Zoot Ultra Kalani 2.0
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WHAT YOU GET

A daily trainer inspired by the unique needs of triathletes.

WHAT WE'D LIKE TO SEE

A much lower back height (which we hear is on tap for 2012).

WHAT WE THINK

A good attempt at solving some of the issues that many runners (especially triathletes) have with traditional daily trainers.

Detailed Review

Summary
After a few weeks of having the Zoot Kalani 2.0 it's time for our TRI-al Run Review. This shoe promises to be a barefoot friendly high mileage neutral trainer. Our limited testing has left us wanting more (or actually less would be more accurate in this case, read on).

Materials
Up top-A very soft, seamless, TekSheen mesh. The "non-tongue" tongue has a built in pull for easy entry, there's also one out back.



Underneath-Zoot uses a Z-bound midsole designed to provide cushion and maximum responsiveness. There's also a carbon fiber plate that you can see in the picture below that runs basically the length of the shoe to help with support and to put a little spring in your step.



Comfort
The upper of the Kalani 2.0 is super soft and comfy. This shoe was designed with the sockless runner in mind. This is a feature that we as triathletes can appreciate as we do a lot of our running barefoot. In our brief TRI-al Run testing of this shoe we found the material of the upper to be quite comfortable.

The upper is a super soft mesh material called TekSheen. Our experience with it so far has been good, it seems to be pretty breathable and it conforms to the foot nicely. Zoot has used this material to produce sort of an exposed sockliner type of upper that has lace "straps" that attach to the lower portion of the shoe. The way the upper is somewhat separate from the actual lacing of the shoe makes for a comfortable fit. We also like absence of a traditional tongue, and the asymmetrical alignment of the lacing is a nice touch.



However, while seamless (which is awesome) where the lace straps actually land on your foot could prove to be a problem for some people. In our sample, the bottommost outside lace strap on the right shoe rested right on top of the small toe of our foot proving to be a source of potential rub.

Our main complaint with this particular shoe is in the back height department. The back of this shoe, particularly the back tabs are just extremely tall in our opinion. We have been unable to do any runs of substantial distance with this shoe because of this issue. Basically the achilles area is the main source of pain where the shoe just digs in, and the longer you go, the worse it gets...not a fan of this part of the shoe.



As you can see the Zoot is considerably taller than the shoe on the right (K-Swiss K-Ruuz) a shoe that we feel has a fairly normal heel height.

The Ride
We actually feel like it's a pretty good balance between cushion and firmness. Due to the comfort issues, most of our testing has been relatively short, but the shoe has a nice firm responsive feel.

Durability
To be determined in the final review...so far so good.

Sizing
Seems true to size.

Price Range
At the upper end of the spectrum.

TriBomb Bottom Line
86 the mile high back tabs and this might just be a winner.

Manufacturer's Website
www.zootsports.com