DJ Mars Runs Through His Past, Present, and Future

 

In his video’s opening statement, DJ Mars sums it all up: “I’m not an athlete, but I feel like I’ve been running my entire life.” That idea kicked off the “Where Are You Running To?” collaboration between Mars and New Balance, a collection of testimony and short films documenting how NB plays an important part in the lives of not just athletes, but all those who are constantly running.

NewBalance.com: What does “Where Are You Running To?” mean to you? What were some of your goals for this series as a whole?

DJ Mars: “Where are you running to?” is a phrase that describes my lifestyle. The term isn’t specific to me, it could be applied to anyone who has a busy schedule. For example, the single mother who has to take her children to school and then rush to work. The businessman who travels overseas for a company meeting. Or in my case, the DJ who lives in hotels more often than his own house. All of these people come from different walks of life, but share one common thing – they’re all extremely busy!

The goal was to offer the brand and its consumers a new way of looking at each other. Often thought of as just a running brand, New Balance has a place in all of our lives.

NewBalance.com: What was your first pair of NBs? What about your most memorable pair?

DJ Mars: My first pair of New Balances were probably a pair of 576s. I don’t remember the model number but I do remember the color was navy and grey.

My uncle bought them for me in 1985. I remember him buying them in Holyoke, Massachusetts. They were the most expensive shoes that I owned at the time.

As far as my most memorable pair, ironically, I would have to say my black 710s. There’s a back story to that shoe for me. Back in high school, my friends and I all worked at McDonald’s, and we used to save our money to go shopping in New York. Well, one Christmas we all went to NY and we found them at a store in Flatbush, Brooklyn. Sometime after that, a rapper named Kool G. Rap had on a pair on either his album or video, and we were super excited that we had the shoes before he did. Back then, most kids got their sense of style from the rappers. We were ahead of the curve.

NewBalance.com: What does New Balance as a brand mean to you, and what do you think it means to Hip Hop culture as a whole?

DJ Mars: In the late 80’s and early 90’s New Balance was one of the shoes of choice in the Hip Hop community. Especially when the rappers were dressing preppy. That was the shoe that set them apart from the Run DMC era.

To me New Balance means classic, iconic, simple style. Nothing too over the top or corny. They are who they are, and that’s it. Either you like it or you don’t, and that’s kind of how Hip Hop is. Both of them have an “I’m here to stay” vibe to them.

 

Original ‘Where Are You Running To’ Concept Video

NewBalance.com: What young artists do you see as the future of Hip Hop?

DJ Mars: As far as the future of Hip Hop, there are a lot of very exciting groups out there. Some of my favorite new ones are Jay Electronica, Killa Mike, Foreign Exchange, The Hall of Justice Crew, Pac Div, and The New Boyz. Those are some of my favorite new MC’s. On any given day you could find me listening to them.

NewBalance.com: How do you handle an unresponsive or negative crowd? Was there ever a time when you temporarily lost an audience, and then switched things up and won them back?

DJ Mars: Sometimes crowds can be very unpredictable. You can walk into a room and have no idea as to what the crowd is into that particular night. There have been times where I decided to go left and the crowd was like, “na brother you better stay right!” Good DJs are ones who can bounce back from that moment. It happens to every single one of us. If a DJ says otherwise, either he doesn’t play out too often or he’s lying.

NewBalance.com: Has Max the dog ever chewed up a pair of your NBs?

DJ Mars: Thank God I had Max go through obedience training before I brought him home. With that being said, he has not sunk his teeth into a pair of New Balance’s. That’s a funny thing, because most dogs tear their owners’ shoes up. Max on the other hand opts for his beef bone.

NewBalance.com: What are your other passions outside of DJing? If for some reason you had to give up DJing, what else would you be doing?

DJ Mars: Outside of DJing, I would definitely say I have a passion for brand development and marketing. In college I always felt as though marketing should have been my major. DJs far and wide are responsible for finding the new cool. Be it records, fashion, club venues, products, or artists, we are a part of the cycle that makes things hot.

I want to approach marketing and brand development the same way I would a new record. By that, I mean find a product that has potential and magnify it for my world to see.

NewBalance.com: You’ve done a lot in your career – toured with Outkast and Usher, founded the World Famous Super Friends, and became a star in the DJ scene. What are some goals you’re still running to?

DJ Mars: I’ve done a lot, but I would definitely say there are a few more things I’d like to scratch off my list. I’m just starting to get into production, I believe that’s the next step for me. I want to tour the world on accord, meaning go because DJ Mars is being booked – not the artist that I work for. And most importantly, have my company be viewed as a resource to reach untapped markets. I appreciate New Balance for having that initial faith in me.

DJ Mars is a graduate of Clark Atlanta University, a founder of the World Famous Super Friends, and was a contender on last year’s Smirnoff: Master of the Mix. Be sure to check back here for more on the “Where Are You Running To?” project, and for new videos every week. For more information on DJ Mars, visit his blog at historyofmixtapes.com.

Race Day Getaway Giveaway: Falmouth

Prize Details

Every summer runners from around the globe visit beautiful New England to run in one of the most popular races in the nation: the Falmouth Road Race. With its winding 7-mile course through scenic Cape Cod and its breathtaking views, it’s no wonder each year there are more applications than available registration numbers. Lucky for you, to celebrate the race on August 14, 2011, we’re giving away a total of three (3) Falmouth Road Race prize packs, which include:

  • Two entries, including registration fees, to the prestigious Falmouth Road Race
  • Hotel accommodations for one night at the Sea Crest Beach Hotel
  • Pre-Race Luncheon
  • Two pairs of New Balance 890 running shoes with REVlite
  • New Balance running apparel for the winner and guest
  • Access to the VIP Finish Line Tent

How to Enter:

Here’s how it works. We’ll post one trivia question per day over six days here on our page. Answer correctly for your chance to win. Check back every day at noon for a new question and a new chance to enter. Think you’re up to the challenge? Enter now and show us how you can make excellent happen.

Contest dates:

The contest will start at noon Friday, July 15 and run through Thursday, July 21, 2011.

Prize Eligibility
Only persons residing in Puerto Rico and United States who are at least 13 years of age can enter.
Need more Details?
Read the Official Rules

Community Supported Agriculture Challenge

 
Photos uploaded to Flickr by jasonblaine and ted_major, some rights reserved.
by Marian Cooper Cairns

So you can say you know your local farmers market really well and you visit it pretty regularly. You know the best stand for tomatoes and corn and what booth has the best deal on farm eggs. Ready to turn that up a notch? Sign up for a CSA program. CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. As a participant you commit at the beginning of each year, way-way before the seeds are planted, to a farmer and his potential crop. It’s a win for both parties. You pledge money and support to the farm and, in turn, they share the crop each week, with a varied selection all season. Knowing your food comes from down the road and not thousands of miles away is priceless.

My husband and I are on our third year with Snow’s Bend Farm just outside of Birmingham. We eat very seasonally and this stuff tastes amazing. I could wax poetic on the super sweet fruit and flavorful, beautiful veggies. I am not an accountant but I honestly think it’s much cheaper than buying organic vegetables at the conventional grocery store, as well. Another added bonus a lot of people don’t talk about… these veggies have an incredible shelf life! Once harvested, they are in my fridge within hours versus weeks.

Delivery schedules will vary across the country but in Alabama my box starts arriving mid-April and runs until the end of November. Our first few deliveries are packed with berries, colorful radishes, delicate peppery salad greens, and sugar snap peas abound. As the summer warms up, we are treated to the sweetest yellow and red tomatoes, crazy purple okra, cantaloupe and watermelon, too. As the weather turns cooler we are greeted with sweet potatoes, Swiss chard, butternut squash, and even pumpkins for Halloween.

Photo uploaded to Flickr by jasonblaine, some rights reserved.
No-Commitment CSA

If life is too unpredictable and your spring and summer is packed with lots of busy activities and fun vacations, look for a no-commitment CSA. You choose to buy a farmer’s box of produce each week depending on your families’ schedule. You’re still supporting local agriculture, but with less of a full-time commitment. Many farmers participate in both programs.

Ask on your next trip to the market or use these online guides to find out what’s available in your area:

Local HarvestRodale Institute Farm LocatorEat Well GuideGardens.com

It takes a bit more dedication and a couple curve balls in the kitchen but you will be rewarded. Last year I experimented with a new way to enjoy my absolute favorite vegetable, okra. Now, down south, okra is traditionally fried, boiled, or tossed into a pot of gumbo. (Yum! But not super healthy.) I entertain quite regularly, especially in the summer, so I was thinking, why not okra as a crudité? If you’re familiar with okra, you may be thinking, what a slimy mess! But it works. The trick is to just trim the end of the stem, don’t cut the whole thing off, exposing the seeds. Once prepped, blanch them for a quick 1 to 2 minutes in salted boiling water, shock in ice water until cold, and pat dry with paper towels. No slime here!

Enjoy them with this versatile Garlic Herb Dip.

I whip up batches of this creamy sauce all season. It’s a great dipper for sliced cucumbers or yellow squash, dollop onto a stack of beautiful sliced heirloom tomatoes or spoon into a simple roasted sweet potato.

Garlic Herb Dip

1 cup of full-fat Greek yogurt
2 tsp. lemon or orange zest
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup of assorted mild herds (such as parsley, basil, oregano, and dill)

Whirl it all up in a food processor and season to taste with salt and pepper. Red pepper flakes or ground cayenne can be added if you want to spice it up a bit.

Try 5 more of my personal favorite recipes to sample the best of the season:

Heirloom Tomatoes with Fresh Peaches, Goat Cheese, and Pecans
Simple Beet Salad
Marian’s Savory Vegetable Bread Pudding
Chunky Tomato-Fruit Gazpacho
Marian’s Apple-Fennel Salad

The Skinny On How To Get Skinny

by Holly Perkins

Photos uploaded to Flickr by Ferran Moreno Lanza, bass_nroll and Fernando Stankuns, some rights reserved.

Most people exercise either to be fit or to lose weight. While there are other motivations, the real essence boils down to one of these two goals. Proper food strategy is extremely important to support your efforts and help you reach your goals as efficiently as possible. The human body has complex and intelligent systems designed to protect vital body processes. While exercise is beneficial, the body experiences it as stress and sets in motion biochemical interplay to either foster adaptation or inspire preservation. Simply, this means that you will get the best fitness results if you are calculated in your habits before and after workouts. One decision can make or break your exercise efforts.

I know you’ve heard the analogy before, but I hope to shine new light on it. Think of your body as a world-class sports car. In order to respond quickly, maneuver efficiently and perform at very fast speeds, a sports car must be finely tuned, regularly serviced and operating on high quality fuel. And that is your body in a nutshell. What you put into your body and when dictates how well it runs during your workouts and how quickly it adapts after your workouts. If your goal is to burn body fat and lose weight through exercise, your pre and post nutrition will make or break your ride.

You will often hear experts suggest a 2-pound weight loss per week for long term weight loss goals. That doesn’t sound like much weight each week, huh? But I offer you this:

The Rules:

In order to lose 1 pound of pure body fat, your body must have a calorie deficit of 3500 calories. If that 1 pound of fat loss occurs in one week, that means you need to have a daily calorie deficit of 500 calories every day that week. There are only two ways to create a calorie deficit and get skinny: cut back on calories or burn them off. The best strategy is to do both.

Therefore, how to burn off the calories? Exercise, obviously. One big mistake I see regularly, and one I am guilty of in the past, is to let the motivation of calorie burning cause you to walk into your workout empty, without food. If your goal is to burn off extra body fat by burning calories, doesn’t it make sense to be empty when you exercise? Many people erroneously think that this will cause your body to tap into body fat stores for fuel. But let’s return to the sports car analogy: do you think it will run well if it is without fuel?

At any given moment, your body has a limited amount of circulating fuel. Your body is smart, and is designed to make sure fuel is available to preserve your brain function. Your body will always keep a small amount of fuel so that the master computer—your brain—is protected and up to the task of directing your body functions. When you exercise, your muscles are responsible for driving movement. Your muscles also require fuel. If there is limited fuel in your system, the brain will always win out. This is problematic for many reasons. First, while your brain is demanding fuel, your muscles—also needing fuel to drive movement—will be forced to tap into their own fuel and catabolize its own muscle tissue. One goal of exercise is to inspire muscle growth and development; therefore, a breaking down of tissue will limit your progress. The second, and potentially worse problem is that the catabolism of muscle tissue often causes an increase in appetite that is particularly fond of sugar. If you have cravings after your workouts, take a look at your fueling!

Most importantly, proper fueling before and after workouts will allow you the energy needed to have excellent workouts. If you regularly feel fatigued and lacking enthusiasm around your workouts, take a look at your nutrition around your exercise. If you are properly fueled with the right foods, you will have more energy during your workout, and therefore be able to workout harder. Just like the sports car, you’ll be able to respond quickly, maneuver efficiently and perform at very fast speeds. And this will help you to become fit faster, and burn off calories more effectively.

There are a few basic rules that will help you navigate the roadway of your weight loss efforts:
The Rules:
Before workouts:

Photo uploaded to Flickr by Thomas Hawk, some rights reserved.

If you’ve had a complete meal 2-3 hours immediately prior to your workout, you only need to eat a snack after your workout. Choose a snack that emphasizes protein unless your workout is long and intense. See below for snack suggestions.

If your last meal was longer than 3 hours before the start of your workout, you must eat a small snack before your workout. You’ll want to choose something with fast digesting protein and moderate carbohydrates. String cheese and an apple works great for many of my clients. I like cottage cheese with fruit or gluten-free whole grain bread.

After workouts:

Photo uploaded to Flickr by DeathByBokeh, some rights reserved.

You don’t need to eat immediately after if your workout is 60 minutes or less and of a moderate intensity. However, you should plan to eat a meal within 60 minutes.

You should plan for a light snack immediately after your workout and a meal within 60 minutes of the snack if your workout is 60 minutes and intense. A snack that emphasizes protein is best. Look for dairy based proteins like milk, low fat string cheese, cottage cheese or whey protein powder.

If your workout is longer than 60 minutes and of any intensity, you’ll want to eat a substantial snack that includes both protein and a fast carb like sugar or fruit. This is where sports drinks or protein shakes are useful. My favorite is a whey protein shake blended with quick digesting fruit like pineapple, mango or banana.

If your goal is to be fit and healthy, regardless of weight loss, your workouts will be optimized if you follow this fueling strategy. If your goal is fat loss or weight loss, give this strategy a try for two weeks. You’ll be amazed how fast, efficient and energized your sports car is!

Secret NB Minimus Sale!

We’re having a secret NB Minimus Sale- For a LIMITED TIME, you can get 10% OFF + FREE SHIPPING on any NB Minimus shoe! Enter code: NBATLANTA10D @ checkout. This is an exclusive sale for all of our followers on FB, Twitter and bloggers! Not looking for a Minimus shoe? That’s cool, you can still use the code because it’s good site-wide! Only at shopnewbalance.com


 

NB Minimus is a barefoot-inspired line of shoes created specifically for runners seeking a truly minimalist experience. It’s a cross-category collection, including road running, trail running, and wellness shoes. By ‘wellness’ we mean shoes designed for people seeking a more natural stance throughout the day, even when they’re not exercising.

MT10/WT10: An entirely different approach to trail running, the MT10 Minimus Trail takes the proven versatile durability of a Vibram® outsole and combines it with a fitted, minimalist upper that’s comfortable with or without socks.

MR10/WR10: Minimus is a whole new approach to athletic footwear, inspired by Good Form Running and designed to be worn with or without socks. The Minimus Road running shoe is engineered for use on pavement and other varied running surfaces. Supremely comfortable and extremely lightweight, the MR10 is taking the running world by storm.

MW10/WW10: Minimus is a whole new approach to athletic footwear, inspired by Good Form Running and designed to be worn with or without socks. The MW10 Minimus Wellness shoe is sublimely comfortable, engineered for recovery use as well as for other casual wear.

NB Minimus Now Here

Katherine Petrecca: NB Minimus is a barefoot-inspired line of shoes created specifically for runners seeking a truly minimalist experience. It’s a cross-category collection, including road running, trail running, and wellness shoes. By ‘wellness’ we mean shoes designed for people seeking a more natural stance throughout the day, even when they’re not exercising.

Purposeful Design And The Upcoming NB 890

When you pick up the upcoming NB 890 off of a shelf in a store, you will probably sense a certain harmony to its look, shape, and style, but you might not immediately know why. When function, design, and aesthetics are all considered together in the service of bigger questions throughout the creation of a new shoe, in the hands of the designer every detail, every choice, every line tells an important part of the story. This is purposeful design. And the resulting finished piece has a certain consistency and wholeness to it, that you can see and feel even if you don’t know much about the choices that produced it.

The New Balance Design Innovation Studio, led by JF Fullum, is about asking and following up on open-ended questions, and sometimes those questions become pathways to creating new products.

“What can the minimalist design of this foul weather jacket, or the seamless contours of that bra, teach us about new ways to think about structure and materials?” “How can we use technology and learning tools to help a runner who wants to improve their form?” Some of these lines of inquiry are kicked off by requests from elsewhere in the company; others are hatched from the team’s own observations and pointed introspection.

The project that led to the development of the upcoming 890 with RevLite technology has its roots in questions like “What would a shoe designed by runners outside of the footwear industry look like?” “What would a truly ‘no-BS’ shoe be?” As a first step, Fullum and the Innovation Studio team did some initial research along these lines and put together a short presentation that included design inspirations, potential approaches, and conceptual goals rooted in making a lighter, simpler trainer without sacrificing any key performance traits.

As it turned out, this research aligned well with a larger New Balance initiative focusing on lighter, more minimal shoes across the board. Additional conversations and research firmed up those initial questions into more pointed ones like “How can we make a lightweight everyday trainer that doesn’t sacrifice cushioning, ground feel, or support? How can we shave a full 2 ounces off of our neutral cushioning shoes and still deliver a great ride and keep the key measurements the same?” From there, development began in earnest and the RevLite project was born.

The following photos and their captions trace the design and development process Fullum led that culmonated in the upcoming NB 890 with RevLite – a process that also influenced and inspired innovation across NB product lines:

Benchmarking: The team rounded up similar shoes from competitors in the market and calculated the average of all of their key measurements, to establish some numerical goals.
Purposeful Design Exercise: The team dissected a shoe comparable in terms of cushioning and stablility in the company’s own line. They pinned it up for observation like a dissected frog and relentlessly re-evaluated each piece, asking questions like…is this piece serving an essential need? Is it possible to achieve this same effect with less weight? Can we do the same thing with fewer pieces? How can we reduce the number of parts while not sacrificing fit, support, comfort, quality?
Sketching and Exploration: From here, Fullum took to paper and pen and started to sketch. “I always see it as different parts within one shoe – I like to figure out each piece separately and then bring it all together.” The sketch phase usually takes about two weeks. At some point, Fullum finds a single element that makes sense, and he then focuses on that until it’s locked down. One detail falls into place first, and then he works through that, freezes it, and goes back to sketching until another detail emerges.
First Design Insight: In this case, a sketch of possible forefoot language is the first detail that both visually and structurally looked and felt right to Fullum. It was a single approach to an element that spoke to the overall goals of the project in its simple, purposeful design.
First Detail: A sketch of some diamond shapes similarly stuck out to Fullum as something to investigate further. As it turned out, cutting some diamond-shaped pieces out of the midsole in relief created a sort of independent suspension that reduced weight, created an interesting design aesthetic, and preserved the sole’s comfortable ride and smooth transition. The diamond motif would also show up on the sole pattern, where it helps with grip and transition.
Sole and Arch: With Good Form Running principles in mind, Fullum made the arch flat to assist with forefoot or midfoot striking, removed the plastic scoop that sits in many arches (which also saved weight), and created diagonal lines in the sole to help ease the transition from the foot’s initial contact with the ground through the full stride.
The Midsole: Fullum next challenged the engineering group, including Sean Murphy and Pat Choe, to come up with a new, lighter-weight foam that wouldn’t sacrifice feel or durability. After working with materials vendors and a number of compounds, they arrived at what would become RevLite. “It’s very light and feels really responsive,” reports Fullum. As an initial indicator of performance (prior to more pointed testing) for each foam under consideration, he took existing NB soles, shot the foam into them, and took off down the hall to see what it would feel like under his feet. RevLite was a clear winner, even in the hallway test.
The Tongue and Laces: Most shoes have a big piece of foam across the tongue, there to help cushion the top of the foot against the laces and knot. But in the quest to reduce weight and simplify to the absolute performance essentials, Fullum found he could reduce the amount of foam in the 890 to just the middle section without affecting comfort. For laces, he looked at the flatter, softer laces of typical racing flats, and found them to be a good fit for the 890. Based on the flat shape of this lace, he also made the holes flat instead of round, which helps them lock into place.
Aesthetics and Materials: The purposeful design process Fullum followed on the 890 all along saw aesthetics considered hand in hand with function, so many of the design decisions were already made once the structural elements were finalized. The team’s goal for the overall look of the shoe was to allow for an easy transition between running and everyday wear, a trainer that performs as well with jeans as it does on the track. To achieve this, they reduced the number of visible technical elements and surfaces to an absolute minimum, chose soft but durable synthetics and suedes, and reduced color palettes down to a few key colors.

Fullum describes the resulting 890 as a shoe for the runner who is interested in trying something new and exciting on their feet, but still wants to be confident about maintaining his or her current, traditional running practice. With its fairly traditional heel lift and neutral cushioning, it serves as an exciting alternative everyday running shoe to fans of the New Balance 759 or Nike Lunar Glide, both of which it beats by over an ounce at 9.65 oz., rather than those seeking a truly minimalist, barefoot-inspired shoe like NB Minimus. The 890 will be available in retail stores in February. Watch for updates to a number of New Balance lines in the upcoming months based on the approaches and principles outlined above, bringing lighter-weight, more streamlined designs to many of your favorite styles

Contest: Win New Balance Women’s 474 Dance-centric Fitness Shoe

Contest: Win New Balance Women’s 474 Dance-centric Fitness Shoe

Dance fitness has become all the rage lately, but a lot of the time the sneakers you normally wear to workout in aren’t allowing you to move properly in a dance fitness class. So here’s a chance to win a pair of the New Balance 474 sneaker made for dance aerobics!

This comfortable lifestyle shoe has an upscale-retro look. With its combination upper, you get the best of both worlds: the durability of leather and the lightweight support of a synthetic upper. This is an ideal shoe for aerobic classes and all dance-centric fitness activities.

New Balance 474 Product Details:

* IMEVA (injection-molded EVA foam) midsole for firm yet flexible cushioning

* Solid rubber outsole provides long-wearing durability

* Leather/Synthetic upper is lightweight and breathable

* Shoe Last: RL-1

How to enter?

~ Blog about this giveaway and leave the link to your post in Fit Celeb’s comment box to this post (equals 1 entry)

~ Follow @fitceleb and @TCNewBalance on Twitter and Tweet this giveaway: “Win a pair of New Balance Women’s 474 Dance-Centric Fitness Shoes @fitceleb @TCNewBalance http://www.fitceleb.com/node/8477 (Ends October 11th)” (RT 1x per day) (equals 1 entry)

~ “Like” TriCity New Balance on Facebook (equals 1 entry)

  • Contest ends Monday, October 11
  • U.S. residents only
  • The contestants with the most entries will be put into a pool, and the winner will be drawn at random

Support Our Troops

We came across Braxton via Twitter (@Re_return). Let’s see if we can help him meet his goal of $1500 and his commitment to running the Marine Corps Marathon for a third consecutive year! We’re cheering for ya here at TriCity New Balance!

MCM 2009, circa mile 20. The smile might be a little bit forced.

Hi everyone! It’s almost that time of year….I have committed to running the Marine Corps Marathon for a third consecutive year and will once again be fundraising for a fantastic organization, USO. Please help me reach my fundraising goal of $1,500. I have been fortunate to travel to Germany, Dubai, Korea, and Okinawa and have seen firsthand the positive impact that our amazing employees and volunteers can have on our troops and their families. They really know how to get the most bang for our bucks! This year, I have this crazy idea that I’m going to attempt to qualify for the Boston Marathon with a new personal record under 3 hours, 10 minutes. Can I do it? You’ll have to come out to the course on race day to find out….I would love to see you out there!

(source: Braxton Bragg’s Fundraising Page)

ABOUT TEAM USO

TEAM USO was developed in response to volunteers looking for new ways to support the troops and their families.  This site provides everyone a fun, fast and easy way to support the men and women who protect our country every day.

Our online resources allow you to reach out to an endless pool of possible donors.  Spread the word to everyone you know and ask them to spread the word as well.  You will be amazed at how responsive people are!

We provide guidance, tools and resources to make your fundraising event a success whether you are emailing, baking, biking, running, collecting, dancing or anything else.

TEAM USO is made up of all kinds of individuals who share the common interest in supporting our troops and their families…until everyone comes home.

About the USO

For nearly 70 years the USO has been offering its special brand of care to our troops and their families.  Through offering many unique programs and services, we are able to shrink the gap between the home front and the frontlines.

(source: TeamUSO site)

truebalance- smart & sporty

Give your walking regimen an extra boost of energy and fashionable flair with rock&tone! The 1442’s cutting-edge rocker bottom tones your muscles and burns extra calories while you walk, and the attractive and stylish synthetic and mesh upper is based on the ever-popular 442 lifestyle shoe. NB’s rock&tone shoe helps you get fit and fabulous as you go through your day–you can even feel it working!

Truebalance breakthrough balance board technology offers stylish comfort with enhanced muscle toning and calorie burning while you walk. The fiercely fun 850 and 1100 are all about wellness–whether you lace them up because they look great or for your health, you’re in for a comfortable ride.

Save 10% and get free shipping on every purchase by entering “school” at checkout!

Heel Pain: Plantar Fasciitis

Heel Pain: Plantar Fasciitis
HEEL PAIN CAN BE CURED

      Heel pain among weekend sports participants, runners, and those beginning exercise programs is reaching epidemic proportions. Furthermore, heel pain is one of the most common and persistent foot problems affecting men and women. It originates deep within the foot, directly on the heel bone, or within the foot’s connective tissue — the fascia. The plantar fascia is a very thick band of tissue that covers the bones on the bottom of the foot. Pain results in the heel or arch when these tissues become irritated or inflamed or when small spurs grow on the heel bone itself.

It is estimated that 15 percent of all adult foot complaints involve plantar fasciitis, the type of heel pain caused by chronic inflammation of the connective tissue extending from the heel bone to the toes.

Plantar fasciitis occurs most frequently in adults 40 years and older, especially women. Being overweight and wearing inappropriate footwear are common contributing factors. The pain is most noticeable after getting out of bed in the morning, and it tends to decrease after a few minutes and returns during the day as time on the feet increases.

New Balance Running Shoes: The following New Balance running shoes help with heel pain (plantar fasciitis): 1225, 1123 (best), 1012 (best), the 850 (best), and 993.New Balance Walking Shoes: If you are interested in walking shoes, the following styles should be considered if you have heel pain or plantar fasciitis: 927 (best), the 845 (best), and the 811 .

Many patients attempt self remedies for heel pain, such as anti-inflammatory medications and over-the-counter heel pads, before seeking medical advice. To help diagnose the origin of heel pain, physicians take a thorough history to learn the time of day when the heel pain occurs, types of shoes worn most frequently, activity levels at work or during recreation, and if there has been any recent trauma to the area. X-rays often are taken to check for heel spurs, which indicate that the condition has been present for 6 to 12 months. Generally, the longer that heel pain persists, the longer it takes to cure it.

Not all heel pain, however, is caused by plantar fasciitis. It also can occur from inflammation of the Achilles tendon, bursitis, arthritis, gout, stress fractures, or irritation of one or more of the nerves in the region. Sometimes in such cases, heel pain could be a symptom of a serious medical condition that should be diagnosed and treated separately.

Conservative Treatment Works
Initial treatment options for heel pain caused by plantar fasciitis include the following:

  • Stretching the calf muscles regularly 
  • Wearing the proper shoes. Shoes that do well to help with plantar fasciitis include those with strong arch support (This is different than high arch support). To determine whether or not a shoe has strong arch support, a torsion test is required. During the torsion test look for shoes that are stiff in the arch area and do not bend/flex in that area. If an athletic shoe bends in the middle, it may not provide the required stability and protection against heel pain. A shoe should bend in the area in which the toes bend and not at the arch.
  • Using over-the-counter orthotics by New Balance, Spenco, Powerstep or Lynco (these orthotics are firm/hard through the arch; they are not soft, cushioned all-purpose inserts like Dr. Scholl’s).
  • Taking anti-inflammatory medications
  • Padding and strapping of the foot around the arch
  • Injections of corticosterioids.Most patients with plantar fasciitis respond to conservative treatment within six weeks. If improvement occurs, initial therapy is continued until the heel pain is resolved. But if heel pain persists, the patient should be referred to a podiatric foot and ankle surgeon for further evaluation and more specialized treatment.

    Treatments for Persistent Heel Pain
    When conservative treatment fails to remedy heel pain, surgical options that may be considered are removal of a heel spur and separation of the fascial tissue from the heel bone (plantar fasciotomy). During surgery to separate fascial tissue, the podiatric foot and ankle surgeon makes a small incision on the inside of the heel and gently cuts away the tissue. During this procedure, if heel spurs are present they may removed after the fascial tissue is detached from the heel bone.

    Heel pain surgery normally is performed on an outpatient basis. A cast might be needed to immobilize the foot for two or three weeks after surgery and about a month of physical therapy is recommended after that. With no complications, recovery is complete in six to eight weeks.

    A relatively new non-invasive technique, extracorporeal shock wave therapy, also is effective for treating severe, chronic heel pain in adults. This new procedure uses a lithotriptor device — similar to those used to eliminate kidney stones — to generate shock waves aimed at the treatment site. The shock waves achieve therapeutic results by increasing blood flow to trigger a healing response. This eases inflammation in the heel and relieves chronic pain.

    With several surgical and non-surgical treatment alternatives available, heel pain should not be tolerated as a consequence of aging, injury, disease or regular physical activity. Sometimes a simple modification of daily activities to reduce stress on the feet can help relieve it. But for those with persistent heel pain, podiatric foot and ankle surgeons are the experts to consult for determining the most appropriate treatments.

Welcome to NB Wellness


A place where we give in to our desire to feel good
and revel in movement to feel more alive

A place that entices us to live life wholly, from inside out

Where happiness comes from knowing what to embrace
and what to let go.

And where each day is an opportunity to
indulge the mind, body & soul.

New Balance M996

Looking everywhere for the rare M996? Look no further. We have plenty in stock. This classic retro shoe is also Made in the USA!


Classic retro-style New Balance running shoe with comfortable Pigskin/Mesh upper, C-CAP midsole and ENCAP wedge.

New Balance M996 Product Details:

  • Solid Rubber Outsole: Provides long-wearing durability
  • ENCAP Midsole: Provides durability and stability via polyurethane and cushioning via a core of EVA<
  • Suede/Mesh Upper: Natural comfort, durability and breathability.

    NB Atlanta’s Price: $104.95

newSKY: An Innovative Approach to Shoe Design

Design Lead for Wellness Drew Spieth and Senior Designer Christine Hall discuss the creation of newSKY.

With a minimal, thoughtfully-designed upper constructed entirely out of fabric made from post-consumer plastic bottles, newSKY represents an innovative approach to both material and shoe design as part of a greater effort from New Balance to adopt more sustainable practices. To learn more about the shoe’s development, we sat down with New Balance Senior Designer Christine Hall and Design Lead for Wellness Drew Spieth to discuss how they used recycled material to create a comfortable, stylish shoe.

“The principles of shoemaking didn’t necessarily apply to this fabric,” said Drew. “It doesn’t work like a regular shoe material.” To accommodate the fabric’s unique characteristics, the designers decided to reduce the amount of extraneous elements, including only what’s necessary and leaving out what’s not – a purposeful approach to shoe design that New Balance continues to implement through footwear collections such as the NB Minimus. In the development of newSKY, the designers borrowed elements from NB Minimus by utilizing the same outsole and last. “For the design intent of the upper, the same philosophies are applied – minimizing the amount of materials used so you’re not over-building the shoe, but making it as comfortable as possible,” said Drew.

The decision to use recycled fabric for the entire upper was one of the biggest hurdles to overcome, as well as the greatest opportunity for innovation. “A typical shoe has a lot of different types of materials,” said Drew. “What’s really interesting about this is, aside from the foam and the little rubber components [on the outsole] and a little bit of water based glue, the only material here is the recycled fabric.”

The designers were confronted with the challenge of replacing traditional elements of shoe construction such as foam, leather, or plastic with the recycled material – all while maintaining both comfort and durability. ”With every piece of the shoe we were challenged to go back to our old standbys for a lot of materials,” said Drew.

Every component has a specific purpose – boards that display each piece of material help the designers decide what to keep and what to leave out.

In traditional shoe design, materials like plastic and leather provide shape and structure; however, the designers reduced the need for conventional reinforcements. Typically, a rigid counter would be used to support the heel, but here, the heel has been reinforced with strategic stitching along the back seam combined with a thicker weight of fabric. “The heel is where most of the reinforcing happens,” said Christine. “But when we doubled-up the material you don’t need any reinforcement because the material is doing it itself.”

By working with the fabric’s distinctive features, the designers eliminated the need for many traditional, non-recycled materials. For a typical shoe, “there’s foam, a reinforcer, another reinforcer, and an external material,” said Drew. “A lot of stuff goes in there and we stripped all that out.”

The completed design of newSKY.

To learn more about how the fabric moved, flexed, and held up under different construction methods, the designers experimented with the shoe’s assembly. In early prototypes, the material was molded to see how it would react – the fabric was cut into one piece, heated, and then pressed to form the shape of the shoe. “As you mold it, the material becomes very rigid, so it has a really interesting look to it, but it’s kind of hard.” said Christine. “In our own design ethos, one of the things we talk about a lot is comfort and something that feels really nice and soft.” The decision was made to revert to a more traditional stitching technique – allowing the recycled material to be soft, pliable, but most importantly, very comfortable on the foot.

In the final design, each element of newSKY is a testament to thoughtful shoe construction through an innovative use of material. Fabric made from post-consumer plastic bottles was developed into a comfortable, well-designed shoe. “It was a big goal to keep it functional and looking stylish,” said Drew. “At the end of the day, it looks like an interesting shoe and also looks great on the foot.”

Exclusive: NB Minimus Zero: 9 Things You Should Know

Detail, NB Minimus Zero Trail

Our NB Minimus line offers an invigorating, award-winning, closer-to-barefoot experience with a dramatically lower heel-to-midfoot drop than traditional running shoes. In March 2012, at running stores across the country, we will extend the much talked-about NB Minimus line with the arrival of NB Minimus Zero – new road, trail and wellness shoes that continue to deliver that minimal, light and right experience, but with a 0mm heel-to-midfoot drop. This is a feature that many of the most vocal members of the NewBalance.com community, many of them experienced natural runners, have asked about. We asked New Balance SBU Manager for Performance Running and Outdoor, Katherine Petrecca, who introduced us to NB Minimus the first time around, to help us get up to speed on what we can expect.

1. Minimal means many things.
“From the start, we envisioned creating a range of “minimal” within the collection in order to satisfy the interests and needs of a broad spectrum of runners. The response to our original 10 series product (4mm drop) has been terrific, but we know that there are many runners who are intensely interested in zero drop products. There are good reasons why a runner might prefer one style over the other – and we ultimately want to support them both and more.”

2. ‘Zero’ refers to more than just the size of the drop.
“We define our NB Minimus collection by 3 measures: weight, stack height and the heel-to-toe drop. Those are the levers that we can pull to create different levels of minimal product. In addition to the reduced drop, NB Minimus Zero products also feature lower stack heights and weights than the 10 series – 6.4 oz for NB Minimus Zero Road and 4.4 oz for NB Minimus Zero Trail.”

3. Zero wouldn’t have been possible without the first round of NB Minimus product.
“We definitely learned a lot in the process of making the first NB Minimus product. I don’t think we’ve ever done more prototype rounds on a shoe than the MT10!”

4. We’ve had too many ideas to fit into just one model.
“We had some ideas for the 10 series that we weren’t able to execute at the time. You’ll begin to see those on the NB Minimus Zero product. One example is the coring of the midsole on the Zero that greatly reduces weight and provides amazing flexibility. In fact, we had an idea for the original product that we are still working on for the third evolution of NB Minimus in 2013.”

Sole detail, NB Minimus Zero Trail

5. These shoes are going to make you work for it.
“The NB Minimus Zero series product is for runners who are looking to go even more minimal – more ground feel, more independent foot movement, less weight. The Trail Zero is particularly minimal. It will really force the runner to pay attention to how they are running because the shoe won’t be doing any of the work for them.”

6. You’re going to want to come prepared.
“We would recommend the NB Minimus Zeros to runners who are already experienced with minimal trainers. NB Minimus Zero would be a big departure for people who are running in traditional shoes – even more so than our current line. The zero drop is only part of the minimal equation that runners should note. We have significantly reduced the amount of foam and rubber underfoot.”

7. Zero drop is going to be an adjustment for a lot of people.
“Transition times vary per person, but it’s important that even experienced minimal runners make transitions cautiously. Incorporate more minimal products slowly into your running schedule and be hyper-aware of what you are feeling in your feet, ankles and calves. We also highly recommend employing Good Form Running techniques while using minimal shoes.”

8. NB Minimus is inspiring updates in other running shoes.
“In general, we’ve found that runners are increasingly interested in more neutral platforms. We have taken this thinking into other areas of our running product line and have expanded our use of non-traditional off-sets. In Spring 2012, we’ll launch 2 key performance updates that will move from a 12mm to an 8mm drop.”

9. And even in some places that don’t have anything to do with running.
“You’ll definitely see that influence in other products…you’ve already seen it with NB Minimus Life and NB Minimus Training.”