Running is ultimately a simple sport. You need a surface to run on and a pair of shoes, that’s about it. Lots of people get into running for this reason exactly, it’s an easy way to work exercise into your everyday routine. Way Running is a Canadian company that’s looking to remind runners of the simplicity of the sport through a clean-silhouette, anti-gimmick, pro-sustainability running shoe.
The company had two main objectives: create a great looking shoe that’s also sustainable. The company’s founders Dmitry Rusakov said the philosophy is simple: “My runners were super comfy, but I wouldn’t be willing to wear them to a restaurant or a meeting. We felt there was an opportunity there just from a design standpoint. And once we started doing more research we realized that sustainability was, at that time, not part of the narrative of any of the established companies.”
The shoe certainly achieves both of these objectives. It’s a great looking shoe, with a simple design, simple colourway and sleek silhouette. This is a shoe that could truly transition from work to workout. From a woman’s perspective, I’d happily wear these shoes with a dress or skirt. They come in black, grey and white.
This shoe is for the everyday runner. Rusakov says, “Getting a little bit technical – this is a neutral stride shoe with an 8mm drop. It’s comfortable, but not highly cushioned. Our goal was to strike a balance between comfort, longevity and material volume.”
This isn’t necessarily your marathon race shoe or your interval trainer, this is a shoe for getting your miles in and enjoying every minute. I thought this shoe would be stiffer, but it was surprised me with how comfortable it was.
How they feel
This shoe is a bit heavier and firmer than most other running shoes on the market. Rusakov mentions that the shoe isn’t highly cushioned and this rings true when you put them on. The upper is minimal and very breathable, as is the rest of the shoe. There’s a significant heel counter (the only thing controlling your foots’ movement as it is a neutral shoe) and they have a conventional lacing system. This shoe runs pretty smoothly and despite the minimal cushioning, the shoe feels protective enough for longer runs. Overall the shoe has great feedback from the road surface and can see these shoes working well on everyday runs and everyday lifestyle wear.
How it’s sustainable
The decision to make a minimal shoe was one born out of aesthetic and sustainable interest. Rusakov says that lots of the waste is a shoe comes from the midsole, and particularly, the foam. “Our midsole is a foam–it’s just using a completely new type of processing. Most foams are thermoset – foaming is done through an exothermic reaction. Our foaming is done mechanically by injecting Nitrogen into the material. This process foams the midsole and also generates a skin around the foam. This makes the foam more pure, where we can melt it down and remake it or recycle it.”
The founders also wanted to ensure that the upper was both functional, stylish and sustainable. The top of the shoe is made of Merino wool with Lyocell fibers which are both natural and avoid the use of plastics. The laces are made from recycled material.
Where you can get it
The shoe launches in beta form this month,October 29 on kickstarter. It’ll become available to the public in spring 2020. If you want to learn more about Way, visit way-running.com.