K-Swiss Kwicky Blade Light Running Shoes

They Say - An innovative light-weight running shoe featuring BLADE-LIGHT technology and stability enhancement. MIDSOLE/OUTSOLE: GUIDEGLIDE dual-density construction featuring BLADE-LIGHT cushioning and side drainage. SUPERFOAM heel crash pad and footbed. Enhanced stability. UPPER: SEAMFREE technology. ION MASK hydro-phobic nano technology for state-of-the-art water resistance.

We Say - These shoes are light, incredibly light. I wore them the first time on a 10km road run and felt fast. That’s right, I actually felt fast. This may have been a result of running purely off-road for a few weeks before-hand in heavier trail shoes, or if may be down to the Kwicky Blade-Light’s extreme light-ness, but whatever it was, it felt good, and motivated me to up my pace, push on and have a really good work out.

It was a really enjoyable experience to feel good from the outset, instead of starting at a slow plod for the first few kms whilst I ‘got into it’. I can’t talk enough about the shoes weight, I’m not exaggerating if I say that they’re no heavier than the pair of ultra light barefoot trainers I’ve got. And that’s saying something.

I tend to pronate, I’m told. In fact, the analyst who checked my running style out said I’ve ‘a very unique way of running.’ In layman’s terms, this means that I run in an odd way, a bit like if a chicken would run if it were constantly carrying an injury in it’s right leg (which I’m not). But these K-Swiss deal nicely with my style (or lack of it). I’ve been using them to train for a marathon for the past 2 months, and my program means I run about 60kms a week. Sometimes I do a 30km run on a Saturday morning. Never have I had any sign of a blister whilst wearing these shoes, or sore soles, or any form of injury. That I can trust these shoes to help me perform at my best and stay free of injury so I can train as hard as I need too at the right time of the week, every week, is something I really appreciate.

A few of those 30km runs have been on rainy days. My feet have stayed totally dry during these 2 to 3 hour long runs; to me this means that their resistance to water is top notch.

There’s a film advertisement online for these shoes (you can see the film, it’s well worth a look, and the dedicated Kwicky Blade-Light website here). It shows the American 50km distance champion explaining their properties, and how they have holes in the soles that allow water to drain out of them at a fast rate. This interested me. Water on the road or falling down off my body is mostly not a problem I have to deal with here in the UK, I don’t sweat that much mostly or tip water over my head as I run, as some do (that’s stupid, it doesn’t cool you any more than drinking it does, but it does dehydrate you more!). But sometimes I race overseas, where local spectators will kindly throw water over you to cool you down as you run. In the past this has caused problems as the water hits your legs and flows down into the shoe, where it then sloshes around and creates blisters. But not with these shoes it won’t.

The very lightweight construction means that for me these are definitely purely road running shoes. I’ve used them in the forest once to see how they fared but they didn’t provide a comfortable run – I felt every stone underfoot, every tree stump that I kicked hurt big time and whilst they feel very stable on tarmac they struggle with the constantly changing angles of the forest track surface.

I wasn’t keen on the very-bright look of the shoe at first – yellow and silver and a dash of black trim, all very American and not at all what a conservative English chap usually wears. But then I got over myself and have come to like them. I still wouldn’t wear them around town after the gym, but I like wearing them now for training, both for their performance and for the sense of fun and energy that the colour scheme conjures up.

The inners of the shoe are seamless, so in theory you can run without socks. This isn’t something I’ve tried yet so can’t comment more on it. Nice idea though. Maybe when the summer arrives I’ll try it (I know, it’s already August here but still the rain falls and the sun hides!)

I really like the laces, their width alternates to create a slight wave effect along the side of each length, which means they are extra grippy when tied and never, ever come undone. I’ve never come across laces like this before, I can’t imagine why other manufacturers don’t copy the style, it’s great.

In Summary - The Kwicky Blade-Light is my favourite road running shoe at the moment. I can run for ever in them and not get injured, and it’s light weight construction really makes me feel as if I’m wearing hardly anything and can run faster and easier as a result. Saying that these shoes make me run faster sounds like a foolish statement, the sort of thing a marketing man might have dreamt up 20 years ago. But that’s the only way I can express what I feel when I wear them. What a brilliant shoe! I’m looking forward to enjoying wearing them all through the Autumn marathon running season.

To find out more about K-Swiss Sportwear and to see their full range of shoes and clothing please check their website out - www.kswiss.com

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