OK, we're starting to get used to the idea that running is not simply an evolutionary response to situations of great danger. It may, in fact, even be something sane, well-adjusted people might, occasionally, enjoy. Part of the reason for our conversion is the Karhu men's Forward Fulcrum Ride running shoe, which provides a great combination of comfort and performance for on-road mileage.e
Karhu is Finnish for "Oh shit here come the Russians!" And when the Russians are coming in heavy there's nothing you need more than a good running shoe. Karhu's Fulcrum technology is designed to create a more efficient heel to toe transition by inserting, literally, a fulcrum into the heel cup. You can feel a subtle difference just standing in the shoe, and as you get up to speed it translates into a very comfortable, natural stride. It is intended to allow the foot to follow a more natural path and reduce side to side foot roll (pronation/supination).
The Forward is designed for efficient runners. It's a lightweight shoe at 22oz for a size 9.5 pair. The fit is snug but very comfortable, especially for lower volume feet. The lacing is old-school eyelets, no speed-lacing here, and you need to crank each crossover down all the way to the top. The result is a very secure fit, made comfortable by a well-padded tongue and soft liner that ensures no hot spots right out of the box.
The design seemed to reduce strain on my knees, especially during serious incline sessions on a treadmill, but what the Forward is really designed for is putting in the road miles. The light weight, superb breathability and cushioning make it a great trainer. A minor quibble: the mesh material means the breathability works both ways, and any exterior precipitation will make its way inside the shoe, especially if you brush up against wet grass or the like. Used as intended on dry, firm surfaces the Forward is all you could ask for in a training partner. Especially if there are Russians involved.