Zoot recently celebrated 30 years on the same holy grounds of triathlon where they began; in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii (in conjunction with Ironman Hawaii). And they did it in style, with a retro throw-back to the 80’s booth fully loaded with original clothing, topping off the celebrations by hosting the post-Kona party. While I was sad to miss the occasion, I feel pretty honored to have been on board of this company for almost 20% of their life span.
Not sure if you know this, but a triathlete can actually equip themself from head to toe (swim, bike and run) in Zoot apparel; lacking only goggles. Their bandwidth has expanded significantly the past few years, to not only include a wide and eclectic running shoe line which can be found on ShoeHero, but also cycling gear, swim suits, speed suits and wetsuits, running clothes, socks…arm warmers…arm coolers…sports bras…tanks…capris…knee warmers… you name it. I’ve found that they have combined function and comfort with style incredibly well, especially the past few years as things have really progressed. They take valuable feedback from top-level triathletes to hone in on their running shoes; experimenting with various levels of heel to toe drop, different lacing systems (recently the BOA closure on one of my go-to’s, the Ultra Race), and an array of different uppers. They were originally only doing ‘triathlon specific’ with built in elastic laces but have recently come out with an assortment of regular-laced shoes for training, usually with elastic laces given as an option. I can honestly say that with the variety of shoes, there is one that will work for everyone; they acknowledge that running shoes are a personal item.
They have not neglected looks either; I can’t tell you the number of women that compliment me on my Zoot kicks. The first time I wore the new pink and blue TT’s this year at Texas 70.3, I had numerous women asking where they could find them! Fit, function, and comfort are important; but you can’t deny, we all like to look and feel good in what we sport. This spills into the womens clothing. I can honestly toss on my shorts, sports bra and tank to run in and swap out a t-shirt post run with some flops or capri’s and run errands or meet a friend for a beer. The clothing is just as eye-catching as it is practical.
Beyond the products themselves, Zoot is a company made of hard-working, energetic, ‘real’, awesome people. They are based in Southern California, so always the opportunity to test all of their gear outside in prime conditions. You can tell upon meeting anyone in the Zoot family that they are passionate about triathlon and what they do. To me, these are the real roots of why and how a company can become so successful. I’ve heard them use the motto, “Here from the Start”. And you can bet on this trajectory, they’ll be here ‘til the end.