Brand Background: Craft
Like several of the brands we’ve profiled in our Running Shoe Brand Guide Series, Craft is a relatively new player in the footwear space. The Swedish company is probably best known for its performance sports apparel, which it’s been making since 1977. At the hands of founder Anders Bengtsson, Craft’s first line of products focused on moisture-wicking technical base layers made from material that transports sweat away from the skin to the garment’s surface, where it can easily evaporate. From there, the brand expanded to producing active mid layers and (eventually) outerwear for a wide range of sports, including Nordic skiing, running, soccer, gymnastics, and cycling.
Craft only began making inroads into footwear over the last few years, and the quality of their nascent product line for roads, trails, and everything in between is impressive considering its short history; a few of their models are already into their second iterations. To sum up Craft’s style, most of their shoes feature maximal stack heights well over 30 mm and corresponding high heel-to-toe drops, though we’ve found that their midsoles tend to still be pretty firm and energetic despite their thickness. They are also typically built on fairly narrow lasts, especially Craft’s higher-end models, which use the brand’s snug “Race Fit.” These shoes include the acronym CTM in their title, which stands for “Craft Tailored Motion,” and is used to indicate the presence of Craft’s most advanced materials, such as minimal one-piece uppers, premium midsole compounds, and carbon plates.
For more on the origin of Craft Footwear, check out episode 124 of our Off The Couch podcast, with Craft Footwear pro-runner and full-time employee, David Laney.
The combination between tall stack heights, rigid plates, and narrow lasts can lead to instability on technical trails, so we’d recommend staying off really rugged stuff in most of Craft’s higher-cushioned trail and hybrid shoes. In our experience, they thrive on milder terrain and roads, the longer the distance the better.
This breakdown will give a quick overview of each model’s features and intended purpose. It’s organized from most cushioned to least cushioned.