I love slip-on shoes because they’re so convenient to wear.
I can throw them on when I want to get somewhere quickly, and slip them off easily when visiting a “shoes-off” household. And I’m not ashamed to say that I’ll occasionally pop them off in a movie theater or while driving, or anywhere else where I’m sitting for long periods of time and want to let the “dogs” breathe.
The problem with a lot of slip-on shoes is that they aren’t very fashionable. It’s like designers decided that their shoes couldn’t be convenient and attractive at the same time. Fortunately, footwear startup Kizik offers sneakers that look good, provide a custom fit for your feet, and be taken on and off without using your hands.
I tried the Boston and New York styles, and both looked great and were customizable to my feet
I tested out two styles of Kizik sneakers – the $160 Boston and the $150 New York. The Boston Sneaker comes in 11 different sizes ranging from 8 to 14, and there are three colors – Black, Date Tan, and Castle, which is a gray shade. The New York Sneaker comes in the same sizes and colors, but there are also White and Coffee colors.
When I opened the boxes, I was hit with a couple of odors. First, there was the pleasant new leather scent from the full-grain leather upper. However, the soles had a chemical stench to them when I brought them close to my nose. This dissipated over time.
I wear a size 15 shoe in most brands, but I’ve grown used to squeezing into 14s when that’s all that’s available. So I tried out the 14s in the date color for both styles and found they actually fit perfectly; a 15 would not have fit as well.
I tried the Boston Sneaker first. My left foot slid in comfortably, but it was a tighter squeeze for my right foot – it happens to be wider than my left. Fortunately, I was able to adjust the tongue to provide more room. At first, the shoes were slightly uncomfortable and stiff, but after about 10 minutes of walking around in them, they started to feel better. The New York Sneaker seemed to fit better from the get-go. It felt like it had more support for my medium arch. I didn’t need to adjust the tongue at all.
I have a medium arch and found the shoes provided excellent arch support. A cool feature of the shoes is the adjustable Velcro strips on either side of the tongue. If your foot feels too loose around the bridge, you can just lower the tongue on each side and tighten the Velcro. If too tight, raise the tongue and loosen the Velcro.
Neither of the styles have laces, but they each have a series of four elastic bands along the tongue where laces usually are so it looks like you’re wearing lace-up shoes.
The titanium wire spring in the heel doesn’t fold down when I slip my feet into the shoes
As I mentioned, I love slip-on shoes. For the past decade, my shoe of choice has been the $79.95 Merrell Men’s Jungle Moc. Though it’s incredibly comfortable, versatile, and durable, it’s not much to look at. I feel like they give the impression that I’m either lazy or don’t know how to tie my shoes, but can assure you that I know how to do.
The Kizik shoes are comfortable, easy to slip on, and look great. Though appearance is a matter of preference, I like the look of the Boston Sneakers more, but the New York Sneakers felt better on my feet, especially during long walks. Both pairs garnered compliments from friends.
The shoes are also truly hands-free. Thanks to a titanium spring wire built into the heel, you can really just slide your foot into the shoe without needing to use your hands to hold the back of the heel up – it’ll spring back into position if your heel pushes it down a little. I never had an issue with the heel folding in or staying scrunched down.
Though the shoes were a little stiff at first, they have a contoured footbed that provided the right balance of comfort and support for long days on my feet. And I didn’t notice any pain after wearing the shoes for longer periods either.
My only complaint is that the shoes aren’t waterproof. I’m used to footwear that keeps my feet dry in the rain. I like to go for walks in all kinds of weather, and I found that water would seep through in when I wore my Kiziks. On the plus side, they do breathe well, so I haven’t developed any foot odors in the shoes yet.
The shoes start at $150 so they’re not cheap, but reasonably priced for something that looks and fits great, and can be customized for your feet
The Kizik sneakers are among the best shoes I’ve worn. At $150, they’re not cheap, but the price is not unreasonable, for a shoe that demonstrates your individuality and practicality. The fact that you can move the tongue around to ensure a custom fit is a nice option if you have trouble finding footwear for a perfect Goldilocks fit.
Personally, I think the Boston Sneakers look better in the Date color. But if I had the opportunity to choose the shoes all over again, I would get a pair of the New York sneakers in Castle because the shoes felt better to me, and I like the gray color. If you’re concerned about having footwear that matches your wardrobe, then black is your best bet since it can go with just about anything.
Overall, I strongly recommend the Kizik sneakers if you want comfortable and convenient slip-ons that are appropriate for any occasion.
Buy the Kizik Design Men’s Boston Sneakers from Zappos, Nordstrom, and Amazon for $160
Buy the Kizik Design Men’s New York Sneakers from Zappos, Nordstrom, and Amazon for $150
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