Ben Hoffman Shares His Engagement

March 9th, 2015 - Posted by zoot

2014 was a big year for me, and despite that others might see the biggest highlight being my 2nd place finish in Kona, my engagement to Kelsey Deery easily took the cake.

I had been planning out my vision for the best way to pop the question for over a year, so there was plenty of time to get things organized for the big day.  So naturally I waited until the last second to put it all together while I was still traveling for a couple of races at the end of the year. For the men out there looking to propose, remember that custom rings take a little while to make!

The big day came quickly, as we stepped off a seaplane on the private island of Highbourne Cay in the Bahamas. One of our favorite activities is to snorkel together, exploring the open ocean, so we dropped our bags and donned our swimsuits. The crystal clear water of the Caribbean beckoned on a perfect November afternoon.

A few minutes later we were in the water, exploring the reef, sunlight filtering down. I felt strangely calm, and swam out ahead of Kelsey to place the abalone shell and ring on the coral below. It wasn’t long before she came upon the glinting shell and dove for a closer look…

Returning to the surface with the ring, I asked her to be my wife, and she said yes. It was a special moment, a memory I will always cherish. We made our way back to the beach to enjoy some champagne and start the next chapter of our lives together. Engaged!

Ben proposed to Kelsey while snorkeling in the Carribean

Looking back on 2014, I can say without a doubt this was my highlight. Although, Kona wasn’t bad either…Here’s to an even better 2015. Keep doing what you love.

-Ben Hoffman

Runner’s World Best Debut – Zoot Solana

February 23rd, 2015 - Posted by zoot


“You never get a second chance at a first impression” …and we’re just getting warmed up. Solana – Runner’s World “Best Debut” for 2015.

We are absolutely thrilled that the Solana broke the ice for the new running lineup that’s launching March 1st. The Solana was built for the runner who racks up their daily mileage and appreciates the benefits of a lightweight shoe with structure. This shoe delivers impact protection from heel-to-toe, making for a smooth stable ride. The 8mm offset is ideal for your daily running needs. Whatever pace or distance you choose, the Solana is a great running shoe choice for any run.

A Runner’s World wear-tester shared her feedback: “The Zoot Solana is a great shoe. It’s lightweight and flexible, and wearing it feels like you’re running barefoot, yet there’s still a comfortable level of support and protection. It’s an ideal race shoe for mid-length events. Bottom line: Lace ’em and forget ’em.”

In October 2014, Ben Hoffman placed 2nd at Ironman World Championships wearing the Solana. He ran himself into 2nd place with a 2:51 marathon. He chose this shoe because “The shoe wraps around the foot with incredible comfort, offering ample support while simultaneously allowing it to be where it wants to be naturally. It’s secure while still being comfortable. There is no unwarranted restrictive aspect, or excessively overbuilt components.  The seamless bonds and stitching add to the sleeve feeling which is now distinctive in the Zoot lineup. Despite adequate support and comfort, it’s not at a weight penalty: these are lightweight shoes with a very responsive and stable ride providing immediate feedback to the athlete.”

KEY TECHNOLOGY:
– Proprietary Zoot injected ZVA provides incredible shock absorption while keeping the shoe lightweight.
– We build shoes from the inside-out with BareFit™ technology for ultimate comfort and a seamless internal fit to eliminate blister contact points.
– The 3D molded heel counter locks your heel in place for the best ride from heel to toe.
– Responsive Ground Contact provides a smooth and even ride – when you land you get the cushioning you need and the rebound to propel you forward.



Finding Balance: Filling in the Gaps – Kelly Williamson

February 12th, 2015 - Posted by zoot

To kick things off here, I figured I would start out by filling you all in on what I do ‘outside’ of training. I feel fortunate that about five years ago, triathlon actually ‘became’ my career; meaning, while I raced from 2002-2009 professionally, I worked one if not two part-time jobs to make ends meet. Prize money trickled in here or there but I considered myself part-time at coaching, triathlon, and usually something else random. Once the scales tipped in my favor a bit, I was able to dial back the odd jobs and focus more so on training, recovery, and doing the small things that help us be our absolute best. That said, I’ve always found a need and a desire to keep a balance in my life, outside of sport. I’ve often thought being a professional runner would be so much ‘easier’ in that you have only one discipline to train for; triathlon (especially Ironman training) leaves little spare time, but even in the thralls of heavy training, I crave to have a balance outside of sport.

So, what goes on in my regular day to day besides training? I feel that I carry a pretty sane training volume compared to some. I would say I’m in the 25’ish hour per week range; some weeks closer to 30, some a bit less. My ideal day consists of coffee, an early morning workout, breakfast and coffee, followed by a solid late morning session (usually on the bike). I prefer to knock out the major work by early afternoon, when possible. A third workout occurs probably 3-4 days a week. Sometimes it is the ‘third discipline’, but others it may be strength, or a very easy recovery session to flush the body. So, what do I do to fill in the time between sessions?

~Napping: This does not occur, in any facet; just to clear the air on this one. Yes, I know it’s good for you; but I don’t do it. I’ve never been a napper. I used to say in college, “You can sleep when you’re dead,” but then again I could make it on 5-6 hours a night. I like my sleep, but I prefer to do it at night. What I will do is sit in my recovery boots for 30-60 min here or there, often while catching up on emails, athlete schedules, and correspondences (I still retain a handful of athletes that I coach).

~Writing: This is something I love to do but I can only really do it when I feel like I have something to say. I try to keep my personal website (blog) updated regularly, but at times I’ll find myself writing something, then later coming back, scratching it and starting over. The bigger picture to this is, of course I do think about what I’ll do when I am doing racing; and writing is something I’ve always enjoyed, so the way I see it, when I have downtime if I can spend it writing (or reading) it is time well spent.

~Psychology: Not analyzing things psychologically…but this is something I’m potentially interested in pursuing in some facet post-racing. So in the past few years, I have taken classes here and there; at one point I took some pre-requisites at Austin Community College (for a Masters in Health Psychology), and most recently I took a correspondence course via Texas State; currently I’m taking a free Stanford Online writing course, which is great because I can do 15-20 minutes of it here or there. I plan to sign up for a Social Psychology course at Texas State here soon. I often say I feel at times like having been a pro triathlete for many years, my brain has gotten dull; it has become stagnant. J Even if it is small things I like to keep it stimulated and I’m a bit more motivated by being made to stay on task, thus classes are a great motivator, when time allows.

~Random tasks: How people with children do it, I have no idea! It seems that small things can keep me pretty occupied, cleaning up here or there, laundry, paying bills, planning race trips, grocery, etc. I guess this goes along with being a busy-body much like my father. Give me a few long days of training and I’m pining for a rest day; give me a rest day and I rarely sit down. Goes with the territory, I guess you could say. We eat pretty well, so I find myself running to Central Market at least every other day to get fresh food for dinner.

~Amico!: We have an Australian Cattle dog who requires a good bit of energy expenditure. If Derick is gone, I try to mingle with him a few times a day; and every evening, we finish our day by taking him to the field to play Chuck-It. Of course there are days I may still be wrapping things up at 6pm when it gets dark, but I try to make time for this as often as possible. On nice days we’ll pedal over to the field, about a mile. This along with enjoying our evening IPA while we make dinner is our favorite way to round out a good day.

So there you go…and on this note, it’s a recovery day, the sun is shining and there is a ton of water on the Green Belt. Our pup needs a swim! In my next blog I’ll inform y’all of how we go about enjoying our daily (yes, every single day) beers (usually IPA or something just as hoppy) in moderation and how they keep me happy and ‘balanced’.

-Kelly Williamson

Solana Shoe Review

June 16th, 2014 - Posted by zoot

Ben Hoffman Racing in the Solana, St. George 70.3

Ben Hoffman, 4-time Ironman winner and Pro Zoot triathlete, shares his experience with testing the new Zoot Solana running shoes.

As a Zoot Sports sponsored professional triathlete for the last 3 years, I have been fortunate to bear witness to some awesome changes in the company’s product line. Some of the most exciting progress has come in footwear, and it has been part of my job to wear new prototypes and help in the development of new technologies, offering input from my constant training and racing. The latest and greatest in the lineup is the Solana, and it scores big on many levels.

I’ve been running in the Solana now for almost two months, and as with virtually every new shoe on offer from Zoot, the first thing I noticed in the Solana is the glove-like fit. The shoe wraps around the foot with incredible comfort, offering ample support while simultaneously allowing it to be where it wants to be naturally. Secure while comfortable. There is no unwarranted restrictive aspect, or excessively overbuilt components.  The seamless bonds and stitching add to the sleeve feeling which is now distinctive in the Zoot lineup. Despite adequate support and comfort, it’s not at a weight penalty: these are lightweight shoes with a very responsive and stable ride providing immediate feedback to the athlete.

Finally, the new Solana ranks high on my shoe choices because of its versatility. Just over a month ago I opted to race in the Solana at Ironman St. George 70.3 for the US Championships, after testing it in a shorter sprint distance event in April.  With such a hilly and demanding run course, I needed the perfect blend of cushioned comfort, lightweight performance, and responsive ride to carry me through the ups and downs of one of the hardest courses around. The new blown outsole and seamless upper delivered, carrying me to a strong 1:13 half-marathon split and 7th place finish against the best athletes in the world.  For my training runs before the race and after?  The Solana, naturally.

To learn more about the Zoot’s newest running shoe, the Solana, click here.

Next up, Ben will defend his title and course record at Ironman Coeur d’Alene on June 29th.

 

 

Zoot Partners with Team Katusha

May 20th, 2014 - Posted by zoot

We are happy to announce that Zoot has partnered with UCI Pro-Team Katusha. We will be providing them shoes for both off bike training and the podium ­– where we hope to see them often!

Zoot – we make shoes so comfortable that even pro cyclists wear them!

Learn more on Team Katusha’s site

New Award Winning Gear? Yep, We’ve Got It!

May 13th, 2014 - Posted by zoot

Zoot Gear – Triathlete Magazine "Best in Class"

It’s that time of year and Triathlete Magazine has released their 2014 Triathlete Buyer’s Guide. The editors and contributors have once again done an amazing job surveying the width and breath of tri gear. As always, certain gear rises to the top and stands out against the rest for pure performance. These items are given the designation of “Best in Class.” This year they have awarded that honor to four items from the Zoot line!

Zoot gear designated Best in Class are:
–        Ultra Tri Bag
–        Women’s Ultra Tri Racesuit
–        Men’s & Women’s TT 7.0
–        Men’s & Women’s Z Force 3.0 Wetsuits

Learn more about this gear.

What Makes a Tri Shoe Special?

April 10th, 2014 - Posted by zoot

When first looking for tri shoes the big question for many is, “Why do I need these?” Well, here is the answer. Tri shoes have specific design details to minimize the time we spend in T2. In fact, we believe so heavily in the need for a tri shoe that we were the first manufacturer to make triathlon specific shoes.

Here is what makes Zoot tri shoes special:
– The liner is designed to be extremely comfortable for sockless wear
– The traditional tongue has been replaced with a single piece upper to make it easier to put your shoe on
– The shoes feature a quick lacing system
– The soles have drainage holes (because who has time to dry off before the run?)
– They are extremely light, so they feel amazing on your feet

Now we hope that doesn’t make you think that our road and training shoes aren’t special in their own right. When Zoot introduced our road shoes, we took all the lessons that we learned from making the most comfortable shoes for the hardest sport on earth, and translated them over to a traditional road shoe.

To find which shoe is best for you, visit your local retailer. We hope you #LoveYourRun!

Spring is Here!

March 20th, 2014 - Posted by zoot

It’s official, can’t deny it, and no matter what the weatherman says… spring is here!

With that, we are happy to announce that the Zoot spring line is available both in stores and online. Here are the highlights.

Run
ULTRAcell AC with Icefil ® run apparel – Icefil ® technology is a multifunctional, intelligent moisture sensitive fabric designed to keep cool when body temperatures rise. ULTRAcell AC with Icefil ®, which combines Xylitol and thermal radiation nano technology, reduces skin temperature up to 5.4ºF / 3ºC. Micro denier polyester yarns create a moisture-wicking textile that is breathable, quick drying, and provides 50+ UPF sun protection.

Swim
Both our men’s and women’s wetsuits have been updated. The Prophet 2.0 (men / women) continues to be our premier wetsuit.

Tri
We have updated the Ultra tri tank (men / women) and shorts (men / women).

Bike
We have introduced sublimated Italian fabric to our Ultra Cycle Team Kit (men / women).

Shoes
We’ve talked about the shoes before but it doesn’t hurt to review what’s new here either.

The Ultra TT 7.0 (men / women) continues the heritage of triathlon greatness. No other shoe has won more podiums than this shoe. It’s universal in feel thanks to the 10mm offset and CarbonSpan+™. New to this year’s model is the top loaded Z-Bound™ that will simply feel even more alive under your foot.

The Ultra Race 4.0 (men / women) is the most advanced triathlon race day shoe. Built with the amazing glove-like fit of UltraFit™ and the Boa Closure System®, this shoe fits like no other on the planet. With its 8mm offset and CarbonSpan+™, you will feel fast.

The Ultra Tempo 6.0 (men / women), with new top loaded Z-Bound™ for a more responsive feel, continues down the line as one of the best guidance shoes you can run in. The 10mm offset gives it a training feel in a lightweight package.

The Ovwa 2.0 (men / women) has the smoothest ride you’ll find. The 10mm offset, CarbonSpan+™ and top loaded Z-Bound™ makes this race day shoe worthy of your training runs. Two lace options and loads of fun await you.

The Kiawe 2.0 (men / women) has that same great 6mm offset and fast on your feet feel, with an improved entry and a more comfortable fit. With two lace options and only 7.0oz of weight, you are sure to reach for this shoe often.

Flashback to March 2008

March 13th, 2014 - Posted by zoot

Flashback to March 2008

We are extremely proud of our storied past. For this episode of #ThrowBackThursday we are looking at a huge milestone for the company – the release of the first tri specific shoe. Here is an excerpt from the 2008 Xtri.com article explaining what made the original Ultra line so special.

– – – –

After years of studying triathletes, and further reinforced by athlete focus groups, Zoot Sports identified four inherent footwear problems specific to triathletes:

Speed of Entry – The need to get in and out of T2 as quickly as possible
Sockless Wear – Triathletes don’t want to take the time to put socks on
Water Retention – Studies have shown that traditional running shoes can gain an additional 30% of their weight during a race
Biomechanics – Athletes run differently after racing a bike

The solution to these problems is the ULTRA Line of Footwear. The initial ULTRA line of Zoot Footwear includes four models in both men’s and women’s styles: the ULTRA Race, an 8.4 ounce neutral racing shoe; the ULTRA TT, a 9.2 ounce neutral lightweight trainer; the ULTRA Tempo+, a 9.5 oz. dual-density midsole stability shoe; and the ULTRA Recovery Sandal, a fully customizable and cushioned sandal that helps reduce swelling and promotes a speedy recovery.

 

Keep them Coming!

March 10th, 2014 - Posted by zoot

Here at Zoot we really enjoy seeing photos of the Tribe showing off their Zoot gear – be it an unboxing, the first run, competing, or just something fun. They really do make us proud to be part of this company and sport. So please keep taking them and tagging us. We love them!

 

Nice nails! Photo: @twinkleblue81

 




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