Relance – new shoe on the block

A close up of a blue Relance trainer.

Several months ago, I was contacted to ask whether I would like to try out a new brand of trainers. I’m always interested in new products and am on a quest to find the perfect running shoes for me. Enter Relance.

I opened the initial box and saw a plain brown box inside. It didn’t give me any clues about the product, so I hastily opened it.

Nestled inside the box was a pair of beautiful vibrant blue trainers. The colour is absolutely gorgeous. I couldn’t wait to try them on and go for a run… but they were delivered during my working day, so I had to wait!

Two bright blue trainers nestled in a shoebox. They have red, white and blue decorative stitching.

Who are Relance?

Relance – meaning ‘relaunch’ or ‘boost’ – was set up by a team of running enthusiasts. They wanted to design and manufacture running shoes in France. Their aim was to combine an elegant look with high performance. Good quality materials have been chosen and the products have been tested by many experienced runners. Each shoe weighs under 300g.

What colours do the shoes come in?

All of the trainers (RL-01) have white and black soles and the same decorative stitching on the sides (three blue stripes, a white stripe and a red stripe. There is a tricolour heel-tab as well as a reflective silver panel on the back. A nice feature of the silver panel is that it has a map of France embossed on it.

The upper of the trainer comes in royal blue, red, white or black. I thought black was not exciting enough and white would get dirty too easily. My choice was between blue and red. I thought blue would match more of my running kit, which helped to make my decision… however the red is also gorgeous.

Tell me more about the technical specification…

As well as looking amazing the shoes are comfortable and include some well-thought-out features. In RL-01, the upper consists of a very light and resistant knit. This provides excellent support for the foot while allowing it to breathe. This technical upper is placed on a midsole designed especially for the pair. 

Like many running shoes these days, the upper is mounted on a fairly thick midsole for more comfort. However, as Relance’s Creative Director, Violaine Grégoire, explains:

“We opted for a fairly thick midsole design, but unlike what is done on most running shoes, we decided to make a fairly thick sole at the front for better cushioning at the expense of of the drop. “

Violaine Grégoire – Relaunch Running

The midsole offers good cushioning which limits fatigue in the heels. The outsole provides good grip. These choices make the RL-01 a universal footwear choice for everyday runners. The shoes manage to feel solidly constructed whilst also being light. I think the sole would make them suitable for both road running and light trail running… and will be testing out this theory in a later blog post.

Where can I buy these shoes?

You can express your interest in the shoes via Kickstarter from Sunday 8th August. The cost of the trainers is comparable with other premium brands. However, if you support Relance during the crowdfunding period, you could save 30% making the shoes a fantastic proposition.

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