Hey guys! So let’s get back to where we left off this morning with my recap of Reebok. You’ve already read Part 1, so now let’s wrap up with Part 2. It’s a long post, but I promise…you’re going to want to stick around for the end!
Once we finished our CrossFit workout, we headed back to our “home base” and got ready to learn a little bit more about some of the various Reebok sneakers that are currently out on the market, as well as a few different pairs that should be hitting stores this coming summer.
Our presentation was led by Kate Young, U.S. Women’s Merchandising Manager, who I found to be very well-versed in not only her knowledge of the products themselves, but also the ‘how and why’ of the various sneakers based on different foot types.
If you’re unsure of what your foot type is, Kate told us a super-simple trick: place your foot in a bucket of water then step onto a piece of newspaper to see what kind of a foot print you leave. Based on that, you would want to pair your own footprint with one of the ones shown below, and look for those keywords when investing in a pair of sneakers (i.e., stable, flexible, etc.).
One of the questions that I had for Kate during the presentation was about those of us who may have different running styles. For example, I’m in the minority of those who tend to run on their toes (my mom blames my 18+ years of dancing), so I was curious whether or not there were certain shoes that would be better for me than others.
Kate explained that for people who run on their toes (aka, their forefoot) a low drop shoe, such as their RealFlex Optimal would be best; it’s similar to a minimalist shoe, but with more cushion. I didn’t have a chance to try that particular pair on, but I’m glad to know!
For most people, however, Kate explained that the RealFlex Transition (shown below) is their best-selling, multifunctional shoe.
This shoe is ideal for overall fitness, and best for the type of exerciser who likes to switch back and forth from some plyometrics, to some some HIIT, to perhaps running 3-4 miles.
The RealFlex technology helps promote natural movement of the foot, and the “nodes” are designed to help the feet move and flex.
In addition to the RealFlex Transition, we were also given a pair of their ZigNano Fly 2 sneakers, which are a lightweight, multifunctional running shoe.
They have a “wave-like” sole, which Kate told us is to help propel you forward as you run…almost the way you’d think of a slinky moving.
I have yet to try these out yet, but I’m definitely excited to give ‘em a go.
After we finished our session, it was time for some lunch!
I took a piece of a grilled chicken sandwich and made a side salad topped with mixed veggies, a few chicken slices, and a slice of roast beef. All of it was delicious…especially that sugar cookie you see up there in the corner.
Once we finished with lunch, it was time to continue on with our tour of the facility and head into the Human Performance Engineering Lab. Sounds pretty fancy, right?
We first met with Bill McInnis, the head of Reebok Advanced Innovations. Bill actually used to work for NASA, so I found it pretty incredible that a former rocket scientist is working at designing all of Reebok’s footwear.
Bill gave us a thorough presentation on the various steps it takes for a sneaker to make it from design to store. We also learned that Reebok gets a select group of runners to log about 200-300 miles on each of the various Reebok “trial” shoes and has them share their thoughts with the employees.
It was pretty cool to see some of the different pairs that didn’t “make the cut” for one reason or another.
Reebok definitely doesn’t fool around when designing their shoes, and each and every detail gets equal attention.
Next, we got a chance to meet with Paul Bates, head of the CAD department. He showed us a 3D representation of the shoes before they go to “print.”
Then, we were able to see some of their 3D printers at work.
These machines were serious business…and would you believe that that creepy looking head on top of the printer was actually made with that printer? Soooo creepy!
We also learned a bit about Reebok’s new “U-Form” technology. The “U-Form” is a heat activated, custom-fit technology built into the lining of some of their newer shoes. When a consumer buys a pair of shoes with the U-Form technology, he/she uses a hair dryer to heat the shoes for two minutes. This causes the shoes to soften, so when he/she puts the shoes back on and allows it a few minutes to harden, you end up with a pair of shoes that are perfectly molded to your feet. So, so cool!
Almost as cool as these snazzy glasses we had to wear.
Hey, safety first!
After our tour was complete, it was time to head to our last event for the day: a Cardio Dance workout led by Ilyse Baker. Reebok actually flew Ilyse in all the way from California just to teach our class, so I felt like I better whip out my best dance moves…errr, at least try to.
When we first started, I honestly didn’t know what to think of the class; I’ve taken a few dance-like classes before, and I haven’t loved them. But I also danced for 18 years of my life, so I’m familiar with the continuous choreography too.
picture courtesy of Tina
Well, the energy that Ilyse gave off was so captivating, that I found myself bustin’ a move like it was nobody’s business, and I’m pretty sure I left the class being the sweatiest. (You can also watch our dance moves HERE!)
Great workout = awesome…having to travel back home without showering = not so awesome. Sorry, Cat.
So finally, I have one last exciting thing to share about my day at Reebok. During the afternoon session that I mentioned above, we also had a few opportunities to “test our listening skills” and try to earn some prizes. Well, as it turns out, my listening and note-taking skills paid off, because I wound up winning one of the prizes:
A gift card to create a custom pair of Reebok shoes!
I’ve actually already decided that since I’ve been lucky enough to have gotten a couple pairs of Reebok sneakers, I really don’t need another pair, so I’m going to give my gift card to Jay, who really does need a new pair (yup, so if you’re just reading Jay, surprise!).
But you guys want to know the coolest part?
I didn’t just win ONE gift card…
I won TWO gift cards…which means I have one to give away to one of YOU!
One lucky winner will receive a gift card to create a custom pair of Reebok shoes!
To enter, simply leave a comment on this post telling me which shoes you would want to design for yourself and why (you can check out the site HERE).
***THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.**
***THE WINNING ENTRY WAS COMMENT #606 – Alex!***
Alex, please email me at sweettoothcourtney[@]gmail[.]com so I know where to send you your new gift card!
THANK YOU TO ALL WHO ENTERED!