Welcome to Robb Recommends, a regular series in which our editors and contributors endorse something they’ve tried and loved—and think will change your life for the better.
So-called performance shoes made by luxury fashion houses rarely hold up to actual workouts—no matter how tech-forward they appear at a glance. So, when I recently got to test out Courser’s high-end, Italian-made trainers, I wasn’t entirely convinced they wouldn’t fall apart on the trail or treadmill. Over a month and 100 miles later, they’re still intact and as high-performing as ever, and that compliment extends past their surface-level looks.
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Known as the Uno, Courser’s debut sneaker underwent a four-year-long development process spearheaded by the brand’s founder and creative director, Johnny Kraljevich. The final result is an eye-catching unisex trainer ranging in size from a men’s 7.5 to 15. The design is available in a variety of two-tone colorways and monochrome variations. But what helps justify their $595 price tag isn’t just the fact that each pair is made by hand, but all the unseen details that support your stride during runs.
Having tested the shoes on both the treadmill and rain-soaked trails, what struck me most was the strength of the polyurethane foam sole and thin nubuck leather uppers. The latter material is fused with Dyneema, a material whose makers claim it is 15 times stronger than steel. (For comparison, think of a lighter, more flexible version of Kevlar.) The sole is said to be two to three times more compression-resistant than the materials used for standard running shoes. The soles also include a carbon-fiber plate that kept my ankles stabilized throughout each workout by reducing the load on my calves.
Courser’s first release issues a serious challenge to the luxury performance footwear market. And until other names in the space can also turn out gear that works as great as it looks, this brand is going to be miles ahead.
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