Zoot Footwear

April 27th, 2011 - Posted by

From time to time we will write about Zoot footwear. For starters we thought it would be good to share a bit of our philosophy behind Zoot footwear. We tend to be so passionate about the product that we forget that most of you are seeing it for the first time.

Our Philosophy

There is probably no time in the running shoe industry like today. What we know as traditional running shoes (looks like a running shoe, smells like a running shoe, feels like a running shoe and from a brand you trust) are being challenged with new thinking that less (minimalism, barefoot or natural) is more and it’s coming from totally new shoe brands. Zoot falls into this mix somewhere. We are not traditional but we’ve been around as a brand since 1983. We are not minimalists but have developed what we believe is a practical view of shoes.

The Practical View

  1. Biomechanical history doesn’t lie. You either need stability or you don’t. Stability is defined as: The use of product design to create a stable platform to minimize the effect of Over-pronation by a highly mobile foot.
  2. Your running form is your running form. The best way to improve your running form is to run often. You can learn to improve your form through technical changes, but it’s not easy. Shoes can’t improve your form.
  3. The best shoe for you is the least amount of shoe you can get away with. More shoe definitely isn’t any better, but neither is less. This will be easier to understand when you read through the shoes in future blog postings.

The Zoot Footwear story

Zoot is a triathlon company. We’ve been a triathlon company since 1983. So we look at running shoes through the triathletes perspective. Yes, we make shoes for triathlon but we are also using that knowhow to build better running shoes. It’s really no different than some of the bigger track and field brands and how they use track and field to drive their view of running shoes.

There were 3 things triathletes told us they wanted in a race day shoe. Those 3 things are:

  1. Easy On – For years, triathletes have altered their traditional running shoes to make it easy to put their shoes on when time is important. Zoot simply incorporates many of those techniques in every triathlon shoe we make.
  2. Drainage – If you simply listen the next time you are in a hot weather triathlon. Squish, Squish, Squish, the sound of athletes running down the road with their shoes full of water. Water is weight and water is not comfortable in a shoe. So we provide drainage ports.
  3. Barefoot – Triathletes don’t want to spend time putting on a sock. So we invented BareFit which is an internal liner that makes going sockless more comfortable.

But that’s not all and this is where we fall into the mix of the running industry….

We watched you the triathlete get off your bike and run. We talked to athletes about that feeling you get when you take those first running steps in a triathlon. Then we shot video of all types of athletes running in a triathlon.  From that video and those endless conversations we developed Tri-o-Mechanics.

In essence, Tri-o-Mechanics is defined as: Your running form adjusted from sitting on a bike in a relative fixed position doing repetitive work with large muscles over long periods of time. In easier English: You get off the bike after riding for hours and your head says run but your body says ride because large muscles rule.

So what did we do to counteract Tri-o-Mechanics –

  1. We lowered the heel to forefoot drop from traditional 12 mm to 10mm. We felt the 12mm drop was too steep for triathlon running. So this tags us as a low profile minimal footwear brand.
  2. We added Carbon Span+ to support your foot and to extend a finger to the ball of your foot. This gives your tired legs much more response. Only Carbon Span+ can do this.
  3. We developed Zbound which is a super light super responsive foam.
  4. We build our shoes light. The heaviest shoe we make is 10.9 ounces. Everything we put in a shoe is put there for performance. If it’s not for performance it doesn’t go there and that’s what makes our shoes light. This is important because when your legs are tired they feel heavy and the worst thing is to add to that feeling with a heavy over-built shoe.

That’s who we are. In the next few weeks we’ll give you an inside look at Zoot footwear.