Te Koi Smith
TeKoi used to top the scales at 220 pounds and got involved in triathlon after seeing Triathlete Magazine in a store and thought, "How hard could this be?"
He went straight from sprint distance to Half Ironman distance in less than a year and has never looked back. He enjoys all distances, but has a special love for going long with the half & Iron distances. He is a 2 time Ironman finisher a proud husband of an amazing wife and a father of a 3+ year daughter who both love to race. TeKoi co-founded TriEdge to help others find the satisfaction that is called triathlon.
KSwiss is committed to getting triathletes out of T2 as quickly as possible and the release of the Kwicky QT2 (Quick Transition 2) is a testament to that. The shoe may be the fastest transition shoe on the market.
I have to admit that upon first look I felt like it looked a bit like a bed time slipper. As you can see there are no laces over the top like a traditional shoe. The few lace eye-holes it has can be found near the shoe’s opening. The upper is smooth and unstitched, giving it its’ slipper look. However, I got used to it pretty quickly and think it is a decent looking shoe.
When you break it down, the QT2 is simply the standard Kwicky with a different upper. So, if you care more about your performance, as you should be, then looks shouldn’t matter. These will slip on quick and comfortably.
Similar to standard Kwicky’s, as this pretty much is – you’ll find these to be light and comfortable. When you slip them on the first thing you will notice is that there is no tongue. Because it doesn’t have the standard lace design a tongue isn’t needed. This is not a feature they tout but I think it is worth mentioning. I wish shoe companies made more running shoes without the tongue. The feel on the top of my foot is seamless and smooth. You never have to worry about the tongue slipping around.
The quick transition system is for real. It really is a breeze to get in and out of the shoes. You can easily tighten down the shoe with a quick tug on the laces. A retention clip locks your fit into place. You’re good to go in the blink of an eye.
Another feature of the QT2 that is utilized in other KSwiss racing flats is a drainage system that allows water to flow through the shoe with ease, minimizing the swish of soggy shoes. Don’t hesitate to throw water all over yourself.
Give the KSwiss QT2 a try if you’re on the market for a performance racing shoe for triathlon. They are light and will give you a performance advantage you will need.
Check out KSwiss.com for more information on the Kwicky QT2.
Of all of the different shoes that KSwiss creates for the different niche markets, I have to say they really nailed it with running flats. Their second edition of the Kruuz line does not disappoint. In fact, they’ve gotten better than the originals.
The most obvious change to the K-Ruuz is the color. I honestly was not a fan of the two-toned blowing shoe look from the 1.0 version. They looked great on pro triathletes as they burned up the run course but these guys and girls would look good in clown shoes. So, to see the 1.5s in what they call “Fiery Red” was a great change. It certainly is fiery and stands out from the pack, but in a classy way. These will look good as a casual shoe after retirement from my fleet of running shoes.
This is all that really matters, right? First off, I have to say that the fit of the 1.5's is much better for me than the 1.0's, primarily in the heel, which was loose in the previous model. They are now snug and “just right.”
I didn’t take the shoes out for a test drive until two days before the Wildflower Long Course triathlon in May 2012. It was an easy 5k and was pretty eventful, which is good, especially when you plan on wearing a new shoe on race day.
Race came and went. My initial reaction was “A+.” I don’t know what else I’d need in a flat. It is comfortable, super light (5.5 oz) and looks good. However, considering the nature of the Wildflower course I’d say I may have been better off with something a little beefier. The majority of the Wildflower run is on a trail and there are rocky sections that beat up my feet. The Kruuz 1.5 handled it but I could be each bend of the shoe like it was a part of my foot. This is not good on the trails. I flew on the road sections.
Since Wildflower I’ve had numerous road runs in them and I have more coming in the near future. I love these shoes. If you’re looking for a flat you must consider these, whether you’re a pure runner or a triathlete.
Check them out online at KSwiss.com.
Let me preface by saying that I am no stranger to Newton Running. I've read in places that Newton almost seems to have a cult-like following. I have been a member of that cult for 3 years now and I was very excited to take Newton Running to the trails and see if they did as good a job as they did on the road.
At first glance: They looked like Newtons due to their bright colors and lugs but didn't quite feel like a Newton due to their weight. At first thought doesn't seem to be a big deal because they would need to have a little more durability since they are a trail shoe. Anyone that is at least a little familiar with Newtons is aware of their lugs set in the forefoot to promote forefoot running. The Terra Momentus has these same lugs, but are not as prominent as with your street shoe and are rounded towards the front of the shoe. The tread in the shoe looks like it would be enough to get you safely up hills and the tread at heel of the shoe gives you a sense of stability, for going downhill. The plate feels strong yet durable enough to not have to worry about any rock punctures. The Momentus has a more weather and abrasion resistant fabric than other Newtons.
The Terra Momentus reminds me of the comparison of a carbon bike frame to an aluminum frame. The aluminum gets the job done, yet the carbon is a definite step up not just in form and function but in feel. The shoe is obviously more durable with a lot less overall give and is able to handle the trails of Utah.
On the trails: I am fortunate enough to have an assortment of trails less than ¼ mile from my house- everything from soft equestrian trails, to dirt roads and technical single-track surrounded by dense trees. While running on the road to enter my trail paradise, I immediately noticed I could still feel the presence of the lugs although not as exaggerated as my road shoes. Once on the dirt trail leading up to the single track, I could feel that these shoes already had a different feel to them. The lugs still kept my gait quick and were small enough to not trip over any roots or trail debris. I soon moved onto an equestrian trail to see how they would feel with more room for my feet to move around. That is one place where the natural movement seemed to play against me as the wood chips formed more of a cushion around my feet and my foot was more apt to move in a lateral direction than forward. Once I moved into the single track, I felt at home. Again, the lugs are rounded in such a way to keep me from falling forward, yet I was still able to anticipate the upcoming trail with ease. My foot moved to each turn and bounced over each puddle of mountain slush. To date, I have put on about 40+ miles on the shoes, and I feel more confident in them every time I’m in them. My longest run in them has been up to 10 miles and I have never felt any pain or discomfort from them.
Pros: True to Newton fashion, aesthetically, these shoes do not disappoint with their bright colors- of course, it goes deeper than that. The Momentus are designed for forefoot striking and this shoe encourages good form over trails and confidence on hills. It is a great shoe for someone looking to change the way the way they run on the trails. They are light enough to almost make you think you are not wearing a trail shoe, yet gives you the support you need at all the right times.
Cons: As mentioned earlier, on very loose terrain, I did not feel that I had the stability because the lugs promote you to move forward and doesn't give you the lateral stability. The heel box and toe box give you the stability, but the lugs seem to counteract that.
Overall: Is it worth the MSRP price tag of $139? Yes, I think so-especially if you are looking to improve your running form and you want a reliable trail shoe that you can always depend on. Join the Newton Running cult and you won’t be disappointed. I’ll be there waiting for you...
For more information about Newton products go to: www.newtonrunning.com
The K-Swiss Blade-Max Stables have been my go to shoes since I got them. I’ve had other trail runners that I’ve been using, but none that I’ve liked nearly as much. As much as some people like the new minimalist running shoes, I just haven’t been able to make the change. I can handle them, and even like them for road running, but for the trail I like to have a very supportive and stiff sole. The K-Swiss Blade-Max Stable is that shoe. The dual density sole with super foam soaks up bumps well. The sole was actually designed with tread to handle something more than just a gravel trail. Pronounced ridges provide good purchase on steep hard pack and rocky trails. The sole has a nice semi-stiff shank to give me the flexibility I need to run, but keeps endless rocks and roots from causing foot fatigue after just a few miles.
Along with designing a great supportive sole the uppers are nicely done as well. I don’t usually go sockless, but the interior has been designed with minimal seams in just the right places in case you’re racing XTERRA or just like to run without socks. The toe-box has been designed with a dual layer of mesh. A more rough mesh on the exterior increases durability while a super-soft mesh inside lets the feet breath while keeping things nice and comfy.
As far as colors go, you have your option of feeding your inner triathlete desire for really bright colors with the Fiery Red (I get a lot of looks). Or, you can go with the more subdues traditional K-Swiss look of white and blue.
I’ve been using these shoes not only on the trails, but on the road and in the gym. The cushy sole, well ventilated upper, and awesome colors, make this a shoe that works well everywhere.
K-Swiss Blade Max Glide
Over the past few years I've been trying out a number of different shoes as my distances have increased and I've begun running multiple marathons and half marathons in a single season. Though I've mixed in some more minimal shoes for my shorter runs, I've been using another shoe for my longer runs and races for the past 3 years. Needless to say, this is my first pair of K-Swiss running shoes. I average about 30 miles weekly, but since January have been building mileage to between 40-60 miles. So far, I've been able to run several long runs (a 17 miler and a 19 miler) and several shorter runs in the Blade-Max Glides.
Right out of the box, the shoes felt great. They had the right mix of cushioning and support without adding too much weight. The group that I run with commented on their design right away. Not that design outweighs function, these are noticeably a good looking pair of shoes (mine are red, black and white). I also liked the fact that the shoe felt roomy, especially in the toe box. After the longer runs, I didn't notice any hot spots or blisters. One other cool feature are the laces. I've run into issues in other shoes where the laces are too long and require double knots to keep me from tripping on them. The K-Swiss laces were the perfect length and locked into place right away due to their unique design. The also did not loosen up throughout the entire run. The ventilation in the shoe worked really well and I didn't find my feet overheating.
The only criticisms that I have of these shoes deal with the soles. I found that they were simply too "chunky". When my legs started to grow tired, I began catching my calves with the shoe from the opposite foot. Lately I've been running in compression tights and even noticed some fraying on the calf section from these shoes. The ridges on the bottom of the shoe also tend to catch a lot of debris and rocks, especially when I've added some trails to my longer runs. I've had to stop periodically to pull small rocks out of the bottoms of my shoes. Both of these aren't a huge negative, but I would look to see if there had been any modifications before buying another pair.
All in all, this is a solid training shoe that I would use for everyday training that runs and wears well.
K-Swiss Blade Light P
The very first K-Swiss running shoe I wore was the K-ona. I remember being amazed at the technology and weightlessness of the shoe while still being stable enough. Fast forward 3 years and I have found a new love and it’s called the Blade Light P. I love this shoe. For me, K-Swiss out does themselves with every shoe of theirs I try. I am already planning my race season around this shoe as it is a super cushioned race shoe. It weighs in at 9.3 oz, and while at first it has a rigid feel, it only took a few miles for the shoes to feel like I had been wearing them for hundreds of miles and they were a part of my feet. While I remember loving the K-ona, I still felt that I would not trust it on anything longer than 10 miles or so, as the stability wasn’t all the way there. I don’t feel that way with the Blade Light P as the shoe gives me the stability around my ankle and into the toe box without adding on a few extra ounces like other shoes do.
As with other K-Swiss running shoes, the stitches are right where they need to be, so that if I want to go sockless on an Olympic distance event or even an hour long track session, I wouldn’t need to worry about chaffing or any other skin related injuries. The laces are perfect as they don’t bunch up and I don’t feel the need to re-tie them with every time I wear them. The shoes include K-Swiss’s Flow Cool System™ which are vents around your toes for water drainage and also to keep air flowing around your foot. Also at the bottom of the shoe are more drainage holes so water can drain from your foot and not leave you running in a puddle. The one downside to them, is that little pebbles can find their way into the ridges, but it’s not that big of a deal to me.
If you are looking for a decently priced training & racing shoe and the biggest bang for your buck, I promise you that the K-Swiss Blade Light P will not disappoint. K-Swiss has changed my view on triathlon and add to my fuel for the multisport life by consistently giving the community solid running shoes to finish your race.
For more information about K-Swiss products go to: www.kswiss.com