Who should buy the Kailas Fuga Pro 4

The Fuga Pro 4 is a solid option for advanced runners looking for the following:

  • a high-end trail shoe
  • a shoe for running fast on short and mid distances
  • a lightweight trail shoe

Who should NOT buy this running shoe

If you were hoping to get a bargain on your next pair of trail running shoes, the Fuga Pro 4 is not your best bet. Even with the shoe’s overall quality and performance, I’m not entirely sure why Kailas has set the price so high ($230).

The average for trail running shoes is $129 but even the most expensive and highly-rated models like Salomon XT-6 ($220) or the elite carbon-plated TNF Flight Vectiv ($200), are $50-70 less.

But if you have the money and want to try a more unknown (yet rising) brand, this is still a solid option.

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Check with the size chart to enjoy the best fit

I always get EU 41 (or US 8) in my running shoes and sneakers. But for Kailas, I had to size up to EU 42 (US 8.5). Remember that this is a Chinese brand, so there is a high chance that your regular size may not work.

To find out what’s the best Kailas size for you, I highly recommend measuring your foot length precisely and then checking with the brand’s size chart. My foot is 260 mm, so EU 42 worked perfectly on me.

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Once you’ve selected the right size, the shoe gives a real treat in terms of fit. There is just enough space in the toebox, a very secure hold through the midfoot, and a nice amount of tongue and collar padding. All of it worked together to hold my foot in the most comfortable way.

I am also very happy with the heel clutch in the Fuga Pro 4. The rearfoot feels very well-structured which helped to keep my ankle in place at all times.

Speed lacing is so good, you won’t return to regular laces

The Kailas employs a bungee lacing system that reminds me a lot of Salomon’s Quicklace. Called the AWS (Adjust Whole Sole), it has two buckles instead of one. Personally, I wouldn’t ever think of needing two buckles on a shoe but after trying it on the Fuga Pro 4, I find it a very welcome feature. It allows you to tighten the fit in the forefoot separately from the midfoot.

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The brand claims that this setup helps to prevent your toes from getting bruised and battered running downhill. And I can subscribe to that, as my toes never got hurt on the hilly terrain.

The lace pocket is my favorite. I was able to safely store the excess cords in it and worry no more.

Fuga Pro 4 has all the cushioning you need

I have thoroughly enjoyed the well-balanced ride of the Kailas Fuga Pro 4. The shoe offers a good 31.7 mm of stack height in the heel with a 10-mm drop (our lab tests showed 2mm taller than the brand’s claimed 8 mm). It is only slightly below the average 32.9 mm in our shoe selection.

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Made of dual-density foam, it is neither too soft nor too firm. For me, it was just right for the typical challenges on the trails: roots, stones, rocky areas, hard-packed trails, and all sorts of debris. The cushioning kept me protected from these and at the same time, had enough firmness for stability.

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Measuring the foam’s density back at the lab, it all made sense. The Pro 4 is right at the average across our lab-tested shoes, showing 40 while the average is 40.5. For reference, the higher the number, the firmer the shoe. The Kailas Fuga Elite 2, for example, is softer (33.5 HA).

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I also performed our signature freezer test, putting the shoe in the fridge for 20 minutes and measuring the density once again afterward. Based on the results, the cushioning gets 25% firmer in cold temperatures, so that’s something to keep in mind when you take it out on a chilly day.

This Kailas shoe keeps you light on the feet

The Fuga Pro 4 weighs 270 g in a men’s EU size 42. It is 28 g lighter than the average across trail running shoes (298 g).

This is a great weight range for a trail shoe that’s meant for picking up the pace.

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Surefooted with the grip

The Vibram Megagrip Litebase guards the underfoot of this Kailas running shoe. I felt confident running on both dry and wet surfaces but wouldn’t really recommend it for super-soft muddy areas.

According to the brand, the lugs on the Fuga Pro 4 are 4-mm deep. However, I’ve measured them at 3.4 mm in our shoe testing lab.

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If you find yourself running in slushy or soggy conditions a lot, I think you should look towards more aggressive lugs. Consider Saucony Peregrine 12, for instance, or the Altra Lone Peak 6. These two have some of the grippiest lugs I’ve ever encountered.

Kailas Fuga Pro 4 has top-notch durability

In terms of the shoe’s construction and quality of materials, I have absolute confidence in the Kailas Fuga Pro 4. It is a really well-made shoe that shows no potential areas of abrasion even under the most thorough inspection.

I especially love how high-grade it looks with the welded TPU overlays on the upper.

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Lacks breathability for warmer days

Unfortunately, I cannot recommend this Kailas shoe if you consider it for summer. It runs a bit warm, especially when you take it on longer runs.

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However, I think it could be perfect for those cooler days in spring or fall.

Gaiters are super easy to attach

The weather has been on my side while I was testing this Kailas shoe so I didn’t have the need for a gaiter. But, when that rainy day comes, I know that I’ll be fully equipped with the Fuga Pro 4.

Its 4-point gaiter holder system removes all the hassle of putting the gaiters on.

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Complete lab-specs overview

  Kailas Fuga Pro 4 Average
Whole shoe
Weight (g) 270 277
Drop (mm) 10 8.9
Flexibility of the shoe (N) 32.5 30.8
Flexibility of the shoe (Freezer 20 min) (N) 59.4 40.5
Flexibility of the shoe (% of change) 82.8% 31.3
Longitudinal flexibility (1-5 scale, 5 being the stiffest) 4 3.3
Torsional flexibility (1-5 scale, 5 being the stiffest) 4 3.5
Upper
Thickness - Tongue (mm) 4.5 6.2
Width Upper - Forefoot (mm) 97.2 98.8
Width Upper - Heel (mm) 73.8 89.1
Flexibility of the heel counter (1-5 scale, 5 being the stiffest) 5 3.1
Tongue: gusset type no -
Heel: pull tab no -
Midsole
Width Midsole - Forefoot (mm) 109.8 111.8
Width Midsole - Heel (mm) 84.3 89.1
Stack - Forefoot with insole (mm) 21.8 24.1
Stack - Heel with insole (mm) 31.7 32.9
Durometer Midsole Heel (Room temperature) (HA) 40.0 40.5
Outsole
Outsole thickness (Heel) (mm) 1.0 3.7
Lugs Depth (mm) 3.4 3.4
Durometer Outsole Heel (Room temperature) (HC) 86.0 82.2
Insole
Insole Heel Thickness (mm) 5.3 4.6
Insole: removable yes -

Facts / Specs

Terrain: Trail
Weight: Men 9.5oz / Women 7.5oz
Drop: Men 10mm
Arch support: Neutral
Forefoot height: Men 22mm
Heel height: Men 32mm
Pronation: Neutral Pronation / Supination / Underpronation

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Author
Jens Jakob Andersen
Jens Jakob Andersen

Jens Jakob is a fan of short distances with a 5K PR at 15:58 minutes. Based on 35 million race results, he's among the fastest 0.2% runners. Jens Jakob previously owned a running store, when he was also a competitive runner. His work is regularly featured in The New York Times, Washington Post, BBC and the likes as well as peer-reviewed journals. Finally, he has been a guest on +30 podcasts on running.