This is probably the most comfortable pair of shoes I have ever stuck my bare feet into! The Achilles section of the K-Ona has so much wonderful padding that your feet just slide in. From there your feet are met with an ultra-airy environment with ventilation holes in almost every possible section of the shoe.
For starters the insole has row upon row of breathing holes allowing any moisture from the soles of your feet to escape out the ten vents in the outsole. This takes some getting used to when you first put them on, as the insole holes give a slight pinch but this is a miniscule discomfort in the face of this caliber of ventilation!
But it doesn’t stop there! The inside of the shoe is made up of a fine breathable mesh layer with a larger honeycomb mesh on the outside. This inside layer protects from any joins necessary to keep the shoe together resulting a very comfortable fit.
To top off the air-conditioning of the K-Ona is K-Swiss’ “Flow Cool System”. This is a harder plastic outer layer at the toe and heel with rows of ~3mm holes. You can really feel the System in action on a hard run or if it’s a breezy day. All together this combination allows your foot to get 360° breathability topped probably only by a pair of flip-flops!
The K-Ona is a cushioned shoe with good flexibility in the outsole. At a mere 9 ounces (255g) the shoe felt great both for sprinting and long-distance running. What the shoe loses on weight, however, it does not compromise on comfort with its Superfoam ® technology sole. Additionally, the Aosta II ® rubber on the outer heel allows for excellent durability for heel strikers while the flex-grooves through the forefoot allow you to get on your toes with ease.
A direct injected urethane support cage is the foundation of the support for the shoe – techy I know, but basically a hard plastic with K-Swiss logo on it holding the softer outer sole in place. Further support is provided by a rigid TPU midfoot shank – TPU being thermoplastic polyurethane, a harder rubber on the grip of the shoe.
The Superfoam cushioning of the outer sole was excellent without compromising on the weight of the shoe.
The K-Ona’s urethane support cage provides a moderate amount of control but as a lightweight racing shoe it does not heavily resist over-pronation. If you have an over-pronating gait you might do better with more structural resistance to over-pronation.
The K-Ona is a nicely responsive shoe with a good amount of spring from the landing. The Superfoam cushioning does absorb a significant amount of shock so if you are looking for a harder feel and perhaps more road feedback then perhaps a less cushioned shoe would do better for you. I would definitely recommend this shoe for longer sessions and/or races as your feet will never tire.
It is very difficult to put a score on a shoe that is so close to perfection. It really depends on what you are looking for. If you are looking for a light, fast shoe with great breathability and soft, but responsive cushioning to go the distance then this is the one. I’m sure it is no accident that the name so closely resembles Kona!
Otherwise they are also available on Amazon: