We get excited when any serious running shoe has a RRP under £100, so the £50 price tag of these trail shoes from Decathlon’s in-house Kalenji brand had us positively foaming at the mouth. But would they prove to be a fiscal find or a false economy?
First impressions out of the box, bar the satisfactory aesthetics, are of a very narrow shoe, so these won’t appeal to those with wider feet out there. Decathlon also pitch these for runners lighter than 75kg (11.8 stone); useful and honest advice, but further limiting the broadness of the Kiprun Race 4’s appeal.
Yet there’s much here for lighter runners, and we’ve thoroughly enjoyed a test period that’s taken in the Afan Off-Road Duathlon in Wales and higher-intensity runs on the trails of the west country. Ironically for the beginner-friendly price, it’s more experienced and nimble trail runners who’ll reap the benefits of the Kiprun’s lean 250g weight (UK size 7), slender heel-to-toe drop of 6mm and relative lack of cushioning (think more Inov-8 than Hoka in terms of stability).
There’s a two-year guarantee but we do have longevity concerns over the shaping of the upper on the inner sides of the shoe, and there’s little protection provided here from rogue thorns and rocks. That said, inner comfort is fine, breathability is impressive and the grip is genuinely good due to the smartly-placed 5mm studs.
Verdict: A low-price winner for lighter athletes wanting a high-intensity trail shoe 86%
Buy from www.decathlon.co.uk
Contact : www.decathlon.co.uk