ON running shoe

ISPO BrandNew Awards is an annual competition hosted by ISPO sports trade shows based in Munich. Each year, the winners are often an interesting combination of leading-edge products in sportswear apparel and hardgoods and are excellent indicators for where things are headed. For example, one of our favorites in the past was the solar-paneled bag that basically re-charged your cell phone or other devices simply by being in your very fashionable-looking bag. While often many winners (and entries) in the ISPO BrandNew Awards competition can border on the extreme-geek side of technology and sports, others are just so relevant and cool.

This year’s winners, announced on Thursday, December 17, include many unique concepts, but here are three we find most fascinating:

With the plethora of running shoes on the market today, coming out with a new sneaker -global recession or not–is a bold move. Swiss triathlete Olivier Bernhard was sick of running in pain and created a running shoe called “On” that reduces the impact of both horizontal and vertical impacts. The result is a “rolling” running experience using “Wave Step” technology, which is a hollow 3-D element in the sole. Overall the shoe looks like it has massive Hummer-tire treads but the low profile on top of the shoe does provide a sleek look. If you can get over the fact that the black and neon green laces and treads resemble an Xbox console, then these shoes are a good choice -whether you’re a hardcore runner or not -simply because they’re sure to be a sneaker-freaker’s must-have in 2010.

Boo Bikes Bamboo Fixie

It’s a fixie collector’s dream come true. Nick Frey, 23, a student studying mechanical engineering at Princeton and a bike rider himself, created a bamboo bike and appropriately started “Boo Bikes.” It takes 50 hours of labor for every frame. The bike also consists of bamboo rims, special handlebar inserts, and bamboo bike racks. Already highlighted in Velo News, Boo Bikes is on a roll.

Monkee is a new label intended for rock climbers or as their very cool video states, for “urban rockers, city apes, and neo hippies.” Basically it’s a new sportswear line that could be worn to yoga class or actually rock climbing, but I bet people buy it (males and females) for its eco-functionality and style -somewhat like how non-yoga/rock climbers buy Lulu Lemon as a snowboarding first-layer piece or just to hang around in. They won because their production chain is completely “bio-certified and made with only recycled and recyclable materials” among other reasons. They’re also somewhat unique because they only offer one collection per year. This isn’t a brand out to make big bucks fast but have a message of changing the world through inspiring others to “move about in nature” (even if you live in a city) and think about what they’re wearing. Cool logo, designs, and styles obviously help including “climber pants” that actually look like denim but have the same functionality as core climbing pants.