Ahnu Footwear leads outdoor fitness charge with action-oriented design

Bringing biomechanical innovation to an emerging exercise trend, Ahnu Footwear is leading the charge in outdoor fitness footwear.

ALAMEDA, CALIFORNIA (March 17, 2009) – Bringing biomechanical innovation to an emerging exercise trend, Ahnu Footwear is leading the charge in outdoor fitness footwear.

Founded in 2007 in the Bay Area, Ahnu has always catered to those who prefer trails over treadmills. Growing side-by-side with a rising tide of trail-based conditioning, Ahnu's newest active styles meet the needs of eight specific outdoor fitness categories: hiking, backpacking, off-trail hiking, approach, road running, trail running, fast hiking and trail walking.

“Interest in outdoor fitness is surging partially as a result of an overall desire for simplicity, and partially as a result of people looking to simply cut the fat out of the budget,” said Jim Van Dine, president of Ahnu Footwear. “In both cases, our goal is to create real performance and value for real people.”

To create a line with both consistency and activity-specific performance attributes, Ahnu turned to footwear biomechanics expert Spencer White of PlayOn Technologies, LLC.

Taking into account the anticipated surface as well as the biomechanical demands of varying amounts of heel impact, braking force, propulsion force and medial-lateral force, Ahnu and White developed two primary platforms for their outdoor fitness designs. Specifically versatile, the Ahnu platforms allow their individual shoe designs to each address a wealth of crossover options.

Ahnu's rugged Outdoor Cross Terrain (OXT) platform is built for heavier loads and high side-to-side stability demands found in hiking, backpacking, off-trail hiking, approach, fast hiking and trail walking.

A more nimble Cross Terrain Running (XTR) platform incorporates the need for speed and front-to-rear flexibility, an ideal combination for both road and trail running, as well as a more athletic twist on fast hiking and trail walking.

“Our OXT and XTR platforms weren't created to artificially correct anything. Instead, the shoes naturally encourage the foot and body to solve any problems that might come up,” said Van Dine.

Ahnu's OXT and XTR platforms are both centered, literally, on the common framework of Ahnu's innovative Neutral Positioning System (NPS) technology. Utlizing a multi-density compression molded EVA midsole, NPS creates an even-keeled cradling of the rear foot. This dynamic support helps both road and trail runners by increasing heel and mid-foot stability as well as encouraging a more efficient foot strike.

On the road, NPS provides exceptional rear-foot stability and cushioning. And on the trail, NPS keeps the foot centered over the midsole, providing remarkable balance on uneven surfaces and encouraging a natural rolling motion and healthy foot strike.

“Stability is dynamic not static,” said White. “The right footwear works with you throughout a run or a hike to encourage a dynamically stable alignment.”

Ahnu Footwear is built for uncompromising performance in all environments, including trail running, outdoor cross-performance, and travel. Ahnu's unique “go anywhere” design philosophy is centered around the balance of performance and lifestyle and a commitment to the highest possible environmental and social standards. A portion of Ahnu ownership is held in an outdoor trust, permanently committing a portion of their future success to conservation and advocacy work. To learn more about Ahnu Footwear, please our website at www.ahnufootwear.com.

For additional media information, please contact Drew Simmons at Pale Morning Media, drew@madriver.com, 802.583.6069