“Badwater 135”, widely recognized as the world’s toughest footrace, takes place from July 11 to 13, 2022.
For the 45th time, 100 international ultra-top athletes will take on the challenge of completing the 217-kilometer (135-mile) course from Badwater Basin in Death Valley to 2,530-meter Mount Whitney – in the heat of summer with temperatures of around 50 degrees Celsius in the air and 80 degrees Celsius on the ground.
This year’s official shoe outfitter is Joe Nimble. The Swabian pioneer of toefreedom is providing the runners with its latest shoe model, “Ultreya,” which has launched in spring 2022. A total of 80 of the 100 invitational runners have requested the shoe to prepare for the race. Founder Sebastian Bär knows exactly what he’s getting into. “As crew captain, I have experienced the rigours of this race twice and have seen the ordeals runners put themselves through with their conventional shoes,” said the entrepreneur.
Bär, who is a passionate runner himself, observed how participants wore out between eight and 12 pairs of running shoes on average during the race and cut open the toe caps of their conventional shoes to provide more space for their toes and to prevent injuries. Runners who wore his shoes, on the other hand, only needed one pair from start to finish, and their feet were spared blisters and other injuries.
For the manufacturer, this has been the confirmation of its thesis that the core weak point of all modern running shoes is the symmetrical last shape. “It forces the foot into an unnatural, pointed shape and thus restricts the toes in their natural function,” said Bär. “For runners, he says, this is a problem especially in the push-off and propulsive phase. The big toe is thus unable to perform its natural anchoring and stabilizing function, results in pain and injury. “That’s why we’ve used our four decades of expertise to translate the principle of toefreedom and pain-free running into an innovative running shoe.”
Joe Nimble’s latest shoe model, the “Ultreya,” is specifically designed to meet the needs of serious runners whose worst-case scenario is not being able to run due to injury or pain. The innovative shoe model combines the toefreedom-philosophy with a state-of-the-art energy-return midsole and a sophisticated outsole design that provides excellent grip and low abrasion, especially during long road runs on asphalt. With two different densities, the nmblFoam midsole technology ensures a cushioned landing and a stable base in the central push-off phase. The flared heel design particularly cushions the impact on asphalt and compensates for the fat pad under the heel, which is often strongly reduced on runners feet and recedes with age and running kilometers.
“We are deliberately not just a sponsor of the Badwater 135, but an outfitter,” said Sebastian Bär. “Because this way we can prove that our philosophy of toefreedom and the transfer to our new flagship Ultreya is not just a marketing promise, but really works under the most extreme conditions.” At the same time, the race also fits Joe Nimble’s current claim: “Running Above Reason” “The fact that someone runs 217 kilometres through Death Valley in 50 degree heat really seems completely crazy to non-runners,” said Sebastian Bär. Joe Nimble, however, feels motivated by it. “We’re not accepting the status quo of the industry, we’re pushing the boundaries for the sake of runners who want to fulfill their sport pain-free for lifetime,” says the founder.
Tags: Marathon, Badwater, JoeNimble,