OUR STORY OF STARTING
You may be surprised to know that we have some of the smartest running technical footwear minds in the world, right here in South Africa. Why wouldn’t we? We have a deep bedded culture for ultra distance running, it’s our thing.
Our story starts in 2020, level 5 lockdown. A time of tremendous uncertainty, with an abundance of free time for reflection. That reflection led us to the basics of running: Running is the sport of the people.
Everyone can run. Running is the starting point to all things better. A moment to clear your mind, to finish and turn your life to a new direction. Running is to Pivot & Run.
To build a running shoe for the South African People, from feedback by the South African people, and to develop a product matches or exceeds the performance of competing brand, at a price point that matches exceptional value for exceptional running performance.
IDENTIFY THE SHOE
Embedded in our running DNA is desire to run Ultra Marathon’s. It’s what we do down here in South Africa. We wanted our story to being with a shoe that gets you started, and helps you reach your ultimate goal.
Neutral: The vast majority of South African runners purchase a Neutral running shoe, it made sense for us to start to build a product on a neutral platform.
8mm Heel-To-Toe drop: By developing an 8mm Heel-To-Toe Drop, this configuration on a running shoe by dedicated runners is the most popular in sales to our market. We believe it is more likely to accommodate the requirements of beginner runners as well as experienced long distances runners by placing less pressure on the lower legs, when running form has yet to be perfected (beginner runner), or when form is being compromised due to fatigue on long distance runners (experienced runners). The 8mm drop was also paramount to our philosophy of motion. It allowed us in development to deploy our Pivot Axis system to propel you forward.
Strong Cushioned: In conjunction with our proprietary developed Haem Float midsole, we wanted Forge V1 to have a strong dosage of midsole power. This would serve the purpose of:
1. Maintaining the structure of the shoe to allow for long distance running
2. Enhancing comfort under foot to allow for longer distance running
3. Higher level of energy return and bounce.
Sourcing materials and compounds during a period of restricted travel was challenging. It added considerable delays, compounded further by the global supply disruptions with shipping lines and manufacturing. However, we were not deterred as we focused our core design philosophy on:
1. OWYN philosophy (Only What You Need),
2. Precision fit.
By removing unnecessary overlays on the upper that serve little or no purpose to the performance of your run (apart from adding bells and whistles to a shoe) we are able to:
1. Reduce the amount of plastic waste and plastic components in the development of the shoe.
2. Reduce the weight of the shoe to allow you to run longer with more comfort
3. Reduce the cost of the shoe
1. Develop a shoe with enough room in the toe box to accommodate for foot swell on the longer runs, and ensure enough foam padding and structural design from the mid foot to heel to allow for no-slippage.
2. Development of Feedback Loop to gather data and amend construction for further sample development
FORGE V1 - BORN READY
After 17 variations for rigorous testing and sample design upgrades, our first product is born. We named it Forge because we believe it speaks to the brand story of Pivot & Run, and it speaks about a starting point in our journey, and many South Africans journey, when there is nothing left to do, but to FORGE ahead.
We hope you enjoy this product as much as we have enjoyed building it.
FUTURE DEVELOPMENT: QUPHORIA
In continuing our drive to build a running shoe for the people, our 5mm, lower stacked, Pebax powered QUPHORIA is currently in sample testing phase with a tentative release date of June 2022.