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For the last few years, the biggest shoes on trails and especially thru-hikes were Altra, and while they are a solid performing shoe choice they have a zero drop that causes pain for many hikers along with a very short lifespan on the rough terrain you encounter while on a long-distance hike.
I started to look outside the zero drop world at shoes that were built for the outdoors and could live up to the needs a thru-hiker requires, which is solid footing and tread to grip rocks, roots, and other trail disruptions along with a tough and durable upper that also dry fast and efficiently.
I found the KURU brand and reached out to grab their trail shoes, called the Chicane, and to use them while testing how they felt over miles and miles along with their durability and help give you more options to look at for your next hike, whether day, section or thru-hike.
The CHICANE is available in full-grain leather uppers or a more airy combo of mesh and leather that allows you to explore the outdoors with the perfect balance of protection and ventilation needed.
- Arch Support - Exceptional Arch Support is Built-in
- Materials - Synthetic and Nubuck Leather Uppers, Synthetic linings, Non-Marking Rubber Outsole
- Heel to Toe Drop - 12mm for better pressure distribution from heel to forefoot
- Weight - Approximately 435 grams (15.32 oz based on a size 9.5)
I always want to cover the important details for any review that a hiker may view as important, both the good and the bad so we will cover the following in this KURU Chicane Review:
- I’ll start with the features and benefits of the shoe (the stuff you’ll find useful)
- Next, I’ll explore any drawbacks or issues you might need to know about
- Then, I’ll dive into KURU as it is always good to understand the manufacturer’s goals
- Last, I’ll help provide details and reviews from other additional actual customers along with independent reviews from others to help give you a better overview of the product
Let’s jump into the review and make sure it’s the perfect fit for you!
Features of the KURU Chicane
There are many features of the KURU Chicane that make it one of the best options for those looking to be comfortable on their feet.
The unique patented sole offers a better flex for foot care and a more comfortable hiking and overall walking experience instead of flattening out the heel.
Helps Those With Foot Pain
For those who have Plantar Fasciitis, heel discomfort, flat feet, bone spurs, and other ailments, it’s a top-selling favorite trail shoe as it leans into managing these issues.
For a better, more adjustable fit, the proprietary asymmetrical tongue design follows the top line of the foot leading to a far more comfortable shoe.
With the infinitely adjustable Ghillie Lacing System, you may get a sock-like fit around your foot by wrapping webbing around it.
Unlike anything else, KURUSOLE improves your alignment and posture for a healthier you, no matter where you go.
A larger toe box allows your toes to move freely. It’s ideal for Morton’s neuroma, hammer toes, bunion pain, and other problems.
The moisture-wicking liner keeps your feet dry and happy all day long.
Benefits of the KURU Chicane
No joke, this sole is amazing and it almost coddles your heel on each step helping you to avoid issues that typically plague heel strikers, the video on their site shows the impact of a normal shoe where the foot is allowed to overflow causing all those well-known heel pains.
Unlike many other shoes with a focus on crazy and wacky colors, the Chicane series overall are more muted to blend more into the environment and allow you to blend equally from the trail to civilized life, the biggest distinction being the lacing layout.
After wearing these for over a month now they look the same as when they came out of the box, I am very impressed overall with how they have taken the initial abuses and shown no signs of any real wear.
A portion of all their registered sales goes to charities through a program called KURU Cares(1) which focuses on you having the ability to control how your favorite brand gives back.
Drawbacks of the KURU Chicane
Lack of an Aggressive Sole
Sometimes you need some extra traction on the trail, these shoes don’t have the same style of aggressive soles as other “trail runners” will have.
To this point, they haven’t caused me any issues and they may grip just fine but treads are a question mark over time to grip on those wet rock surfaces and similar we encounter deep in the woods.
While they don’t bother me currently anyone who is OCD will probably despise the different approach to lacing running across and up your foot instead of straight up.
I can say in all my initial wearing it feels like this lacing makes them feel much more a part of my foot and nothing bad to say.
Video Review: KURU Chicane
About the KURU Company
When he was in fifth grade, Bret Rasmussen, their founder had a dream of establishing a shoe business. His ambition became reality when he established KURU in 2008, during the recession.
His innovative vision was so strong that it resulted in the creation of KURUSOLE. Thousands have since benefited from this inspiration with far more comfortable hiking and walking shoes.
This relentless focus on innovation showcases their flawless comfort. They are devoted to raising the bar, using science and a little bit of human-inspired magic.
KURU Chicane Reviews
Everyone loves to look at specs, features, and benefits but many times you can learn much more from other reviews and customer feedback as they offer more real-life details than what specs and features tell you.
To help provide more views I have attempted to curate reviews that reflect on the KURU Chicane Review from independent reviewers along with thru-hikers and customers in general to give the most detailed information possible.
Independent Reviews and Recommendations
Having good comfortable shoes is a must. I am very frugal by nature, but I am a firm believer that in some cases you really do get what you pay for, and having great shoes is definitely worth paying extra money for.Read More
The more I wear my KURU shoes, the more comfortable that they get. I love the way they look, too! They are different, but I think they are sharp.Read More
The shoes bridge a gap between stylish casual footwear and active outdoor hiking shoes, and they do it quite well. I’d also definitely recommend them as a great travel shoe.
Their versatility would really pay off when you’re wanting to pack light but not give up any comfort, and they can really be the one shoe you would need for an entire trip.Read More
Customer Reviews and Recommendations
This is my first pair of Chicane’s and they are out of this world comfortable. I know all about the KURU sole and support for foot issues but the Chicane is like having a pillow wrapped around your foot.
I can walk all day long in these and still have enough energy and be pain free to trek a mountain! I bought these for walking and a casual dress shoe and they are perfect for both!KURU Chicane Purchaser
I own a pair of leather KURU shoes that I’ve been very happy with…certainly helped in clearing plantar fasciitis pain I experienced before trying KURU.
I was so happy with the leather shoe that I purchased the Chicane for a hike of over 500 miles across the northern section of Spain.
After covering the 500 miles in Spain there is little wear to both sole and upper.KURU Chicane Purchaser
No issues with feet adjusting to shoes. Size and width are true. Hiked the Rockies and rafted the Colorado in these. Very comfortable in all situations.KURU Chicane Purchaser
Grab One Today You Won’t Be Let Down
I have sworn by using zero drop shoes for the last two years but these shoes have been so comfortable that I am thinking the zero drop phenomenon may not be all it’s cracked up to be. Many don’t know that zero-drop shoes can stress other parts of your foot, especially on challenging terrain!
I will be continuing to use these and enjoy a change in focus that can help me over longer treks, I will also be writing on the benefits of zero drop versus non-zero drop shoes to help everyone think deeper about their shoe choice overall.
Check out my other reviews if you are interested in detailed and helpful reviews by someone who enjoys the outdoors and carries a backpack at every opportunity!
I received a pair of KURU Chicane shoes in order to facilitate my review, no other compensation was given. I have shared my honest opinion with you regarding these shoes.