Every year, we carry out a runners’ survey to better understand how and why people run (or plan to run, for those who aren’t there yet).
It’s always amazing and humbling to read each individual feedback and connect with so many people around the world who took the time to be open and share their journeys with us. We too want to share the collective lessons that we learned from our 2017 survey.
1. We needed to adjust the sizing
We had the data from exchanges, which showed us high exchange rates for smaller men’s sizes and larger women’s sizes. But the data didn’t paint the full picture.
The survey gave us the extra anecdotal evidence we needed to take the plunge and change our sizing. While we’d always wanted the Iten to be a snug fitting shoe, it was clearly too much. Nearly every woman above size 8 mentioned the shoes being tight. The rate amongst men wasn’t much better.
So we took note and made our shoes .5 size across the board. So, for example, our 8 is now the size of our old 8.5. Thanks to everyone who took the survey last year for helping us get that right. And for those who loved the fit of your shoes: don’t worry! Just order .5 smaller and they’ll fit just like your pair from 2017.
2. Keep on reducing waste
We knew whatever packing material we put into our shoes would be immediately thrown out by most people who received them. So rather than use new or even recycled material, we decided to use old newspapers that would otherwise be thrown away. We were nervous about doing this, as newspaper doesn’t have the same crisp feel as tissue paper or cardboard cutouts.
So we asked an open question about how people felt about our packaging and heard an overwhelming response that you loved it. And beyond reducing waste, for people outside, it brought them a bit of Kenya.
We heard the feedback, and are continuing to focus on reducing waste in packing and packing out shoes. Let us know what month’s news you get!
3. Bye bye pronation control
For a long time, brands have sold shoes based on how much they limited pronation — the natural rotation of the ankle — claiming it reduced injury. There was just one big problem with this: it isn’t true.
Thankfully the myth is slowly dying. In our 2015 survey, 53% of people listed pronation control as an important feature to consider when buying a shoe. By 2017, only 23% of people still considered it an important feature.
Certainly, there are people who need some additional support when running and should have a medically prescribed orthotic. In the meantime, most runners don’t have to worry about this confusing marketing gimmick when picking the right shoe.
Thanks to everyone who took part in our 2017 survey.
We’re excited to keep listening and learning, so whether or not you took last year’s survey, we’d deeply appreciate a few minutes of your time filling out the 2018 edition.