Danish brand ECCO announced the launch of The Better Running Initiative, an ongoing global program through which runners participate in experiments, provide feedback and share ideas that will lead to the brand’s first user-generated shoe.
Hosted in the virtual Better Running Lab, the exclusive community currently boasts more than 100 active members, including journalists, professional athletes, industry insiders and brand ambassadors, as well as other men and women who share a passion for running. Each member has received a complimentary pair of the acclaimed BIOM EVO RACER model and is participating in experiments suggested by ECCO. Their observations will be incorporated into upcoming collections, with the goal of developing a user-generated model for Spring/Summer 2015.
“We’re getting tremendously valuable information from athletes with different running styles and performance levels,” says Alexander Nicolai, Head of Sports Business Unit at ECCO. “Because we own the entire shoemaking process, we have the flexibility to respond to their comments in the Lab on everything from the material choices to the design, structure and assembly process.”
Initially invite-only, the Better Running Lab will be expanded in coming months, with applications accepted via the “Sign Up” button at http://betterrunning.ecco.com. Testing covers a wide range of key areas, such as how comfort, fit and flexibility impact performance.
Launched for Spring/Summer 2013, the ultra-light BIOM EVO RACER weighs approximately 240 grams / 8.5 ounces (men’s textile, size 41). Crafted to encourage a smoother stride and powerful push off, it helps athletes run farther and more efficiently. Additional features include a naturally-shaped last, low-to-the-ground platform, glove-like second skin fit and bio-mimicking anatomical support.