For those of us who are lazy and don’t like to tie our shoes, Kizik is a godsend. Slip ons have been around for a while now, but some people still prefer lace-ups. The problem with these is that they’re more time-consuming to put on than slip-ons which makes them impractical for the “I’m always running late” crowd.
It’s no wonder then that we were all excited when Kizik Shoes came out because it meant you could get the convenience of slip-on shoes without sacrificing style or function.
Kizik Review: What the big idea with slip on shoes?
I first came across Kizik in watching one of those crazy Youtube ads that start at the beginning of all your favorite YouTube videos. The commercial was long: like 3 minutes long. But it was entertaining and got my curious: are the Kizik shoes any good?
To be 100% honest with you: many companies provide us with products to review. We don’t say yes to everything (we probably only say yes to about 10% of the stuff we get pitched) but in this case: we bought the shoes on our own (no “kizik provided shoes for review” here) because we were genuinely curiuos.
If a company could make an advertisement about a simple feature, slip on shoes that actually work (and also have laces, so you can tie the laces, too): we were curious. Are Kizik Shoes any good? Or are they just a giant gimmick?
The Big Idea: A revolutionary heel
The Kiziks, which started life as a Kickstarter success story, work like this: You know how lazy people crush the heels of their shoes when they shove their feet in?
Looking at my wife’s Nike shoes should be enough to make you never want to slip them on again. My wife has literally crushed her heel and she doesn’t give two shakes about it!
KIZIK claims these are the perfect outdoor shoes for going indoors and outdoors often.
How does the Kizik Shoe work?
As your foot pushes past, the heel folds down to accommodate you — and then snaps back upright behind your foot thanks to a titanium spring inside.
In other words, Kiziks shoes allow for quick on-and-off like loafers but are snug once they’re in place. Your shoes fit perfect: just like they were regular lace-up shoes. Yup. All the luxury, all the hands-free functionality you want.
Meet Foot Activated Shoe Technology: FAST
KIZIK shoes feature what the company calls F.A.S.T.—Foot Activated Shoe Technology—design.
Doing a little internet digging, it appears that F.A.S.T is actually owned by HandsFree Labs. HandsFree Labs actually owns KIZIK and has received investments from Nike.
So, I wouldn’t be surprised to see this sort of technology in Nike Shoes and more very shortly.
But don’t worry, your KIZIK shoe isn’t made from some cheap rubber band in the back. KIZIK shoes actually get handsfree functionality thanks to aerospace-grade titanium. Pretty incredible, right?!
Simply put: Life’s too short to spend them tying and untying shoes.
Why do KIZIK shoes have laces then?
That’s actually pretty easy: to make them look like normal tie shoes. While you don’t need to tie the shoe to wear them, they make them look more like normal sneakers.
KIZIK Shoes Review: What did we think?
To be honest: we were super shocked the first time we put the KIZIK Shoes on. Not only were we free from tying laces, but the shoes were incredibly comfortable!
These sneakers were super light-weight and felt amazing. There’s no way if felt like there was titanium inside the shoe.
I attempted to slide my first foot in and WOOP! It went right in and fit perfectly. I thought, “this might be a fluke, I need to try again.” Nope, I attempted to slide my other foot in and WOOP, once again, it fit like a glove.
What about taking them off? Just simply slide your foot out and hold the back of your shoe with your other foot. It’s that simple. Just slide your foot in and slide your foot out. It was pretty stinking remarkable, actually!
Wearing the shoes, you would have no idea that they were anything special. The shoes were just incredibly comfortable. They are only slightly heavier than Allbirds or Suavs Shoes (read our Suavs Review and Allbirds Review), which is REALLY amazing.
The Madrid Eco-Knit shoe that we tried was also super-breathable. We love that it helps with stinky feet!
The rubber soles were super lightweight and felt like they would last a long time.
KIZIK Shoes Review: What did we not like?
There were a couple of things we did not like about the KIZIK Shoes we tried.
KIZIK Shoes: Not machine washable
We’ve been spoiled with our Allbirds, Rothy’s and Suavs. We love to machine-wash our sneakers. It’s so nice to not worry about having to spot clean them. We can simply toss them in the washer and hang dry. That’s awesome.
Sadly, KIZIK shoes are not Machine Washable. It would be AMAZING if Allbirds adopted FAST!
KIZIK Shoes: Probably need to wear socks
I believe that Kizik shoes were designed to be worn wearing socks. They were not designed to be worn WITHOUT SOCKS and if you boil it down, that’s probably the only issue that is keeping me from buying a ton of pairs of KIZIK!
I also believe that it’s because they are NOT machine washable and that would make them extra stinky, especially during the summer months (check out our full Best Summer Shoes for Men).
KIZIK Shoe Styles
I’ll give it to KIZIK, their shoes could have been much uglier. But they aren’t that bad-looking. In fact, I would say they are above average. I’d give them a B.
KIZIK offers a wide variety of styles and you can find one that you might like.
Other folks online claimed these shoes lacked excellent arch support – and many said they were unable to wear them as a result. We didn’t have that problem, but we also did no go for long walks with these shoes on.
KIZIK Sizing: What to do?
I like to wear all of my shoes loose. If I was wearing a properly fitting shoe, I would probably wear a 9.5, although most of my shoes are a 10 because I like them loose.
Size up a half size larger
While KIZIK’s website says that shoes run true to size, most reviews on their site mention that they run a little small. I’d advise you to size up a half size larger to get the best fit.
That will make sure you have the perfect pair, even if you have wide feet.
KIZIK Shoes Review: Say goodbye to lace up shoes?
The final verdict for KIZIK Shoes in this case, and you might find it a little bit odd, actually.
Remember what I said about KIZIK shoes above? What didn’t we like?
Not machine washable. Not designed to be worn without socks. Just OK styles.
If you are the type of person that wants to go sockless every day, that’s just about 3 strikes.
I actually would put the deciding factor on if you should buy KIZIK Shoes on one small factor, seemingly stupid factor: do you wear socks. If you don’t like to wear socks with your shoes, then I’d probably pass on KIZIK. If you do wear socks (or at least open to wearing some socks – check out BOMBAS and our Bombas Review), then Kiziks could be the right sneaker brand for you.
This is even more true if you want to say goodbye to shoelaces forever (well, not shoelaces, but tying shoelaces).
If you hate socks, with a passion, as we do, then you might want to pass and take a look at another shoe brand like Allbirds or Rothy’s.
KIZIK SHOES: The final verdict
- Live up to the easy-to-put-on hype
- Incredibly comfortable
- Not machine washable
- Probably should wear with socks
- Styles are so-so
We thought KIZIK would be a one-trick pony and we were pleasantly surprised they turned out to be a lot more in the giant footwear game. I just hope this great technology goes to other footwear brands and it looks like it just might be coming to your next pair of sneakers or sandals.
That’s pretty sweet.