PODCAST EPISODE 145: Reducing Existing Pain with a New Running Shoe, Featuring Lenn Hann

podcast shoes Feb 24, 2021

What inspires someone to spend 20 years developing a new running shoe technology? I wanted to get to know the man behind the carbon composite suspension technology in the newest running shoe, Hann Shoes.

Lenn Hann on how he got started: 

I started out running in college, not as part of a track team or anything, but recreationally. And through my early running years, I was like everybody. I was happy. I was enthused. I'm building miles. I'm running races. In 1995, I completed my very first marathon and got a pretty serious injury during the training.  And I had been since college, bread-knifing shoes apart that I thought were really nice -- just to see what's inside. How are they built? Or [shoes] that really offended me...to see what's inside and understand why isn't the shoe working. And the shoe that I got the injury from... I was so upset. It was brand new. I bread-knifed it apart and there was so much structure inside of it that there was no way it wasn't going to hurt me.


On when he knew he was onto something:

One evening I grabbed a cooler of Gatorade and a towel, and I had nowhere to fly to, but I drove to O'Hare, and as it turns out, the belts in the parking level weren't moving that evening. They were stopped. And I asked the guys who were working on it, "Hey, do you care if I run on these things?| And this was before 911, and they couldn't care less, as long as I stayed out of their way,  and so I put everything down and I had a bag full of shoes that I wanted to try.

I took my shoes off. I'm barefoot, and I start jogging back and forth on the belt that was not moving. And I thought, what the heck? I figured out the length and the laps, and I knew how many laps it would take to do a half marathon. And I started running barefoot on these belts.

There were five sections of belt and hard flooring marble in between. And I would just skip along on the front of my feet between those. And then once I hit the belt, I would take off again, really hit it. About an hour into it, I'm looking at my watch going I'm on pace for a record half marathon, and as I finished, I came in at just over two hours. Which a normal half marathon would be for me 2:20, 2:28-2:30, depending on how hilly it was. And I came in just barely a couple of minutes over two hours. And that was the first big epiphany.

To hear the full episode, click on the player above, or search for Power Up Your Performance anywhere you listen to podcasts.

Hann Shoes has a Kickstarter going through March 25th to fund the production of this shoe. Learn more here and be among the first to train and race in this new shoe.


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