Norda for HHV Journal
Words: Mikey Kratzer
Trying to do it right. Norda, a relatively young trail shoe brand, already left a mark in the current trail running space. Not only providing a high-end durable trail running shoe but also unconsciously bridging the gap to fashion. With the current rise of technical gear in the fashion space Nordas’ timing could not have been better.
I started noticing Norda as they started to pop up on social media. Being a nerd for running shoes I soon found myself in the rabbit hole. It seemed that a lot of my North American peers were rocking them already and I was curious. Now the question was how I could get a hold of a pair of fresh 001. The task at hand wasn’t as easy as you might think it would be. Either they were sold out or they didn’t have my size. Retailers were few and far between in Europe so it took some patience to finally have a pair delivered to my door. But when they did, they lived up to the hype. Many miles into them I was hooked about the brands’ communication the community they formed and the way the shoes behaved on the trails.
Willa and Nick Martire (FOUNDERS) have been on the search for the ultimate trail shoe but could not find it. Instead of leaving it to others, they took it in their hands to create a high-performance shoe that they could not find in the running space. How could it be that such a small brand had solutions for problems I always had with my current trail kicks. Worn down upper before the sole was dead. Losing the pop in the midsole to name a few. Maybe because they had the same issues and were willing to go the extra mile to figure it out. With a background in the shoe industry, they knew they couldn’t fix it with the conventional approach and had to dig deep to find the sources to design a shoe from scratch. By reaching out to a passionate group of athletes around the world the shoes got tested in the toughest conditions on the spectrum. From hot desert miles to the Canadian cold in winter they developed a shoe that doesn’t compromise.
Only having the performance side dialled in doesn’t cut it these days. Being conscious about the environment, they want you to explore, the ambition is to be as sustainable as possible without compromising technologies. Not only giving the runner the tool to push their performance but also collectively taking care that resources that go into a shoe are as sustainable as possible. Using Bio-based Dyneema Fiber and taking care to optimize packaging and the whole backbone is at the forefront of Norda’s mission to change the running space and ensure that we can run through nature together. And that should be the priority. We are drawn to the great outdoors and it’s an obligation to do what we can to ensure that we leave the smallest footprint possible.
It’s not an unfamiliar view these days to see hiking, trail or running shoes in inner city surroundings. With the rise of Gorpcore Nordas also occupy the canyon-like atmosphere of city landscapes. Investing in a shoe that has a purpose and combining it with fashionable items means you don’t have to compromise on comfort while still looking fresh. Whether it’s a brunch date with colleagues or a casual walk around the block. Daydreaming about the Mountains while showing off your true passion. And if the situation arrives there is no need to change clothes to climb the next peak or just the nearest park deck to enjoy a sundown with friends.
In general, the holistic approach to running and life in general is clearly a key message that Norda wants to spread. Align with that the following of enthusiasts called “Norda-Fam” gives the brand authenticity that lots of other brands lack. They managed to give shine to the weekend warriors, the fast, the slow, the trailblazers and city slackers by reposting their adventures and in some cases supporting them along their journeys. No bought influencers but facilitators in the running space multiply the voice of this brand and it’s refreshing to see that new wind in this niche part of the running world.
I will leave you with a question asked by Norda:
WHAT DO YOU RUN FOR?
Discover Norda at HHV, online and in-store.