Sunday, October 28, 2007

The new Zoot shoes - Part 1

Disclaimer: The author is a sponsored athlete of Zoot Sports, and the shoes given to the author are NOT the completed, production models.

As an athlete who demands the best in products and performance, I was excited to hear that Zoot was attempting to the raise the bar in shoe performance, with the first triathlon-specific footwear line. The features of the shoe are definitely advances in the right direction of trying to meet the specific needs of triathletes.

Zoot has determined and focus on 4 big needs they claim triathletes have, and their shoes address:

  1. Sockless wear for quicker transitions
  2. Improved drainage of water from the shoes to reduce weight
  3. Speed of entry for quicker transitions
  4. Biomechanical differences of running off the bike versus running fresh are attempted to be addressed.
This is the first part, in a multi-part assessment of the new Zoot shoes, and how well their new shoes do in accomplishing the goal of the meeting the above 4 needs they claim to address.

I received my shoes a few months ago, and got some really funky designs, but nonetheless functional, and cool. I was given 2 pairs of size 11.5, with an all-white upper, and burnt orange tongue, (think Texas Longhorns). On one pair I decided to experiment a little, and actually traced the Zoot graphic on the outside of the shoe with a black Sharpee marker. (Notice in the photo.)

A few weeks later I received a more official pair, with the logos more clear, and more production-like.

My initial observations:

1. The shoes run about a half-size big. I ordered 11.5's, but it was clear they were a little too big for me. I wear orthotics though, so this may end up being about right.

2. The shoes are fairly comfortable, just walking around. I found no issues of discomfort.

3. The shoes look pretty good, not awkward on my feet.

4. The new lack system is clearly visible with it's differences, and for walking around, almost not even needed, as the shoe itself fits like a sock.

Those are the initial observations, and I have much more to discuss in the coming blog posts, as I will break down each of the 4 aspects of the shoes.

Stay tuned for more...


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