Per­for­mance shoes have never looked or felt so ex­cit­ing and run­ners are buy­ing them in record quan­ti­ties. As the pace of in­no­va­tion quick­ens, in­dus­try ex­perts talk tech­nol­ogy, de­sign and the race to bring the coolest kicks to mar­ket.

Canadian Running - - Race Guide -

D’Wayne Ed­wards

The Yoda of per­for­mance shoe de­sign, D’ Wayne Ed­wards’s ca­reer has spanned three decades, cul­mi­nat­ing in his po­si­tion as de­sign di­rec­tor for Nike where he be­came one of only seven de­sign­ers in the world to de­sign an Air Jor­dan. His de­signs have sold more than $1 bil­lion in footwear world­wide. He now ed­u­cates and men­tors up-and­com­ing footwear de­sign­ers at his ed­u­ca­tion fa­cil­ity, Pen­sole Footwear De­sign Academy in Portland, Ore.

James Bleak­ley

Sole op­er­a­tor James Bleak­ley is al­ready carv­ing out a place for him­self as one of Canada’s only free­lance per­for­mance footwear de­sign con­sul­tants. The 23-year-old On­tar­ian is an In­sta­gram gen­er­a­tion de­signer with an en­vi­able so­cial me­dia fol­low­ing and an even more en­vi­able sneaker col­lec­tion. His ca­reer is forged from a long-held pas­sion for kicks.

Claire Wood

New Bal­ance’s se­nior prod­uct man­ager has worked in sports footwear since she was just 15-years-old. Be­fore join­ing the team at New Bal­ance, Claire Wood worked for com­peti­tor Brooks and has watched the in­dus­try and the brands within it evolve to meet con­sumer de­mand. She de­ter­mines what New Bal­ance prod­ucts will be hit­ting the shelves each sea­son.

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