Review: Kuru Draft Footwear

by Lola (Akinmade) Åkerström Mar 25, 2010
Matador Goods Editor Lola Akinmade in remote fishing village

Photo by author.

Editor Lola Akinmade tests out Kuru slip-ons in one of the most unforgiving environments…..a remote fishing village in Nigeria.

Touted as producing the “world’s most anatomical” active shoes, Utah-based Kuru Footwear aims to create shoes that are supportive and mold to your feet, providing more natural treading. Named after the Finnish city, Kuru, the company’s styles are inspired by Scandinavian design which tends to be simplistic yet versatile.

By employing its patented KuruSole™ midsole technology, each shoe custom-molds itself to the wearer’s foot, providing optimal comfort and support.

Kuru offers both women’s and men’s lines with a variety of slip-on, water resistant, hiking and walkabout shoes. When asked to review their footwear, I opted for the odd looking Java/Olive Draft slip-on and promptly let Kuru know I’ll be putting their midsole technology to the test in back road villages in Nigeria.

The Location

Traveling around with Nigerian-based NGO, C.H.I.E.F, we were visiting tiny communities and villages along the Lekki Peninsula which separates Lagos Lagoon from the Atlantic Ocean.

On a visit to one particular fishing village along the lagoon, I slipped into my Kuru Drafts to see how they’d hold up. With a terrain spotting various fishy-smelling gutters and pungently stinky runoffs as well as mushy wetlands and swamps, completely covering one’s feet when navigating environments like fishing villages is a must.

And the last thing you want is your shoe to be left behind as you leap across backed up drainage, causing an undesirable fall.

What Worked
Kuru Drafts

The Draft is a lot more lightweight than it looks. I immediately noticed the Draft’s glove-like quality once I slipped it on. It wraps around your foot as if welded on.

Next, I vigorously shook my right foot to see if the slip-on shoe would indeed slip-off, and it held on for dear life.

As I moved around the village, walking around the jetty, surrounding vegetation, and on wet soil, its padded soles made me feel like I was practically gliding over various types of ground: from dry beach sands to concrete and wet mud, without paying close attention to where I was walking; usually a no-no in unfamiliar territory.

What Didn’t

Like many hiking shoes, Kuru soles run half a size smaller so if you wear a women’s size 9, you’ll need to buy size 9.5 or even 10, depending on the shape of your feet. While this isn’t a huge issue, potential buyers need to read the fine print when ordering their shoes so they don’t get sizes too small.

Also, in hot and humid locations such as sub-Saharan Africa, donning Kurus all day, no matter how comfortable they are, will make your feet warm and after a long time, borderline uncomfortable due to the heat. So full-covering Kurus are best for more moderate climates.

Final Grade: A-

The very fact that I vigorously shook my foot and the shoe didn’t slip off was more than enough to give Kuru an A+ for its design. Coupled with the super comfort and support it provides, Kuru makes some solid soles.

I can easily see myself running around in these shoes: from daily grocery store runs and city treks to longer travel stints.

The Draft comes in four color styles: Black, Blue, Orange, and Java/Olive. Check out more detailed specifications on Kuru Draft slip-ons.

Price: $89.97 | Visit Website

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