Shoe Review: Karhu Ikoni 2021

A profile view of the women's Karhu Ikoni 2021

The Karhu Ikoni 2021 offers do-it-all cushion and lightweight support no matter where you go.

Shop Now

Built with data from millions of 3D foot scans, Karhu shoes are notoriously comfortable, and the updated Ikoni is no exception. The 2021 Ikoni features a refined fit through the midfoot thanks to an anatomical lacing system and M-lock design.

Tech Specs

Karhu Ikoni 2021


8.9 oz (W) 10.9 oz (M)


8 mm




Daily training


Road, Track

Our reviewers loved how lightweight and cushioned the Ikoni 2021 is, and we think you will too.

Here’s everything you need to know about the Karhu Ikoni 2021.

Anatomical Lacing Delivers Dialed-In Comfort

Overhead view of new anatomical lacing system in Ikoni 2021 update.

Sometimes, the little things can make the biggest difference. This rings true in the Karhu Ikoni 2021 update.

Designers decided to home in on the fit and feel of the Ikoni by integrating an anatomical lacing system that accounts for the unique shape and volume of your feet.

“The lacing system is slightly asymmetrical and laces up smoothly without any gaps in the upper on the medial and lateral side,” says one reviewer.

This anatomical lacing system works with Karhu’s signature M-lock system to provide support throughout the midfoot, all the way down to the midsole, without restricting your foot’s natural movement as you run.

Close up of knit mesh upper

In addition to the fitted midfoot, the heel collar is plushly padded and covered in silky-smooth fabric to prevent rubbing chafing.

“The heel and midfoot have a nice snug fit, and I love the way the cushion feels around my ankles. The upper material is silky smooth and super comfy,” says one reviewer.

Since Karhu shoes are constructed using foot scan data collected from Fleet Feet’s fit id® outfitting process, the shoe takes on a more anatomical shape that includes a wider toe box to accommodate the natural shape and movement of the forefoot.

A thinner tongue and flexible upper mesh accentuate the focus on anatomical design.

“The tongue is a little thinner yet is flexible in order for it to be dynamic and move with your foot through the gait cycle,” says one reviewer.

AeroFoam Continues to Provide Lightweight Cushioning

Close up view of the AeroFoam midsole foam in the Karhu Ikoni 2021

The Karhu Ikoni 2021 is powered by a durable, ultra-light AeroFoam midsole, which Karhu designed to be plush and responsive.

The AeroFoam midsole absorbs impact at the heel upon landing and propels your toe-off forward for a bouncy ride at any speed.

“They are surprisingly light compared to the Ikoni of the past. I feel gentle support under my arch that adds to the comfort of the shoe,” says one reviewer.

This foam works with the integrated Fulcrum unit under the arch to facilitate smooth, rolling transitions as you run and walk.

Outsole view of Karhu Ikoni 2021

“This new version feels a little more responsive overall within the midsole,” says one reviewer. “I thought the Fulcrum was a little more prominent when walking. When transitioning into my run, I felt that added propulsion delivered by the Fulcrum rocker.”

On top of propulsive, protective cushioning, the Ikoni 2021 offers stability with a broad midsole and relatively flat outsole.

This makes it a great shoe for mild overpronators, or anyone looking for a stabilized feeling on the run.

Our reviewers also appreciated the grippy rubber on the outsole.

“The outsole offers good traction on the road. Altogether they offer a smooth ride for training runs and long runs,” says one reviewer.

Karhu Ikoni 2021 vs Ikoni 2020

A comparison of the Karhu Ikoni and Karhu Ikoni 2021

The Ikoni 2021 update features tweaks to the overall fit without deviating from the support and ride long-time wearers know and love.

An anatomical lacing system feeds into the Karhu M-lock technology along the midfoot to create an even more secure, engaged ride than the previous model. A padded heel collar continues the secure feel all the way through the heel.

Both the Ikoni 2021 and 2020 use Karhu’s Aerofoam and a mid-length Fulcrum to power the shoe and provide the responsive cushioning you need for daily training.

Tech Comparison

Karhu Ikoni 2021

Karhu Ikoni 2020


8.9 oz (W) 10.9 oz (M)

8.9 oz (W) 10.9 oz (M)


8 mm

8 mm





Anatomical Lacing

Traditional Lacing




Final Thoughts

The Karhu Ikoni continues to be a go-to shoe for runners and walkers looking for reliable cushioning and a lively ride.

The Ikoni 2021 update features an anatomical lacing system that accommodates a wide range of foot shapes and volumes, informed by thousands of footscans, to create the most comfortable fit possible.

A flexible knit mesh upper is snug where you need it and breathable all the way through. A naturally shaped toe box allows for natural toe splay as you run and walk, creating a more stabilized feel.

“Minor improvements continue to refine and enhance the fit and feel of this shoe. It can handle the miles whether that is your weekday run or weekend long run,” says one reviewer.

From daily mileage to long days on the go, the Karhu Ikoni 2021 can do it all.

Keep Reading