Karhu’s Strong Fulcrum Ride ($140) seems different out of the box than other road running shoes. Perhaps, it’s the styling with its nod to fashionable casual footwear. The stark white shoe has but a few touches of silver to detract from a large, gently stylized letter "M" that also provides support to the upper. Maybe, it’s the apparent high quality of the shoe. Karhu has done an excellent job of finishing the shoe just so. Or, it might just be that after taxes you’ve spent nearly $150 on a pair of running shoes.
While the shoe has great aesthetics, how does it run? You’ll quickly note, as I did, that that the shoe feels as different as it looks.In the Strong, Karhu uses a carbon fiber plate to implement thecompany’s patented Stability Fulcrum technology, which claims to harness your energy and transmit it into forward momentum. The Fulcrumtechnology and the well-contoured mesh upper worked together to successfully control overpronation. The shoe’s fulcrum actually does result in a smoothforward transition, while the EVA midsole provides plenty ofcushioning.
Before you lace up a pair and hit the road, you should know that these shoes run very small. Be sure to buy a half size larger than you normally wear unless you want to be restricted to wearing only your thinnest pair of socks.
Bryon Powell, an ultramarathon coach, publishes iRunFar.com--a website for trail runners and long distance runners.