Renowned ultrarunner and ski mountaineer Kilian Jornet, whose trail shoe brand NNormal kicked off in Europe and the US late last year, launched in Canada on Monday, with two shoes that will be of great interest to Canadian trail runners: the Kjerag high performance/racing shoe and the Tomir, which is made for the long run (or for trail hiking).
NNormal was created in partnership with the Spanish shoe brand Camper; the shoes were designed in Mallorca, Spain and tested by Jornet in the mountains of western Norway, where he lives with his wife, the Swedish ultrarunner Emelie Forsberg, and their two small daughters. Jornet wore the Kjerag during his winning performance at UTMB (Ultra Trail du Mont-Blanc) in August 2022.
The brand signed its first pro sponsored athlete, American track runner and steeplechaser Allie Ostranderin February.
Named for a spectacular land formation in western Norway, the Kjerag is a very light performance shoe weighing only 200 grams that is extremely flexible in the forefoot, with a spacious toe box, a durable Kevlar and polyamide upper and a stable, highly responsive, low -density foam midsole that lets you feel every nuance of the trail. It has 23.5 mm of cushioning in the heel, a 6 mm offset from heel to forefoot and a Vibram Litebase outsole with 3 mm lugs, providing durability and traction for fast workouts and racing. It will retail for CAD $249 (around the median price for a trail racing shoe).
Tomir, the long-run or hiking shoe, has a thicker light-EVA midsole and a more substantial upper with an asymmetric lacing system, and is available in low and mid-ankle heights. It has 31 mm of foam in the heel, an 8 mm offset, a similarly grippy and durable Vibram Megagrip outsole and will retail for CAD $219.90. (A waterproof version is also available, in both low and mid-ankle heights.)
Jornet is well known for his commitment to the environment and to climate responsibility, and that is reflected in NNormal’s business practices, with plans for repairing and recycling shoes and a commitment to using durable materials that preserve the life of the shoe. The brand also does not plan to update shoe models or colors for every season, according to Cedric Laffont, co-founder of Montreal-based Abritu Sport, NNormal’s Canadian distributor. “NNormal values are driven by environmental concerns, and how to reduce our global impact through mindful consumption.”
A hydration vest and other accessories such as socks, clothing and hats are also available.
The shoes will be available in limited quantities this spring through 14 independent running stores across Canada. For more information, click here.