I don’t think there could be a sharper contrast going from barefoot running sandals to K-Swiss Tubes. The high-tech sole is supported by the tubes that give the shoe its name. K-Swiss claims that the gradually decreasing diameter of the tubes (the biggest of which I can stick my pinkie through) are engineered to work “in harmony with the motion of the foot” no matter the wearer’s gait or size.
Before I even made it to my run, I have to confess that I tripped on my way down the stairs. The soles of the Tubes are wider and longer than my feet, and it was immediately clear that it would take me awhile to adjust to them. Although the shoes are pretty lightweight, I did feel that my run was a little more arduous than in either my old Pumas or the running sandals.
I was happy that I made it through my two-miles without any foot pain, nor were my feet sore the following day.
After breaking in the Tubes by walking around in them, I decided that I liked the feel better with the laces out of the top hole. I’m not sure if this undermines the intended “dynamic motion” of the shoe, but it did prevent a potential blister. By the second run, I had adjusted to the wider sole, which actually provides better stability on occasionally irregular terrain.
If I have the energy at the end of my run, I like to sprint to end. I didn’t try this until the third run in the Tubes but it felt awesome. I actually wanted to keep sprinting. I added a few sets of sprints, and finished feeling exhilarated.
There’s a reason why the K-Swiss Tube’s ads feature Patrick Willis sprinting. I’m not completely in love with these shoes for longer runs. They do feel great for sprinting and jumping, and have great flexibility. I think these would be great shoes to take to the gym.
October 21st, 2010