This industry is a funny one. I'm sitting in a lonely hotel room in Minneapolis right now getting ready to peddle my wares and show off some jackets, t-shirts and trail running shoes tomorrow. Customers on the "outside" won't see these products until next year at the earliest.
Pete and I get absurdly excited about seeing the new shoes in the Montrail line. Pete has good reason since he runs, but I don't even run that much. I just like seeing new shoes/innovation. It's really interesting to me for some reason.
Take the Team 5.10 shoe that debuted last year from Five Ten. They did a magnificent job on the shoe itself, not even mentioning the launch. Brian, Remo and I all got to see a pair of prototypes that Nic had early last year. Along with Paul Robinson being photographed in them the shoes started receiving more and more attention as the summer progressed. It was fun to watch.
First Brian posted pics of Nic in the shoes, then a couple days later, he promptly blurred the shoes out of the pictures which created quite the hullabaloo. Fun to watch.
Pretty soon rumors started swirling and people started getting excited for the shoe. It so resembled the old V10 that many climbers wanted pairs sight unseen.
I was lucky enough to see a finished sample in the beginning of July at a trade show. What I saw was nearly perfect. The toe rubber was finally dialed in and fit seemed to be close to perfect. (Oddly enough take a look at the link here. I was lucky enough to see an early prototype of the Lace Up Projects last summer at the same show. Very promising and something I hope to see soon.)
To this day the only thing I'd change would be the pull tabs. Switch them out for the Dragon pull tabs and they'd be perfect. They're a very impressive piece of workmanship.
As it stands Five Ten had a very successful launch of the shoe and it's the only shoe I've bought for a second time in many years. Thanks Five Ten.
On a separate note it seems some other companies have taken notice in the trail running category. Merrell, Inov-8, Salomon and Montrail have all had mini "leaks" of their own in the last couple of weeks for Spring 2011. They all seem to be taking a hint from Five Ten in the great book of "How to build hype".
What can I say, I'm a sucker for a good shoe. Hopefully I get to climb a bit this week. Sounds promising.
Also!!! CONGRATS TO NIC!!!! For those that don't know he got engaged this past weekend. VERY happy for him! CANNOT BELIEVE SHE PUTS UP WITH YOU!!!! Have fun in Swizzy!
5 months ago