I am a avid walker and hiker. Sometimes I will choose to walk when I would normally drive, even if I have to take a empty backpack along to carry my purchases. Because I walk a lot, I always buy good shoes, which is why I jumped at a chance to check out these interesting shoes.
Kuru Footwear gets its name from Kuru, Finland, which is an outdoor destination in Finland known for eco-tourism, environmental conservation, and many other outdoor pursuits. The company was started by a group of young and passionate lovers of the outdoors who wanted to make “lustworthy” gear for your feat. I am happy to say that they definitely live up to their promises.
I was sent a pair of 10.5 Java/Bracken Men’s Chicanes. They are tagged as a light duty trail shoe, but I wouldn’t hesitate to wear these on a long hike in the woods. If it isn’t too cold when I head to Tennessee for the holidays, I may use these on a hike in the Ijam’s Nature Center near my mom’s house in Knoxville. They have some nice long hikes which will allow me to waste away part of my vacation getting closer to nature like the people who started Kuru.
The shoe itself is made of a combination of Nubuck with a soft shelled upper. The soles are made of dual density rubber. The shoe also has lots of built-in technology to help keep your feet from sweating, and I have to say it works! Normally I am dying to get my shoes off at the end of the day, but thanks to this technology I usually keep them on a bit longer because my feet don’t feel as sweaty as they did in my last pair of shoes. They fit my feet like a glove out of the box, and they didn’t require a break in period to feel good. The soft upper in this shoe is crushable, so you can squeeze them into your backpack with ease. The use of nubuck in the toes will make them more durable, the soles seem to be very durable too; I’ll be interested to see how long these shoes last.
As far as looks are concerned, they are styled like a ultra modern hiker. They almost appear like a sneaker, but thanks to the dark brown color of the uppers they could be at home in the office with a pair of dockers as well as on the trail in your favorite pair of jeans. If brown isn’t your color, the Chicanes are also available in a gunmetal gray color which is nicely trimmed in yellow.
If lace ups aren’t your style, they have three different styles of slip on shoes as well.
Kuru also has a line for women which mirrors the men’s, with exception of the Kruzr model which is for women only. The main difference between the men’s and women’s lines other than the cut, is the color. The women’s colors are more feminine than the men’s line, but if you’re a girly-girl, they may not appeal to you. However if your an outdoor hiker or rancher like our Judie, than these probably would appeal to you. [Note from Judie – I like the chocolate and brown pair shown below, as well as the red lace-ups…even girly-girls need good walking shoes!]
Kuru is committed to sustaining our world, which is why they will donate a portion of your purchase price to your choice of nine different charities whenever you purchase a pair. The charities are Free the Children; Charity: Water, Soles for Souls; SurfAid International; Susan G. Komen for the Cure; LiveStrong Foundation; The Nature Conservancy; Outward Bound; and World Bicycle Relief. My choice is of course the Susan G. Komen, as my mother in law is a 10+ year cancer survivor/warrior. Kuru’s selection of charities definitely all have sustainability in mind, whether it’s battling a disease or giving shoes to those who need them.
Kuru Footwear is available direct from their website, or you can look at their list of dealers. Prices range from $90 for the Drafts, to $115 for the Chicanes and Halcyons.
What I liked: They fit like a glove out of the box. One of the only pairs of shoes I look forward to putting on in the morning and almost don’t want to take off at night. They also keep my feet warm (but not too warm!) as I wait for the bus on the cold December mornings we’ve been having.
What needs improvement: Price: They are kind of expensive. But in my opinion they are totally worth what you pay, thanks to the quality and the donation to charity that go with every pair of shoes.