A light-weight, super flexible daily trainer that sits atop the K-Swiss Blade-Light Sole.
A firmer ride, heel/toe loops, and a little more "air conditioning".
If you like a "cushy" ride this is the shoe for you.
If you have spent any time at all on TriBomb you know that we are big fans of many of the shoes in the K-Swiss lineup. The Kwicky Blade-Light is not our favorite K-Swiss shoe, but it does has many of the features that triathletes look for in a shoe. This particular model features a super soft upper mated to the Blade-Light Sole. This shoe has been under the gun here at TriBomb for several weeks now and we decided to give you our take on it now that we have had time to get acquainted.
We think the Blade sole is one of those things you will either love or hate. If you like a very soft ride you will probably love these shoes. We have gone on record as not being big fans of this sole for running shoes. It provides a bit too much cushion for our taste in a running shoe that we would use as a daily trainer. That being said, the Kwicky Blade-Light is a substantial improvement over the Blade-Light Race in our opinion. It's still the Blade Sole, but the shoe as a whole is much better. We really like the Blade sole on the Recovery shoe because of the fact that it is so soft. So I guess we love and hate this sole (depending on its use).
The Blade Sole is by far one of the most flexible soles we've tested on a running shoe. This design allows for a very natural movement and the shoe can bend like Gumby. You can see the way the blades follow the outside edge of the shoe in the picture. All that flexibility comes with a price, the flexibility is achieved using a very soft foam, a little too soft, in our opinion.
We feel like this sole quite possibly just needs to hit the trail, like literally, hit the trail, as in a trail shoe. In fact, that's just what K-Swiss has done with this sole, the latest shoe to have the Blade Sole is...a trail shoe (which we hope to review in the coming weeks). It seems like the flexibility and the cushion may be a good fit for absorbing rocks and other debris that you might come in contact with out on the trails.
Another cool feature of the Kwicky Blade-Light is the ion-mask™ hydro-phobic coating, a NASA sounding way to say water repellent. As you can see in the picture below...yep it's pretty water repellent.
A feature that you will appreciate when dousing yourself with water at aid stations. While this technology is really cool (unfortunately, not in the temperature sense of the word) it also makes for a fairly toasty environment. While it is somewhat breathable, in hot weather, we prefer the additional air flow that a shoe like the K-Swiss K-Ona provides, basically a more open, permeable type mesh. We think the use of the technology of this upper could be tweaked a little and make for a pretty awesome racing flat.
Other than a lack of airflow we feel the uppers of this shoe are great, they are slipper soft and seam free. K-Swiss uses a heat welded upper to deliver a seamless interior that is one of the most comfortable we've reviewed. You can easily run sockless in these shoes, another tri-friendly feature. Our first test run with this shoe was about an hour long and we did it sans socks with no problems whatsoever, but we do run sockless a lot.
There are a few other things about this shoe that are worth mentioning from a triathlon specific standpoint. For one, the sole has drainage holes in the bottom of the shoe as well as side drainage holes (visible in the picture below) that run along the edges of the shoe.
The Kwicky Blade-Light doesn't have a heel or a tongue loop (which would be nice for a speedy T2) but it does have a small heel tab on the back.
While we don't LOVE the shoe it is a nice shoe to have in the "tool box" for certain situations. We actually like this shoe for recovery type runs, like what you might do in the days after a hard race or long training run. The extra cushion feels pretty nice on feet that are beat.
The Kwicky Blade-Light fits true to size, and is one of the few shoes available in a 12.5, which just so happens to be one of our reviewers sizes.
At the upper end of the running shoe price range.
TriBomb Bottom Line
A good shoe choice for the crowd that prefers the softer side.