There are scores of neutral shoes designed for natural runners out there, as well as shoes that have been designed for triathletes. The Zoot Ultra Kalani 2.0 combines both types, into a multifaceted running shoe that is equally useful when you are going cycling. After researching the Zoot Kalani, I felt that it has a number of qualities that set it apart from the pack. The manufacturers claim that it is ideal for training, and is neutral in design so that it lets the foot move more freely, in line with the current fad for barefoot running.
Composed of a soft, seamless mesh in the upper, it also has a lack of a tongue, instead going with a built in pull device so that you can get your foot into the shoe easily. The lower area of the shoe has a Z-bound midsole to give you cushioning. It feels particularly soft when you first put the shoe on, but is firm enough to give some support as well, because there's a carbon fiber plate that runs through the whole length of the shoe. This not only adds arch support but it also helps give your tread a little bit of bounce.
Other reviewers of this shoe have mentioned the high level of comfort that the Zoot Ultra Kalani 2.0 provides, and I have to agree with their assessment. It is designed for use without socks, so that you can really let your feet move more instinctually within the confines of the shoe. Because a lot of triathlete runners choose to run barefoot, this is a design feature that works in the Kalani's favor. The material of the upper portion is composed of soft mesh that envelopes the feet, and isn't too harsh even without socks. It is breathable, so that your foot doesn't get overheated when you are running, and is able to conform to the contours of each individual foot.
The high level of comfort and attention to detail for barefoot triathletes has already been mentioned. I also enjoyed the exposed sockliner upper that includes lace straps, because this adds to the comfort of the overall fit. Other reviewers also liked the fact that there is no traditional tongue, so that there is less restriction on the feet. Further benefits of this shoe include its ability to strike a balance in between firmness and stability, as well as the cushioning. It is a shoe that can take you over several different types of terrain, because it is geared towards the needs of triathletes.
A common complaint that other reviewers had with the Zoot Ultra Kalani 2.0 relates to the back height of the shoe. Many feel that the back tabs are too tall, which has prevented some reviewers from being able to use the Kalani 2.0 for long distance runs. For some people, this height is a problem because it digs right into the Achilles area of the heel, producing friction over time. It's advised to try on the shoes first and see where this back portion of the heel hits you before you purchase these shoes, so that you can determine if this con is a deal breaker or not.