Watch the movie here!
BÄR HighPerformance 2.5 - “The official shoe of the Badwater Ultramarathon 2008 – The World's Toughest Foot Race!”
In 2003, BÄR (high quality shoe manufacturer from Germany) was faced with a pretty big challenge in terms of material and functionality in the TransEurope footrace (3150 miles from Lisbon to Moscow). The know-how gained from this experience was channelled into a new generation of running shoes which was put to one of the hardest tests in the world in 2004: the Badwater Ultramarathon (135 miles non-stop through Death Valley in the hottest month of the year). Otherwise you will only find leading automobile manufacturers testing their new developments here under these conditions. BÄR decided to test its new developments under precisely these conditions (50 °C air temperature, 80 °C ground temperature, 135 miles’ non-stop tarmac, two mountain ranges and a total of 13,000’ of cumulative vertical ascent and 4,700’ of cumulative descent).
It was striking that a large number of runners (all of them top international athletes who had been invited to run because of their excellent record in the past) suffered from injuries and pain, particularly in the toe area. This often led to a runner having to pull out of the race, or at least having to have breaks and change his/her shoes frequently.
BÄR has continued to develop its running shoe concept over the years with the experience made in various extreme races (Achim Heukemes across Australia in record time, Dagmar Grossheim Decatriathlon World Champion) always being included in new developments. The latest stage in this development is the BÄR HighPerformance 2.5 worn by Achim Heukemes and Dagmar Grossheim at the Badwater Ultramarathon in summer 2007 where they finished best as the first male and female German competitor, respectively. Neither of them even had to change their shoes once and both came home without having suffered any problems with their toes or feet, a top performance not only by the runners, but also by the shoes!
Due to this unique test result, both in terms of the material and the functionality of the shoe, the Badwater Ultramarathon and BÄR decided to embark on a partnership in 2008 to make this concept more accessible to a greater number of runners.
Achim Heukemes and Dagmar Grossheim will be taking part in the 10-day race in New York in spring 2008 and in the TransEurope footrace from Sicily to the North Cape in 2009. Both will be wearing BÄR shoes, and the experience gained by these extreme sportspeople in these races will continue to be used in the development of new models.
Runners looking for natural solutions...
The HighPerformance 2.5 is BÄR’s answer to the demands made on today’s running shoes. First and foremost, BÄR shoes are well known for the unique amount of toe room they provide. What does that mean for you?!
A third of all runners would like to run “barefoot” more often because running barefoot is the best way of training the muscles in your feet. The human foot is an evolutionary high-tech product designed to enable, control and regulate movement.
In recent years, running shoes in particular have experienced a high degree of stabilisation and function. But this also resulted in the foot losing an increasing amount of freedom, resulting in turn in a reduction of the work it was doing itself and thus the foot becoming weaker.
What is different at BÄR?
Over millions of years of evolution, walking barefoot has been the most natural way for man to walk and run.
There are two extremely important reasons for this:
- The toes are not squashed in and can carry out their natural function of stabilising and controlling when walking (natural roll). Generous toe zone!
- The ball and heel are at the same level which means that neither the front of the foot nor the spine is put under undue, negative pressure. Zero heel!
These two factors have been the core elements of the BÄR philosophy for 25 years now.
The “NATURAL FIT” of a BÄR shoe supports a natural style of walking. The foot is not squeezed in and has plenty of space to move, but at the same time is guaranteed a perfect fit and is protected from injury. The toes have plenty of room and do not become misshapen even when put under considerable, long-term pressure. This is something extreme sportspeople Achim Heukemes (professional extreme sportsman) and Dagmar Großheim (professional extreme sportswoman) are keen to confirm.
A runner thus feels like he/she is running barefoot - the shoe does what the foot wants it to and not the other way round. Today, the fit, comfort, natural roll and minimal weight are top priorities and are important purchase criteria for runners.