A pair of carbon running shoes that are high-performance, affordable and durable
Many sporting goods manufacturers have already developed their own model of these next-gen shoes. Kiprun, Decathlon’s running brand, is now launching the KD900x, its first pair of high-performance shoes. This versatile running shoe is suitable for all distances, from 5 km to marathon. The brand’s goal is to move away from its image of offering “amateur” sports equipment by providing a top-of-the-range model that’s accessible to everyone, both financially and in terms of performance.
The design stage for the KD900x lasted 2 years, during which KIPRUN relied on a solid research and development department. Its innovation hub in Taiwan guided the choice of carbon material, and the Tech’Off laboratory (Decathlon’s carbon specialist) also lent its expertise.
Pebax® foam and carbon: a winning combination
For the foam that makes up the entire midsole of the KD900x, Decathlon turned to Arkema’s high-performance material, Pebax®, a thermoplastic elastomer composed of rigid blocks (polyamide) and flexible blocks (polyether). This foam is known for being lightweight and reactive with an exceptional energy return: all qualities that help improve speed and performance. “We worked with Arkema’s teams to achieve an energy return of 80%, which puts the KD900x on par with its carbon competitors,” explains the manager.
KIPRUN engineers have also made the shoe as light as possible: the lighter it is, the better it will perform, thanks to better energy saving. When it comes to running faster, every gram counts. The shoe weighs 225 g in a size 42 (Europe) “The entire shoe has been optimised. The upper has been made lighter, and the heel counter and tongue have been reworked to be as thin as possible.”
Staying true to Decathlon’s core values, the KD900X retails for £129.99—half the price of other carbon running shoes! This shoe also has an unprecedented cost per kilometre. According to the runners who tested it, the properties remain the same after 1,000 kilometres of use, whilst competitors’ models lose their effectiveness after 300 kilometres.