p pol The Adventures of Carboman: Shoe Review: Fila Flow K4

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Shoe Review: Fila Flow K4

Can't Afford Them Nikes
The 2005 Pegasus was my shoe of choice but at  RM340, I found myself priced out. My secondary  choice was the 2004 model which was a very well  received version, soft and cushy albeit a little  tadpole like in the looks department but the RM202  offer was no longer available.

How Now Brown Cow?
My choices then were narrowed down to a handful of  NB models but I was apprehensive of their  durability in the heel strike area. The new models  seem to be poor in that area despite the Ndurance  carbon rubber material used. Mizunos on the other  hand are workhorses in nature. You can literally  run them to the ground but they're just  overpriced.

An Obscure Brand?
While not a household name for running shoes -  their expertise being in tennis - Fila has been  producing excellent racers and performance  trainers for some years. At the elite end, many  top Kenyans are in their stable while locally this  brand is well received by the triathletes. Azwar  himself loves the K4 Racer.

I found myself in a Fila shop for the 4th time  recently in Penang and was glad that their sale  was still on. I had trouble finding my size for  the Flow K4 performance trainer in KL. The Isetan  salesgirl told me several weeks back that this  model is currently being phased out (probably for  the arrival of the K6) and the popular size 9 and  my usual 9.5 are no longer available. But they're  available plenty here in Penang. Although the  running websites tend to feature the grey/black  version, I chose the red/white one as they don't  look as dull. 1st try of 9.5 is too small, which  show that the Fila fit and last was snugger. Size  10 was perfect.



Visual Rundown
The extensive use of mesh is just great and the  removable sockliners are also vented. The shoe is  slip lasted with 2 large vents in the middle of  the last to allow the warm air to escape. Also a  moisture draining feature I think especially  useful for triathletes who may choose this model  as their footwear of choice.

One Cool Shoe
The Flow technology apparently focuses on keeping  the feet dry and cool by channeling air into the  midsole through strategically positioned vents and  air channels in the midsole. Upon closer scrutiny,  I saw where these vents are. Beside the ones in  the last, there are 4 small holes on the lower  medial and lateral sides of the shoe. You can see  them clearly in the middle photo of the 2nd  column. The toeboxes are vented further with 4  holes placed vertically.

Bright Too
Large reflective strips are placed at the front as  well as the heel counter area. Nice.

Support Features
For a 10.5oz shoe, this model certainly pack  plenty of support features. The decoupled heel  works together with the small medial post to slow  down the rate of pronation. This is useful support  feature in the later stages of a long run/race.  Meanwhile a transparent midfoot shank provides  rigidity much like asics' Trusstic System and NB's  Stability Web.

Fit
As mentioned earlier, the 9 was just too snug for  me but the 10 was perfect. They're snug around the  midfoot and you can even feel the arch support  (some may not like this) but offers plenty of  breathing space on the forefoot with a nice  toebox, essential to accomodate the swelling of  the feet in the course of a distance race.

The Ride
The feel of the shoe was really really smooth -  smoother than the Pegs and Maverick. The fluid  heel to toe transition just has to be experienced.   The ride is responsive and I felt that the  3Action rear cushioning is even better than the  Precision. The 3Action material is supposed to  provide a blend of stability, cushioning and  responsiveness. The forefoot outsole is made of  dimpled blown rubber with plenty of flex grooves  for flexibility while the heel wear areas are made  of EverGrind, a proprietary rubber and metal flake  compound that's supposedly 10% lighter, cushier,  flexible yet more durable. I hope it's as lasting  as Mizuno's X10 material.

First Run
The medial posting was hardly noticeable, being  very small but I think towards the later part of  the race, the support will be felt more  substantially. The smooth and responsive ride was  there too. Whether or not this shoe will be in my  Singapore Marathon packing list remains to be  seen. I'll need to test them out over a series of  longer and slower runs. I find that I perform as  well in responsive shoes these days so I'm  optimistic that this pair, bought at RM203 after a  40% discount, will be suitable for me.

First Race
I'll be wearing the K4 for the Putrajaya Half next  week, so I'll be acquainted more with it pretty  soon!

6 Comments:

  • Cool shoes u got there! Fila is one of my favourite brand of running shoes. 9.5 would have been perfect for me! Good luck on Putra Jaya Run!

    By Anonymous runwitme, at 3:53 PM  

  • Yo Jamie..

    missed you at Adidas 10k, man.

    Hey, I'll be at OSK building at around late 9am-ish, 10, to collect my passport. Meet for drink?

    Call me if you manage to read this in the morning!

    By Blogger Julian Chan, at 2:29 AM  

  • If you r running this Wed, can u wear the File shoes? I am interested to try it out

    By Blogger krunner, at 6:05 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger krunner, at 6:09 PM  

  • No prob. Am wearing it this whole week to break it in.

    By Blogger Carboman, at 9:01 AM  

  • How do you like these Filas by now ... anything new to report?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:32 AM  

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