With the new model ZEAL Icebug jumps right into the untouched future of running shoes. A future where the impossible combination of being able to provide both stability and softness is no longer impossible. Because now Icebug has developed the HGMS2-technology.
Common practise in the business when developing a trail running shoe is to start with an already existing asphalt shoe and upgrade outsole and design. Icebug approaches trail running from the other side, wise from several years in the hard school of orienteering in the deep Swedish forests. All lessons that have been learned in this fostering school yard are embodied in TRUE trail running shoes.
The work of creating ZEAL started more than three years ago, led by elite athletes and engineers Peter Öberg and Erik Öhlund. What they were after was something brand new. They had an idea of leaving old thoughts behind and find new ways to create a high performance shoe.
– Running feeling, protection and traction – those were the three key words when we started. After that we gave ourselves the time and opportunity to try a lot of new ideas, one after another. Some ideas we had to let go of, others became great new parts of the new model, says Erik Öhlund.
Several generations of the shoe were both tested out in the nature and in labs. No less than ten elite runners, all members of different national teams, were involved in the birth of ZEAL. One of the big new ideas they tested was the HGMS2-technology (Holy Grail Midsole Soft AND Stable – technology). And it’s within this technology the very core of Zeal shoe is found. The holy grail of off trail running is to provide both stability and flexibility, but to make a midsole stable yet soft has so far proven too difficult for PD teams world-wide. Until now!
The midsole construction of ZEAL, with the HGMS2, is nothing but true innovation.
ZEAL is a stable but yet has a soft running feeling. This is the impossible combo, made reality thanks to the moulded midsole cradle, whose U-shape makes it torsionally rigid while the level of flexibility and softness is still high. The midsole not only adds superb fit, it also turns into the reinforcement protecting the foot in serious terrain. The height of the heel cup is slightly reduced at centre back in order to reduce the pressure at the Achilles tendon. The torsion and cushioning is in fine balance and together with the low sole profile the ground control is just outstanding. Together with the traction of the sole (OLX version with studs or the amazing traction rubber RB9X) the midsole offers unique control at high speed running on and particularly off the trail.
– This is a shoe with a pure racing soul, but for a wider range of people than most other. The weight is normal for a race shoe but it’s also a comfortable race shoe – that’s not something you’re used too! Even better is that the nice feeling comes without compromising with the performance, Erik Öhlund says.
After more than three years and lots of tests ZEAL is now ready to fly. This model sets a new standard for off trail performance and aesthetics, it’s the shoe we will be proud to see on the top of the podium!