Illustrating its commitment to the run specialty channel and the sport of running, Reebok this month launched its highly-anticipated FloatZig 1 running shoes that combines Floatride Energy Foam and Zig Tech technology in the midsole shape into a new running model that is lightweight and springy and “designed to make running more fun and enjoyable for all.” The shoe will be available April 4 with an MSRP of $130.

“By combining our award-winning Floatride Energy Foam cushioning designed for the elite runner with our unique outsole shape, we created a running shoe that offers premium support and comfort, all while being unique, bold, and stylish,” explains Todd Krinsky, Reebok president and CEO. “The FloatZig 1 Running Shoes offer industry-leading performance and energy return, suited for even the most elite runners, but built to be accessible and enjoyable for all runners. With both our product and within our irreverent Running Hacks global marketing campaign, we focused on the joy and excitement running can bring to all.”

Key Reebok FloatZig 1 tech features include:

  • Floatride Energy Foam and Zig Tech technology in an iconic geometric shape provides lightweight and responsive energy return.
  • Engineered Mesh Vamp Upper with reflective overlays and Reinforced Midfoot Panels offers extra support.
  • Targeted Foam Panels at the tongue and collar offer additional comfort and a secure fit.
  • Drop | Weight: 6mm Drop | 9.8oz (Unisex size 9)

At the same time Reebok unveiled Running Hacks, an irreverent global marketing campaign featuring a range of creative “hack” vignettes positioned to make running more fun and more productive, encouraging movement in a comical and lighthearted tone. Headlining the campaign is Reebok’s diverse athlete and talent roster sharing their own unique hacks, including football star Justin Fields, college basketball champion Angel Reese and run-influencer Erin Azar (@ImMrsSpaceCadet), their personal vignettes to be unveiled throughout the season ahead.

Also ushering in Reebok’s New Shape of Running, FloatZig 1 is the first to launch within the new FloatZig product family. The brand’s new running icon will be offered in multiple iterations to meet the needs of a wide range of runners. Also available on 4/1, is the FloatZig Symmetros (MSRP: $150) – a dual-density, extra stable offering built for a supportive ride on longer miles. In FW24, the product range will expand further to include a carbon-fiber plate model, FloatZig X1, and a trail iteration built for outdoor exploration, FloatZig Adventure.

JAMBAR Making Waves With New Flavor, Top Surfer

Organic energy bar maker Jambar has released Tropical Trio – a new vegan flavor featuring a bright and breezy blend of banana, pineapple and coconut. In addition to this ensemble of island fruits, the new bar contains gluten-free ancient grains, walnut butter and 10 grams of plant-based protein. The new flavor was formulated by Jambar founder Jennifer Maxwell, a food scientist and co-founder of the original PowerBar. Designed to take taste buds on an island escape, Tropical Trio features comforting notes of banana that meet the exotic with hints of coconut and pineapple. 

At the same time, Jambar signed pro surfer, mother and plant-based athlete Tia Blanco, as well as the launch of a 12-bar vegan box that will include Tropical Trio, Jammin’ Jazzleberry and Musical Mango. A professional surfer from Southern California, Blanco was the gold medalist at the International Surfing Association Women’s World Surfing Championship in 2015 and 2016. She also won ABC’s The Ultimate Surfer competition in 2021 and is an accomplished yogi, painter and entrepreneur.

Adidas x Yohji Yamamoto Unveil Y-3 S-Gendo Run Sneaker

While not exactly a running shoe, a new release from Adidas is making a bit of a splash on the fashion scene. Following the first iteration of the Gendo series in 2022, this season Adidas and Yohji Yamamoto introduce the Y-3 S-Gendo Run, advancing the previous silhouette.

Drawing on the concept of Chapter 1 of Y-3’s SS24 collection, where “organic and the synthetic produces unexpected beauty,” the sneaker’s hollow plate plays with negative space and elevation. “With nods to the Japanese concept of ‘Ma’ in which space creates deeper meaning and shape, the silhouette is a defiant expression of the Contra-Natural spirit.”

The Y-3 S-Gendo Run merges the advanced midsole technologies of Adidas’ latest running models with “the aesthetic heritage of the brand’s archival trainers.” A sport-inspired breathable mesh, suede and leather upper sits atop a Lightstrike midsole and a hollow Pebax plate (incorporating a poured-in EVA element), for a “stark silhouette.” The outsole juxtaposes a seasonal floral graphic with a herringbone tread.

Altra Launches the Mont Blanc Carbon

Featuring a full-length Carbitex carbon plate, increased grip and durability, Altra has launched the Mont Blanc Carbon – “where comfort meets speed on the trail.” The shoe features a new full-length Carbitex MonoFlex carbon plate that allows it to sustain lightness while enhancing speed. The Altra EGO PRO foam rim and core midsole combined with the Vibram Litebase Megagrip outsole offer comfort and grip. 

“The Mont Blanc is one of the most well received shoes across the brand for comfort on any trail terrain,” according to Brian Beckstead, co-founder of Altra Running. “So when the time came to work on this race shoe, it was only natural to want to merge optimal comfort with speed. We utilized professional athlete and consumer feedback to create a shoe that would give competitive runners an edge on the course without sacrificing what people love most about the Mont Blanc.”

The Mont Blanc Carbon is ready to take the lead on the trail while maintaining comfort and grip on any surface. 

Altra’s Standard FootShape toebox and zero drop from heel to forefoot make this shoe a long-distance option for runners that prefer training and racing in a shoe that allows for natural running form and stability on the trail.

The Mont Blanc Carbon is available in one white/coral colorway for both men and women with an MSRP of $260.

On Opening Portland, OR Store

On, the Swiss performance sportswear brand, recently opened its newest U.S. store in Portland, OR, at NW 23rd Avenue, an area of town vibrant with shops and restaurants and one mile from its Americas HQ. The store replace On’s original Portland location, which opened in 2016, giving the community a larger, premium environment to shop the brand’s latest products.

“We have deep roots in this city and are committed to investing in this community,” explains Britt Olsen, GM of the Americas and head of Global Commercial Strategy. “We came to Portland in 2013 with just three team members and today we have more than 260 employees across nearly every function. We’re thrilled to finally have a store in this city that reflects the dedicated community we’ve built here for the last 11 years.”

The retail space occupies 3400-square feet and sells On footwear, apparel and accessories curated in head-to-toe collections for run, trail and everyday. The space’s centerpiece is the Magic Wall, a signature of On stores worldwide that gives shoppers an immediate try-on. The wall features hidden drawers with a full-size run of the brand’s latest footwear, allowing for more interaction between staff and in-store consumers. 

On Portland is the brand’s first store to introduce the company’s modular design system, making it possible to reconfigure the layout to cater to evolving shopper preferences quickly. The store will have interactive installations, including one that highlights On’s CloudTec technology, showing in real-time how the cushioning adapts to an individual’s movements by compressing horizontally and vertically. 

On now operates 32 stores worldwide with plans to add 15 to 20 new stores in 2024.

Running USA Names Brandon Director of Membership and Sponsorship

Nancy Brandon has been named director of membership and sponsorship at Running USA, bringing  a wealth of experience in customer service, communications and creative event development to her role. She recently spent nine years at the Army Ten-Miler, where she led marketing, advertising, public relations, brand and customer service efforts for the race. Her involvement extended to the sponsorship and expo teams, showcasing her commitment to crafting the optimal runner experience for every participant.

ODA Offering Scholarship Program

The Outdoor Diversity Alliance (ODA) and Outdoor Recreation Roundtable’s (ORR) Together Outdoors initiative are partnering to launch a program designed to connect students from underrepresented communities to outdoor and environmental professions. The Outdoor Pathway Scholarship program acknowledges the importance of diversity and inclusivity in these sectors by providing students with $5000 in scholarship funding over two years, mentorship  and assistance with job placement in the outdoor industry and environmental field. 

The deadline to apply is March 29 and scholarships will be awarded in May.:]  

NEW PRODUCT: CEP 2-in-1 Shorts

CEP Compression this month unveiled its Run 2-in-1 Shorts and the Ultralight 2-in-1 Shorts featuring a snug inner layer using CEP’s Tightfit Technology that provides quad support while the loose outer layer allows for unrestricted movement.

The Run 2-in-1 Shorts are designed with sustainable materials with practicality in mind. These shorts incorporate two pockets for convenient wear at the gym or around town, while the soft finish ensures incredible comfort for all-day wear. Featuring an interior drawstring on the waist for ultimate fit and comfort. MSRP: $99.95

The Ultralight 2-in-1 Shorts are part of the Ultralight Collection, and have an ultra-thin and breathable design, ensuring that legs remain cool and fresh. Additionally, the integrated pocket on the inner short simplifies carrying essentials like a phone or fuel, granting quick access to all necessities. MSRP: $119.95

Fleet Feet Strengthens Leadership Team

Earlier this month Fleet Feet made several leadership appointments with new hires, expanded roles and promotions.

  • Stuart Williams joined Fleet Feet as vice president of IT, responsible for building a comprehensive technology roadmap, including IT infrastructure that supports corporate and franchise operations and develops technology solutions to “enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of Fleet Feet’s systems and platforms.” Williams was previously with North Carolina-based grocery chain The Fresh Market, where he was the vice president and CIO for over 15 years. He reports to Jason Jabaut, COO of Fleet Feet, Inc.
  •  Melissa Gabriele joins the company as director of apparel and accessories. In this newly created role, she is responsible for developing, implementing and overseeing apparel and accessories purchasing that aligns with corporate operations and objectives. She joined Fleet Feet with nearly two decades of retail experience, having worked at Gap, Inc. and American Eagle Outfitters. She reports to Catherine Moloznik, VP–purchasing and merchandising.
  •  In addition to new hires, John Moloznik’s role as VP–business development has been expanded to include franchise operations. This evolution “aims to foster a more integrated approach to franchise support, from onboarding and opening new stores to exit strategies and transition planning for franchisees,” reported Fleet Feet.
  •  Tiffany Lee, formerly director of marketing and media, was promoted to senior director of performance marketing and partnerships. Lee will have a “significant role leading Fleet Feet’s performance marketing efforts, including acquisition and retention channels, continuing to drive brand awareness through national partnerships and public relations.” Additionally, Fleet Feet’s vendor management program, led by Victor Ornelas, will roll under Lee’s leadership to “ensure a synergistic approach to the brand’s marketing efforts and vendor relationships,” said Fleet Feet.
  •  Sarah Holden was promoted to director of human resources, an expansion of her previous work as senior manager of HR. In her new role, Holden oversees Fleet Feet’s HR operations, including talent management and engagement; benefits, including health and employee wellbeing; and compliance, including employee resources and training based on state and federal legislation.