Kiprun KD900X: a competitive Pebax racing shoe
What is Kiprun?
Decathlon is a French company that offers a wide range of sports equipment at very competitive prices. Quality is not their main focus (altough most products are more than fine) but instead they put the emphasis on great value for money.
While they carry some third party brands, in recent years they developed a lot their own in-house brands. Kiprun is the running oriented one. And it didn’t have a carbon plated racing shoe in its lineup…until this year.
The shoe was seen in January 2022 for the first time, worn by Yohann Kowal – a new sponsored athlete by Kiprun. That teasing – most likely intentional – brought a lot of attention on the shoe on various social media.
Very rapidly the name of the shoe also emerged: the Kiprun KD900x. The very first carbon plated shoe by Decathlon and its in-house brand Kiprun.
Paris marathon expo
We then all forgot about this shoe and it only resurfaced at the Paris marathon expo where I was lucky enough to get my hands on a pair. Unfortunately only sample sizes were available for proper testing but playing a bit with the shoe was already nice.
On top of that I was able to interview people from Decathlon that were on the booth (check that in the Youtube video – link at the top of this article). Not only Decathlon people were on the booth, but also people from Arkema, the foam producer (more on that below).
The shoe is still in a pre-production phase and some things may still change. Especially the upper that seems to be different on the final version. But I was already able to gather some info.
The midsole of the Kiprun KD900x is composed of two layers of Pebax foam by Arkema. Yes, Pebax and Arkema, i.e. the same compound name and producer as for Nike’s ZoomX foam. The Arkema people on Kiprun booth at the expo explained that the two layers have the same density (unlike on the Vaporfly). The foam doesn’t really look like ZoomX but has more ressemblance with the recycled ZoomX (Alphafly Next Nature) or Saucony’s PwrRunPB (also Peba).
The carbon fiber plate is full length (although on the Youtube video, the Kiprun representative seemed to indicate that it doesn’t run to the tip of the shoe – but I believe it does).
The shoe comes with a stack height of 37mm in the heel and an 8mm drop. It should be presented as working on all possible road racing distances from the 5k up to the marathon. Yohann Kowal himself competed with it on a half-marathon and will use it on his 2022 London marathon.
Edit: weight should be around 221g (7.8oz) in men’s sample size US9
Price and release date
The Kiprun KD900x will release “in Summer 2022”. Of course it was also impacted by production issues and we could see it as soon as July – but it could also release only in September (not later though explained Kiprun).
It will be available in 60 “top stores” in France but also in Europe. Not much details about the US availability but Kiprun mentioned that “anyone will be able to check it online”, which may mean that it will be available online in locations without Decathlon stores.
The shoe will retail for €150 which is one of the lowest price tags for a high-end Pebax-based carbon plated shoe.
One interesting thing not mentioned in the video: Kiprun claims that the shoe should about 1.000km (!). If this is actually the case – value for money would be absolutely insane. I’m really looking forward to testing and reviewing it.
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