Tag Archives: triathlon running shoes

K-Swiss K-Ona S Review

Fault me for thinking much about anything material, but man, I love my K-Swiss!

These came into the shop for me today, and since I first saw these shoes at Ironman events and around the web, I’ve fancied a pair for myself. Can you imagine my satisfaction when the first shipment of the year arrived to the warehouse?

You can call this my K-Swiss K-Ona review.

Upon coming home from happy hour drinks with a friend of mine, I changed into my running gear and went out the door with these shoes on. 4 miles later, and not without some burping, I returned.

The fit. These shoes were true to size. I’ve worn many athletic shoes, and for the major brands, I’ve always been a 12. For K-Swiss, I’m a 12. Score! As shoe makers since 1966, these guys have experience on their side.

The upper. Breathable and light, the upper had just enough material to where I felt my feet were hugged without being at risk for exposure to the elements. I don’t plan on trail running with these shoes, but I actually like to have my feet protected.

The sole. I’m a mid-foot/fore-foot striker. Wearing these weren’t a problem with my running style at all. The type of adjustment I had to make from the Zoot Kalani was somewhat nominal, but there was a slight difference – a 2mm differential. The Zoot Kalani’s heel to toe differential is 12mm, whereas the K-Swiss K-Ona is 10mm. This profile encourages mid-foot strikes, representing a more efficient running style. All of the Zoot triathlon shoes with the exception of the Kalani has this 10mm difference between the heel and toe. This differential is great when coming right off the bike.

The support on this shoe is designed for mild to over-pronation.

The feel. Comfortable, supportive, and light. With the weight of the shoe being just a mere 9 oz., I can see myself running races – in all sorts of distances.

Special Features. Drainage holes. This is a unique feature to triathlon shoes. You’ll learn to appreciate this at the aid stations.

I like these shoes, and I’m looking forward to trying out some more K-Swiss run shoes.

See more pictures by clicking on the image below.

Triathlon shoes vs. Regular shoes (running)

Have you ever asked “What is the difference between regular running shoes and triathlon running shoes?”

This is an interesting topic, as it should be. At any triathlon, the majority of participants sport running shoes that are recognizable to most of the general public. These shoes have their own 2 minute television ad that’s often not about the shoe, and about something else simply because the brand has so much brand recognition. They’re nothing too fancy, and we’ve all owned one.

But what about those triathlon specific running shoes? What makes them special?

In a short, its the construction for the transition off the bike and into the run.

In any triathlon, particularly in those that are shorter in distance than a half, a transition can easily mean a few places in position when it comes to the final results. This is most apparent in the top group of finishers as the difference between their times often come down to seconds if not minutes.

Triathlon specific running shoes are constructed for easy in and easy out/shifting your effort from biking to running. Zoot Running shoes are the ideal example when it comes to shoes designed specifically for triathlon and transitions. The notable features of a Zoot triathlon shoe are that they:

  • Are Extremely light
  • Have a liner in the shoe that allows for sock -less wear.  The material in these shoes reduces/eliminates odors.
  • Lack a traditional tongue.  This feature often allows for a quick lacing system, or no laces at all.
  • Have a unique heel to toe differential.  The race specific triathlon shoes by Zoot have a 10mm heel to toe differential.  This thickness in the sole encourages a mid foot/forefoot strike that is an extremely efficient running form, particularly when right off the bike.
  • Drainage holes.  Ever get grab hydration at long races?  Ever get soggy feet because you spill water all over the shoe?  You guessed it, blister city.   Water can easily add quite a bit of weight to your shoe when you make a mess at transition after taking off your wetsuit.  Having these drainage holes aides in drying out the moisture during your run.  Pretty brilliant if you ask me.

Here are two by Zoot I like:
Zoot Ultra Speed Shoe

Interested in picking one  up for your next tri sport event?  A little bird tells me OneTri.com carries Zoot shoes and more.