Gear Review: KURU ATOM

When you’re out there putting in the miles every day, shoes become pretty important.  For me, they’re extra important—because I spent a lot of time with my podiatrist as a kid, getting more x-rays or getting bits and pieces removed from my ankle. (Hey there, Dr. Wally!)  So while some people may hit the track at the gym in Crocs (yep—I’ve seen it), I’m always on the lookout for shoes that will keep me pain-free, mile after mile after mile.  So when I discovered KURU Footwear, I was excited to try them out.

Headquartered in Salt Lake City, KURU is dedicated to designing shoes that will keep you pain-free, no matter how much time you spend on your feet.  They’re designed with three layers of support, including the heel-hugging KURUSOLE.  For walkers, that’s key—because while runners make contact with the pavement with their toes, walkers make contact with their heels.  And KURU’s shoes are designed to protect the heel with every step.

KURU offers a number of different styles—from sandals to loafers.  I went with the workout-ready ATOM, which is designed with an athletic fit and plenty of support.  I went with the Mineral Blue, which has a futuristic style and a cool zig-zag pattern that I’m pretty sure makes me look like I’m moving extra-fast.

When I first tried these shoes on, I was struck by the construction.  They don’t have a separate tongue—more of an inner liner, which isn’t entirely uncommon, though it’s not something that I’ve had before.  I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about it, but I love the way it seems to hug my foot—and also, I love that I don’t need to worry about dealing with the discomfort of having the tongue slip into the wrong place.

I also found that these were solid, stable shoes.  They’re not the ultra-cushy shoes that many brands are currently leaning into; they don’t feel like you’ve stepped into a big, squishy cloud.  And, honestly, that did make me wonder how they’d work out for me.  I’m not one for those squishy-cloud kind of shoes, but I do like a moderate level of cushiness—and the last time I had a more solid shoe, it ended up making my feet tired and sore.  But that wasn’t the case here. 

As is usually the case, I needed a few walks to break them in.  But after those first couple of breaking-in walks, I was surprised by how comfortable these shoes could be.  My feet felt like they were comfortably supported and cradled in place—with just the right amount of cushioning.  And while some other shoes seem to have a lot of extra give, walking in these is refreshingly stable.  When I take a step, I don’t feel like my foot and ankle could twist and turn.  When my foot hits the ground, it feels like it’s sturdy and supported.

The ATOM isn’t a big, showy shoe.  It doesn’t have a gimmicky style or a huge sole.  It simply does the work of protecting your foot in a shoe that looks like…a shoe.  It’s light and breathable, and it’s comfortable even through long walks.  It might go with something a little springier for a half-marathon day, but my ATOMs are great for putting in the miles every day, all week long.

– Simple, sleek design
– Light and breathable
– Heel-hugging technology is great for walkers
– Plenty of stability and support

– Not the kind of puffy, cloud-like cushioning that you might be used to

You can pick up your own pair of ATOMs at


Kristin has been hitting the trail (or the treadmill) for a walk almost every day for the past several years, and she recently completed her first half marathon. She loves sunny fall days, cushy walking shoes, and coconut caramel iced coffee from Dunkin.

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