Last night I attended the launch event for New Balance’s Fresh Foam 980. I have to say, I am not usually all about these events, having to deal with corporate folks swarming like vultures waiting for you to say something mildly positive about their product so they can immediately tweet about it, but I do love some giveaways and free loot. I also have fallen deeply in love with my New Balance 3190s. Not only do they feel like running on air, but they are bright yellow and hot pink. They are the perfect complement to my Belle running outfit for the Disney Princess Half Marathon (TEN DAYS YAY!). Obviously. I will be revealing my carefully planned ensemble soon. It’s going to be FAAAAAABULOUS.
So after work I headed to the New Balance store in Littleton, Colorado. This was one of six stores selected across the country to host a promo party. I do wish they had incorporated a bit more excitement like the shop in Chicago with their 3 mile fun run and foam pit, but it was a good event regardless. My sales associate, Mike, was incredibly helpful. He measured my feet, utilized a foot pressure plate to determine the pressure points in my feet, fit me for athletic inserts, and although he recommended the new Fresh Foam 980, he also recommended a few other models as well.
I didn’t realize before, and this could simply be a major lapse in my understanding (so forgive me if this is common knowledge), but New Balance was founded in 1906 and originally provided arch support products to police men, fire men, and laborers. This explains why a major element of their brand is consideration of pressure points, arch support and examining the effects of a body in motion. They didn’t actually release their first running shoe until 1938.
I had always poked fun at my hubby for wearing the old school New Balance shoes. They are, after all, very collegiate, and here we are approaching 30. But for an athletic shoe, I will never scoff again. I love the spaciousness of the toe box, the comfort around the heel and the lightness of the shoe. I crave a shoe that is simultaneously sturdy and lightweight, and New Balance delivers.
After testing out the Fresh Foam 980, I am sold. Given the 4 millimeter drop from the heel to toe, it takes some of the work out of running. I know that sounds highly counterintuitive and lazy on my part, but it allows you the freedom to not have to think about your feet whilst running, and keeps your feet closer to the ground. It’s a more natural stance, and that’s a great and ingenious improvement. I was also personally looking for a shoe that could withstand many miles without feeling weighty. This shoe performs. The foam is light, but shock absorbent and durable. Of course only time will tell how the shoe wears, but I have high hopes.
The event wouldn’t be complete without a little swag, so after loading up with new socks, a running shirt, and the most glorious athletic pullover (um, hello, a zip up with a hood that has a hole for your pony tail!!), I got a free NB string backpack (can’t wait to use it for my Zumba class!), t-shirt (which actually came in size small, halleluiah), a beaker (it is the science of running, after all, although I did have to ask the significance), and a #Freshfoam marshmallow (Hahahaha! Oh, punny!). Overall, I was pleased with the event, the product, and the freebies! I’ll be going back this weekend to get the hubs a new pair. He probably never thought I would be taking him to the New Balance store, especially with such excitement.