With the use of newly developed 3-D printing systems, New Balance has gone to a different level of technology and design to give customers a feel like no other.
Beginning Wednesday, Feb. 12, the store will present the Fresh Foam 980. This new shoe is available in ladies' and men's sizes and widths for $109.99 at the New Balance of Chattanooga location, where each customer has a full "sit and fit" experience.
Weighing in at approximately 8.5 ounces for men and 7 ounces for ladies, this shoe truly takes on a new level of lightweight cushioning. Fresh Foam brings a solution to this once-thought-of-dream of a natural yet plush feel through a combination of amazing cushioning and a reduced drop, or the stack height of the heel versus the forefoot. A 16-millimeter heel and 12-millimeter forefoot in this instance give the shoe a 4-millimeter drop, which falls in line with the new trend, according to New Balance of Chattanooga owner Hal Kearney.
More and more of the designs are going to lower drops," he said. "People seeking a more natural underfoot feel often sacrificed cushioning and softness, but this design enables the customer to get that feel but on a super-soft base. It's truly a feeling of marshmallows under your feet."
By having the smarts of a human designer mixed with cutting-edge software, New Balance designers know exactly where to remove and add to the midsole sidewall. This - finally - allows for the release needed for cushioning and the integrity needed for stability, all in a lower-tothe-ground model.
The hexagonal pattern of the midsole in this shoe is also an intriguing design element highlighted with a unique spray paint finish.
"The designers gave the shoe a full-blown rubber outsole with a lateral carbon piece in areas of high wear to ensure lightweight but durable traction," Kearney explained. "A simple, techy and thought-out no-sew upper uses overlays only where necessary, in conjunction with a breathable airmesh package, to wrap the foot in all the right places."
This is innovation at its highest level, and in the New Balance world, it is dubbed "runnovation."
"Follow us on Facebook for our random deals," Kearney encouraged customers. "I always find an odd size or come up with spur of the moment deals on something, and I've had some crazy offers that our followers have gotten lucky on."
Customers can also sign up for the store's email newsletter, which will soon be the only way to receive special offers and invitations to private anniversary sales events.
New Balance of Chattanooga is located at 1820 Gunbarrel Road, Suite 300 in the Gunbarrel Point Shopping Center near Target, and is privately owned by Hal Kearney and his wife, Angela, both board-certified pedorthists. Store hours are Monday-Thursday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 12:30-5 p.m. Find "New Balance of Chattanooga" on Facebook to view available styles.