Monday, October 9, 2017

Product Review: Karhu Fast 7

Sometimes you need a Porsche, sometimes you need a Cadillac and sometimes you need a School bus.
Sometimes you need a Saucony Kinvara, sometimes you need a Hoka Clifton and sometimes you need a Karhu Fast.

Who really needs a school bus?

Smashy smashy

As with any review/reviewer, it's important too look at what other products have been given the Thumbs Up or Thumbs down. Just because I like something doesn't automatically mean you will. How do my other reviews compare with your own experiences? That is very important in any review.

After writing my last blog I decided to make a Rush Pandora station. Wow. Did you ever hear the Power Windows album? I had that on cassette back when I was in Airborne School in '91.

I think my opening comments rather set the tone for this Shoe Review, but I shall elaborate.

The Fast 7 has what Karhu calls "MRE" Maximum Rolling Efficiency" based on a "Fulcrum" in the bed of the shoe.
A Size 10US weighs in at 11.2oz and has a pretty wide sole.
These attributes are designed to help with the landing all the way through the roll and into the toe off.
There's a 10mil Heel/Toe drop and some pretty serious plastic overlays holding your foot into the shoe.
Karhu calls this their Everyday Training Shoe.

That is indeed rabbit turd in the background. 

There's a few things that I, and I think all of us, look for in a shoe. Comfort, Running Efficiency of the shoe with our stride, style, price and reputation of the company.

Lets jump right in eh?

Comfort: Nope.
Not for this guy. There's something going on on the lateral side of the heel. This shoe is almost pushing me into pronation. I don't want that.
After wearing these at work for 6hrs, I could not wait to take them off.

Running Efficiency: I ran one of our typical 5k loops just now. So let's do some pros and cons.
They stayed nice and secure to me foot, there's no slipping in the shoe (I was wearing Feetures Ultra Lights).
 There's the pro.
I have no idea what the MRE Fulcrum concept is really doing in this shoe. No matter what kind of foot strike I used, I felt nothing assisting in the gait.
I was still conscious of being pushed into pronation.
Although it wasn't harsh, the cush under the forefoot doesn't stand out as anything to brag about. 
I felt like I was getting jammed up with each landing. I had a hard time rolling through my natural gait.
Although all the plastic on there makes them look waterproof, they're not.

Style: That's one fugly shoe. What the hell do I look like? A twelve year old?

Pretty great picture in the background, but man is this shoe ugly.

Price: One Hundred and Twenty Dollars. Want me to show what you can get for 120 bones?

And you'd still have change for a case of Miller Genuine Draft.

Reputation: Karhu is a Finnish company based out of Helsinki, and they've  been around since 1916. They originally started making skis, javelins and wooden sports shit, then moved on to shoes. They even made skis and boots for the Finnish Army during the Winter War with the Soviets. (Even though the Soviets ultimately ended up winning through sheer numbers, the Finns kicked their ass at every turn, many times through the use of Ski Troops. That my friends is fucking bad-ass. Finns are bad-ass, plain and simple) And Karhu is still around today, rocking the feet off the Finns. That's a pretty solid reputation. One hundred years.

And my final thoughts on this Karhu Shoe...

This shoe is not a shoe for me. Hell no.

But is it a shoe for you?  If you want something on your foot that you are very, very aware of, if you need a back-up rubber mallet,
if you need support on the lateral side of you foot (lateral is a fancy term for Outer) or if you're looking for a pair of ugly non-performance enhancing shoes to match your ugly non-performance enhancing outfit, this is the shoe for you.

Tent Peg banging tools.

Honestly, I think a new runner with a normal foot, maybe on the heavier side would like this shoe.  It's not awful like a Walmart shoe by any stretch. You can tell it's a quality built shoe.

I hope to one day maybe get my hand on something Karhu that isn't footwear. I really want to like them, not just because of the cutesy Bear logo, but mostly because I really dig that they're heavily involved in really cool Finnish Sports and they helped kick some Soviet ass way back in the day.

Rock on Karhu.

Announcing my Second Give Away!!!

Simply comment below with your shoe size. If your'e the right size, you win! Plus, get a free T-shirt to show everyone your support for this bus crash of a shoe. Plus Plus, get a free matching pint glass that you can put your pens or spare change in.

You can win!

Only one pair of shoes will be given away. First person with same shoe size wins the entire package.

UPDATE 11/18/2017
I have donated these abominations to a charity at a race this past weekend.

Later shit-shoe.
Ya, there's  more than a hint of hostility there.

This review was originally posted on October 9, 2017. At the time I was working at the only local store where you could purchase this shoe. 
As a free-agent blogger, I write about whatever the hell I want, I do my best not to slander or name names and provide honest,, if sometimes less than favorable, reviews.