When Decathlon UK sent me a pair of their latest speed shoes to run in and test at the Prom classic, Nice, I wasn’t expecting much as with a price point of £49.99. I was expecting a cheap looking and uncomfortable trainer but I have to say I was surprised.
As i’m training for a marathon and a die hard Adidas fan I wasn’t keen to switch shoes as part of my training for worry of blisters or injuries but as I had agreed to test them but had it in my mind I would switch back straight after the race in January.
I was being sent the Kalenji Kiprun SD (Short Distance) 3’s. The shoe is designed for shorter distances (upto 15km) and runners 80kg or less. I was concerned as i’m 85kg and as I am working towards a marathon I didn’t want to get injured. When they arrived I was pleased with the colour choice as i’m not a great fan of white trainers. I was pleased to see a blue and flo yellow colour combination as they looked good and fast. Taking them out of the box I noticed they were light (280g size 8.5) and like all shoe companies they have their own technology in their shoes. This included seamless design as well as an ‘upbar’ to help rebound and speed. Just to clarify these are not a racing flat. They still have cushioning and a 10mm heal rise which seems to be fairly standard.
Putting them on I noticed they come up small, like Adidas you will need to look at a size up but they did feel comfortable even though they have been stripped down to become lighter. I decided to try them out for their first outing on a 6 km tempo run around my local streets. First impressions were they felt light and fast. The grip was good on the mixed terrain of slabs and tarmac and they felt secure on my feet.
The shoes feel comfortable and stable on a run and I have not got and IT Band or knee pain that I do get at times from other brands and shoes. They feel balanced and personally they have enough padding both in the heal area and in the sole.
I then have continued to use them for all my runs over December and January (Total 85km so far) and have become the shoes I choose to run in! I have trained in them and raced in them and have found no issues as of yet. I got a chance to talk to the shoe engineer and talk through the design and uses as I wanted to know what he felt about the distance and weight advice. At 85kg he felt it was not an issue and as he had run the Paris Marathon in them I think that put my distance issue to rest.
The discussion came to the result that I thought it would, it comes down to what you are used to. The SD, MD and LD’s just increase in cushioning and padding but they will suit different runners. I like less cushioning so I am now intending to try them on longer runs (25km +) to possibly think about using them in my upcoming Marathon.
So my overall view, like me you may have noticed that in many of the magazines Kalenji running kit has faired well in products test, winning several. I have found the comfortable, light and great to run in and feel that if you can drag yourself away from your normal shoe brand they would be worth trying out i think you will be impressed.