Get access to everything we publish when you sign up for Outside+.
BOSTON, February 12, 2008 â€“ This Fall, New Balance will be the first major athletic shoe brand to offer a performance running shoe specifically designed and engineered for mid-foot strike runners. This style, the MR/WR800, will debut in August 2008 and is the recommended running shoe of ChiRunningÂ®, an organization that has had great success teaching the mid-foot strike running technique to runners of all levels.
â€œThe 800 mid-foot strike shoe demonstrates our strong commitment to performance innovation, delivering product solutions to every athlete,â€ says Dan Sullivan, running business unit manager at New Balance. â€œAs the first major athletic shoe brand to offer such a style, we believe the 800 showcases our knowledge and expertise in technical running.â€
The New Balance Advanced Products team spent years researching mid-foot strike runners in collaboration with New Balance Japanâ€”performing extensive biomechanical research, facilitating several hundred interviews with self-described mid-foot strikers, conducting meetings with elite dealers, and putting the 800 through rigorous wear test proceduresâ€”all in a focused effort to develop a shoe to specifically meet the needs of mid-foot strikers.
â€œThe 800 mid-foot strike shoe addresses the biomechanics and performance needs of mid-foot strikers,â€ says Sean Murphy, advanced products engineering manager at New Balance. â€œEach attribute and feature was carefully researched, tested, and retested to meet the specific performance needs of these athletes.â€
Mid-foot strikers, or runners whose initial ground contact is in the mid-foot area, comprise roughly 20% of the running population. While many mid-foot strikers have a natural tendency to run in this manner, others have converted their running style from the more common rear-foot strike to mid-foot in hopes of avoiding injury or increasing speed and efficiency.
New Balance has chosen ChiRunningÂ® as their educational partner for athletes who want to learn how to run with, or improve, a mid-foot strike. ChiRunningÂ® employs the balance, alignment, and fluidity found in T’ai Chi, with running to create stride mechanics that reduce injury and create a more energy-efficient movement. ChiRunningÂ® founders, Danny and Katherine Dreyer have been instrumental in the development of the New Balance 800 mid-foot strike shoe, providing expert wear test feedback and commentary.
– more –
â€œIncorporating the ChiRunningÂ®, mid-foot strike practice is a great injury-prevention method â€“ and the 800 is the perfect shoe for anyone who wants to learn this technique,â€ says Danny Dreyer, founder of ChiRunningÂ®. â€œWe appreciate the New Balance brand because of its dedication, expertise, and excellence in developing the best shoe for the mid-foot strike running. We will recommend the 800 in all of our running workshops and speaking engagements, as it is the first to truly be designed specifically for the mid-foot strike runner.â€
The MR/WR800 is a high mileage trainer designed for the neutral mid-foot strike runner. The shoe features AbzorbÂ® cushioning in the mid-foot for shock absorption, a mid-foot-specific crash pad area specifically tuned for the mid-foot striker, a low heel/forefoot height ratio, Ndurance rubber in the mid-foot for long-wearing durability, and an upper design pattern that is focused on the mid-foot. The 800 was designed with a podular construction to ensure a smooth transition through the gait cycle.
In addition to these mid-foot-specific characteristics the 800 also offers the N-Lockâ„¢ support system for enhanced stability, a Phantom Linerâ„¢ for reduced irritations and chafing, an ActevaÂ® UltraLite midsole, and a Lightning DryÂ® treated liner for a dry, comfortable ride. Sure-Laceâ„¢ laces allow for an uninterrupted workout, and 360Â° reflectivity ensures safety. MSRP: $109.95
New Balance, headquartered in Boston, MA has the following mission: Demonstrating responsible leadership, we build global brands that athletes are proud to wear, associates are proud to create and communities are proud to host. New Balance employs more than 2,800 people around the globe, and in 2006 reported worldwide sales of $1.55 billion. For more information please visit HYPERLINK “http://www.newbalance.com” http://www.newbalance.com .