KIPRUN KD900 Review: Low Cost Pebax Power

KIPRUN have a whole range of shoes to cover you from the easy days to the glamour miles of the race. The KD900 is their more versatile shoe, how well does it work?

KIPRUN KD900: For All Your Distance and Pace

Andy: KIPRUN’s KD900 is the more versatile member of the family. Not a race focussed marathon machine like the KD900X LD, but also not a single pace cushioned cruiser like the KS900.2. A Pebax foam with a sample weight of 218g for only €120 sounds like it has a lot of promise. However, as we have found from our reviews of previous KIPRUN shoes, the budget beaters usually have a few quirks. A flawed upper put paid to the KD900 Light for some reviewers while a super stiff and unforgiving forefoot was an issue with the KD900X LD.


Does the KD900 live up to KIPRUN’s promise of a daily to race ready runner? Or does it have a fatal flaw which will consign it to the bargain bin? Let’s get into the details.

Kiprun KD900 (6 of 16)
Kiprun KD900 (10 of 16) Large


Product details from KIPRUN

Weight: 218g | 7.7oz 

Heel-to-toe drop: 8mm

Price: €120 | £99.99

Kiprun KD900 (16 of 16)
Kiprun KD900 (5 of 16)

KIPRUN KD900 Upper: Abrasive But Not Unappealing

Andy: The upper of the KD900 has more in common with its race ready brethren than it does with the comfort cruiser KS900.2. A rather abrasive mesh holds the foot in place, with a traditional lace closure. As with the KD900 Light, the laces are very stiff and quite unpleasant in hand. That said, they do hold the foot in place and I haven’t suffered any lace loosening on the road. To maintain the lightness of the shoe, KIPRUN have done away with anything beyond the bare basics. 


Do not expect plush padding and a premium feel here. Either side of the achilles, we have a small pillow of foam to help hold the heel. The only other visible padding on the upper is found on the top of the tongue where the bow sits. However, this doesn’t make the shoe uncomfortable, KIPRUN have done a good job with the strategic placement. During my testing time, I have found no hotspots or rubbing. Furthermore, it is a reasonably well ventilated upper. I have used the KD900 from near freezing temperatures up to the low 20c range. At no time have I found my feet overheating or being uncomfortably cold. 


As ever, my biggest gripe with KIPRUN uppers is their placement of their information tags. This time, they are placed on the very edge of the medial side of the tongue. I actually had to get scissors to remove them to ensure comfort. Please move these, KIPRUN!

Super Comfortable and Conforming

Ivan: Let’s start with sizing. I definitely recommend going half a size down with the KD900. Once you have the right size, I have to say that this shoe has one of the best fitting uppers I’ve tried in a long time. It conforms exceptionally well to my foot, and I find it very comfortable overall. 


I’ve always been a fan of plastic-like, thin, flexible and breathable uppers that wrap the foot snugly. Think of an upper like the first Vaporfly Next% or some of the Salomon S/Lab models – no excessive weight, with padding only where it’s needed. In the KD900, there’s just a bit of padding under the tongue and in the heel cup. Speaking of the heel cup, it provides no structure, which I’ll discuss in more detail later. 


Finally, the laces have no stretch at all, which is perfect for my liking. Unlike Andy, I didn’t find them stiff or unpleasant.

Kiprun KD900 (9 of 16)

Midsole: Built For Heel Strikers

Andy: This was the part of the KD900 which I was most excited about and ultimately most disappointed in. When I initially received the shoe, I felt that the bounce and energy return would be fantastic. It felt like a rubber ball bouncing on the ground when I dropped it and it popped right back up. Unfortunately, this firm rubber ball feel continued when I had it on foot. I didn’t get the enjoyable squishy bounce of Nike’s ZoomX foam or the firmer, but still poppy PWRRUN PB from Saucony. Instead, it just felt very flat and hard in the forefoot. Thankfully, during my distance in the shoe so far, it has started to break in. After about 20 miles in the KD900, the forefoot became softer and more pleasant. Although, it still didn’t give me the energy return I was craving.


I think this shoe will be better suited to a heel striker. The rear of the midsole is a rather doughnut shaped affair which, when I was playing, felt much softer to land on. The midsole is also massively flexible at this point. Where the circular heel joins the rest of the midsole, the shoe has a wild twist to it. If stability is something you are after, it is probably worth giving this a miss. As we have discussed with other KIPRUN shoes, I have no doubt that the midsole will last a while. However, I am not sure I enjoy it enough to continue. I found myself missing the simplicity of the KD900 Light which, for me, was a much more enjoyable midsole. 


As far as versatility goes, I have taken the KD900 from easy pace to an interval pace for some strides and a couple of Strava segment attempts. Whilst it is able to run both competently, I think there are shoes out there which do versatility better. Whether it is the geometry or the midsole compound, I have yet to find a real sweet spot for where this would fit in my training. On one hand, there are far better race shoes and there are also more versatile daily shoes. On the other, these all come at a far higher price premium than the KD900.

Perfect for Picking Up the Pace

Ivan: I’ve had a completely different experience with the KD900 compared to Andy, and I think this mostly comes down to different types of foot strikes. Andy, being a pure forefoot striker, doesn’t get much return from this shoe, as it’s quite thin in the front. As a midfoot striker, I seem to get a lot more cushioning and energy return. Especially when picking up the pace. For me, this shoe isn’t a versatile daily trainer but rather an uptempo trainer and potentially a budget-friendly race day option for some. It’s not comparable to top-tier super shoes, but it is a light, snappy, and bouncy shoe, particularly for heel strikers due to the thick donut of Pebax foam in the back.


I’m not a fan of super soft and squishy midsoles, especially in uptempo models, and the KIPRUN KD900 offers a well-balanced, springy ride with decent cushioning up to at least the half marathon distance. For marathons, you might want a bit more cushioning, but I prefer using it for shorter, faster runs. Think fartlek sessions, shorter tempo blocks, or 5-10k tempo runs. 


The shoe is definitely too unstable for longer easy runs. The midsole has a flex point right in the middle, and the notable decoupling will certainly make the arch work overtime. I strongly recommend that those with stability needs look in another direction.

Kiprun KD900 (8 of 16)
Kiprun KD900 (7 of 16)

KIPRUN KD900 Outsole: It Works!

Andy: The outsole finds a full coverage of rubber. It is definitely not a trail shoe, I am not sure even Silke would venture onto her mountains in these. The grip is decent without being remarkable. I have used it in rain and the dry and have yet to be given a scare. With the exception of a tiny sliver in the midfoot area and the rear of the heel, the midsole foam is entirely encased. This will be a durable shoe, with 50km in them so far, I could sell them for new with a bit of a scrub. There is no marking or wear visible.


Ivan: The grip has been excellent so far. It feels almost like having a car tire underfoot in slick conditions, making it one of my top five outsole compounds. The substantial and fairly thick coverage for this weight class is an added bonus, and I’m convinced durability won’t be an issue.


As Andy mentioned, it’s clearly not a trail-specific outsole due to the total lack of lugs, and I suspect the donut in the heel could catch larger stones as well. But then again, that’s not the intended purpose of the KD900.

Kiprun KD900 (15 of 16) Large

KIPRUN KD900 Conclusion: Very Good Value 

Andy: Value wise, it is very hard to argue with the KD900. €120 for a lightweight Pebax based and versatile trainer is very good value. However, I personally didn’t find the same enjoyment of the KD900 Light in the KD900. As a forefoot striker, it didn’t really offer me that much and while waiting for the midsole to soften and break in, I found myself drawn to other shoes in my collection rather than this. It is a promising effort from the French manufacturer, however, in a second iteration I would like a different feel to the forefoot to really bring the magic.


Ivan: In contrast to Andy, I have really enjoyed running in the KD900. The upper is light, breathable, and conforms very well to my foot. I think the geometry makes it best suited for heel strikers, but it also worked well for my midfoot strike, providing a well-balanced ride with a lot of energy return when picking up the pace. 


At slower paces, the ride feels a bit firmer, unstable, and dull at times. The lack of structure is noticeable, so be cautious on longer runs or if you need stability in general. However, for different kinds of uptempo runs or even races, I find this to be a very compelling and fun option, especially considering the very fair price point.



45 years old

173cm (5’8″) – 66kg (145lbs)

Forefoot striker – (Very) high cadence runner




48 years old

180cm (5’9″) – 63kg (138lbs)

Midfoot striker – Cadence runner

Mild pronator


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