The K-Swiss version of a "quick-transition" shoe designed to get you out of T2 as quickly as possible.
A more minimal design overall and a lighter weight.
We get the attraction of an "all-in-one" type of triathlon shoe, but we much prefer a shoe like the new K-Ruuz 1.5 and some speed laces to this shoe.
We've had the opportunity to get to know this shoe since long before its release date, and now that we have had time to put some real miles on it we thought we'd update you with our final thoughts. One of the most anticipated shoes in the K-Swiss 2012 lineup, the QT2, has a distinct slant toward the triathlete. This 9.7oz shoe is obviously designed with the triathlete in mind and attempts to give you the perfect combination of a lightweight shoe with an integrated closure system and a seam free, water resistant upper.
We were especially excited about this shoe, hoping K-Swiss would take a more stripped down approach with the design, and be more of a race flat than what it is. The shoe itself feels a bit more bulky and a bit more substantial overall than we prefer, especially for a race shoe.
The following material description is from the K-Swiss website.
Midsole/Outsole: Guideglide ™ dual-density constructon featuring Blade-Light Technology ™ cushioning and side drainage.
Superfoam © heel crash pad and footbed.
Aosta II © heel outsole and Duraplush ™ forefoot outsole.
Dynamic TPU arch support and 3D medial posting for enhanced stability.
The upper of the QT2 is an airy, water resistant mesh that features a seamless heat welded interior.
The shoe builds on the popular Blade-Light Sole platform and adds a QT (quick transition) upper. Even though the QT2 is a bit beefier shoe than we had hoped for, the fit is fairly comfortable and snug. One concern we always have with a shoe like this is with the shoe's ability to actually stay in place. The QT2 does a nice job of this, and even with narrow footed testers, we did not experience the shoe slipping off the foot or giving the feeling that it was lacking in providing a secure feel. The lack of a traditional lace up type of closure has presented problems in shoes that we have tested in the past The QT2 uses elastic bands on either side of the tongue, coupled with the elastic "lace" retention system on the outside of the shoe.
While the shoe did a good job of staying in place as far as the retention is concerned, we do feel like this shoe is better suited for the triathlete who has a wide foot. The toebox in particular is a place we felt like the shoe is a bit too roomy for our liking and probably adds to the bulky feeling of the shoe.
A closeup of the QT2's closure system, the elastic laces run along the outside of the shoe and are adjusted with a single retention "clip".
While the shoe does do a good job of providing a secure fit, our main complaint is with the area that would typically be the top of the tongue with a normal lace up shoe. The absence of a typical tongue is nice for a smooth, seam free, and overall uncomplicated upper.
The problem we had with this area of the shoe in our testing was its tendency to dig into the top of the foot while running, the lack of a traditional tongue presents a more harsh edge to this part of the shoe. Not a big deal for shorter runs, but as the length of the run increased, so did the discomfort in that area of the shoe.
The upper of the QT2 is composed almost entirely of a mesh-like material which features the ion-mask water resistant technology for a breathable and cool ride.
The interior is soft and seam free, however we did not find this shoe to be as sock free friendly as some of the other models in the line. The new K-Ruuz 1.5 and the Kwicky Blade were both more comfortable when going sans socks in our testing.
The Flow Cool System and plenty of side drainage help keep things cool and dry.
Out back there's a nice heel loop to help get you in the shoe quickly when T2 rolls around.
Inside there's perforation a plenty, for moisture to drain.
That same theme continues with the insole.
The sole will look familiar to you if you've ran in the Kwicky Blade-Light, the QT2 has the same Blade-Light sole. We like the concept of the Blade sole and the flexibility it provides, we continue to find it a bit soft for our taste.
It does however provide a nice bit of cushion especially with runs the days immediately following a particularly hard run, or days when a long steady paced type of run is in order. For the majority of tempo type runs or more aggressively paced runs we prefer a bit less cushion and bit more firmness to the ride.
Seems to be pretty good, the actual blades of the Blade Sole are pretty soft, but the addition of higher density material in key areas helps overall durability. The ion-mask water resistant coating also helps keep the shoes clean by limiting the ability of stains and dirt to adhere to the uppers.
Our samples fit true to size.
Pretty pricey, these shoes are toward the upper end of the price range with an MSRP of $144.00.
TriBomb Bottom Line
While we love the idea of a tri-specific racing shoe with a built in closure system, we much prefer the lighter more minimal design of the K-Ruuz to this shoe, especially for a race situation.