The Great Shoe Experiment

Karhu (sports brand)A while ago I wrote about my experience with low-profile shoes and wondered out-loud if perhaps these shoes contributed to my New Year’s Eve injury. After reading that post, a friend suggested I look into Karhu shoes. Karhu is bucking the low-heel drop tide by heavily marketing its fulcrum technology. Karhu prides itself on offering models with a relatively raised heel and a shoe design that forces a mid-foot strike. After researching the brand I was intrigued.ย About a week and a half ago Karhu contacted me and offered me the opportunity to become a wear-tester. I couldn’t pass that up!

And thus the great shoe experiment begins!

For the next two month expect to see several posts detailing my experience with Karhu. Today I will discuss how I chose the Karhu model right for me and my first impressions of them.

To choose my model of Karhus I first visited Karhu’s website. Normally I wear light-weight stability trainers like my ultimate favorites Nike LunarGlide. I was a little nervous when all of the stability models looked more like motion control clompers than the light weight shoes for tempos I was looking for. When I checked out the neutral models the Flow definitely caught my eye and I so wished it just had a little stability. I felt perplexed.

So I asked my Karhu rep, Meagan. Meagan was super helpful and recommended the Flows much to my delight! She said I could totally get away with a neutral Karhu shoe: “the fulcrum technology in itself is inherently pretty stable, so sometimes people who usually wear traditional stability shoes are able to get away with our neutral models.” I was sold on the Flow.

I waited patiently. And waited. And waited. And finally! They were here!

From the bear on the golden box they just got better. Cinnamon would definitely approve of the ultraviolet and super bright lime green. I love the off-setting gleaming white laces!





And then I put them on. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but they felt very similar to the Brooks Pure Cadence to me in that there is definitely something different going on in the middle of the shoe influencing the foot strike, but the Karhu Flow did not rock as much, seeming more stable from back to front and that’s probably because the heel-drop is 14 mm while the Brooks Pure Cadence is 5 mm. Even so, the Karhu Flows did not feel at all like my heels were elevated in any unnatural sense (for reference my Nike LunarGlide 3 have a 10 mm heel drop). They felt comfortable. As for the Fulcrum technology in the middle of the shoe, I noticed that more walking and standing in them than running. And it definitely felt more subtle to me than overwhelming or distracting. But the fit was perfection. They felt great and light on my feet. These shoes feel FAST!





The next day I took them to the gym for a spin on the treadmill. I always like to test drive a new shoe on the mill so I can change shoes easily if they don’t work out. But these worked out! I did a 4 mile tempo and felt really great. I even forgot I was wearing new shoes. I have a natural mid-foot strike and I think the fulcrum technology complimented it nicely. They were comfortable at both easy and tempo pace. My calves and feet felt fine after the run and my formerly injured butt and hip felt great for the entire run.

The next step for me is to take them to the track to see how my feet and legs hold up in them at faster paces. Stay tuned!

Running Shoes: Karhu Flow

Karhu Website:

If your interested in becoming a Karhu wear-tester apply at:ย

Thanks for reading. As a reward, enjoy 10% off at Karhu’s online store! Use coupon code: 10off

Salty Running boss and mother of 3 little ones with PRs of 3:10:15 (26.2), 1:25:59 (13.1) and 18:15 (5k). I love to write about running culture, mental training, and fitting in a serious running habit with the rest of a busy life.

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    1. I do like them, but they may be a bit light to use as an every day trainer especially for someone who needs stability. They are a little different so I would definitely recommend trying them on if you can. You can find a store near you that carries them here: If you’re in the Cleveland area I believe Cleveland Running Company In Shaker and Second Sole Rocky River carry them in their stores. If you want a more substantial trainer and like the Lunar Glides, I’d also recommend you try the Brooks Ravenna or the Mizuno Elixir. If you have any more questions about shoes let me know!

  1. Coming to this post a bit late but I was wondering if you knew any running shoe companies besides Altra making womens specific lasts for shoes? I always read these glowing reviews and then find that my heel is too narrow and slips around in shoes which is apparently bc most shoes are based on mens wider heel sizes ๐Ÿ™ Google is not particularly helpful either….