Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Karhu Fast5 Fulcrum Review

Full Disclosure: I am a Karhu-sponsored athlete so you can take this review (as you should with anything) with a gain of salt. Then again, if you have read anything I have written you would know I pull no punches in any of my reviews. In addition, I am working with the companies I work with because their products are phenomenal. So naturally those products will almost always be great. Finally, I think I once said something mean about a girl in 5th grade that wasn't true. (I said "full disclosure".)

I excitedly received my Karhu Fast5 Fulcrum the other day. I say excitedly because while receiving new shoes in the mail is akin to Chrismahanukwanzakah for runners, lately my inability to not run without pain has dampened my spirits. However, after my 150th marathon last week, wherein on little training I eked out a decent, I am once again excited to lace up my shoes.

Sliding into the Fast5 was like sliding into every other Karhu shoe. It just felt nice. It didn't feel overly-techy or too frilly. What I have loved about Karhu shoes from the get-go of working with them is the shoes have this je ne sais quoi. You lace them up and you think "Now, that's a shoe."

My first run in the Fast5 was my Bridge Run in Portland which, while on all road, features more than a few ups and downs. As this run is mostly on city streets with some right-angle turns here and there, you get plenty of feel for the shoe and how it will respond. Taking a shoe out on a soft buttery trail or something where you won't get the real-feel for it doesn't make much sense. You have to test a shoe where you plan on using it.

The Fast5 did not disappoint in that or any subsequent runs (admittingly there have only been three total.)  I did push them through some quick intervals around the Mt. Tabor Reservoir and also through some half trail/half sidewalk loops of Laurelhurst Park. In other words, I took these shoes through everything that you would normally run them through. The open air messh upper breathed as well as other Karhu shoes and the padded heel protected me (a heel striker) from some of the roots, stones or debris on the streets.

I would not necessarily race in them even though they are far from heavy (coming in at 10.4 ounces) but if I did I am sure there would be no problem. That said, the Fast5 are more of a neutral training shoe, providing good cushioning and a stable platform. But I can see me putting many good training miles in with them and being extremely happy.

Checkout more info about the shoe itself and get yourself a pair from Krhu's website here.

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