Spring 2014 Running Shoe Buyer’s Guide

Photo: Scott Draper | Competitor

Karhu Fluid3 Fulcrum, $125

9.6 oz. (men’s); 8.3 oz. (women’s)

20mm (heel), 12mm (forefoot)

Fit: This shoe fits snug in the midfoot/arch area but has a slightly wider heel (some runners needed the extended eye loop to cinch it down) and is adequately roomy in the toe box.

Feel: Moderately soft and sufficiently light to be an everyday trainer for efficient runners, the Fluid3 is a versatile shoe with enough pop to do the trick for faster workouts. It has a low-to-the-ground sensation with minimalist inklings but still offers enough cushion and outsole protection to make it a well-rounded lightweight trainer.

Ride: More than with any other Karhu shoe, the ride of the Fluid3 is energetic, smooth and natural. There’s nothing to get in the way of your foot’s ordinary flex (including the subtle fulcrum lever under the heel and arch). It’s certainly one of the most versatile shoes in our test group, having the chops for both longer and shorter runs at all speeds. “It’s fairly light, it’s flexible and it has just enough cushion,” said one wear-tester. What more do you need than that?

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