Fashion & Footwear May 23rd, 2016

Meet Ralph, The Golden Shoe

Runners unite! Zappos continues to bring Brooks shoes, one of our most popular running brands, to your doorstep, and we’ve got the golden shoe to prove it.

The Golden Gift

Brooks gifted Zappos a giant, nearly 6-foot long golden running shoe currently displayed smack-dab in the middle of Zappos’ lobby. Made of 100 lbs. of foam, the golden shoe is an exact replica of the Brooks Transcend, which made its debut in August 2013.

In the dictionary of names Ralph means loyal and strong, so I think I’ll name it that. Since 1914, Brooks has been loyal to the running game and a strong contender in running technology. So, one could truly say Ralph’s got the perfect touch!

Julianne Catoggio, a running, cycling and triathlete buyer for our merchandising department works closely with the brand and expressed her enthusiasm for the golden gift. “This is just another example of the amazing partnership we have with Brooks Running. To be offered this for our shoe collection is just fabulous. Not to mention it’s awesome looking!”

After setting my eyes upon this golden Transcend shoe, I must say that I agree.

Employees In Action

In late April, the Zappos Social Team created an employee contest. Which, let’s be honest, is typical Zappos for provoking involvement. But, hey, no complaints here!

Employees took part in the contest by snapping funny photos of themselves with Ralph and uploading them on Instagram and Twitter with the hashtags #Runhappy and #ZapposCulture. Ten winners were then selected and outfitted head to toe by the Brooks brand.

It’s Not Rocket Science

Now, let’s talk a bit about Brooks and their running technology. Brooks takes running pretty seriously, and their shoe technology speaks for itself. They encourage their customers to run with confidence, even in wind, rain, daylight and the dark of night. They’ve equipped their running shoes with 3-D Fit Print, 3-D Hex Lugs, Ballistic Rock Shield, DNA Midsole, Guide Rails, Rounded Heels and Segmented Crash Pads, only to name a few.

I know, I thought footwear technology sounded like rocket science too, but it’s actually pretty simple. Let’s break it down in terms of which style might best complement your needs:

• The 3-D Fit Print maintains the shoe’s structure, increases flexibility and provides a lighter weight due to its screen print technology process. So if you prefer a lighter, more flexible pair of running shoes, consider grabbing the Brooks Glycerin 13.

• If you’re one who runs on unleveled terrain, or maintains their running rituals even in the rain and sleet, then it’s best to look for shoes with the 3-D Hex Lugs and the Ballistic Rock Shield. The Brooks PureGrit 4 satisfies this and more! Because the 3-D Hex Lugs on the outsole of the shoes assist with maximum grip, it tackles slippery pathways like a champ.

• Likewise, the Ballistic Rock Shield, which is wedged between the outsole and midsole, protects the forefoot by spreading the point loads. The DNA Midsole, one of my favorite features from Brooks, allows the cushioned midsole to adapt to the runner’s speed, gait, weight, running surface and force. It even adds a little pep to a runner’s step, which, in my opinion, we could all use every now and then! You can find this feature in most of the brand’s line of shoes, including the Brooks Addiction 12.

• Studies have shown running can cause damage to our joints, knees and hips. That’s why Brooks has built Guide Rails into the midsole of their running shoes, a feature that can be seen and felt in the Brooks Transcend 3. The technology not only assists runners find their signature stride, but it adds that much needed cushioning.

• Lastly, the Segmented Crash Pad is there to absorb any large amount of shock. The crash pad is a great combination with Brooks’ Rounded Heel. A slight curve to the heel reduces the stress on a runner’s body by aligning force through the center of the ankle joint. If you’re one who places a lot of impact on the ankles while running, then placing a pair of the Brooks Ghost 8 on your feet would be a smart choice.

The Best Sellers

So, I know what you’re thinking — “I want to try a pair of Brooks running shoes, but I’m not sure which shoes I should choose.” Well, worry no more! I spoke with Ralph, and he’s given his list of best sellers for both women and men alike.