Colin and Eric, our Green Bay store manager and assistant store manager, had the opportunity to travel to Boston, Massachusetts and visit Saucony Headquarters this past week.
See Colin’s experience HERE
From March 23rd to March 25th, the Green Bay store manager and I had the opportunity to fly out to Boston to Saucony’s headquarters and get a first-hand look at how Saucony develops their running line and the philosophy behind it.
The focus of Saucony philosophy is truly centered around the runner. This is evident as you look toward the back of their facilities at their Innovation Lab. The lab houses a $100,000 treadmill (not a typo!) that the shoe engineers use to test all of the Saucony product as well as competitors product. This treadmill is unlike your typical personal treadmill and is meant to mimic the environment that a runner would experience running outside. Rather than be softer and forgiving like most treadmills, the lab treadmill delivers a firmer, road-like feel.
Surrounding the treadmill is more than a dozen cameras, sensors, and lights that the engineers use to go one step further in the gait analysis and analyze every aspect of the running motion. I was fortunate enough to experience this first hand and had my gait analyzed. Luckily the fears were dispelled and I do have “normal” gait. Interestingly enough running on this treadmill for a long period of time actually seemed tolerable; it only took $100,000 worth technology to get to that point.
While at HQ we were able to meet a plethora of other running store managers and as you can imagine, many discussions were centered on shoes. It was spectacular! One of the coolest experiences of the entire trip was being able to design our own shoe. They gave a blank Kinvara 5 and then allowed us to pick whatever color scheme we wanted for the shoe.
As you can see by the image I opted for the patriotic red, white, and blue. Colin, the manager, opted for a more Halloween/silver-gold/I-don’t-really-know-what-he-was-aiming-for blend. The shoes should be shipping out in about 6 weeks and next time you stop into the store ask to see them and we would love to show you how they turned out.
Overall it was a jam packed few days full of running, discussions, and education. It was a truly eye opening experience seeing all the technology, design, and hard work that goes into designing the shoes that line our store’s walls. I relish these opportunities that we get to increase our knowledge which in turn makes the service and experience that we provide to our customers that much better.