That’s right, Karhu has created a running shoe last that is designed to actually fit your foot.
What is a shoe last, you ask? It's a 3-dimensional wooden or plastic mold upon which a shoe is constructed. The last used during shoe assembly can affect the overall fit of a shoe, and all lasts include the following dimensions: heel width, instep height, forefoot width, and toe box depth.
Think of it as the shape of the inside of your shoe. Take a look at the inside of your running shoes right now. There is probably a sock-liner there or an after-market insole such as Superfeet. Pull that out and you’ll see that the shoe is totally flat underneath your foot. Running shoe lasts are designed with a flat, arch-less bottom because it makes mass-production easier. The problem with that is that no one has a completely flat foot. That’s why we almost always recommend using an after-market insole like Superfeet, which helps your shoes fit your feet even better.
Karhu is trying to buck this trend because the mass-produced lasts was never a construction consumers asked for. So, Karhu surveyed its customers, called in engineers and talked with designers to build a shoe utilizing an innovative fitting method where the contoured midsole mirrors the most common arch shapes to gently support the foot. The final product? Ortix Fit. Ortix Fit technology ‘breaks the mold’ by using a contoured shoe last that mirrors the common arch shapes to gently support the foot. In other words, the technology provides a three dimensional midsole under the foot for a better overall fit.
But it didn't come easy. It took a year of prototypes and trial and error and it was worth it. The result is a fit that supports the arch while releasing pressure at the heel and forefoot.
This Ortix Fit technology is currently available in one shoe, the Karhu Synchron Ortix, a high-cushioned mild stability shoe for those who overpronate inwards towards their medial side of the foot. Karhu’s other running shoe models are getting the Ortix Fit technology next year, which will allow runners with different gait and foot types to take get the best fit possible.
Karhu running shoes are exclusive to Fleet Feet Sports stores across the country. You won’t find these at any other retailers because like Fleet Feet Sports, Karhu believes that the most important thing in a running shoe is the fit. Stop in to our Old Town or Lincoln Square stores today and try it out for yourself. Message us on Facebook or tweet at us on Twitter and let us know how it feels.