Time was when Brooks was known as a motion control company and the Beast defined the company. Along came the Adrenaline GTS line which opened the brand up to more runners, but the Adrenaline offers up some serious support which did little to alter the perception of Brooks as a company for over-pronators. Then something happened. Maybe it was Berkshire-Hathaway’s investment that forced the company to look up and see that there are all kinds of runners out there to sell products to. Under-pronators, over-pronators and everyone in between can and should be your customers. Well they should be if the CEO of your parent company is listed by Forbes as one of the wealthiest man on the planet. Warren Buffet seems like a nice guy, but you gotta figure no matter how nice he appears, he still needs to see a serious ROI from his holdings which basing your profit largely on motion control and support shoes while leaving the neutral cushioning crowd largely untapped is not the best strategy to have for long term growth. Better to expand the consumer base with greater product offerings.
As we’ve mentioned previously, Nike is all about their Lunar Technology going forward so much so that the bulk of their new running specialty product offerings from Fall ’10 (late Summer introductions) are Lunar based. The former Bowerman line, generally considered more traditional running footwear, is whittled down to color updates on the four primary models within the Bowerman line, the Vomero+5, the Equalon+4, the Structure Triax+ 13 and the Air Pegasus+ 27. The rest of the shoes earmarked for the running specialty industry are Lunar.
K-Swiss is a very successful tennis company looking to crack the running market. The challenge for K-Swiss is how to go from being a tennis company trying to sell shoes in the running market to becoming an authentic technical running specialty shoe brand. A key factor in K-Swiss’ favor is a loyal fan base, those who have worn K-Swiss footwear products from other categories tend to like K-Swiss. The other big plus is funding. K-Swiss has a sizable war-chest to go after the running market and be able to stick with their vision for quite some time. Add to this, K-Swiss Running is being led by a solid group of industry veterans with enough experience to get the job done. The pieces are in place for K-Swiss to take a stab at the market and be serious about it.
The newest updates on two of the most popular models from Brooks; the Cascadia 5 and the Defyance 3 have just arrived at RW. The Brooks Cascadia 5 looks a lot better in production than I remember the pre-production samples looking. It probably has little to do with the shoe and everything to do with the vision of the author. This newest Cascadia should continue to appeal to a large cross section of trail runners and continue it’s dominance as the #1 trail shoe on the market. We have two colors in the men’s and women’s versions.
The Defyance 3 is a modest update to the popular Defyance 2. Essentially a neutral version of the Adrenaline GTS 9, this model will not disappoint those who’ve come to rely on this model.
Zoot Sports has its heritage firmly planted in the triathlon. Founded in 1983 in Kona Hawaii, Zoot Sports was one of the first brands to focus on the triathlon and began by making performance apparel designed for elite triathletes. Since the inception of the sport, triathletes have sought any and all available technologies to help them gain an advantage. Companies that cater to the triathlon market must be at the forefront of introducing technology if they are to survive. Zoot, as a major player in this market, is keenly aware of the importance of introducing technology consistently.
Check out the newest “Insider” Video up on the site featuring Terry Schalow, the Product Line Manager for Asics Footwear. Terry is a long time industry leader who discusses the new Tempo Run Collection of footwear. This lineup features shoes targeted directly at the Go-Fast crowd who tend to gravitate towards lighter weight, more responsive footwear. Terry talks about updates to classics such as the Gel Speedstar, the return of the Gel DS Racer and insight into new introductions like the Gel Tarther. Terry also discusses future plans for the Tempo Run Collection. Check it out exclusively from Running Warehouse.