CF Reviews

Excruciatingly Honest Opinions About Health and Fitness Products.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Kuru Shoe Review

So as I mentioned back on the main Cranky Fitness page, after whining about my sore feet on the blog, I recently got to try a pair of Kuru shoes. The Kuru people sell active footwear, including shoes for plantar fasciitis, and they let me try a pair for free to see what I thought of them.

IMPORTANT NOTE FOR POST SKIMMERS: Sorry, at this point this is just a review of the shoes, not a giveaway. So please don't go thanking me in the comments for the great giveaway! You'll just make me feel all guilty for not giving you my shoes. But face it, unless you're a size 10 and don't mind my smelly feet having been in there first? You probably wouldn't want my pair anyway. Plus, the good news, is: a Kuru giveaway still remains a distinct possibility for the future!

Let's keep it simple, shall we? First the things I liked, then the things I didn't.

Some Awesome Things About Kuru Shoes:

1. The technology makes for an extremely comfortable, supportive shoe.

So they bill these things as having "the world's most anatomical midsole." The idea is that the Kuru sole is made out of stuff that enables the shoe to mold to your foot, offering "the support of a custom orthotic."

I'm not a podiatrist or anything, and of course every shoe maker says their stuff is the best in the world and they can't all be right. So I can't evaluate the science behind it.

But I can notice how they fit. And as soon as I put these on my feet and started walking around I said: Whooee! Yes!

I often find shoes to be either too hard and unyielding, or too springy and floppy and unsupportive. This pair of Kruzr's somehow managed to be both cushy enough inside to be comfortable on my sore heel, but firm and supportive enough all around so that I feel like I'm getting maximum protection from the kind of impact (and pronation problems) that got my foot messed up in the first place.

It's too early to tell whether these shoes will help my plantar fasciitis, because I'm nixing the long walks for now and not looking to risk irritating things by pushing it for the sake of a shoe review. But the shoes sure seem to be much better than my previous shoes at giving me the kind of support I think will help a lot in the long run.

2. They're Not Running Shoes But They Feel As Good.

I like to walk a lot, but generally if I'm going more than a couple miles or so I've learned to put on a pair of trail running shoes. Even "casual" non-running shoes tend to chafe or not offer enough support. Problem is, sometimes I don't feel like wearing running shoes if I'm walking, say, to a restaurant. Plus, how am I ever going to go to Europe again wearing shoes that scream "lazy American who can't ever manage to change out of her trainers?"

Kuru shoes are exactly the type of shoes that I've been looking for: athletic in terms of how they feel, but a slight step up in formality from your basic trail runner.

3. The Price Seems Very Reasonable.

A lot of times I've reviewed great products but then felt kind of guilty recommending them because I personally might be too cheap to spring for 'em myself if I hadn't scored them for free. The Kuru's, however, are in the $80-$90 range and seem well worth it. Most shoes this well-engineered would cost a heck of a lot more.

The things I didn't like as much about Kuru shoes:

1. They only sell online.

I like to try things on first. Now on the plus side, the Kuru folks let you send the shoes back for free, so there's no risk. But I'm lazy and I hate even the thought of having to send things back.

2. Depending on the model, the shoes look pretty wide and kind of clunky when viewed from the top.

This is partly my own fault--the model I really wanted to try wasn't available, and I went with color over style. I wanted a go-with-everything color scheme so I chose a gray and black pair, even though I had some fears about the width of the grey Kruzr's in the picture.

And sure enough, just as my feet were saying "ahh, these are so comfortable," my vain ego was saying "Eeek, my feet look so damn wide!"

Scary View of Kuru Shoes

In my own mind, I was seeing:

Photo: mliu92

And it's not that I have particularly fat feet--it's the shoes, I swear.

However, when I whined to the Lobster, she said, "really? They look pretty cute to me."

And I thought, how could this be? Doesn't she see my elephant feet?

Then she pointed out that no one else would be looking straight down at them like I was doing. She suggested I look at them from the viewing angle of other people. If I was going to let vanity threaten my enjoyment of my new awesome comfortable supportive shoes, I might as well get a more accurate idea of what they looked like to other people.

And sure enough, that helped a lot.

Much less scary from the side.

And fine from the front too!

And as further proof of Kuru's aesthetic coolness, here is Mizfit sporting a different pair. (And check out her Kuru review too).

See? Like I said, it was my own fault for picking the wrong pair. If you look at their website, they've got tons of other styles and colors.

Anyway, I am very happy with the shoes so far. I may even spring for the pair I really wanted with my own money! As a tight-fisted tight-clawed crab, that says a lot.

So when you guys find a comfortable, supportive pair of shoes do you fret about what they look like?

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  • I need to try shoes on first, too, so I don't imagine I'll be buying any online.
    I have some walking shoes from Mark's Work WearHouse in the WindRiver brand. The model name escapes me, but they are very comfortable and worth the $90+ I paid for them. I care a bit about how my shoes look so I got these in two-tone brown, but if there'd only been this make and model in the washed-out pink I tried on first I'd have bought them anyway.

  • So when you guys find a comfortable, supportive pair of shoes do you fret about what they look like?

    ahhh Im a birkenstock wearer from way bizzack.

    so no.

    never I say.

    now I need to know: have you worn the birks? the boston style? love me some boston.

    wait --this was supposed to be all kuru all the time yes?

    carry on...

    and yes. I do adore my kuru slip ons and SLIP ON into the weight room wearing em frequently.

  • I am busting a gut laughing at all of the different angles of the shoes pictured...I so get that! And yeah, comfort is very important to me, but I do like for my shoes to look cute or at least quirky-cute. They do sound comfy - wish Kuru would send me a pair to review!

  • Great review! I like that they let you return for free although I am like you & want to try things on. I have VERY VERY wide feet that are flat & also have bunions on both feet so..... needless to say, very hard to fit. Something to think about. I don't find too many shoes that fit these feet & are comfortable! NO, I will not take a pic & post on my blog.. they are too ugly! :-)

  • Sadly, I am a very, very shallow women and don't think I could bring myself to wear them outside of the house.

  • I like to try on shoes before buying as well, however they have a great return policy. Being rather hesitant I ordered my first pair in November and couldnt wait for them to arrive. My first walk in them was great! I had about 90% less pain from the first time I put them on. I love them. I own the Brown Chicane style and will order the Draft's next.

  • So not comfortable buying before trying. I have really wide feet and absolutely need to try first!

    So funny about the width issue. If you thought that was wide you should see my flipper feet ;) Glad you could see it from another angle and find them wearable.

  • After your review, I can finally imagine Not Trying Shoes on First. (Especially since trying them on in the store only gives you a slight clue what they will feel like walking a mile or two on a different surface.)

    And like you, the very thought of returning them, free or not, is Just Too Much Trouble.

    Looks do matter to me; when MizFit reviewed them I went to the site and said "Oh, blerg!" But if you both like them, this may be what they make shoe dye for....

    Mary Anne in Kentucky

  • P.S. The Lobster is a wise woman.

    Mary Anne in Kentucky

  • *pfft* They still look better than crocs.

  • Oh I think they look just fine on you but I so get not wanting to bother buying online despite how returnable thy are. Still...

  • Wow. That's a lot of angles to look at shoes from. I had fun seeing the way they looked, though. Like you, I'm quite particular about how shoes make my feet look.

    It's too bad they only sell online. I have the tiniest and widest feet on the planet. It's hard to find shoes to fit me just right.


  • Crabby, this is Nate at Kuru Footwear, I absolutely loved your review, I agree with a couple of the other comments, I almost laughed out loud a couple of times.

    Several of you mentioned you would like a different look to our shoes, we would love to hear what you want as we are looking to create new style and colors. Please come over to our Facebook page and tell us what you would like to see from us next.

  • Do I care about how the shoes look?

    I've learned to adjust that thought over the past few years. A foot problem that meant I could ONLY wear Keen Hydro sandals for 2 years (and heels never again) is a huge lesson.

    So I judge my shoes by how they make my feet feel-and my face look. Good shoes, and my face shines.

  • I am a shoe person, I like my shoes to be cute. I do try to go for a happy medium though and find shoes that are comfortable and look cute. Depending on what the shoe is for of course - exercise, general walking around, dressy occasion. Comfort can be relative I guess.

    Looks like they do have some cute ones though. And I'm glad you found something comfy for your sore feed.

  • Great! I'll be checking these out!

  • Great review, Crabby!

    I went on over to their website and would love to try these. Sadly, I never order online, so unless they send me some out of the blue....
    Wonder how they would stand up to the stuff I pick up on my feet out in the corral....????

  • Ummm, in CASE you feel like giving them away... I happen to be a size 10! Though even if large, I like my feet. They aren't fat like the rest of me.

    Boy, more and more I think I am going to have to just try a pair of these. I am all about comfort and I don't mind if my shoes look a bit strange or quirky.

    At any rate, for the moment I am happy... got a new pair of Stegmann woolflex clog slippers for Xmas.

  • I purchased these shoes for daily hikes of 1-2 hours. Although they provide great support and the fit is perfect for some reason my big toes ache when I wear them. Not sure what I can do about that. Curious if any other people have experienced similar problems. I don't think i have alien big toes or anything :-)

    said Anonymous on May 6, 2010 at 9:53 AM
  • I am a Podiatrist and in the process of reviewing the Kuru shoe also. I had the same issues with it looking a little clunky but it is a very comfortable shoe. Excellent to anyone with bunions and hammertoes since it has a wide, soft toebox.
    Dr. Cathleen A. McCarthy

  • I bought a pair of Kruzr 2s last fall. They only had orange in my size. I thought: I will just try them, but I will not wear them away from home. If I like them I will get another color when they become available.
    But, the shoes were so comfortable and my feet were so sore from plantar fascitis that I actually slunk into work wearing them. Here is what happened: The secretary, who is always very busy spotted my shoes and said with enthusiasm, "Cute shoes!!" (She wanted to know where I got them, etc.) Then in the middle of a meeting the new music teacher diverted the purpose of the meeting for a minute by saying, "Cute shoes!"
    Thus another Kuru shoe conversation blossomed. Several more people at work and at various times complimented me on the shoes. But the real surprise was when I strolled in Wal Mart a well-dressed woman in a long flowing skirt pointed down at my shoes and said, "cute shoes!" And again I explained to this stranger where I got them etc.
    In these discussions when I would self-consciously say, "Well, gosh, they ARE orange." People would say, "No, they are salmon and I like them!"
    The only problem is that I have not been able to buy a pair in another color because they do not have them in 8.
    If it were not hot now, I would be wearing them today, but have to fall back on Dr. Weil's sandals which have too agressive of an arch support but are the best I can find now.
    Sue from Wisconsin

  • The warranty is a joke!! The bottom of the shoe's soles started to peel off after 13 days. All I do is walk on carpet and inside flooring as a nurse. I was asked to take pictures of the shoes fallin apart but opted for gorilla glue instead. All my socks at stained PINK on the top of the arch which is hardly a sweating problem


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