ECCO – BIOM That!
Kathleen and I had the pleasure to hang out with the staff at ECCO this week at “The Running Event”. ECCO is known throughout the world for there casual, business and adventure shoe lines. Now they are now making strides into the running market.
ECCO began as one man’s passion to create a shoe line that would become known throughout Europe for quality and craftsmanship. In 1963, Karl Toosbuy took over an empty factory in the small rural town of Bredebro, Denmark and began production of ladies’ fashion shoes under the name of Venus.
In 1969 the company changed it’s name to ECCO and the rest is history.
Over the past 48+ years, ECCO have persistently explored ways to make their shoes lighter, more flexible, and stronger. To accomplish this they combine traditional handcrafting methods with leading technologies.
Currently they employ a method called Direct Injection (DIP). This allows them to create shoes that fit closer and more accurately. It also helps them in enhancing a shoe’s ability to match the natural movement of the foot.
Recently they have introduced a concept called ECCO BIOM. Think of it as a happy medium between the minimalist running shoe and the traditional cushioning, motion control and stability shoes that are found just about anywhere.
The 2012 running shoes are broken down into 3 categories.
Minimally cushioned for highly trained runners (4 minute/km or faster). This is the shoe that champion triathlete Rasmus Henning trains and competes in. Benefits include increased running efficiency and strengthening of the feet and lower legs.
The BIOM B is for runners who are ambitious and well trained. These ambitious runners get only a little support from the shoes and the flexibility trains their foot and lower muscles.
The BIOM C is made for casual runners who need a little more support and protection without limiting the natural motion of the foot. The flexible, anatomical construction offers enough protection for hard surfaces and provides a natural running experience.
ECCO Running 2013
In the Spring of 2013, ECCO is going to release their redesigned BIOM collection. The BIOM “A”, “B”, and “C” will be phased out and replaced with even better running shoes. ECCO’s fast racing shoe out of the door will be the exciting BIOM EVO Racer.
ECCO has some really cool tricks up their sleeve for 2013. Starting in February, they are going to introduce the BIOM EVO Racer which is a lightweight minimalist running shoe that provides anatomical support to help guide the foot to its optimal natural stride. By creating an anatomical detailed last and integrating their BIOM Fit Frame, ECCO has created an extremely close athletic fit.
The stack height of this new shoe will be 19mm in the heel and 14mm in the toe, giving it a 5mm drop. The shoe will include polyurethane, which is much denser than EVA, giving the shoe plenty of cushion, but lasting much longer.
They have also created a more flexible PU sole material, which results in a more comfortable ride. The shoe should come in around 220 gram (size 41) for a very light racing shoe.
ECCO’s philosophy is that the whole concept of motion control in running inherently prevents the body from performing optimally and doesn’t allow the foot’s natural biomechanics to take over. There is a reason why motion control hasn’t produced the desired results and reduced running related injuries. In fact, many injuries runners experience today are directly attributed to shoes that prevent natural running.
ECCO also employs various materials in their running shoe line including leather. One of the more exotic materials comes from the yak, a Himalayan pack animal, similar in many ways to cattle. They are used for milk, meat and their hide. The problem with yak hides is they are very hard to work with. As a result, most companies opt for easier leather sources including cow, sheep, and kangaroo.
ECCO is just one of those companies that you will fall in love with, from interacting with the people who work there, to how they run their business. I like to think of them as being green before green was cool. They also have a way about them that just makes you smile. It is something that is often missing here in the US. Real pride in craftsmanship that shows, yet an absolutely humble attitude.
We will be showcasing their running line in the future, so what our website for more articles on ECCO.
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