One of the great benefits of working from home is being able to avoid any office dress code. After 20 years in an office environment, that is freedom. For me, it almost exclusively means track pants or shorts. I tend to go with running shoes or sneakers for footwear. I’m in and out of the house a lot, and always switch between indoor and outdoor shoes, and I hate wasting time with tying laces. So, traditionally, I’ve gone with runners equipped with Lock Laces. However, there are many times when something just a little snazzier in the footwear department would be in order. That’s where KIZIK Handsfree shoes shine (on pun intended).
The KIZIK shoes I was sent for evaluation are called Boston Date. They’re a casual shoe that could be worn to many offices, but they’re also perfectly suited to wearing around the house or out for a walk. Quality seemed high. The shoes are made with top-grain leather (in a mix of tan and contrasting darker leather), rubber soles, and they have a bit of sporty style. They seem very well made, with perfect stitching, patterned perforation, and tight seams. Instead of laces, there are four elastic bands across the tongue that look like traditional laces at first glance. I’ve had several compliments on them, and I don’t get out all that much…
Putting them on, they’re very comfortable to wear—both while sitting and while walking. However, what makes them worth $160 is the “handsfree” capability.
How Well Does the “Handsfree” Work?
In short, extremely well.
KIZIK shoes feature what the company calls F.A.S.T.—Foot Activated Shoe Technology—design. The shoes include hidden, inner velcro fasteners that let you customize the fit to the width of your foot. The real key to the design is the back of the shoe. I’m not sure if it’s technically called the heel counter or heel cap, but instead of being stiff, on the KIZIK shoes it’s flexible, and held in place by a hidden band that easily pops up or down when pushed. That band is surrounded by padding, so it doesn’t irritate the foot in any way. KIZIK says it’s been tested to over 100,000 compressions.
And it works! Simply slide your foot into the Kizik shoe, the heel cap (or whatever that’s called) collapses, then pops back up to keep your foot firmly in place like a traditional shoe. No hands needed, no bending, no exertion. KIZIK has recently licensed the hands-free F.A.S.T. technology to Nike, so you may soon see it in athletic shoes adorned with the Swoosh as well.
This is much better than my current solution of Lock Laces. Don’t get me wrong, Lock Laces are great, and I still install them on virtually every pair of athletic shoes I buy, but they aren’t hands-free. Slide your foot into a shoe without getting your hands involved, and you’ll soon wreck it by collapsing the heel cap.
Additional Benefits of KIZIK Handsfree Shoes
I’ve been wearing them around the house and out on errands, but KIZIK also makes Handsfree shoes that are appropriate for more formal office settings. And they also offer women’s styles.
These shoes would be great for travel as well. Especially when it comes to having to remove your shoes and put them back on during an airport security check. No laces to tie, and no having to bend down or hop around to get them back on…
If you hate shoelaces, KIZIK Handsfree shoes are a great way to never have to deal with them again. They don’t just avoid the tying (or coming undone), they let you easily slide your shoes on and off with minimal effort. And they look pretty stylish as well. These shoes do fit slightly narrow, so Kizik recommends ordering 1/2 size up.
Disclosure: KIZIK provided shoes for evaluation but had no input into this review. As an Amazon Associate, I earn affiliate fees from qualifying purchases.