In the hot weather we’ve been having lately, most of my shoes and in particular those which have a waterproof membrane have just been unpleasantly warm and clammy. Despite being trail-running shoes, the Regatta Kinetic are actually very light and airy all-rounders which have done surprisingly well at coping with a variety of terrains.
Something a little different from Regatta, which I would normally associate with less-frills outdoor fashions, the Kinetic shoes are very light weight, coming it at around 750g, and slipping in to them you feel very in touch with the world around you.
The thin spacer mesh on the top is a vibrant red (you don’t see many red shoes, do you?) and lets through breezes to cool warm toes well. The lack of waterproofing means that you will get damp if you’re walking through wet grass but since it’s fairly summery still that isn’t too much of a problem. I actually prefer trainer-style shoes to forfeit a membrane after suffering too many smells-to-knock-me-dead in the past with less breathable shoes.
The soles of the Kinetic are fairly thin and you feel quite connected to the ground. They flex and bend easily, with slightly more rigidity in the arch area for support purposes. The midsoles appear to be a standard EVA which cushions OK, and there’s some sort of heel-strike pad under the insole which I’m sure helps cushion the trail.
There’s a stiff rubber toe-box which works excellently at protecting your toes from rocks and painful stuff on the trail. You can use it to kick steps in to mud very easily. And on that note, the sole with its aggressive chunky lugs bites in to all but the slipperiest mud easily and offers pretty good grip. It’s not quite soft enough to grip wet surfaces though, so avoid stream beds.
The uppers, as well as being light and airy offer plenty of squishy padding around the ankle and tongue. The Kinetic are very comfortable as a result, and fit my fairly wide feet well.
The finish of the Kinetic samples I have isn’t brilliant. Sure, they seem well made, but there are glue splodges here and there, and if you look at the heels you can see that the uppers aren’t perfectly aligned. But actually I don’t think that makes any difference to the performance, which so far as a general wear summer shoe and occassional jogging partner has been pretty good.
SUMMARY: Not what you’d expect from Regatta, the Kinetic is a lightweight running shoe with very breathable upper, plenty of padding and great looks. There are few bells and whistles, but they’re a good solid shoe and have performed well so far.