GRIPPY SHOES BUILT FOR TRAIL RUNNING.
I have been looking forward to testing the 2017 update of the adidas Kanadia for quite some time. The adidas kanadia 8 features claims their men's running shoes and innovative design gives you traction and stability on the trail. The durable and supportive runner features a cloudfoam midsole that provides ample cushioning. A tough TRAXION™ outsole gives you multi-directional grip.
- Weight: 275 g (size UK 8.5); Runner type: neutral; Midsole drop: 8 mm (heel: 27 mm / forefoot: 19 mm)
- Synthetic and air mesh upper for maximum breathability
- Durable forefoot overlays
- Breathable mesh lining
- cloudfoam midsole for step-in comfort and superior cushioning; Enjoy the comfort and performance of OrthoLite® sockliner
- TRAXION™ outsole for maximum grip in all directions
8th generation shoe from Adidas. After 8 generations you may question what is left to improve.
I have purchased the same size as my kanadia 7. And the length is just fine, however the front of the shoe is definitely pulling tight on my big toe area. I have fairly narrow feet. Photographed side by side the version 7 and 8.
They look almost identical from the bottom but I didn’t every have a problem with the 7s. Parking this issue aside they fit the back / heel area of the foot incredible well.
Photographed above. The adidas Kanadia 7 and Kanadia 8 (below - pre run clean!)
I have been reading what other adidas reviewers have posted about the kanadia 8 and I have been surprised to people saying they do not have enough cushioning. When running on hard surfaces I could not believe how much spring there is with each strike. I do not heel strike, more of a forefoot runner so maybe that is where some of the complaints have been, but for an off road shoe the cushioning is truly amazing.
Photographed above their generous Cloudfoam sole. Plenty of technology into the cushioning more than enough for most runners.
I guess comfort comes down to everything else. Fit, cushioning heel support. As the shoes feel like I need to move to the next size up I am reluctant to say they are uncomfortable. But I don’t think adidas would like a return of these now I have put them through their paces.
To test the grip, you need some really slippery surfaces. In their 2016 version I really put them through the paces and I will continue to update this post as I test harder.
So for me trail running is all about versatility. The kanadia 7 testing included ice, hard surfaces. Sand. Even a Nuclear race. And if you don’t know the Nuclear races are where you are in and out of ditches and bogs, the biggest test to be if they stay on as you frag your legs out of knee deep bogs.
A typical off-road run for British countryside includes gravel pathways, concrete pathways, soft mud, grass and short sharp hills. Of course the beauty is for every run you can make it your own track.
Test one for the Kanadia 8 included ultra soft rained hills. Hard surfaces and gravel. Flat bogy ground. And slipy canal paths. I think for most runners these sorts of terrains will cover off your day to day.
Running on hard surfaces for Trail Running Shoes is maybe the greatest challenge. A shoe with spikes is arguable the best sole / grip to deal with soft mud. But as soon as you hit something solid then you will slip straight off it.
The sole of the shoe is where their years of development really take things with off road running to a new level. Their tough TRAXION™ outsole gives you multi-directional grip. Designed and developed (as we covered in our review of the Kanadia 7) to work in all directions. That covers up, down and on flat hard surfaces.
The biggest test for off road shoes is maybe pathways
Short, steep downhills on soft wet mud. The staple diet of trail running shoes
Wet Woodland. Puddles and soft slippy mud
Soft slippy mud
As an upgrade of the 7 to the 8 do you notice? On soft ground I would say there is not that much of a difference, but on hard ground the newer kanadia 8 feel like a softer run. Less like you are wearing a barefoot shoe with no padding, to a more of a cushioned run that you would expect from a typical road shoe.
There are some amazing offers online for the kanadia 8. Especially if you are not fussy about the choice in colour. Finish off your run with some Sundried Roteck leggings for that perfect, sweat wicking performance keeping you running your best in all conditions.
It's that time of the year when suddenly it is a good time to go off road. Maybe you switch your road bike to a mountain bike. And maybe you hang up your trusted road shoes for some trail running shoes. If you have not spent anytime running off road then it is definitely a great experience. We recommend you give it a go.
We review Adidas Kanadia 7 Trail Running Shoes. And if you care the colour is Indigo/White/Yellow and they look like this:
Firstly let's get the price out the way. You can pick up a pair of these trainers for about £50 and you get a lot of shoe for your money.
Read on below... but why not join the Sundried mailing list.
The sole and grip
The outsole features a special Adidas mud guard and their own high-grip Traxion technology. The grips feature a lock technology designed to offer a tight grip in all conditions. They have taken into account running on hard surfaces by somehow staggering the lugs for higher ground penetration and tight locks for soft ground. So what does that mean? Well on wet, slippy grass how we tested the trainers, you can be running at a strong pace without the slipping and sliding feel; enabling you to push harder and move faster than usual. Up and down hills on soft ground. They really do stick to the floor.
On man made flat surfaces however the stability is lost. If you are running a course that is on and off road then these trainers may not be the best choice. It is very hard to get the stability on and off road from a single pair of shoes. These are very much trail shoes and on a stony trail they are ideal.
The sole is very firm and stony ground is not a problem. If you are used to taking a road shoe on the occasional off-road run then the stability and protection from uneven ground will be a welcome surprise.
Overall it is a lot of shoe for not much money. And if you can stretch to a dedicated off-road shoe this is definitely a contender. But if you do need to have a multi-purpose on and off-road shoe for very occasional trail running then a softer soled pair of trainers that work better on road conditions may be a more appropriate choice.
These trail shoes are developed to offer support and performance on all the typical surfaces you will come across. From grass and typical gravel tracks. TO the beach for the ultimate stability test on loose shingle. Watch our short YouTube video to see some of the surfaces we test the shoes on.
An update as we test more
When you test a new product you always find things at a later date. You may find problems with something, or hidden gems that you really like. Here are a few post review features we would like to share.
Beach / Shingle
Most runners will steer clear of running on lose shingle, or the beach. Running on compacted sand is typically quite nice, but on very lose shingle the return with each stride is completely lost. Great HIIT training as your feet sink into the surface. Also good if you have injuries caused from heel striking. As long as you are careful you can build your muscles with almost no impact at the knees. But you will need a good pair of trail running shoes with plenty of ankle support. If your ankles are not appropriately supported it would be easy to twist your ankle from placing your foot down at an angle. The Adidas Kanadia trainers offer plenty of support and really help injury prevention.
A lot of trail running in on grass surfaces. But grass running itself is such a broad topic and so closely related to the weather. The Kanadia on dry grass are completely fine. But then most shoes on dry grass are fine. The real test is on wet grass. And apart from getting a bit soggy, they grips offer enough support to really provide a solid run.
Some shoes on gravel seem to pick up every stone and when you switch to a solid surface you clip clop away and risk sliding and falling. These do not pick up stones like some training shoes do, but the same is not said for wet mud
When running on concrete you really notice the change from the natural cushioning of the grass for example. I would defiantly not like to run too far on the road in the Kanadia. Limited cushioning and your feet seem to search for a safe place to root. Fine for a few K but anything more switch to road shoes.
Running shoes typically have a thick, circular lace, or a flat lace similar to the Adidas Kanadia 7 trainer. I have found the laces are very textured and although not highlighted as a feature by Adidas, they really do grip once tied. That means without any double knots or extra tight bows these trainers stay put once done up. That certainly is not a bad thing for any runner, especially when you are off road and may not actually see a lace that has come untied. The last thing you want when running down a steep hill in the rain is to discover your laces and flapping in the wind. Not only do they seem to be super functional, I have really grown to like their two tone colouring.
The magical Loop
Most trainers do not bother with the loop at the back to help put on your shoes. Unless you are in a triathlon speed is not normally a consideration for getting your footwear on in a hurry. The loop on heel to help put on your trainers I do think is missing from some footwear and for a pair of trail running shoes it is very useful. You may have driven to an off-road spot, and you are standing in the rain switching from your 'car shoes' to your 'trail shoes'. For me, it has certainly got some use.
So the mesh in these shoes is going to hold your feet still and let them breathe. But it certainly will not keep out the water. Some off-road shoes do offer a certain amount of waterproofing - but I typically find they end up holding the water in as your feet turn to water weights. Your feet will get wet in soggy conditions, but they will also dry out nice and quickly. And at the moment, it seems we can not escape the rain!
Adidas technical infoOne of the most beloved all around trail shoes is back lighter and more comfortable than ever. These women's running shoes are ready for any trail with a high-grip TRAXION™ outsole. They feature a waterproof mud guard and a ventilated mesh upper for comfort in any conditions.
- Weight: 238 g (size UK 5.5)
- Air mesh upper for maximum ventilation
- Waterproof bottom mud guard helps keep water and mud out
- Comfortable textile lining
- Engineered 3-Stripes panel for optimum linear and lateral support
- TRAXION™ outsole for maximum grip in all directions
Adidas Kanadia 7 Review
It is certainly thumbs up and feet down on the ground for these trainers. Nice quality, stylish and fast. Well as fast as your legs can move. They stick to wet ground enabling all that power to drive you forward.
As we move into the dryer months you may be looking for a trail shoe that does not work as well on wet ground. The versatile Kanadia with its grip to tackle multiple surfaces is an all year round appropriate pair of trainer.
The Ultimate Test
Mud runs... There are many of these out there now under various names. Tough Mudder. Nuclear Races. Bear Grills. Etc. A mix of very wet, boggy ground and obstacles. The perfect place to test the grip. On almost vertical wet mud banks straight into boggy water.
Two things that I was happy with. When walking through, well dragging your limbs through, waste-deep mud water the shoes stayed on. Excellent. I saw plenty of people with their footwear missing.
And secondly when climbing out of the bogs via a rope, or some kind person boosting you from below not sliding straight back in. Seeing someone sliding like they are ice skating is not uncommon. Many people opt for old footwear so they do not ruin their favourite running shoes. I say buy some new trail shoes for the occasion. They will wash up just fine and may just save your sliding face first into a ditch.
Have you ever caught yourself staring at someone in the gym for a little longer than you should because you can’t quite figure out what it is they’ve got on their feet?
Vibram or “five fingers” are the toe shoes which I’m sure would have grabbed your focus at some point by now as they’ve gained popularity with the latest wearable technology craze, but do they do what they say? Should I be wiggling my toes into individual pockets?
The History of Vibram Five Fingers
Five fingers design starts at the very beginning with feet. Before the shoe, feet were sprawled with toes separated. After the shoe, we suffer with bunions and other health issues as the foot adopts the shape of the shoe it’s in, hence why Chinese women bind their feet and young children are encouraged to wear correctly designed footwear to help their feet grow with proper alignment.
Robert Fliri was the designer who first had the idea of creating shoes with individual toes in 1999 after researching foot anatomy and spending a lot of time outdoors in the mountains of Italy barefoot. He said: “We have five toes: when they can move and grasp the ground independently, and when you can really sense the surface under your feet, your body is able to do what it is designed for by nature. That is a powerful feeling." The concept he came up with was that if the feet were designed to experience the world naked, why were we covering them in so much cushioning in our footwear?
Fliri’s idea remained but a figure of the imagination until 2004 when Fliri met Bramani, founder of Vibram. As the legend goes, Bramani believed that "Five Fingers" (because the Italian word for "fingers" is the same as that for "toes") might make a novel choice of footwear for use on sailboats or in other activities that required greater ground-feel. Bramani brought Fliri into his grandfather's company to develop the world's first toe shoes.
In 2006 Vibram first entered the market as the strange, but novel barefoot shoe. Since then they have grown in popularity to become phenomenon they are today.
What do Vibram say?
“We believe that moving and running in FiveFingers can make us healthier, happier, and more connected to our bodies. We hope to help you discover how you can safely explore the joys of natural movement.
Wearing FiveFingers for running, fitness training, water sports or just for fun will make your feet stronger and healthier—naturally. And while we do love our Vibram FiveFingers, we don’t believe it is the only footwear you will ever need. There are many times when you need the protection and security of a shoe or boot. Like all things in life, there is a balance, and Vibram FiveFingers provides a healthy alternative to traditional footwear.”
What it’s like Wearing FiveFingers
Let me start by introducing you to my relationship with feet, trust me, it’s relevant. I can NOT stand feet, I’m not afraid of them as such, but I’ve been known to request socks over going barefoot and I just don’t like them. I’m sorry.
So when the time came to review the Five Fingers, I was dreading the thought of 1) Being able to see my toes separately and 2) Not wearing any socks. Now I’ve set the scene, let’s crack on with the review.
Step 1. Putting the FiveFingers on.
I’m a size 4, with what I would call ‘normal’ feet, with the toes decreasing in size as you move down the foot. The FiveFingers are made with the largest toe and second toe at equal length and then the toes decrease in size as you move down the foot. This is the design they found works for most people. My toes fitted in each pocket with about a cm spare at the end, but I think a size down would have been too small. The shoes have their own unique lacing system which is really easy to use, simply pulling a toggle locks the shoe closely to your foot and prevents and slipping. It takes a little practice to get used to putting each toe into the pockets, but once you’re doing this on the regular, it becomes second nature. The shoes are also really easy to slip off, release the toggle and you’re out in seconds. So far, so good.
Step 2. Getting used to being ‘barefoot’.
Whilst I do hate feet, the Vibrams really were comfortable and even on a short distance run, I noticed I was running with better form, I could feel myself pushing off the ball of my foot and keeping my back up straight, rather than hunching over as I often do. The shoe is incredibly light and it does make you feel lighter as you run along, think more spring to your step, less plodding along. Despite the fact the shoes have 0 drop, I didn’t feel unprotected. Yes, you feel very close to the ground, but the shoes soles are a strong barrier between your foot and anything nasty. The key with getting used to FiveFingers is to ease them in. The website says it can take anywhere up to 6 months to make the transition to barefoot and overdoing it can lead to injury.
When it comes to weight lifting Arnold Schwarzenegger famously trained barefoot in order to maximise his lifts. Some bodybuilders argue that because your feet are the only point of contact between your body and the floor on most lifts, some of your lifting success is dependant on the foot's proprioception (the ability for your feet to sense of where they are in space). The more precisely your feet work to grip the floor, the better you will activate the muscles farther up your kinetic chain. Weight training with the FiveFingers allows you to feel the force of the weight you’re lifting, pushing through your heels and maximising your effort.
Vibram’s number one rule is to “Listen to your body” and I think for someone who is ready to make the switch to a barefoot running style, then these are a great pair of barefoot running shoes. They do look weird, but Vibram have their reason for that and if you can handle it, you’ll reap the rewards. I still don’t like feet, but, I did experience the benefits of the FiveFinger design.
Common Vibram FiveFinger questions answered
What on earth are on your feet? Vibram FiveFinger trainers.
Do you wear socks? No. But you can if you want to, specially designed socks can be bought here.
Can you feel the ground? Yes, if you run over a rock you know about it, this is the entire point of sensory feedback and barefoot running. The idea is the FiveFinger sole protects the foot whilst still mimicking a barefoot ride.
Do your feet get wet? In this version of the shoe, yes they will. However there are other versions such as the trail runner which provide more protection against rough terrains and wetter weather.
Are you worried about stepping on something sharp? When should you not be worried about stepping on something sharp? Believe me I’ve had glass slice through a flip flop and wedge into my foot before and it hurts. As you run in the shoes you do tend to find yourself looking down to scan the path ahead and knowing you have a reasonably thick sole does encourage you to be more cautious as you run.
What if you have oddly shaped feet? The shoes are designed to fit most feet, but they won’t work for everyone. If your second toe is longer than your first one, you’d be better off finding an alternative barefoot running shoe such as the Vivobarefoot which we’ve reviewed.
Why do you look so small? I’ve just lost an inch of height from my trainers and at 5ft 2, every inch counts!
If you are new to running with a barefoot running technique then try reading our guide to barefoot running shoes.