200401 Kruzr W Double Stitch copyI really wanted to love these shoes. After all, Kuru Footwear has garnered loads of rave reviews from bloggers galore. This company is not shy about giving away pairs of its hiking and walking shoes to everyone from Workout Mommy to MomTrend to The Pensive Blog (a dude, not a mom).

Loads of online testimonials  sing the shoes’ praises, with statements like, they “fit like a glove” and are the “most comfortable shoe.” The images on the Kuru Footwear website just look cool — they have that outdoorsy, sporty look I love.

Unfortunately, the Kruzr style I sampled (pictured above) just wasn’t for me. First, the square design that looked so nifty on the website did nothing for my Fred-Flinstone-like feet (read: fat with stubby toes). I just didn’t feel pretty or light in them. (Yes, even casual mountain girls like to feel like their feet look good on the trail.) Second, I found that the insole didn’t have enough soft cushion — it felt surprisingly stiff on my foot. I like a hiking shoe that provides a ton of comfy cushioning, and the Kruzr didn’t have it.

However, users who are plagued with plantar fasciitis, seem to have dimished (or eliminated) heel pain when wearing Kuru Footwear. That’s because Kuru’s midsole is orthotic, and it molds to the shape of your foot, according to the Kuru website. The KuruSole cups a wearer’s heel, which allows the heel’s fat pad to continue to cushion the bone (as opposed to many shoes that flatten the heel’s fat pad).

Other features of the Kruzr are appealing, too: I dig the nubby sole and the “soft shell” uppers that are stain and water resistant. The lacing system allows for a nice tight fit.

200104 Draft - BrntSienna-Blk SMALL_1I also like that Kuru donates a portion of its profits to various charities, and buyers can register their shoes with the charity of their choice. That’s just a cool policy. Great karma.

I’d recommend folks who have heel pain, back pain or shin splints to try Kuru Footwear. At $90 a pair (for the Kruzr) they are much cheaper than a pair of custom orthotics, that’s for sure. While this particular style isn’t for me, I’m wondering if the Draft “snow clog” (pictured right) might suit me better. I like the idea of having a fun-colored (orange!) slip-on shoe for lounging apres ski or around the campfire. They’d also make great travel shoes — easy slip-on/slip-off in the security line at the airport.

View and purchase all the styles online, or plug your zip code into the “find dealers” search.

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