Presentations are boring, so to show off its new line of running shoes for media editors around the city, Saucony built a pop up at Openhouse Gallery. The Soho pop up, called Step Into Minimalism, features a landscape of exercise features like treadmills with real-time displays – as well as running coaches and even a podiatrist. Journalists from Fitness, Men’s Journal, Newsweek, People Style, Popular Science, Self, Shape, Time and other publications will get to experience Saucony’s Hattori, Kinvara 2 and Mirage lines first-hand today.
Saucony’s new running sneakers are lighter, more flexible and much thinner soles than most other sneaks. The treads on the Hattori line are 4 mm compared to the industry average of about 12 mm. Check out the picture – they look a lot like water shoes you might wear to windsurf, or those “barefoot” shoes with slots for five toes. Less tread means more natural form when you hit the pavement toe first. A more natural form means impact on the muscles instead of the joints. Might be tough at first, but it’ll lead to Arnold-like strength and some sharp-looking calves.
Saucony is giving New York media editors the full service to make sure they’re convinced the running-shoe minimalism is not just a gimmick. Dr. Marybeth Crane, a Texas-based podiatrist will be on hand to show editors how to strengthen their feet, and a pair of Boulder-based running coaches from Run S.M.A.R.T. will coach at the treadmill. Saucony brought in protégées of Jack Daniels, an old-school professor of the run and Runner’s World’s pick for the best coach in the world (in the world) to improve the journalists’ gait.
The Saucony pop up is a unique experience that’ll be sure to jog writers’ memories when they write their next shoe story, and it’s a good excuse for editors to get out of their office. While the production is full-scale, runners will be happy to know the new minimalist shoes top out at $100 (Mirage). The Kanvara is $90 and the Hattori – my favorite – is $80.
Art Aside: A nice touch of the Saucony pop up is their entrance-way gallery of minimalistic inspiration. Pictures of the iPad 2, a Mies Van De Roh house, Piet Mondrian’s primary colors (does it get any more minimal than “Untitled”?) and a Jruiter bicycle alternate with prints of the Hattori, Mirage and Kinvara.