The North Face, the world’s premier supplier of authentic, innovative and technically advanced outdoor apparel, equipment and footwear, today announced the launch of Mountain Athletics, a new product category specifically designed to meet the rigors of outdoor athlete training. Available in stores beginning January 2014, The North Face Mountain Athletics line is the next evolution of technical-training apparel and footwear designed to help athletes push their limits in their outdoor sports.
“At The North Face, we are known for gear that our athletes put to the test in the most extreme environments, whether they’re summiting Everest, skiing untouched powder or running for hundreds of miles through rugged, isolated wilderness,” said Joe Vernachio, vice president of global product for The North Face. “With Mountain Athletics we are delivering functional performance apparel and footwear for the months of training and preparation that go in to those relatively few moments of achievement.”
The North Face partnered with Mountain Athlete gym in Jackson, WY to inform product development for the Mountain Athletics line of apparel and footwear, and an official facility that helps advise members of our Global Athlete team on how best to train and prepare for their athletic goals and pursuits. Founded in 2007, Mountain Athlete is a strength and conditioning facility that specializes in outdoor sport-specific training plans for elite athletes, and programming for activities such as skiing and snowboarding, rock and ice climbing, mountaineering and ultra running.
“In the past, if climbers wanted to get better at climbing it meant more time actually climbing or hitting the campus boards. If a runner wanted to run further or faster, the training called for more miles or simple speed work around a track,” said Mountain Athlete Founder Rob Shaul. “Mountain Athletics focuses on the goals and demands of individual outdoor sports with a combination of functional sport-specific training techniques to help outdoor athletes build strength, avoid injury and improve performance.”
The Mountain Athletics line includes technology-driven and purpose-built apparel and footwear designed to withstand the toughest workouts.
“In one workout our athletes could be climbing ropes, lifting sandbags or hauling weighted pallets,” said Kevin Joyce, product director of performance apparel at The North Face. “The demands of this kind of vigorous training are extraordinarily tough on gear and require a level of performance and durability that traditional training gear just doesn’t offer.”
The new line is anchored by the Kilowatt Collection, which is engineered with best-in-class fabric technologies and reinforced construction to offer full range of motion, comfort and durability for ultimate performance. The Kilowatt Collection features strategically placed durable stretch or knit mesh throughout, active-stretch fabrications, and stitch-free seam construction to avoid hot spots and chaffing. Mountain Athletics apparel also features the introduction of FlashDry-XD™, the new standard in rapid dry-time and durability. Highlights Include:
•The new Kilowatt Jacket ($130 US MSRP) is a great layer for to-and-from workouts with a highly durable, water- and abrasion-resistant fabric with a sophisticated outdoor aesthetic.
•The new Kilowatt Short Sleeve ($60 US MSRP) and Sleeveless ($50 US MSRP) are crafted with durable, abrasion-resistant fabrics featuring FlashDry-XD, stretch paneling for increased range of motion and reinforced, stitch-free seam construction for comfort.
•The new Kilowatt Short ($65 US MSRP) is designed with a wide, flat waistband for comfort and versatility, abrasion-resistant fabric, stretch paneling for full range of motion.
•As part of the brand new Ultra Protection Series in footwear new for Spring ’14, the Ultra Kilowatt ($120 US MSRP) is the premier minimal shoe engineered to maximize performance for outdoor athlete training. An innovative Pebax® plate for high energy return, and exclusive Vibram® outsole provide lightweight support and protection without impeding natural foot movement. The low-profile upper with reinforced construction in high-wear zones enhances efficiency and durability.
Ultramarathon runner Mike Wolfe, who will be attempting to set a speed record on the John Muir Trail this fall with fellow The North Face team member Hal Koerner, used Mountain Athletics training to put the new Kilowatt Collection to the test, and help build durability and strength ahead of his record attempt. Wolfe and Koerner will need to run the iconic 211-mile trail, which starts at the peak of Mt. Whitney at 14,505’, in less than 3 days and 9 hours to beat the current record set by Brett Muane in 2009.
“Running 125 miles with 35,000 or more feet of elevation gain as part of weekly training can actually weaken certain muscle groups in your body, and without the right kind of cross-training injury becomes inevitable,”said Wolfe. “The Mountain Athletics training I completed was key to staying competitive through peak racing season, and healthy enough to attempt the John Muir Trail next month.”
The North Face Mountain Athletics collection will be showcased at Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2013 and will be available to consumers in Spring 2014. For more information about The North Face, visit www.thenorthface.com.