I recently received a pair of Chicane light hiking shoes from Kuru to test and review. The shoes are designed to be comfortable and durable on the street or on the trail, and after a month of testing in both of those environments, I’d say that they accomplish that goal quite nicely.
Make no mistake, these shoes are not going to replace your traditional hikers from Keen or Merrell, or any of the other more established manufacturers, but then again, they’re not really designed for the same purpose either. Kuru calls the Chicanes a “light duty trail hiking shoe” and I think that’s an apt description. They lack the aggressive sole that some of the more dedicated hiking shoes have, and on longer hikes, especially in rocky or slick conditions, I think this would be factor. But, that said, the rubber soles on these shoes are prefect for hitting a less demanding trail, and when you return to civilization, unlike most other hiking shoes, you won’t be rushing to take these off, as they are very comfortable when heading out on the town as well.
One of the things you first notice about the Kurus is their distinctive styling. When I first took them out of the box, they reminded me a bit of a climbing shoe, and while wearing them I had numerous people comment on them and ask me where they could get a pair. The design is definitely distinct, and unique, which makes the shoes stand out even more.
Of course, looks only go so far, and the next question I would invariably get would be “are they comfortable?”. That one was easy to answer with a resounding yet. As soon as you put the shoes on you can feel the support around the ankle and in the arch of your foot, two places where you really need it, and unlike most other shoes, I didn’t have to wear them for several days to break them in either. Right out of the box the Chicanes were comfy on the feet and fit well, although they do tend to run about a half-size small, so keep that in mind when order a pair online.
I mentioned earlier that the shoes are also very durable, and this is one of the things I was most impressed with. After wearing them in a variety of situations for more than a month, I can honestly say they still look brand new. Sure, they’ve gotten a bit dirty from using them on the trail, but they clean up well, thanks to the water resistant fabrics, and haven’t shown any type of wear in the time that I’ve been using them. In fact, there isn’t even a scuff mark on them that you would expect on any pair of shoes after a period of time. It’ll be interesting to see how they hold up in the weeks ahead, but as of now, I’m very confident in their durability, and expect that I won’t need to replace them for a very long time.
I’d be remiss if I wrote a review on Kuru footwear without mentioning that the company itself is committed to creating products that are not only comfortable and unique, but also good for the environment. Kuru takes sustainability very seriously, and is focused on protecting our natural resources and making the world a better place. To that end, when you register your shoes online, you can elect to have the company donate some of the proceeds to one of nine charities that includes the likes of the Susan G. Koman Fund and the Nature Conservancy.
Overall, I have to give a big thumbs up to the Kuru Chicane shoes. They are comfortable, durable, and have a unique design to them, and what more can we ask for from shoe? I love the fact that I can put them on when I head out the door in the morning, and no matter what activity comes my way, I can be assured that they’re up for the task. 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. I know that they’ll be with me on my next adventure.
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