In just a few short years, K-Swiss has gone from being a relatively fringe, unknown brand, to one of the leaders in this sport. The company has constructed an extensive, thoughtful product line built around different types of runners, types of activities, and types of foot shapes. This review is of a very special little shoe in their lineup, the Blade Light Recovery, designed to be what basically no other shoe is - a mildly compressive slip-on meant for recovery.
Just like compression socks, it's meant to improve bloodflow to your foot, speeding up recovery time. I picked up a pair at the impressive K-Swiss booth at the Kona Village expo. I needed them. Although I normally wear sandals or flip-flops during long days of walking, my feet had simply had enough. One more step in the sandals was gonna be too much. And mind you, these are sandals I know well, and normally suit me just fine for long periods of walking. But I'd reached my limit. So I slipped on a pair of Blade Light Recovery, to see if they'd help out.
I chose a snug-fitting pair on the advice of the K-Swiss rep, and wore them with a pair of compression socks that crawl all the way up to my knees. This review comes to you a day after pounding more pavement with the Blades. So this isn't a long-term test, but I also didn't find anything with these that I expect will be a problem in the long term.
The combination was potent and effective. I felt great in these puppies, instantly. They're very nice to wear, and the subtle compression does improve the feeling of walking on tired feet. Quite a bit. They are practically seamless on the inside, so they'd be comfortable without socks as well, but I prefer the feeling with socks, and I like how easy it is to get in and out of them that way.
The shoes are super light, super flexible, compress mildly, and were precisely what I needed. I'll pop these on after a long day of walking, running, or cycling. Of course, like any compression wear, they're only meant to be on for so long. After 5 or 6 hours with any compression gear, your body wants a break - to breathe, so to speak. Just keep that in mind if you check them out.
At $75 street price, they're not cheap for a pair of casual kicks, but if you put in a lot of miles, they might be a nice investment. Regardless, it's great to see K-Swiss making tri-specific product, and really investing some thought into our sport.