Danny Abshire has the newbie runner in mind.
The running coach and co-founder of Newton Running designed an entry-level shoe that aims to introduce consumers to the Boulder, Colo.-based brand. The Energy style debuts for $119 at specialty shops and online in July.
“I look at all of our shoes the same way, ever since I designed the first shoe in 2007,” Abshire said. “For me, this project is another stepping stone for us to have more people running in our shoes.”
Abshire is optimistic the new addition to the line will appeal to runners who’ve been apprehensive to try Newton’s unconventional-looking sneakers.
“A lot of people say our performance shoes are different, to the point where they’re afraid to try them out,” he said. “This shoe is more familiar to what a traditional running shoe looks like, but with a Newton ride.”
Here, Abshire talks creating the Energy and what’s next for Newton Running.
1. What was the concept behind bringing this shoe to market?
DA: There were a couple of things we were noticing. There was some apprehension from customers to adapt to the technology, and our price point was also a stumbling block. So we looked at this project as a gateway shoe for us. We wanted to bring in a shoe at a lower price point that could still draw current Newton users who want a softer ride. It’s a little bit more multipurpose than our performance shoes and gives consumers more choices, in price and performance. With those two components, it’s a less-intimidating offering than some of our other shoes.
2. Aside from a lower price point than the main collection, how is this shoe different from others in the Newton line?
DA: There are so many types of runners. We made the Energy more of a neutral shoe with a wide midfoot and forefoot platform. Our performance shoes have membrane technology, which allows for greater movement and shock absorbency. This shoe has more ground absorbency technology. The lugs are going to move on ground contact into a chamber that’s filled with polyurethane foam, which doesn’t compress like regular EVA, so you get a little bit of a softer ride. It’s very light and peppy. We tried to put in all the great characteristics of the performance shoes, [but make them] more user-friendly.
3. Looking ahead, what are some other opportunities you see for Newton from a design perspective?
DA: We’re working on a lot of future stuff. With new President Craig [Heisner] on board, my job now is to coordinate products and technology. We just patented two new ideas recently for upcoming product. We have some really exciting stuff coming out next year that revolves around perfecting our manufacturing process and going to a five-lug performance technology.