Former Vibram USA CEO Tony Post has left the company to create a brand new minimalist footwear venture. Securing $5m in funding from a Silicon Valley Venture Capital firm, Topo Athletic plans to offer a wide range of footwear for the outdoor athlete who appreciates simple yet functional design.
According to SportsOneSource, lightweight running is now the biggest driver of growth in the athletic footwear market, earning $1.5 billion this year with 50 percent expected growth in 2013. Post, a former college cross-country runner who gave up the sport because of knee problems, started running again thanks to the FiveFingers product he introduced with Vibram in 2006. Exiting from the company last June, Post now wants to capitalize on the still growing minimalist footwear trend with his new company Topo Athletic.
Unlike Vibram FiveFingers, the new Topo Athletic footwear line will not be barefoot style, albeit still lightweight. The footwear is said to enhance your normal biomechanics when running, helping you to train better towards your goals.
Topo Athletic will officially launch at the Outdoor Retailer trade show next month, with consumers able to get their hands on the footwear around May 2013. Before then, very few details are available apart from the knowledge that three shoes will start off the line- two for road running and one for fitness endeavors such as Crossfit.
The Topo Athletic website shows blurred images of the three shoes, all pictured above. The footwear appears to feature some sort of Vibram tread sole, minimal to zero drop, and a glove like fit similar to the Merrell minimalist line.
Stay tuned for more details come January.