Just read a post by Damien at the Adventure in Progress blog regarding a new line of minimalist running shoes that GoLite Footwear will be introducing this Fall. I haven’t ahd much luck finding images of shoes that will be featured in this line, but I’ve pulled together some information from a few GoLite press releases, which I’ve compiled below.
The new shoes will feature what GoLite is calling “BareTech Technology” – here’s how GoLite decribes BareTech:
“BareTech combines GoLite Footwear’s patent-pending Soft Against the Ground Technology with a completely neutral last (no heel lift whatsoever), so that the heel is on the same plane as the metatarsals, as nature intended. The aggressively contoured design of the last spreads pressure evenly across the bottom of the foot, eliminating the need for fat midsoles. The undercut heel delays footstrike, reducing “foot flap” and instability.”
Some of the BareTech features according the GoLite press release include:
• Completely neutral last (apparently 11mm under heel, 11mm under ball of the foot)
• No heel lift
• Undercut heel
• Anatomically correct last reflects foot shape
• Roomy toe box for metatarsals
• Soft Against the Ground Technology for comfort, stability and shock attenuation
• EVA Paw Pad™ soles reduce weight, increase durability and provide engineered traction
• TPE cages provide lightweight support, structure and protection
Here are some details on at least 3 shoes that will be incorporating GoLite BareTech Technology as described in another GoLite Press Release:
GoLite Flash Lite – Designed to visually reflect the ligaments and tendons in the foot, the significantly minimal Flash Lite is the barefoot runner’s dream: all the benefits of barefoot, but with superior traction, protection and stability. You’ll expend less energy, and reduce wear and tear on your joints.
GoLite Amp Lite – Everything you need in a distance trail runner: performance, lightweight and protection and durability. The Amp Lite upper also features a TPE saddle that secures your foot in place even on the harshest terrain.
GoLite Micro Lite – Built on a women’s specific last and geometrically posted 3mm to accommodate the wider hip/height ratio of women, and align feet, ankles and hips, the Micro Lite combines all the features of the men’s Trail Runners with the fit of a women’s glove.
Below is a video demonstrating GoLite’s “soft against the ground” technology, which basically inverts normal shoe design so that the foot rests upon a more rigid surface, with the softer cushioning place in contact with the ground:
Like a lot of shoes that have been announced lately, it’s hard to say how these shoes will perform until people actually start to get their feet on them. Lots of manufacturers are jumping on the minimalist bandwagon, each with their own form of “barefoot technology,” and in time we’ll begin to find out which meet the actual needs of minimalist runners, and which are merely gimmicks. Regardless, it’s nice to see manufacturers responding to demand with new technology and innovation (even if some are merely jumping on the bandwagon with more marketing than substance), and greater variety in shoe choice can only be a good thing as we continue a movement away from the “one-heel-fits-all” style of shoe that we have all become so accustomed and adapted to. Kudos to GoLite for jumping into the ring, and I look forward to seeing more about these shoes in the near future.