioned]

This shoe hasn't received a lot of attention, yet. I Just found it by accident and was intrigued immediately: zero drop & cushioned! My run commuter-forefoot striker dreams may come true. I ordered a pair immediately.

Overall impression

Great shoe at a great price tag. K-Swiss, please add some black rubber to the lateral side of the outsole.

Test conditions
  • urban environment, paved surfaces, all weather conditions, runs up to 1 hr, twice a day.
  • size: 10.5 US, 44 EU, 9.5 UK [my long foot measures 27 cm; slightly wider than average]
  • I'm a natural forefoot/midfoot striker [since ever and not just since it is trendy. Running up a mountain with your heels is quite difficult.]
  • added a 2 mm Noene under the insole for additional cushioning.
  • zero drop !!!
  • good cushioning; quite firm but still comfortable [Brooks Pure Flow seems more cushioned with a softer feel]. My first run in them was a 90 min trip with a twin baby stroller (the babies were sleeping throughout) on paved tracks only. Even though I've frequently run the same route in my Pure Flows I was surprised to feel a little beat the day after. Therefore, I've added a 2 mm Noene since I want slightly more comfort on paved roads. I would even consider adding a 4 mm Noene. I'm really interested in how the Blade Foot Run cushioning compared to Merrells Bare Access.
  • snug fit; though slightly narrow in the beginning these get wider by time

  • the last is sort of pointy. A more anatomical shape would be great [shape wise Merrell is the gold standard for me]. I doesn't bother me in the city but if you run on rocky/rooty trails you easiliy catch your feet. At least I do. 
  • My biggest point of critisizm is the outsole. As you can see in the picture below two areas are enforced with black rubber compound. K-Swiss' shoe testers must have been all heel strikers. Otherwise I can't explain why they haven't added some to the lateral part of the outsole. This is where forfoot strikers initiate ground contact. Already after my first spin in the them the red circled area showed significant wear. This white foam material is not very durable. This all reminds me of a big dissappointment with a pair of Saucony Kinvara. These shoes also have only soft foam at the lateral side of the outsole. These also showed considerable wear after only a few runs and the lugs would dissappear completly after a few weeks.
    Given the purpose of this shoes to promote a more natural running style (can you actually heel strike in zero drop shoe?) 
  • not really a negative but I do not notice any effect of these blades. I could do without if this enhances durability.

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