Shoe Review: Zoot Ultra Kane 2.0

BACKGROUNDER:

Light Stability Trainer:

  • High mileage stability trainer
  • Specifically designed for the runner needing stability, maximum cushioning and those with heavy stride.
  • Weight: 10.8 oz. (Size 9)

The Zoot Ultra Kane 2.0

Long known for its apparels in multi-sport,  Zoot hasn’t been a major player in the running market much, as its niche has always been in the triathlon racing shoes. Now, it’s trying to unshackle itself from this exclusivity and has recently attempted to broaden its appeal by introducing models that would suit traditional runners to use them for everyday training and racing.

Zoot has recently been formally introduced in the Philippines and although it has been on the shelves of the RUNNR running store for quite sometime now, its presence is still not felt in the mainstream running community not like its more popular counter parts like Adidas, Nike, New Balance, Mizuno and other popular brands.

The Ultra Kane 2.0, part of Zoot’s “running” shoe category is one such shoe that has been introduced here in the country about 2 years ago.

CONSTRUCTION:

  • The upper of this version is made of nylon air-mesh which is a deviation from the original Ultra Kane which was made of  the TekSheen stretch fabric.  The Air-mesh was probably used to appeal more to runners although the same technology was used, the BAREFIT construction in the interior which gives it a glove-like fit and can be used sock-less.
  • Regular shoe laces were used for the 2.0 instead of the Quick-lace system that was used in their first edition that catered for triathletes

  • Their midsole technology is called the Z-bound, a lightweight and resilient compound that gives it a responsive ride. Z-bound has a very high-energy return. The result is less weight and great response.

Z-Bound Midsole

  • The outsole is made up of blown rubber or the ZBR  (Zoot Blown Rubber) a custom blown rubber that gives the footwear durability and extended wear time.

Zoot Blown Rubber

Other innovations used in this shoe are the CarbonSpan+ shank molded into the midsole which provides a smooth, stable ride and the Dri-Lex Liner Fabric which is antimicrobial that minimizes moisture,  foul odor and reduces hot spots that cause blisters.

FIT and FEEL:

The Ultra Kane 2.0 is a snug-fitting piece of rubber which is comfortable in the inside. The shoe’s soft tongue is sewed-in within the upper that stretches once you slip-in your foot. Runners not used to this type of slip-in shoes might find it a bit annoying but just loosening the laces and stretching up the tongue while pulling the pull-tab at the top of the heel will do the trick. Voila!

There’s instant comfort once you walk in it. The cushioning is immediately palpable although not so much as not to be able to feel the surface while running. It seems that the use of the laces seem secondary as the seamed-in tongue does secure the foot in itself. I didn’t feel any hot spots to cause any prospective blister and although the forefoot and heel cradle were roomy enough, it still hugged the foot preventing it from sliding from side to side.

Heel counter

PERFORMANCE:

Nice to be running on these shoes on several short and long runs and i’ll give the performance high marks. Being a neutral to slight pronator, i like the mild support it gave on the longer runs. The ride was lavishly comfortable, extremely smooth and soft from my heel to toe strike. I felt that i was running on my last leg of the Kona Ironman, so let me imagine just a bit.

The heel and midfoot fit are quite snug but the forefoot opens up a bit to the stretchable upper layer of the shoe. However, all the cushiony-feel when walking on it dissipates as you could feel the surface of the road when running which is a good thing.

The shoe is responsive and agile and i would venture that this would be an ideal shoes for long distance running, from half-marathon to marathon distances.

CONCLUSION and RECOMMENDATION:

The Zoot Ultra Kane 2.0 has everything that a good solid shoe should have: snug fit, enough cushioning and enough support to give runners who need more stability.

One noteworthy feature of the Ultra Kane 2.0 and all the other Zoot running shoe line-up is their attractive styling and color combinations. These shoes have their lineage in the triathlon with all the heel tabs, slip-in wear, sock-less comfort, fast performance and other new innovations introduced in their latest models.

This is an excellent buy!

A newer version of the Zoot Ultra Kane which is the version 3.0 has just been recently released and is now available at Planet Sports Stores, Riovana, Secondwind and the Brick Store.

The Ultra Kane 3.0 version, Zoot’s latest Ultra Kane release

The Zoot collection at Riovana (BHS)

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One response to “Shoe Review: Zoot Ultra Kane 2.0

  1. Pingback: Shoe Review: Zoot Ultra Kane 2.0 | JAZZRUNNER

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