Subscribe Subscribe | Subscribe Comments RSS
running biking athletics training swimming exercise

Archives for the day Friday, June 1st, 2012

The competitive world of running shoes and products can overwhelm athletes looking for the right product to pick. Alameda Runners recently caught up with Christina Bracken,ZEMgearco-founder, and she answered a few questions we had.

Alameda Runners first mentioned something about ZEMgear last year, and the company continues to expand its product line.

ZEMgear is in a suddenly crowded market of minimalist footwear, but runners have three basic reasons to choose ZEMgear over the competition, according to Bracken: Fit flexibility, price, and aesthetics.

“ZEMs are easy-in and easy out, and include 4-way stretch uppers accommodate almost any foot shape: longer toes, wider feet, onset of bunion, higher instep – our patterns can hold pretty much any foot shape,” Alameda Runners learned from Bracken. “ZEMs are considerably less expensive that most other brands while offering high-grade, professional performance.”

To help bring new attention to the company, ZEMgear recently began offering products at REI retail stores and through the REI website.

“REI is a leader in the Outdoor world of footwear and gear. Many customers see REI as an ‘authenticator’ for a brand – especially a newly arrived brand in an emerging category. REI found and identified ZEMgear at the January 2011 Outdoor Retailer show in Salt Lake City when we also won our 3M IN-NEW-VATION award for being the most innovative new footwear brand at the show.”

Indeed, even if you only go to your local REI store for ideas on new products you can buy online – for a lower price – you’re guaranteed to not fight junk in the store. Any product sold in REI is a victory, especially if you’re a smaller company looking for more exposure to athletes.

Trying to switch from traditional running shoes to minimalist footwear has caused some runners to suffer major injury. Similar to building base miles when starting out, runners should take their time before making the transition.

“Moderation is key: as with any new endeavor it is necessary to ease into minimal activities with care and with caution. It is not difficult or complicated – but no one would suggest to go to the gym for 3 hours the first time you decide to exercise. If you had worn gloves for the last 20 years you would never think of chopping wood or digging in the dirt with bare hands.”

The rest of the interview available after the jump: