I have had the same pair of white casual / athletic shoes in my closet for 10 years. 10 years! They were functional, (mildly) stylish, and still in one piece- a perfect trifecta if you will. However, after 3600+ days of taking up closet space, I made a decision that it was time to break down and purchase a new pair.
I really wanted that same trifecta listed above, but I really wanted something unique and different- without spending an arm and a leg/foot. After perusing the online stores, I found several options but none of them fully resonated with me. That was when, while clicking around Kickstarter to support a local Juice Bar in downtown Salem, I stumbled across CMUK.
I loved the look of the CMUK. (pronounced “smook”) shoe from the moment I saw it. It is the same type of low profile look I love and with a unique logo and color schemes. I supported them right away for an early backer price of $39 and notified the creator of the shoe about my “life” at Run Oregon. He agreed to send me a sample pair, prior to the Kickstarter campaign ending, to try out as I waited for my purchased pair to arrive.
Besides the cool looking design, the CMUK. tagline of “Anytime, Anywhere Footwear” is something else that drew my attention. Having a shoe that was stylish enough to be worn on casual occasions, yet structured solidly enough to turn a lazy afternoon into a surprise running opportunity really excited me.
The first thing that I noticed about these sneakers was obviously the cool design and look. But my visual awe was quickly tempered and my attention focused on noticing how surprisingly lightweight they are. I am not sure the exact weight, but they definitely fall in line with the lightest of minimalistic running shoes. Even with this, all of the stitching and material appears and feels solidly constructed. They do not feel look of feel like cheaply made footwear.
I will admit that the insole of the sample pair is not the same as will be in the official Kickstarter shoes. Those insoles will feature a more padded insole with metatarsal and arch support. The sample pair I have, while comfortable, is not something I believe I could sustain running. However, I am very intrigued to feel the difference in my purchased pair.
The shoes are also washable, though I have yet to put this to the test. If this is as true as they say it is, these will be my shoes to take to the beach – for running or making sandcastles. They will look great in both pants and shorts. But the biggest thing about this is that nothing (I repeat NOTHING) is worse than trying to clean sand out of running shoes. Being able to toss them in the washing machine would be a HUGE plus after a long run alongside the waves of the Oregon Coast.
There are lots of great pictures and descriptions on their Kickstarter page that go in to a lot more detail than I can understand and give, so check it out and also like their Facebook page while you are at it! There are only a few more days to go and they are still at the $39 price tag. The project WILL be funded and will end late on Sunday, December 29!