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KURU vs. Orthofeet: Your Ultimate Comparison Guide

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By: KURU Footwear
Compare KURU vs. HOKA in our ultimate comparison guide.

Key Takeaways

  • KURU is a leading orthopedic footwear brand that places special emphasis on heel health. All KURU shoes feature patented KURUSOLE heel-hugging technology, a deep heel cup, and superior arch support for ultimate foot pain relief.
  • Orthofeet specializes in biomechanically correct orthotic insoles. Featuring an innovative Ortho-Cushion™ system with a mild rocker design, Orthofeet shoes deliver targeted cushion that curves ergonomically with the shape of the foot for ultimate comfort.
  • When deciding between KURU vs Orthofeet, it’s smart to compare them side by side within a variety of specific features, including comfort and support, durability, breathability, weight, price, and more, as we do in this guide.

Trying to decide between KURU vs Orthofeet? You’ve come to the right place.

Our feet are the foundation of every step we take, and they can get achy, fast. That’s why it’s crucial to invest in quality, supportive footwear to keep you going, mile after mile. Supportive footwear becomes increasingly important for those who stand on their feet all day, walk on hard surfaces, or experience nagging foot pain conditions.

If you have daily foot pain, chances are you’ve heard of KURU and Orthofeet. So how does each brand rank? And which features might best suit your needs and lifestyle?

Let’s dig in and compare two podiatrist-approved brands, Orthofeet vs KURU.

Our methodology: We’ve gone through hundreds of customer reviews and pulled information directly from KURU and Orthofeet websites for this comparison based on the categories we’ve listed below. The article’s statistics and study findings come from the respective brand’s website.

KURU vs. Orthofeet Comparison Chart

When considering two brands of footwear, it can help to assess how they compare within a variety of specific categories and features. 

We’ve put each brand side by side in the areas of comfort and support, heel technology, durability, breathability, design, fit, weight, price, and more to help you gain insight into KURU shoes vs Orthofeet.

Which Shoe Is Right for You?
 KURUOrthofeet
Comfort and supportTriple-layer technology with patented KURUSOLE responsive heel cushioning works to promote heel health, natural foot biomechanics, and improved alignmentOrthotic insoles feature the Ortho-Cushion™ system, which is biomechanically engineered to provide targeted cushion that enhances overall well-being
Patented heel-hugging technology
Durable
Breathable
DesignAthletic, stylish, workAthletic, orthopedic, work
FitTrue to sizeTrue to size
WeightSlightly heavierSlightly lighter
Price$$$$$$
Free shipping and returns
Recommended by podiatrists
Helps plantar fasciitis symptoms
Best ForWalking, workouts, work, heel painWalking, workouts, work, foot discomfort

About KURU

What began as the 5th-grade shoe sketches of KURU’s Founder and CEO is now a thriving footwear company that has given tens of thousands of people life-changing foot pain relief.

KURU’s secret sauce is in its patented solution to heel pain relief, KURUSOLE. This unique, adaptive technology dynamically flexes with each step to hug and protect your heels for lasting heel pain relief.

With a mission to help people Heel Better™ by eliminating foot pain, KURU offers a wide variety of ultra-supportive footwear for women and men—from sneakers to boots to flip-flops—all built with superior arch support, shock-absorbing cushion, and heel-hugging pain relief. And with 45-day returns and exchanges, you can ensure you get the perfect fit.

Learn more about what KURU customers think of the brand.

About Orthofeet

Orthofeet was inspired and founded in 1984 by two brothers after one lost his leg during war. Holding both a doctorate in biomechanical engineering and a master’s in mechanical engineering between them, they endeavored to find a new, simpler way to create orthotics without the cumbersome whole-foot casts they required at the time.

Enter Orthofeet. With a mission to combine attractive footwear with innovative therapeutic features, Orthofeet shoes are built with a unique Ortho-Cushion™ system, a mild rocker design, and an ergonomic insole. Each pair also comes with two sets of removable spacers so that the perfect fit can be achieved.

The biomechanical orthotic insole helps reduce pressure on the bottom of the foot and relieve foot pain. In fact, they promise you’ll get soothing comfort or your money back.

Comfort and Support

See how KURU and Orthofeet compare when it comes to comfort and support.

While both KURU and Orthofeet are known for their comfortable and supportive, orthopedic footwear, each brand has a different take on how this shows up in their footwear. So exactly what are the key differences of KURU vs Orthofeet shoes? Let’s break it down.

KURU shoes go beyond simply “comfort” and prioritize ultimate foot health. Since every step starts with the heel and plantar fasciitis is the most common source of heel pain in the US, KURU believes health starts with heel.

KURU’s secret sauce? What sets KURU apart is their patented solution to heel pain relief, KURUSOLE. KURUSOLE is a revolutionary responsive heel-hugging technology that dynamically flexes with each step to protect the natural shape of the heel. Even KURU’s shoe “last”—or the molded foundation under the insole itself—is curved at the heel, unlike most leading brands of footwear. Why? KURU knows that shoes shaped like your feet = ultimate support.

Combine that with their KURUCLOUD shock-absorbing cushion and the ergonomic, dual-density arch support of their ULTIMATE INSOLES, and you have an all-in-one solution to ultimate pain relief and holistic foot health with shoes perfect for plantar fasciitis.

Find relief from plantar fasciitis symptoms with our curated list of the top 10 best shoes for plantar fasciitis, engineered to provide exceptional comfort and support.

Compare the best shoes for plantar fasciitis in KURU's curated list here!

“Finally, great support! I have FLAT feet and a compromised right ankle (nothing too serious). With these shoes, I felt 100% support in both areas. I’m happy I found KURU through my own research.” 

KURU Customer Review

Now, how about Orhtofeet’s take on comfort and support? Every pair of Orthofeet shoes feature their patented OrthoCushion™ system that prioritizes ultimate cushion and comfort. A built-in contoured orthotic insole brings extra cushion to the heel and arch.

They’ve taken it a step further with an ergonomic sole mild rocker design for an easier, more comfortable stride. Orthofeet’s anatomical insoles are reported to be best for those with sensitive feet, helping to reduce pressure on areas of pain or sensitivity and bringing the utmost comfort to the wearing experience.

“These shoes are great. They are like walking on clouds. They support my foot and I don’t feel any pain. I have severe spinal arthritis and heel spurs, so I live with pain but now my feet are not part of the problem.”

Orthofeet Customer Review

Ultimately, when comparing KURU vs Orthofeet on support and comfort, both brands have their merits and your choice would be most dependent on your specific area of need. If you are struggling with heel pain or need supreme support, your best bet is likely KURU. If you need extra cushion and comfort for sensitive feet, Orthofeet might be your footwear of choice.

Durability

Another hallmark of a high-quality shoe is how long it lasts. Not all footwear foams or outsoles are created equal, and shoes that are built with premium materials tend to offer more support for a longer period of time.

So how do KURU shoes vs. Orthofeet stack up in terms of durability? Let’s take a look.

KURU has a wide range of highly durable shoes. And just what makes them durable? For starters, let’s talk footwear foams.

One common foam type used in a wide variety of modern-day athletic shoes is EVA foam. It’s lightweight, springy, and shock-absorbing—perfect for keeping your bones and joints extra happy. That said, it’s got a bit lower durability rating than its sibling: polyurethane (PU) foam. PU has a higher crush rate than EVA, meaning it will continue to spring back after stepping on it—mile after mile.

Like most shoes today, KURU also uses EVA foam in its KURUCLOUD cushioning, but it takes its shoes’ longevity a step further by using the even more durable PU foam in its ULTIMATE INSOLES. These premium insoles feature superior arch support in the form of contoured, dual-density PU foam, making them soft and cushioned where you want it, yet firm and supportive where you need it. 

Another plus for KURUs durability is in the outsole and upper materials. KURU has a wide variety of shoes that feature full rubber outsoles to increase longevity. Many styles also offer a leather upper, a long-lasting material that has the added benefit of molding to your feet over time.

Great shoes for walking, light running. Incredibly comfortable shoes for my arch support / PF issues. Have not had a single day of pain since switching to KURU as my primary footwear. Even a year later, durable and hold up.”

KURU Customer Review

Orthofeet shoes also have features that contribute to a durable, long-lasting shoe. Orthofeet shoes use the high-quality polyurethane (PU) foam as part of their OrthoCushion™ insole system. This foam lasts longer and wicks moisture better than typical foams used in many of today’s athletic shoes. 

Orthofeet’s footwear also features extra foam padding at the heel and a protective interior, so that your feet can stay comfortable and protected long term while the shoes maintain durability. Finally, Orthofeet offers a selection of shoes with full rubber outsoles and waterproof uppers which can help footwear last by keeping it protected from harsh elements. 

@ohiofootdocs

We’ve heard your call for more Mens shoe reviews, and we’ve answered 🫡 the Orthofeet Ridgewood is a great choice for anyone spending time outdoors this Fall and Winter. You can find all things @Orthofeet Shoes at the link in our bio 🫶 #mensshoes #outdoorboots #orthofeet #doctorsoftiktok #footdoctor #winterboots #shoerec #podiatrist

♬ original sound – Ohio Foot Docs

Breathability

See how KURU Footwear and Orthofeet compare when it comes to breathability of the shoe.

We’ve all had those days where we take our shoes off to find sweaty toes, wet socks, and smelly feet. Not very fun. These conditions can also lead to even more uncomfortable foot issues, such as blisters or even athlete’s foot.

The good news is this can all be prevented! A shoe made with breathable materials allows for proper ventilation and airflow, helping to prevent an overproduction of sweat and to keep feet cool, dry, and fresh.

KURU prioritizes breathability in every shoe they make. Most of KURU’s athletic footwear is made with open-weave mesh, allowing air to circulate and the environment to remain cool. KURU’s leather options benefit from the naturally breathable and temperature-regulating power of authentic leather.

Many KURU styles for men and women alike also feature moisture-wicking linings. Even KURU’s sandals feature these effective linings to help prevent feet from sliding or chafing. No matter which style you try, you can rest assured your feet will stay cool, happy, and dry.

Love these shoes! This is my third pair of KURU shoes and by far my favorite! I love the style, wide toe box, color, type of laces, breathability, and the comfort. You can’t buy a more comfortable pair of shoes!

KURU Customer Review

Many Orthofeet shoes feature stretchable mesh, a typically very breathable fabric. Orthofeet’s website talks more about stretch than it does breathability for most of its athletic footwear, but it’s safe to assume their mesh-based footwear has plenty of airflow, too.

What Orthofeet does discuss is their anti-microbial fabric lining every insole. This will certainly help keep bacteria at bay if and when sweat does happen. Orthofeet also makes diabetic socks for men and women that are designed with ventilated mesh for the utmost breathability.

“Yay! Super comfortable even with a pronounced bunion. Very little leather used in the making so my feet can breathe. Not the most stylish look unless you like the “wide look,” but if your feet hurt who cares about the style?” 

Orthofeet Customer Review

Designs

Feeling great matters most, but looking good doesn’t hurt either! That’s true especially if you need to have a certain style for your shoes for work or if you want your shoes to fit into your everyday wardrobe. Let’s take a look at shoe designs between KURU and Orthofeet!

KURU shoes are where form meets function. Designed to be orthopedic shoes that don’t look like orthopedic shoes, KURU offers ultra-supportive footwear in a variety of style options that can blend in with almost any outfit. From trendy ankle boots to classy boat shoes to stylish sneakers, KURU’s got a lineup of aesthetic footwear that actually support you and put your heels first.

“Great classic look and comfort too! Terrific looking canvas shoe with brown leather trim that adds a great finishing touch. I could wear the shoes all day long. They are so comfortable and add plenty of support [to] keep my feet healthy and happy. I am so glad I found KURU.” 

KURU Customer Review

Orthofeet is also committed to making its supportive shoes stylish. Orthofeet has possibly an even wider range of style options, especially in the “dressy” category, though some of them might target a bit of an older demographic than others. That said, there are still plenty of style options for all ages, including waterproof snow boots, leather ankle boots, and cute athletic sneakers.

“Best yet! They are the best looking and feeling shoes I’ve bought from Orthofeet. My wide feet actually look kind of cute!!! Astounding…”

Orthofeet Customer Review

Fit

How Do KURU and Orthofeet Shoes Fit?
 KURUOrthofeet
True to size
Requires breaking in
Extra wide toe box
Wide fit options

Let’s talk about fit. No matter how supportive or comfortable a shoe might be, it will mean nothing without fitting your feet properly! Here’s how Orthofeet vs. KURU both add up in terms of fit.

KURU’s wide toe boxes and options for wide widths are perfect for those with bunions, hammer toe, and sensitive feet. Mostly true to size, KURU has sizing indicators on its website if any particular style is best fit a half size up or down.

While KURU shoes take some time to break in, their ULTIMATE INSOLES mold to the feet over time, so the longer you wear them, the more comfortable they will fit and feel. For extra insight on fit and sizing, here are 7 tips for finding your size.

“Good fit! My QUANTUM 2.0 are a good fit for my wide toes/narrow heel/high arch feet. This is my 7th pair of KURU shoes that I have purchased. I have tried a couple of other shoe brands but keep coming back to KURU. They are comfortable and well made. Ease of returns and exchanges make it handy when finding the right shoes!”

KURU Customer Review

Like KURU, Orthofeet shoes also feature wide toe boxes and wide fit options—even going so far as to have both wide and extra wide sizing. 

Orthofeet also provides a unique option to help customers achieve the perfect fit with two sizes of “spacers” included with each pair of shoes. These spacers are essentially insoles at 1/8- and 1/16- inch sizes that you may add to your shoes as needed to achieve the perfect fit.

“Finally found a pair of shoes that fit perfectly. I have bunions on both feet, along with very high arches and have struggled to find the right pair of shoes that I can workout in without pain. These are perfect!”

Orthofeet Customer Review

Weight

When comparing KURU and Orthofeet sneakers, some Orthofeet sneakers are slightly more lightweight, but not so much that you’d know a difference when walking. For instance, let’s do a side by side of two popular sneakers between the brands:

  • Orthofeet (Coral Stretch Knit Sneaker – women’s size 7M): 9.5 oz
  • KURU (QUANTUM 2.0 Sneaker – women’s size 8M): 10.8 oz

You’ve got a bit over an ounce of difference there. Yet, if you compared two other shoes between these brands, you might see the results flip. Regardless, if weight is a key factor for you in footwear, be sure to look at the “weight” in the details section of the shoe before you buy.

“Best shoes ever! I have been suffering with plantar fasciitis for a while now. These shoes gave me immediate relief. I think they are so amazing I just ordered two more pairs and ordered my dad two pairs to try. They are lightweight, soft, breathable and offer amazing support.” 

KURU Customer Review

“I love these shoes. They are so comfortable and so lightweight. Easy to take off and on even if I don’t want to untie them. I will be buying more of these. Wide enough for my “wide” feet, and to fit my orthotics into, and still be comfortable.”

Orthofeet Customer Review

Price

You’ve probably already guessed it—both of these brands are going to be a bit of an investment, coming at about the mid-100s in price. That said, any high quality, supportive orthopedic shoe is going to have a higher price tag than your average flat-soled sneaker or sandal. And boy, it is usually worth it.

“Best shoes. I have searched and gone through so many different shoes before trying KURU. I was hesitant because of the price. The price is well worth it. They feel amazing! Plantar fasciitis is not any fun and if you’re reading this you know what I mean. Go for it!!”

KURU Customer Review

Let’s do a side-by-side comparison of their best-selling shoes so you can get a more accurate idea of pricing.

KURU’s top three best sellers with prices:

  • ATOM ($160.00)
  • QUANTUM 2.0 ($165.00)
  • ROAM ($125.00-$135.00)

Orthofeet’s top three best sellers with prices:

  • Coral Stretch Knit ($145.00)
  • Charlotte ($110.00)
  • Tahoe Tie-Less ($140.00)
Browse KURU Shoes

Please note: the above prices are reflective of the time this article was written in January 2024.

Investing in a high quality shoe with orthopedic-level support is going to help you stay on your feet with less pain and help prevent a wide variety of foot pain conditions.

“The fit, style, comfort, price are all excellent. Would highly recommend this shoe.” 

Orthofeet Customer Review

Foot Pain

See KURU Footwear shoe features that contribute to foot pain relief.

Both KURU and Orthofeet come recommended by podiatrists and feature above-average comfort and support than typical shoes. They also each have patented systems built into their footwear. So how does this translate to foot pain relief?

KURU’s mission is to eliminate foot pain across the world, and it takes its mission seriously. KURU works to stay on top of industry trends and insights on foot pain in America, publishing its Foot Pain Trends Report annually.

KURU’s patented KURUSOLE technology is unlike anything else in the business and it’s especially effective for heel pain relief and plantar fasciitis—though their shoes don’t stop there. They also feature shock-absorbing cushion and contoured, dual-density arch support. KURU has 31,000+ 5-star reviews pointing to foot pain relief of all kinds, and even knee and back pain relief as well.

@5thandwest

PSA!! After over a decade of struggling I finally found the perfect shoe for plantatar fasciitis!! #kuru #plantarfasciitis #footpain #footpainrelief #shoes

♬ original sound – 5th & West

Orthofeet began with two brothers hoping to find a way to make orthotics more accessible to all, and they’ve achieved it.

Orthofeet has created a patented OrthoCushion™ system built into every pair that prioritizes cushion and comfort of the whole foot. The shoes’ mild rocker design also helps each step become easier, propelling the user forward for a less painful stride. Orthofeet’s customers report improved pain symptoms as well as lightweight comfort.

“The orthotics solved all my foot pain. I feel like I could walk for hours in these shoes. Also very light weight, despite their sturdiness, and the hands free step-in feature works great.”

Orthofeet Customer Review

Shipping and Returns

Another key factor to look at when buying footwear is what the shipping and returns policies look like—especially if purchasing shoes online without trying them on first.

KURU offers free shipping on all US orders and 45-day returns and exchanges on all orders, except for final sale items. KURU shoes have a bit of a break-in period due to the superior support they provide, so this return and exchange policy allows each customer to be sure they have the right fit before committing for good.

Orthofeet offers free shipping, returns and exchanges on all footwear orders as well as a 60-day return policy. This time window allows each customer to try their footwear for an extended period to ensure the shoe is for them.

KURU vs. Orthofeet: Which Shoe is Best for You?

We’ve just discovered that both KURU vs. Orthofeet shoes each have solid benefits for support, comfort, durability, and more. As orthopedic footwear brands, both are going to be a head above in terms of arch support and cushioning.

But which brand might be best for you? At the end of the day it will come down to which brand can best meet your specific needs.

If you’re needing shoes that feature comfort and support for sensitive feet or you’d like specific features—such as no-tie laces, extra spacers for better fit, or hands-free options—Orthofeet may be best for you. Orthofeet features plenty of support and cushion and pain relief for many of its customers.

If you’re in need of heel pain relief, KURU is going to be your best bet.

This brand knocks it out of the park for heel pain relief by featuring not only heel cushioning but also a rounded heel last, a deep heel cup, and its patented KURUSOLE heel-hugging technology. This unique tech dynamically flexes to cup the heel pad, which can deteriorate with overuse and age. With KURU, the heel pad stays contained, cushioned, and supported, making for happier, healthier heels.

No matter what type of shoe you need, you’ll find ultra-supportive, heel-hugging shoes for women and men alike at KURU.

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