Our verdict

A max-cushioned beast from Kailas, we witness how the Fuga DU is most in its element on technical and unforgiving trails. We found this shoe perfect for routes involving lots of ups and downs which is reflected in its name - DU stands for "downhill and uphill." It comes with a mind-blowing cushioning-to-weight ratio as well as a mighty stable platform. What's the catch? Price. But if you have the budget, we are sure that you won't regret this investment.


  • Very well cushioned
  • Phenomenal traction
  • Surprisingly light for its kind
  • Stability is off the charts
  • Rocker helps on long distances and uphills
  • Highly protective toebox
  • Secure lockdown
  • Convenient lacing
  • Efficient gaiter holder
  • Decent breathability


  • Pricier than similar shoes
  • Not for wide feet

Audience verdict


Who should buy the Kailas Fuga Du

Consider this high-performance Kailas offering if:

  • you want one of the of most generously cushioned trail shoes on the market
  • you need a shoe that's capable of an ultra marathon
  • you are tackling lots of rocky, forested, muddy trails, gravel, and bumpy dirt roads
  • you love running on extra-wide platforms to keep you steady
  • you prefer quick-lacing systems


Who should NOT buy the shoe

With the asking price of $200, the Fuga DU can easily put a lot of buyers off. Especially given that the average price of trail shoes is $132 and those with similar stack height hover around $150.

So, if you are skeptical about shelling out that much money, we advise checking out the Hoka Speedoat 5 or the Saucony Endorphin Trail instead.

Another potential problem is the shoe's tapering toebox. It makes the shoe unsuitable for wide-footers. In this case, we suggest considering the Altra Olympus 5.


Keeps debris out without losing breathability

The Fuga DU's ability to breathe through its jacquard mesh upper is great. Inside the shoe, a sandproof lining is effective in preventing the annoying buildup of sand and tiny pebbles.

Kailas Fuga DU (left), Adidas Runfalcon (right)

Fact check

Assessing the shoe's breathability with the use of a smoke pumping machine, we found that it has an average level of ventilation. On a 1-5 scale where 5 is the most breathable, we gave it 3. This rating is based on the amount and speed of smoke coming through the fabric compared to other shoes.

You can also observe how transparent the upper material is when put against a source of light in the video below.

Kailas Fuga DU has plenty of cushion for any distance 

The Fuga DU belongs to Kailas' max-cushioned lineup along with the Fuga EX 2 and the Fuga EX BOA. According to the brand, the shoe's stack height is 36mm in the heel and 28mm in the forefoot, making the heel-to-toe drop 8 mm.

Fact check

Based on our caliper measurements, the heel stack turned out to be 36.9 mm in the heel (0.9 mm thicker).


Fact check

And in the forefoot, we measured it to be 25.3 mm (2.7 mm thinner than the brand's official stack height).


Fact check

This leaves us with the heel drop of 11.6 mm instead of the claimed 8 mm.

Disclaimer: We include insole thickness in the stack measurement.

The insole in the Kailas Fuga DU is 5.2 mm thick in the heel section. This is more padded than the average 4.6 mm among running shoes.


Fuga DU's cushioning hits a sweet spot

We found the shoe's cushioning to be blissfully comfortable. It has a well-judged balance of softness and firmness to keep the ride fun yet stable.

The Fuga DU felt at home on hard-packed and tarmac trail sections just as well as on the technical terrain.

Fact check

We checked the foam softness with a durometer and discovered that it is in fact 19% softer than average.


Disclaimer: We take measurements five times prior to noting down the result. The photo shows the final measurement.

Stay surefooted in every situation

The intricate sole design of this Kailas shoe left runners impressed for sure. Specifically, its stability aspect. It takes a lot of effort to actually roll your ankle over the side of the shoe.

There is a lot going on underfoot to keep the wearer's foot and ankle stable. But the most striking characteristic is the width of the sole itself. As stated by Kailas, there is an ultra-wide 125-mm forefoot area.

Fact check

Based on our measurements, the forefoot is even 126 mm in the widest part of its forefoot area. It is a whopping 14 mm wider than the average!


Fact check

We also couldn't help but notice the prominent width in the heel - 102 mm. Likewise, it is 13 mm wider than the average.


In addition to the wide base, the shoe's stability is enhanced by the divided cushioning areas and the unique trapezoidal heel shape. When running downhill, it felt like the shoe was allowing our feet to bite onto the ground more securely.

Contributing to the steady in-shoe feel are the highly stiff heel counter and the external 3D TPU Frame.

Fact check

Assessing the heel counter stiffness, we can state that it is indeed in the stiffest range. On a 1-5 scale were 5 is the stiffest, we gave it a solid 5.

A 3D TPU Frame is placed around the heel to help stabilize the ankle. One runner was concerned about it being too hard and digging into the foot but it turned out to be forgiving and bother-free.


The rocker keeps you going

It is easy to notice the exaggerated rocker shape of the shoe. We find this design very efficient especially when going uphill or when tackling long distances.


It's not a very flexible shoe though

We do not consider lack of flexibility as an issue as the curved sole already provides an efficient heel-to-toe transition. But we still have to put this out there in case you are used to shoes that easily bend along with your foot.

Fact check

Having measured the shoe's resistance to bending, we found that it is 29% stiffer than running shoes on average. It is about the same stiffness level as the Salomon XA Pro 3D GTX.


Fact check

Those running in chilly weather might as well want to know that the shoe gets even stiffer in low temperatures. After keeping the Fuga DU in a freezer for 20 minutes, the durometer shows an 89.8% decrease in flexibility! For reference, most shoes only get about 45% stiffer.

Fact check

In a manual flexibility assessment, we rated the shoe's longitudinal flexibility as 5 out of 5 (the stiffest) and its torsional flex as 4 out of 5.

Kailas Fuga DU latches onto everything

The toothy Vibram outsole of this shoe gets all the praise from us. We had no problems whatsoever when navigating super slick slippery roots, lots of leaves, wet rocks, and a lot of mud.


The multi-directional lugs helped us a lot when constantly zigzagging our way down the hill.


Fact check

Based on our measurements, the shie is studded with 3.2 mm lugs. Given that the average for trail shoes is 3.3 mm, this is a solid average.

What's interesting about the outsole is that the brand claims to reduce the sole thickness by 50% "while maintaining Vibram quality in grip, traction, and durability."


Fact check

Indeed, the rubber outsole is as thin as 1.7 mm! This is even thinner than most road shoes. For comparison, the average for running shoes is 3.4 mm.

Your toes are safe and sound in the Fuga DU

With its anti-impact toe box, this Kailas shoe offers a high level of protection. Bumping into roots and rocks has never been a problem.


Unbelievably light for how much it packs

The shoe is surprisingly light. As stated by the brand, it weighs 10.3 oz (293 g) in a men's US 8.5.


Fact check

We weighed the shoe in the same size and indeed found that it is 10.4 oz (296 g) per shoe.

This is a record-breaking weight for a trail shoe with a stack height of 35+ mm. For reference, the average weight of such shoes is 10.6 oz (300 g).


Snug fit (wide footers, beware)

It almost feels like a Salomon. Because of the toebox tapering towards the front, this shoe is not recommended for runners with wide feet or whose feet tend to swell a lot during longer efforts.


Fact check

When measuring the widest part of the toebox, however, we can say that it is of medium width at 97.5 mm. The average is 98.1 mm.


Sizing can be tricky!

Keep in mind that Kailas makes their shoes in the EU sizing scheme, so some of the US sizes might be missing in this model (like men's US 8 and 9).

Here is the best way to find out your size in Kailas Fuga DU:

1. Check the MM measurement on the inner side of your current shoe (there should be a three-digit number like 260 or 26.0); or, if you have time, measure your foot.

2. Check what US size your MM measurement corresponds to in Kailas' official shoe size chart.

Based on our measurements, the Fuga DU runs true to size (based on Kailas' chart).


Fact check

We measured the internal length of the shoe in a men's US 8.5 and compared it to Kailas' official size chart:

Our measurement Kailas
265.2 mm* 260 mm

*Provided that there should be at least 5 mm of extra space between the toes and the end of the shoe.

Bungee lacing: easy, quick, efficient

Those who can't live without Salomon's Quicklace or similar closures are very happy with the AWS 3.0 system on the Fuga DU.


The presence of two buckles allows for regulating the fit not only at the top of the shoe but also closer to the toes. It is effective in preventing the toes from bumping into the front of the shoe even when going downhill.


This lacing system maintains a secure lockdown throughout the run and makes us feel stable on the technical trail sections. The open lace hook makes it very easy to take the shoe off, while the lace pocket on top of the tongue is very handy for tucking in the excess lace cords.

Gaiter holder is a very welcome touch

The gaiter attachment on the Kailas Fuga DU managed to convince the opponents of gaiters that these can be effective.