I was reading my Runner's World April '09 issue and ran across an ad for the Strong Fulcrum Ride by Karhu. Karhu? Never heard of that shoe company. The ad was announcing the shoe had won "Best Debut" from Runner's World. So, I dug out my March issue of RW which had the new spring shoe review. The article featured a couple of Karhu shoes. I've been running for over 20 years, but somehow I've managed to miss this brand. Evidently it's been around since 1916 and is legendary in Finland.
Karhu's unique feature is its Fulcrum Technology. This design is supposed to reduce wasted vertical forces, minimizing the time the heel is on the ground; provide a natural ride and feel through the three phases of the gate cycle—feel, ride, stride; and promote the foot's natural abilities. I've been reading a lot about the benefits of avoiding heel striking and landing on your forefoot instead. Since the Fulcrum Technology helps decrease the time the heel is on the ground, I thought I'd give this brand a try. Plus, the shoes look really cool!
After reading the review of the Karhu Strong Fulcrum Ride and the Fluid Fulcrum Ride, I decided the Fluid best met my needs, and ordered a pair. In a few days I was tearing into the box and slipping on my new kicks. They felt really good from the get-go. They have a slightly lower profile than what I'm use to. Due to the Fulcrum Technology, there's not the need for a thick heel. I've run an 8-miler, 5-miler, and 6-miler in my new Karhu's and they feel awesome. Usually there's a "breaking-in" period for me with new shoes, even if it's a new pair of the same brand I've been using. But with my Karhu's, they felt good from the first run. The Fluid Fulcrum Ride is for a neutral runner. It has a cushioned but supportive feel. The toebox is roomy and the heel has a snug fit. It did take me a little while to get use to being lower to the ground, but that soon passed.
So, if you're looking to change up your running kicks, give Karhu a try! You'll be pleasantly surprised. Click here to find a dealer near you.