In a departure from our normal sphere of reviews, GearWeAre is putting this pair of road-running shoes through its paces. They’re not billed as trail-running shoes.
The Blade-Max Glide, billed as a “high mileage neutral running shoe offering a perfectly cushioned ride heel-to-toe thanks to Blade-Light technology” by manufacturer K-Swiss, sounded like it might be just the ticket for my average 25-30 mile per week running habit.
When they arrived in mid January I laced them up straight away and headed out for their first 7.25 miles, with an 8.04min/mile average pace on a chilly morning of around 2-4 degrees. My post run notes say “They initially felt a little lumpy under the forefoot of left shoe for the first half of run but were certainly comfy enough and the feeling soon went as they broke in”. They had a nice light feel and seemed cushioned enough without feeling too springy. The outer sole was a little slippery on the cold greasy tarmac, perhaps they are more suited to the warmer climes of the companies Los Angeles roots than a North Yorkshire winter. They were however surprisingly good on the mile or so of hard packed gravel and sand on the route, despite being a touch out of their element.
They could be my comfiest shoes yet and no calf orAchilles pain post run which, which is my usual er, Achilles heel.”
Their second run, two days later, of 3.25 miles in an 8.35 min/mile average pace was a touch warmer, around 5-6 degrees. My notes were; “The sole grip was much better, and they are fast becoming my favourite shoes. My only minor gripe so far is they don’t seem as to offer as much support as my Nikes especially under the arch but then they don’t claim too, and give ample stability and are VERY comfy.”
I gave them a miss for the next day’s slow three miler as it was on some particularly snotty local tracks and it wouldn’t have been a fair test, so I left them dry and clean for their biggest challenge so-far two days later, carrying my carcass around the 13.1 miles of the Brass Monkey Half Marathon at York.
They got me round in 1:45:29, with an 8:03 min/mile average pace. So, not my fastest run ever, but by far the hardest work.
The first 7 miles were into a headwind gusting 35 mph which left me with nothing in the tank for the second half. The K-Swiss performed much better than myself, leaving me with tired but pain free legs, no blisters (a rare occurrence) and only a slight ache from my left foot which may just have been due to the road camber.
Since the race I have used them for a further 5 runs/35miles and they are now by far my favourite pair if shoes, and my first choice if I’m not hitting the trails.It’s fair to say that with a touch more support they would be my ideal runner.
Mmmm, is that a trail version I see on the website?
Summary: If you need a fast get away from your next bank job or a prospective father in law these babies will let you do it in style and comfort. The comfiest running shoes I’ve had the pleasure of squashing between Tarmac and carcass. Note, they’re not trail-running shoes and won’t offer the required grip for slippery stuff – stay on hard ground.