K-Swiss Blade Foot Run General Info
K-Swiss has enjoyed a resurgence with their line of award-winning triathlon shoes and gear, bringing the company back into contention among a wide pool of running shoe manufacturers. Keeping on top of industry trends, K-Swiss has introduced a range of responsive and durable running shoes. The Blade Foot Run is the company’s minimalist offering, providing a comfortable lightweight experience that comes packed with nifty features.
K-Swiss Blade Foot Run First Impressions
When I first heard that K-Swiss would be introducing a running shoe, I began to learn more about the company’s foray into triathlon apparel. After the company found success with triathletes, I became eager to see how they could segue into the running market. With the Blade Foot Run, the company created a bold and forward-thinking shoe for their first effort in the market. The shoe on a whole is reminiscent of blockbuster successes in minimalist footwear, incorporating design features throughout their design. A sturdy, flexible outsole is paired with a thin, durable midsole and a comfortable, lightweight upper. At a svelte eight ounces, the Blade Foot Run provides a familiar experience for runners who are accustomed to minimalist shoes. For a newcomer to the minimalist experience, the shoe also provides a dependable experience with moderate support in all of the right places.
Overall, the Blade Foot Run is an excellent foray into the minimalist market for K-Swiss. The shoe is simple by design: cushioning can be found where it’s needed, and comfort factors are noticeable without being restrictive. While many running shoe companies are looking to incorporate radical design changes with their freshman crop of minimalist models, K-Swiss’ conservative approach has created a dependable, reliable, and familiar experience within their minimalist model. The shoes provide the right amount of cushioning, comfort, and style.
K-Swiss Blade Foot Run Sole Unit
Within the minimalist shoe market, sole units range from being super-flexible to the stone-rigid—each looking to provide an experience which either mimics the foot’s natural motion, or attempts to stay out of the way of the running process. The Blade Foot Run has a semi-rigid outsole with a grooved pattern that holds up well on uneven and slick surfaces. In this respect, K-Swiss has split the difference between going hyper-flexible or stiff. Overall, this approach proves effective as my feet were able to move when needed, but were still secure throughout landing and push-off. The “Blade” design is the namesake of the shoe, and rightfully so: the blade treads of the outsole provide a surface which hugs concrete, asphalt, gravel, and trails alike. With moderate flexibility, I found that the shoes held up on a variety of surfaces, proving its worth as an all-around trainer.
The Blade Foot Run’s midsole provides a moderate amount of cushioning, creating a true minimal shoe experience that supports the foot without inhibiting motion. Using K-Swiss’ Superfoam and K-EVA cushioning, the GuideGlide midsole construction creates an excellent support system for the foot which stands out, paradoxically, for its lack of noticeability. By providing a proper amount of cushioning within a minimalist shoe, the Blade Foot Run never altered my gait or cushioned a portion of my foot which didn’t need it. This element came at a great relief, as it is difficult to strike a balance within midsole construction in minimal shoes.
K-Swiss Blade Foot Run Upper Unit
The Blade Foot Run truly shines in its upper unit construction. The shoe provides a comfortable and lightweight design throughout the upper. At no point did my feet hurt or blister while wearing the shoe. Constructed primarily of a breathable mesh fabric (with harder synthetic materials in the mid-foot region), the shoes felt breathable and comfortable throughout my run. A truly unique design feature can be found in the toe box. The Flow Cool system improves air circulation by including small holes at the front of the toes, a feature which encouraged ventilation while still repelling water and debris. This feature is among the shoe’s most innovative. Other remarkable inclusions can be found in the beaded shoelaces, which never lost their grip or came untied during testing, and the inclusion of pulltabs on both the ankle collar and tongue which made slipping the shoes on an absolute breeze.
When wearing the shoes, the sockliner maintains its comfort without being restrictive, bulky, or overly-cushioned. Feet stay dry, comfortable, and happy throughout long and short workouts alike. The unibody design encourages comfort and movement while forgoing seams and other blister-inducing elements. Of particular comfort was the ankle collar, which was both firm and low enough to allow the ankle to move freely. In total, the upper unit of the Blade Foot Run is truly where the shoe excels—I found the shoes to be comfortable enough to wear outside of my runs as well, doubling as a great shoe for walking and daily use.
K-Swiss Blade Foot Run Opinion
Breaking into the running shoe market can be a daunting experience rife with pitfalls. In the Blade Foot Run, K-Swiss was able to excel where other newcomers have faltered. The shoe provides a conservative minimalist experience which will be familiar to a wide range of runners. By refraining from including some of the bells and whistles found in other minimalist shoes, K-Swiss is able to stake its claim in the market by creating an accessible minimalist model. It included some of the great features I’ve found in other models, while at the same time taking on a feel of its own. One particular detail I noticed was the amount of toe room in the Blade Foot Run; something which is usually scarce in other leading minimalist shoes. In total, I found the shoes to provide a great running experience at a great price. If the same philosophy that went into creating the Blade Foot Run is used for future incarnations, K-Swiss will be on a positive trajectory as they establish themselves as a running brand.