Friday, December 17, 2010

Good By

Those that know me well know I'm never satisfied with the work I do. It's the constant desire to improve. Each time I see a project, a presentation or a shoe after completion I see things I can do better. For shoes that goes back way before I moved to this side of the industry. The millions of shoes I bought or had influence on were never 100% right. It's just how I'm wired. The great thing I hope is that I don't hold that value to anyone else.

When we hand out shoes for wear testing I have a specific rule. Don't ever tell me you love the shoe. Tell me when you hate it. The only way we can improve is to get our wear testers to understand that we are not looking for the good stuff. We already know what that is. We are looking for the problems.

Which brings me to the Zoot Ultra Ovwa. The brief for this, sorry Asics, be the Noosa killer. That was basically it. What we received in design was a great start. After over a year of development and roughly 2 months from launch I'm breaking a rule. I'm actually blown away by this shoe. I don't usually find a shoe I want to run in again and again and again. This is one I want to. Before my adidas and Zoot jobs I always ran in many, many shoes but kept two shoes on the side that I needed for those energy boosting runs. The Nike Zoom Elite and the Asics DS Trainer. Since moving to this side of the industry I really haven't had a shoe I kept running in. Sure there were good shoes but not shoes I'd consider my go to shoe. So I found that shoe this fall in the Ovwa but just because I like it mean's nothing. Others have to give me that same feedback. Recently we handed out all sizes of all our shoes for wear testing. I'm looking for the problems of course but I'm also somewhat hopeful that this shoe is as good as I think. Then it came. The Athlete who I trust to tell me when something sucks "Dave, This is the best Zoot shoe ever". The Apparel Designer who ran her first marathon last June, sent me a text me on a Saturday "Ultra Ovwa, awesome, awesome!"

Some Detail
Category - Stability
Midsole Heights: 19mm heel, 9mm forefoot
Weight: less than 9 oz
The best running shoes in the world have great Balance. The only way you know is to run in them and feel it. Because I do this for a living I can do some things at my desk that can show me great balance. Often times if you tell me a shoe sucks I can put it on a desk and find the problem you are feeling. It's a gift that doesn't really do me much good because I can't do that with my own life. But I can see it in a shoe and this shoe has it and I know why but I'm not giving that secret away.

I humbly suggest when you are out looking for a new shoe for 2011 that makes you feel fast, give this shoe a chance. You won't be sorry. Available in March.

It's a good life....


Zachariah said...

How does it compare to the TT 3.0? Looks the same and seems to have similar slope and weight.

What I've noticed on the soles lately is they are getting wider. Too much excess material for some type of stability. That extra material is hacking away at the inside of my ankles and calves. I really want the same bottom of the Race 2.0 with the EVA material and the top of the Kalani. With a 15 heel and 5 toe. A hybrid of the Race 2.0 and Ultra Speed.

I still love Zoot.

Dave Jewell said...

The Ovwa is the same profile as the Race 19mm heel 9mm forefoot. The difference is it has a stability post under the arch and does not have the higher heel with the finger loop.
That's an interesting comment on the sole being wider and hacking away at your calf. I'll certainly take that into consideration. You must have some good sized calfs.