Runners need good shoes and these may be what you’re looking for.
I’ve been running since 1968, long before the mid-70s running craze hit, and since then, have worn out dozens of pairs of running shoes. These shoes ranged in quality from horrible to top-of the line. Quality running shoes weren’t commonly available when I started running, and I wore whatever I had. Many miles were logged in Converse basketball shoes!
In high school, I ran the mile in track and anchored the mile medley and two-mile relays. During college and shortly after, I averaged between 50 and 60 miles of running every week, and participated in several 10-mile races and half marathons. I got serious runner’s high and my cumulative mileage was between 40,000 and 50,000 miles before I had to quit. Partially because of this mileage (and 30+ years of Taekwondo, long backpacking trips with heavy packs and downhill and cross-country skiing), I ended up needing two complete knee replacements.
My knee doctor said my long-distance running days were over. That’s OK, I guess, but I still need to run a mile or so to get to the gym. Always interested in running shoes that show promise, I have been wearing and running in the Kuru Atom Wide for the past couple of months.
- Materials – Synthetic uppers and lining, non-marking rubber outsole.
- Heel to Toe Drop – 8mm
- Weight – Approx. 10.6 oz based on a size 8
- Width – Medium and wide
- Origin – Designed and developed in the USA, manufactured in China.
The good stuff:
Coolness: I live in the Deep South, and run on hot road surfaces in heat and humidity. A shoe that doesn’t breathe and dissipate heat just won’t work. When your socks get soggy from perspiration, your feet soften up and blisters will appear. A long run can end up being painful, from the ground up.
Fit: I typically wear size 11 wide in any hiking or outdoor footwear. The Kurus fit just like I wanted them to – a little roomy. Anyone who spends a lot of time on their feet can attest that their feet naturally swell over the course of the day. If your feet hurt at the end of the day or after a long run or trek, part of the problem may be that your shoes aren’t the correct size.
Shoes shaped like your feet – Built-in arch support, rounded heel cups, and a curved insole make for a truly ergonomic fit, according to the Kuru website. Well, they are shaped like my feet. My biggest footwear issue is finding the correct width. The wide width is truly comfortable. These shoes fit me.
Fight foot pain – Every pair of KURUs has unique triple-layer technology, according to the website, and patented tech for wellness from the ground up. This contributes to Kuru’s claim that the shoes can relieve plantar fasciitis.
According to Johns Hopkins medicine:
- Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of the plantar fascia, tissue in the foot used during walking and foot movement.
- Plantar fasciitis can be caused by a number of factors, including type of shoes, foot structure, overuse and types of walking surfaces.
- The main symptom of plantar fasciitis is heel pain.
Arch support: Contoured, dual-density foam provides arch support. These shoes take some breaking in before they are truly comfortable. Once they are, it is like running on a cloud.
Heel support: Responsive technology, the website claims, dynamically flexes to hug and protect your heels. The heel supports work for me. There was never any rubbing or discomfort in that area, even before the shoes were broken in.
Color: There are six different colors available, ranging from black to light grey. I got the mountain sage/white which are the lightest colors available. Grey matches just about any outfit, so these shoes look great, even if you’re not running in them. A light color is also cooler since it reflects the heat away from the foot.
Black is the worst in hot environments – it absorbs and holds heat. But black is a great choice if it is required for a dress code at work, or to go with a uniform.
Waterproof: Nope, Kuru doesn’t make a shoe with waterproof barriers. Because of this enlightened philosophy the Atoms are remarkably cool. That in turn contributes to them being comfortable.
Leon’s rant: The great majority of wearers will never need a waterproof shoe. In a low cut shoe, that waterproofing can only extend to the edge of the ankle border and offers about one inch of protection. This results in a shoe that stays wet, but doesn’t offer much protection from the exterior moisture. Besides, waterproof barriers can wear out. I’m still looking for a waterproof barrier in a shoe that actually works as advertised.
Made in China: “Our shoes are manufactured with high-quality materials and in ethical conditions,” according to the website. I hope this means that the workers are not wage slaves, and that they work in safe and comfortable factories. The Kuru company is based in Salt Lake City. I would like these shoes better if they were made in the United States.
This review won’t be complete until I have put more miles on these shoes. But as it stands right now, I’ve found my running shoes.
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