The Kiprun KD900 isn't quite cheap enough to be labeled an outstanding bargain, but it is undoubtedly good value as a durable, versatile shoe that can handle a range of training runs.
- Great grip
- Not as comfortable as others
- No plate
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The Kiprun KD900 is part of Decathlon’s top range of running shoes, and is mainly designed to be the fast training partner to the Kiprun KD900X and KD900X LD carbon plate shoes.
The KD900 doesn’t have a plate itself, yet it’s still a fast shoe thanks to the light design and Peba-based midsole foam. It’s also comfortable enough for easy and long runs, and has a great outsole that grips on wet paved surfaces. You get all that for £100, which is good value, though you can find similarly impressive bargains from more established brands, including some of the best running shoes like the Puma Velocity Nitro 2.
Kiprun KD900: Price And Availability
The Kiprun KD900 launched in summer 2022 and costs £99.99 in the UK. It is not currently available on Decathlon’s US website. Decathlon does have cheaper shoes in its range, but the KD900 uses better materials and is a more performance-focused shoe.
How I Tested This Shoe
I’ve run 41 miles (65km) in the Kiprun KD900, using it for a range of training runs, including easy plods, a 13-mile long run, a tempo 10K and an interval session running 1K and 200m reps. I have also tested the Kiprun KD900X and many other fast training shoes in the mold of the Kiprun KD900.
Design And Fit
The star feature of the Kiprun KD900 is its Pebax midsole. Many of the best racing and fast running shoes on the market now use Peba-based foams, and this includes Nike’s ZoomX and Saucony’s PWRRUN PB, since it is a lightweight and springy material.
Not all Peba-based foams are the same, however, and the VFoam in the Kiprun KD900 is firmer than most others. This lessens its comfort, but helps to increase durability. Indeed, Decathlon says the Kiprun KD900 will last 1,000km (621 miles). The running I’ve done in the shoe so far hasn’t resulted in any wear to the midsole and outsole.
The outsole is another noteworthy element of the shoe. There is rubber covering most of the bottom, and it’s a thick layer of rubber that has gripped reliably on slick paved surfaces throughout my runs. It’s up there with the best outsole I’ve come across on a lightweight shoe like the Kiprun KD900, which weighs just 8.4oz/238g in my UK size 9.
While Decathlon doesn’t provide the stack height of the KD900, this isn’t a minimalist shoe, and even with an 8mm drop there’s a reasonable amount of foam under the forefoot. The midsole is made of two chunks, with a layer of foam running the length of the shoe and then a donut-shaped section at the heel. Decathlon says this ring of foam, which is unique in my experience, maximizes energy return.
The upper is made from a lightweight mesh with minimal padding around the collar and tongue. I've had no problems with the fit of the shoe in my normal running shoe size.
While I enjoyed the few runs I did in the Kiprun KD900X (before my test pair was stolen), it was a firm shoe owing to the combination of Decathlon’s version of Pebax and the plate in the midsole. I expected a similar feel with the KD900, but actually taking the plate out of the midsole softens it.
It’s still not a squishy shoe, and some will find the forefoot in particular too firm over long distances, but I’ve found it comfortable enough on all the runs I’ve done, including a half marathon.
The donut at the heel was noticeably softer and bouncier than the forefoot, and as a heel-striker I liked the feel of landing on the donut in all my runs. It provided a fast transition to the forefoot, which was then less bouncy and propulsive compared with shoes that have plates or more foam under the forefoot.
That said, I still found the Kiprun KD900 more than capable for fast runs. I ran an 8 x 1km, 4 x 200m session on the treadmill and ticked off the K reps at around 3min 15sec/km comfortably. That’s the treadmill, though, which I never entirely trust, but I’ve also used the shoe to run a tempo 10K in 36 minutes, and I threw in a couple of 3min 20sec kilometers during my long run in the shoe. It doesn’t have the exaggerated bounce or rockered feel of some, yet it’s undoubtedly a quick enough shoe to handle a range of workouts in training.
I also enjoyed it for easy daily training runs, though it’s noticeably less cushioned than most daily trainers and many runners will prefer a softer foam underfoot. It’s not a particularly exciting ride, and there are softer, more enjoyable shoes to use for easy and steady pace, like the Puma Velocity Nitro 2, but the Kiprun KD900 is a good all-rounder.
Is The Kiprun KD900 Worth It?
The Kiprun KD900 is a terrific shoe, and while it’s firmer than many shoes of its type, I found it comfortable and versatile. Some runners will find it best for faster, shorter runs, while others, myself included, will find it a capable all-rounder. The durability and outsole are great, and the price is more than fair for the performance you get.
If you’re looking for a plate-less speed shoe, this is a great option, rivaling the likes of the New Balance Rebel v3, which is softer and bouncier, but doesn’t have the impressive outsole of the Kiprun KD900 and costs more. You do get a higher level of performance from the best plated trainers, like the Saucony Endorphin Speed 3 and Puma Deviate Nitro 2, especially over long fast runs, but those are considerably more expensive.
The price of the KD900 isn’t cheap enough to make it a slam dunk, however. The Puma Velocity Nitro 2 is a similar price and is a more comfortable daily trainer, if not quite as light and speedy as the Kiprun KD900 if you’re just looking for a fast workout shoe. Another strong option is the Adidas Boston 12, which is more expensive at RRP but does drop to around $100/£100 in sales, and is one of the best all-rounders on the market.
Nick Harris-Fry is a journalist who has been covering health and fitness since 2015. Nick is an avid runner, covering 70-110km a week, which gives him ample opportunity to test a wide range of running shoes and running gear. He is also the chief tester for fitness trackers and running watches, treadmills and exercise bikes, and workout headphones.