The California based K-Swiss made it's shoe debut at Wimbledon in 1966 to great accolades. The company was started by avid tennis players and brothers, Art and Earnest Brunner who set out to create a shoe that could meet the demands of the sport. After a brief lull in the flashy 80's for refusing to compromise on quality, K-Swiss rallied in the 90's by launching a $17 million dollar ad campaign to update it's image. These days, they are continually seeking to expand their ever growing resume of great shoes and athletic gear created specifically for the athlete who demands a good product.
How It Works
The Blade-Light is an ultra-light super cushioned running shoe at 9.3 oz. The anatomically placed K-EVA "blades" are aligned to the angle of impact and critical flex points leaving you with a super cushioned, flexible ride. A micro layer of Super-foam sits underneath the K-EVA sock liner to provide a soft and resilient feel under foot. They have been created for training as well as racing.
What We Liked
These shoes look really cool, let's just get that out of the way. I really liked how the classic look stood out in the store next to all the neon nightmares, that look like my kids were left alone in the graphic department. (In all fairness, I wasn't a fan of neon even in the 80's) They were surprisingly comfortable right out of the box and remained comfortable throughout the testing process. There was no rubbing or chaffing and I even wore them sockless a few times without any blistering. The cushioned sole is apparent from the first step and felt like they were molding to my feet. I had a few people ask where I got them when I walked into spin class one morning and I wasn't too surprised to hear that they'd been considering a pair as well. When running in them, I completely forgot I had them on, a testament to their weight and quality. I also liked the drains in the footbed, perfect for draining any excess water during races. Side note: when using them at the gym, avoid puddles in the parking lot unless you like wet socks while strength training.
What We Didn't Like
While K-Swiss created the Blade-Light for training as well as racing, I noticed after a few weeks of long runs that the soft sole was beginning to show some wear. While I would love to tell K-Swiss to fix this issue, I have to wonder if it would take away from what I love about the shoe and perhaps what makes it so darn comfortable. I would however, recommend using the shoe for important training runs and leaving them pristine and smiling in your closet, waiting for race day. You won't regret buying them in the least. In addition, I have average sized feet and I found the shoes quite roomy. Most shoe stores recommend that you buy running shoes a size bigger than you normally wear. While they fit perfectly for me, if you have narrow feet, make sure you take the time to try them on in a store before you order online, you may need to get a half size smaller than usual.
The Blade-Light Run retails for $90. They offer women's sizes 6 to 11 and come in a red/silver color. The men's version comes in the red as well as blazing yellow (so sweet) and runs sizes 6.5 to 14.