Ok, where did we leave off?
After CrossFit, we all headed back to Reebok Headquarters to learn about some of the sneakers on the market right now as well as some of the new ones, which will debut this coming July. Kate Young, U.S. Women’s Merchandising Manager, led the session.
One of the things that I found particularly interesting during the presentation was the information about foot type and how it can help you select the right shoe.
If you don’t know your foot type, an easy way to find out is to place your foot in water and then step onto a piece of newspaper to see which footprint (on the above slide) most resembles yours. Depending on your foot type, different sneakers will work better for you than others:
- Flat arch: No visible arch, completely flat, tend to overpronate (feet “roll on). Look for shoes that offer “stability” and “motion control.”
- High arch: Disconnected arch, tend to supinate (feet “roll out). Look for shoes that are described as “flexible” or “soft” and offer “cushioning.”
- Normal arch: Most common foot type. Neither flat or high. Look for shoes that are “neutral” and offer “cushioning.”
One of the things Reebok is trying to do with their shoes is make them multifunctional, so consumers can use them during various types of fitness. So, instead of having a pair of sneakers for running and another for group exercise classes, you’d just have one pair that you can use for both. I love this thinking because I’m a minimalist and a cheapskate. One pair of shoes = less space and less money.
Kate recommended the RealFlex Transition as a multifunctional shoe. The RealFlex technology (aka funky “nodes” on the sole) helps promote natural movement of the foot as you workout. These shoes would be perfect for someone who runs 3-4 miles a couple of times a week, but also wants to do other kinds of cross training.
Reebok gave us each a pair of RealFlex Transitions, so I wore them all day at the event and did CrossFit and Cardio Dance in them. I liked the way they felt on my foot because they were lightweight, but sturdy at the same time. They moved with my foot, and my feet didn’t slide around or slip out as I worked out. It was pretty cool that these sneakers transitioned so well between two totally different kinds of exercise.
After the shoe session, we broke for lunch, which was a wonderful spread of sandwiches and salads.
And cookies! The Paleo cookies were especially awesome. I think they were made with almond flour and nuts, but I’m still working on tracking down the recipe. They were so delicious!
I made myself a spinach salad and topped it with roast beef and Parmesan.
After lunch, we headed out for a tour of the lab and facilities where the shoe magic happens. Reebok has some really cool technologies and processes that go into creating a shoe and getting it to the point where it’s approved for sale to consumers.
We first met with Bill McInnis, Head of Reebok Advanced Innovations. He used to work for NASA, so he joked that it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to make sneakers, but Reebok has one making sneakers for them.
One of the coolest things we learned during our tour was about the new “U-Form” technology, which uses a hair dryer to give you a perfect fitting shoe. With U-Form, consumers use a hair dryer to heat the shoes for two minutes, which causes them to soften and mold perfectly to your feet before hardening again. Neat, right?
Once the tour was finished, we got our dance on with a Cardio Dance workout led by Ilyse Baker, who flew in from California just to teach the class.
Ilyse is an amazing instructor and dancer (she’s worked with LeAnn Rimes and Rihanna), and she taught us a hip hop routine that had me sweating buckets by the end. Who knew Cardio Dance was such a workout?!
When the class started, I totally didn’t want to do a dance workout. I feel like such a turd when I dance (unless I’m drunk and then I’m a fabulous dancer), but Ilyse’s energy was so infectious I couldn’t help but smile and get into the routine.
I seriously cannot dance, and I’m a little embarrassed to post this video on my blog, but you can see me bust-a-move on the left side of the frame.
[Video from BexLife]
After the dance class, we gathered up our things and said goodbye. I made sure to snap a photo with my running idol before we left.