The K-Swiss Kwicky Blade-Light is a favorite with triathletes, marathoners and anyone who enjoys a soft shoe with a sock-like fit; those who don't like the softness may find the sole a little too flexible. Reviewers say the Kwicky Blade-Light offers good stability for overpronators, especially considering its light weight.
A smash fit. The K-Swiss Kwicky Blade-Light's fit is a hit with triathletes and marathoners alike, who say its seam-free upper is so comfortable they can wear this shoe without socks. Testers for the Runner's World Summer 2011 shoe guide also rave about the Kwicky Blade-Light, particularly the "excellent arch wrap," and praise how well this shoe moves with your foot.
Reviewers say the Kwicky Blade-Light fits true to size, and that the sausage-link laces -- which do somewhat resemble a chain of connected sausages -- actually stay put where you tie them. "The toe box fit perfectly: not too tight nor too lose," writes a marathoner who blogs at TheBullRunner.com.
Shy around water. Although a shoe this light -- approximately 9 ounces -- must sacrifice much cushioning, the Kwicky Blade-Light receives universal praise for having better cushioning than most other shoes of similar weight. "It allowed me to feel the road but was cushioned enough to make it feel good," says one tester for a 2011 Runner's World review of the Kwicky Blade-Light.
Another owner sums up the general user consensus, explaining the shoe provides a "responsive, cushy ride, which feels fast anf light." A few users do call the pliability excessive, but they're also very clear that it's simply a matter of opinion. Those who enjoy a soft, light and flexible shoe almost universally love the Kwicky Blade-Light.
The K-Swiss Kwicky Blade-Light's open-mesh upper allows some breathability, and is coated with a hydrophobic finish to repel water. The shoes are not completely waterproof and will still get wet if you run through puddles. A double-edged sword: The vents along the sides and bottom of the sole pump out any water that does get into the shoe, but also provide a way for it to enter.
Better than expected. The Kwicky Blade-Light is awarded Best Debut in the Summer 2011 issue of Runner's World's iconic shoe guide; the editors recommend it as a versatile distance shoe for efficient runners or a supportive racer for those who need some corrective support. A firm medial post, broad base and plastic shank help stabilize your foot, although severe overpronators may prefer a motion-control shoe like the Brooks Beast '12 or Ariel '12 (*Est. $130) .
Most stability shoes tend to be a little klunky, and marathoners flock to the Kwicky Blade-Light for its ability to support without weighing you down. One long-distance runner posting to RoadRunnerSports.com says the shoes still allow free foot movement, even with their light pronation control. "They make you feel like you are flying since they are so light," writes another reviewer posting to Amazon.com, who's happy that these shoes allow a comfortable midfoot strike. (The Kwicky Blade-Light has a 10 mm drop from heel to toe.)
"The shoe provides super stability and ample cushioning," writes a marathoner and blogger known as "Jaymie" at TheBullRunner.com. She explains she is a flat-footed overpronator and that her feet are "very choosy with shoes."
The Kwicky Blade-Light is also available in a Neutral version (Est. $135) , which draws high praise from editors in the Winter 2012 Runner's World shoe guide. They say that the independent crash pad, beveled heel and plastic shank on the Kwicky Blade-Light Neutral still provide some mild stability if you need it on longer runs.
Depends on your mileage. Scanty user feedback is most telling when we try to evaluate the Kwicky Blade-Light's durability. It's particularly popular with marathoners, who say they usually buy a new pair every three months when actively training -- approximately 300 miles or 500 kilometers. However, one commenter at TriBomb.com who weighs more than 170 pounds has gotten more than a year of use from the Kwicky Blade-Light, which gives us hope they'll hold up well to frequent abuse.
1. Runner's World
In the Summer 2011 Runner's World shoe guide, editors review 20 new running shoes. The K-Swiss Kwicky Blade-Light is one of two shoes declared Best Debut. The editors recommend it as a distance trainer for efficient runners or a race-day shoe for those who need more support.
Review: Summer 2011 Running Shoe Guide, Warren Greene, Sean Downey, Martyn Shorten, Ph.D., April 25, 2011
2. Runner's World
Runner's World releases several comprehensive roundups of shoe reviews every year and singles out several models in each issue for further awards. In this case, the K-Swiss Kwicky Blade-Light Neutral is declared Best Debut. The Kwicky Blade-Light Neutral is the same as the Blade-Light minus a medial post for moderate support.
Review: Winter 2012 Shoe Guide, Jeff Dengate, Martyn Shorten, Ph.D., Nov. 12, 2012
The editors of this publication note that the shoes were tested, but do not disclose exactly how. Ultimately, they select the K-Swiss Kwicky Blade-Light as the best running shoe for its combination of light weight and "super-supportive" performance.
Review: Health Gear Awards 2011: The Best Fitness Products of the Year, Rozalynn S. Frazier, Tiffany Melanis, Not Dated
The editors of TriBomb.com test the Kwicky Blade-Light for a few weeks, then report back that they like it as a recovery shoe but not as an everyday training shoe. They say the foam sole is incredibly flexible but a little too soft for their preference.
Review: K-Swiss Kwicky Blade-Light, Editors of TriBomb.com, As of October 2013
About 15 users have reviewed the men's version of the Kwicky Blade-Light so far. They're nearly unanimous in their praise, with 13 awarding it a perfect 5-star rating.
Review: K-Swiss Men's Kwicky Blade-Light Running Shoe, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of October 2013
Only about five women have reviewed the Kwicky Blade-Light so far at RoadRunnerSports.com, but they're near-universal in their praise for it, giving it a perfect 5-star rating. Their comments are nonetheless frank and provide some useful information concerning durability.
Review: Women's K-Swiss Kwicky Blade-Light, Contributors to RoadRunnerSports.com, As of October 2013
A dedicated runner with flat, overpronating feet tests the K-Swiss Kwicky Blade Light and declares herself pleased. She notes the "superb stability," "ample cushioning" and comfortable fit as high points.
Review: KSwiss Kwicky Blade Light, "Jaymie", As of October 2013