From November 17, 2022:
Now that winter has arrived in Minnesota, I've been able to use my Koobi Foras for the purpose for which I bought them, and they've been great for that. As I'd hoped, their tendency to run hot helps a lot when it's below freezing outside. The soles work great on snow and slush, where their grip is terrific. They're terrible on ice, but so are most running shoes, in my experience, and that's what Yaktrax are for. The shoes don't feel as heavy in the cold as they did in the summer heat. "Run Kenyan" is also a fun mantra to chant when you're running through a snowstorm.
In these conditions, the main complaint I had about them in August that still holds in November is that I really need a stability shoe, and these are neutral. The snow hides imperfections in the path, and if I step on an uneven spot, the Koobi Foras just let my ankles roll where they will, where something with a wider, flatter base might help me out a little more. But no points off for that, because it's not like they're advertised as a stability shoe.
I'm still only up to 43 miles in these shoes, but I can see myself using them much more frequently in the coming months. I did 6.5 miles in them this morning, and I was actually glad I was wearing them instead of something else. I would give them four stars today.
From August 30, 2022:
I've put 13 miles on these so far in 4 runs, and they remain my least favorite shoes currently in rotation. However, I do keep them in rotation because I think they're valuable in enforcing good running form.
For context, my favorite shoes in rotation are my Brooks Launch GTS 8: light, stable, fairly well-cushioned. The Enda Koobi Foras, in contrast, feel heavy (though the numbers don't look bad), with limited stability and cushioning. A run in the Koobi Foras always feels longer than a run in any of my other shoes because my body has to work so much harder to stay stable and absorb shock.
And that's where I see the value in keeping them in rotation. I've found that I can still enjoy the run, as long as I maintain good form. If I start overstriding or slouching or something, things quickly start getting uncomfortable, and that's a good incentive to fix my form. I don't know if I'll ever use these for long or fast runs, but I'll probably keep taking them on short runs at an easy pace just for that running form discipline.
Regarding other complaints I've seen about these: They do start out uncomfortably narrow around the forefoot, but I found that this issue simply disappeared on my second run. I've found that the short tongue isn't an issue if I use a runner's knot. They DO run warm, to the point where it gets uncomfortable at air temperatures of 80F or above. To me, that's fine, since I bought them with the idea that they might be good for winter running here in Minnesota.
They have really good traction on the dirt paths and asphalt roads I've been using them on. I have no idea how they do on sand, gravel, and rocks.
In short, if these had been available at my local running store, I would never have bought them because they're not what I look for in a running shoe. If you want trail shoes that feel almost minimalist while still protecting your feet, though, these might be for you.