Thursday 27 April 2017

Out on my new Decathlon Kalenji Run Actives

Having done probably over 1000km and more likely 2000km on my old Kalenji trail runners, and my New Balance road shoes, I finally decided to get a new pair of running shoes.

It wasn't the distance they'd done that bothered me, rather 1) The smell and 2) That I've worn through the toes on both pairs.

The toe thing brings me on to one reason I'm a fan of Decathlon stuff - their £12.99 black trail running shoes enabled me to run my first marathon - off road at that - AND it took me longer to go through the toes on these than any other running shoe I've owned. It was therefore not much of a stretch to go for Decathlon shoes again.

I tend to think that a lot of sports gear is fetishised, that only really expensive kit is any good and "You get what you pay for" blah blah. Well, my commuting bike is a secondhand Decathlon Rockrider 5.1 from 2007 that cost me £45, my running stuff is mostly Decathlon kit, and I dress in Primark.

I am all the style! I am also pretty poor.

Basically I chose these Kalenji Run Active Grip Shoes because I figured as a road / trail hybrid they'd do for my main running routes, which are a mix of road and light trail in the main, until winter.

I've now taken them out on a mixture of terrain - road, dirt, gravel and farmland, and they are very comfortable - despite me only taking a 9 in normal shoes and 10 in trainers usually,  the 10.5 is fine for my running in although I find the fact that due to the company's continental origins, I presume, they only do UK half sizes! But the extra 0.5 gives you a margin for heat and swelling.

I even had a bit of wet and snow to test them out in as well. But not enough to test the waterproofing, which I'm guessing is pretty minimal.

Although the sole is not as hard as the Kalenji full on trail runners, it is still quite stiff, and the one problem I seemed to have that on wet tarmac, this leads to them feeling a little bit slippery. I wonder if that will ease as the "newness" of the sole is worn away.

They look pretty good, but they aren't going to win any prizes for styling.

At £23.99 they aren't as good value as the amazing Kalenji Ekiden Run One trail shoes (Amazing for £12.99) which now seem to be sold at £19.99 in a newer model, but they are still cheap for a shoe I suspect you could do a marathon in. They seem to have better laces than the Run Ones as well, which often struggled to stay done up for more than a mile without quadruple knotting them!


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 27.04.17 and these opinions are my own. Decathlon haven't supplied me anything, although I wish they bloody well would. Rucksack? Bike? Come on guys!


  1. They're doing a pretty good job in the last photograph! You've reminded me I need to go and buy some running shoes. Not something I'm looking forward to. X

  2. I haven't paid full price for years. Normally I buy 50%-70% reduced clearance models, generally they're very old, some still have their prices on the boxes in Austrian Schillings!

    At the moment I'm alternating Brooks, Saucony and Mizuno. If I chance to see a suitable bargain I'll buy it and put it away.

    Simon, can you show the underneath of your Kalenjis?

  3. Like the pink bits - not a bad pair of legs either.

  4. Your legs keep popping everytime, never mind, it's great Si.

  5. Today I chucked my NB insoles in a rubbish bin. After 2 hours they were useless. Mind you it said Racing Insoles on them. So I suppose they're alright for a Kenyan with legs like a giraffe. But for a normal Mensch out on the hilly trails perhaps not the best thing.