New Balance returned to the soccer world in 2015 after a few years of absence, forming strong bonds with elite clubs Liverpool, Celtic, Porto, Sevilla and many others. Their Visaro and Furon cleats entered the stage succesfully, and in their continous search for innovation, New Balance revamped the Furon under the guidance of Bryan Gothie, NB Senior Product Manager. Soccer365 sat down with Gothie to learn how the Furon 2.0 came to be.
“A lot of the success that the brand has had recently, within a short period of time, (is that) we really been able to prove ourselves as a players brand and make a real impact on the field with professional players.”
This was key for the development of the Furon 2.0, New Balance listened to all the feedback that players like Jesús Navas (Manchester City) and Álvaro Negredo (Middlesbrough FC) had to offer after wearing the first Furons during a whole year. The upper was the main target in this renovation process, aiming for a more comfortable construction and enhanced ball touch experience. The material was made softer and more flexible by integrating TPU into the fabric.
The lacing system and ankle area were also updated to deliver a better experience. New Balance tried a Burrito Tongue construction for the first Furons, which didn’t quite work for the players, prompting the innovation department to try something different.
“We went for a more traditional straight-line lacing with a more traditional tongue construction. The feedback, the response to that has been phenomenal, everyone seems to be responding to the fit we have accomplished with that adjustment”. However, if something works and players like it, it is also good to leave it as it is.
“The plate is the same as currently on the Furon 1.0. This plate was designed to deliver a linear sprinting mindset, we really focused as much as possible upon the medial forefoot and the transition onto the big toe. That’s where you’re gonna find the most pressure, most forces are ocurring whenever you are sprinting on a straight line.”
As for the future, the plans are to continue establishing the brand in the eyes of the general public. Professional teams and players are already aware of what NB can do and what they aim for, but your average Joe may not be fully aware of that yet. Of course, innovation won’t stop. Players’ needs change with time, and soccer gear must evolve to satisfy them.
“I think for New Balance Soccer on the next couple of years we want to establish ourselves with the general population that may not know that we are out there, get them familiar with the brand and familiar with the product and really use that to establish our base and to expand from there.”
“With our second and third generations you’ll start to see us push it a little bit more, pushing on materials and pushing on design. Our product is gonna be improving along with what we do, that’s our goal. I think in a very short amount of time you’re gonna see some big changes from us.”
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