Thursday, October 8, 2009

Insight from New Balance About the Development of Their New MT100 Shoe

Below is some really interesting insight from Byran Gothie, New Balance Outdoor Project Manager, into the development of the New Balance MT100 shoe. It appears that NB really took real trail runners advice and experience into account when developing this shoe. We may have to give this shoe a try...

We tried not to treat the 100 as a direct update to the 790 but instead a new shoe to our lightweight trail category. We did start with the 790 though to figure out how we could build a better shoe. In addition, we added ultra trail runners Anton Krupicka and Kyle Skaags to our Outdoor Ambassador Team around the time we started looking into an update. The first thing we did was look at shoes they ran in for high wear areas. The attached image shows how we built the outsole specifically around the high wear areas of an ultra runner’s efficient gait. The lateral mid/forefoot has been built up the most to provide support to the highest wear area. The midfoot/heel is actually ground contact so that there is a smooth transition or just a contact point. The heel has been designed specifically for braking, as we found that the only time they landed on their heels was when they needed some control going downhill. The heel and forefoot heights are the same as the 790, 18mm in the heel and 8mm in the forefoot.

Anton and Klye then came out to our sports testing lab in our Lawrence office where we ran them through a bunch of tests like force plates and motion capture. This helped to validate our theory and solidify our work on the midsole/outsole.

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