Newton Running, Bright Eclectic Shoes and People
I entered the new flagship Newton Running store on Pearl St. knowing just about as much about the unique shoes and the company behind them as most people who have only seen, but not tried the shoes. The website, which I referenced before my visit, creates an aura of vibrancy, philanthropy, and passion surrounding the company, capturing the style that extends beyond running and beyond running a shoe company: the Newton lifestyle.
In the store I spoke with Mike Nesladek, VP Marketing man, who did his best to condense “the story” behind Newton Running. Of course the details and intricacies could not all be explained briefly, especially with how many customers the Newton crew was energetically engaging with this pre-Bolder Boulder, pre-Memorial Day weekend. But I did get the main points of a tale of two seasoned runners, Jerry Lee and Danny Abshire, taking a turn in their respective established careers to spark a turn in the running-shoe industry. The two Boulder residents founded Newton Running Lab in Boulder in 2005, with intentions of “fixing” or at least “improving” the runner’s stride and body mechanics to avoid unnecessary injuries caused by gait disruption from poorly structured running shoes. They now operate as one of the only shoe companies to have a “B-corp status”, something that puts a name to their philanthropic efforts to give back to the community on large and small scales.
Nesladek explained the three things that make Newton different from other running shoe companies: 1) Design: No shoe feels quite like a Newton shoe. The unique minimal design is complimented by extra padding in the forefront of the shoe, encouraging the runner to strike on the ball of their foot to preserve energy and create more efficient biomechanics. 2) People: Newton runners and employees are more than just that, they are part of the close-knit Newton “tribe” that forms a cohesive group of like-minded people that are passionate about running and life. 3) Philosophy: Newton practices ethical and responsible business practices, something that is verified by their B-corporation status.
Still wondering the deal with the bright colors? They were initially meant to be an eye-catching advertising effort to make up for short funding for traditional advertising, but now the unique and quirky colors have become a bit of a trademark for the company. And with people (literally) running around the store to try on shoes, listening to explanations of the design and choosing between if the bright green or bright orange was best, the brand new location for the lab holds just as much energy as its bright and eye-catching shoe designs.
“They are bold, cheerful and unapologetic for being different – just like the people who run in them. We are innovators, and we are just getting started”, founders Jerry Lee and Danny Abshire.
Thumbnail image courtesy of Downtown Boulder.