Kuru Vs. Vionic: Which Orthotic Shoe Brand Is Best?

If you suffer from foot pain caused by conditions like plantar fasciitis or arthritis, you know how important it is to have proper orthotic footwear. Two of the most popular orthotic shoe brands on the market are Kuru and Vionic. But which one is right for you?

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll compare the key features of Kuru and Vionic shoes to help you decide which brand best meets your needs and comfort preferences.

A Brief Comparison Table

FitRun short in length, offer multiple widthsRun true to size, limited widths
SupportSignature KURUSOLE footbed, customized arch and heel supportPodiatrist-designed footbed, deep heel cup
CushioningGenerous Pillow Cushioning for shock absorptionEVA midsole absorbs shock
OrthoticsNon-removable footbedRemovable footbed accommodates custom orthotics
DurabilityReplaceable footbed, lightweight materialsSturdy rubber sole and EVA midsole, washable uppers
StyleFocus on casual walking/running shoesVariety of walking shoes, sandals, flats in trendy styles
Price$99-$160, free shipping/returns, 30-day trial$100-$180, frequent sales/deals, free shipping over $40

Kuru Shoes Overview

Kuru shoes were designed by a team of footwear experts and medical professionals to provide optimal comfort and support. The brand’s philosophy is centered around “pain-free happiness from the ground up.”

Kuru shoes feature a unique contoured footbed that cradles the arches to reduce pressure on the plantar fascia ligament. The insoles are also antimicrobial and moisture-wicking to prevent foot odor and overheating.

The uppers are made of soft, stretchy knit fabric that accommodates swollen or misaligned feet. Kuru shoes have a rounded toe box design to prevent irritation of bunions and hammertoes.

Kuru Shoes
Kuru Shoes

Some of the key technologies found in Kuru shoes include:

  • KURUSOLETM contoured footbed – Provides arch support and cushioning right out of the box.
  • FLEX knit upper – Stretches to reduce pressure points on feet.
  • Pillow CushionTM – Plush foam padding for comfort and shock absorption.
  • TreadLite by Kuru® outsole – Lightweight and flexible with traction.

Kuru offers several categories of shoes, including walking shoes, boots, sandals, dress shoes, and trail running shoes. Some of their most popular styles include the Quantum, Saga, and Atom.

Also Read: Comparison Between Helm Boots And Thursday Boots.

Vionic Shoes Overview

Vionic shoes feature built-in orthotic support and stabilization. The technology was originally developed by Australian podiatrist Phillip Vasyli.

The biomechanical footbeds have a deep heel cup to stabilize and align the foot. There is also a medial arch support and metatarsal pad which takes pressure off the ball of the foot.

Vionic’s comfortable cushioning absorbs shock and reduces stress on feet, ankles, and knees. The outsoles provide reliable traction control on various surfaces.

Vionic shoe
Vionic shoe

Some key features of Vionic shoes include:

  • Podiatrist-designed footbeds – Offers arch support and stability.
  • EVA midsole – Durable, shock-absorbent cushioning.
  • Durable rubber outsole – Provides traction control.
  • Removable footbed – Can accommodate custom orthotics.
  • Machine washable uppers – Allows you to keep shoes fresh.

Vionic has walking shoes, slip-ons, slides, sandals, flats, wedges, and casual sneakers in their women’s line. For men, they offer oxfords, sneakers, sandals, and slippers. Popular picks include the Vionic Tide II sandals and Vionic Bella II flats.

Comparing Kuru And Vionic Shoes

Now that we’ve provided an overview of each brand, let’s compare the pros and cons of Kuru Vs. Vionic shoes across a few key factors:

Fit and Sizing


  • Tend to run short in length
  • Offer narrow, standard, and wide width options
  • Accommodate swelling and bunions with stretchy uppers


  • Run true to size in most styles
  • Limited width options
  • More structured shoes may be too narrow for some

For the best fit, Kuru may be preferable if you have wide or swollen feet. Vionic offers better variety in shoe styles, but some models can fit narrow.

Also Read: Choose Between See Kai Run And Robeez.

Comfort and Support


  • Signature KURUSOLETM footbed offers customized arch and heel support
  • Generous cushioning and shock absorption
  • Stretch knit upper reduces irritation


  • Podiatrist-designed footbed stabilizes foot
  • Deep heel cup and arch support
  • EVA midsole absorbs shock
  • Removable footbed for orthotics

Both brands excel at providing comfort and support, but Kuru’s footbed offers a more customized feel. Vionic shoes accommodate orthotics if you need extra arch support.



  • Lightweight, flexible materials
  • Outsoles show wear over time
  • Replaceable insoles available


  • Sturdy rubber outsoles
  • EVA midsole retains cushioning
  • Machine washable uppers on many styles

For maximum longevity, Vionic shoes are often the more durable choice thanks to sturdier components. But Kuru’s replaceable footbeds help extend the life of their shoes.

Style and Variety


  • Focus mostly on casual walking/running shoes
  • Limited dress shoe options
  • Classic, understated styles


  • Broad selection of walking shoes, sandals, and flats
  • More variety in dressy and fashionable styles
  • Trend-forward designs and colors

Vionic offers better variety and fashion-forward styles across both men’s and women’s collections. Kuru has a narrower selection geared toward casual comfort.

Price and Value


  • $99-$160 price range
  • Free shipping and returns
  • 30-day trial period


  • $100-$180 typical price range
  • Frequent sales and deals
  • Free shipping on orders over $40

Both brands are similarly priced for the quality and technology offered. Kuru provides exceptional value through their trial period and free shipping/returns.

Also Read: Differences Between Rothy’s And Toms.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Do podiatrists recommend KURU shoes?

Yes, many podiatrists recommend and even wear Kuru shoes thanks to their specialized footbeds that provide excellent arch support. The contoured shape helps reduce plantar fasciitis pain by easing pressure on the feet.

What shoe brand compares to Vionic?

Orthofeet and OOFOS both offer similar orthotic technology and deep heel cups comparable to Vionic. New Balance and Brooks also make supportive shoes that compare well, but without built-in orthotics.

Are KURU shoes as good as they say?

For the most part, yes – Kuru shoes live up to their reputation for superior comfort, support, and pain relief. Their footbeds offer noticeable arch support right away before even molding to your feet. The stretchy knit uppers accommodate swelling and bunions nicely as well.

Do KURU shoes help plantar fasciitis?

Definitely. The arch support and Pillow Cushioning technology in Kuru shoes helps reduce tension and inflammation in the plantar fascia ligament. Their Quantum and Atom styles are specially designed to alleviate common causes of plantar fasciitis pain.
Hopefully this comprehensive comparison of Kuru and Vionic shoes has provided useful insight into which orthotic brand best matches your needs and preferences. Both companies make high-quality supportive footwear. Take some time to evaluate your personal requirements in order to choose the optimal shoes for pain-free, comfortable wear.

Also watch the review video of Kuru!

The Verdict

So which orthotic shoe brand is better – Kuru or Vionic? Here are a few key factors to help you decide:

  • If you have swollen, painful feet from conditions like arthritis, Kuru is an excellent choice for unbeatable comfort and stretch. Their contoured footbeds offer superior arch support.
  • If you need sturdy, durable shoes that can accommodate custom orthotics, Vionic is a go-to option. Their outsoles and materials are built to last.
  • If you want fashion-forward orthotic shoes with variety in styles, Vionic has better selections for both men and women. Kuru has a smaller collection focused on function over form.
  • For the best value, it’s hard to beat Kuru’s exceptional return policy and free shipping. But Vionic also offers great deals if you time purchases right.
  • Both brands work well for plantar fasciitis and other foot pain issues thanks to ample cushioning and support. It comes down to personal fit and preference.

Take some time to consider your specific needs and shoes use. There’s no universally “better” brand – choose the combination of fit, comfort, support, and style that’s right for your lifestyle. Both Kuru and Vionic make excellent orthotic shoe options.

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