The running shoe world is dominated by a few main brands. And they are great for lots of reasons. But real innovation and creativity comes from new voices and new ways of doing business. That’s why I’m happy to write about my experience with Relance, a French running brand that is using Kickstarter to get…well, started.
Pulling the shoes out of the box, I would have known these shoes were from France without a single glance at the website. The colors reflected those on their national flag. And the symbol on the back reflected the shape of the country. Thanks to some extra research, I learned that a nickname for France is “the hexagone” for the basic shape of the country’s borders. From the website I learned that all of the materials and the manufacturing process are from France. Clearly this shoe is a symbol of love for the creators’ country.
Finally a brand that tells a different story closer to the runners’ concerns. A brand created by shoes’ lovers for shoes’ lovers and, on top of that, with “Ze French Touch!”. Lightness, solidity, great cushioning and support are there. And, to not spoil anything, a style that rocks!
Initial impressions from running and walking in the shoes was they felt more like basketball shoes than my experience with other brands. They feel very sturdy, supported my ankles well, and are clearly made to last. When so many shoes are aiming for lighter and minimal, it was a different experience to have a shoe that felt more protective. I can easily imagine using these as part of my running rotation to strengthen different parts of my stride and give my arches a break.
Relance is over their Kickstarter goal, so the first shoes will be heading to the public in December 2021. Their timeline hopes for new models and distribution into stores in 2022. If you buy online now, you may still score a pair for 20 Euros off the future 130 Euro price.