Vitruvian Running Shoes

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Vitruvian Running Shoes

Vitruvian running shoes from Performance Footwear Solution's Inc¹ were developed by Chuck LaBonte² and launched in 2003 after he had a long career with a number of leading running shoe companies. The aim was to develop a low cost no frills running shoe. He removed a lot of the gimmicks from the shoes and sold them direct to the consumers, avoiding a lot of the costs that the more traditional running shoe companies had. They also promised not to change the shoe with seasonal trends and keep the same model in production so runners could get the same shoe from year to year.

The company was based in Hooksett, New Hampshire and the shoes were manufactured under contract in Indonesia.

Vitruvian Running Shoes

The link to Leonarda da Vinci and the Vitruvian man imagery was explained on the company's website as:

"Almost everyone is familiar with the famous Vitruvian Man drawing. If the name doesn't ring a bell, the drawing certainly would. It was done by Leonardo da Vinci to celebrate the work of Marco Vitruvius, a Roman engineer and architect who lived from 90 B.C. to 20 B.C. Vitruvius wrote a book called De Architectural. In it is a passage called The Planning of Temples. It is here that Vitruvius describes the relative proportions and symmetry of the human body. This inspired Leonardo's famous artwork and it inspired our engineered performance running shoes, the Proportion and the Symmetry "

Vitruvian Running Shoe technology and design:
In 2010 LaBonte  closed the business due to sluggish sales. In this interview with Scott Douglas from Running Times, he discusses his approach to the industry and why the approach did not succeed. Runners often stated they did not like the approach taken by the more traditional running shoe companies and appreciated the 'no frills' approach, but that does not necessarily mean that they would buy them. Vitruvian was supported by a loyal, but small group of runners, that really did like the shoes. They were a good running shoe, but some concern was raised as to why they were so cheap compared to the main running shoes at the time. They sold for USD$59.

The previous website of the company has been taken over by a spam site, but it can still be viewed at the WayBack archive and the Facebook page still exists.

Vitruvian Running Shoes Models:

Vitruvian Harmony
'Made on a semi-curved last. Generally used for fitting a medium to high arch'³.

Vitruvian Symmetry
'Made on a straight last. Usually used for fitting a flat or fuller foot shape. Utilizes a stability posted midsole''³.

Vitruvian Proportion
'Made on a semi-curved last. Generally used for fitting a medium to high arch. Utilizes a stability posted midsole''³.

1. Performance Footwear Solution Inc was incorporated in 2001 in New Hampshire and dissolved in 2011.
2. LinkedIn Profile and Facebook Profile of Chuck LaBonte.
3. Based on information from the Vitruvian website.

Related Topics:
Leonarado da Vinci | Vitruvian Man | Running Shoes | Straight vs Curved Last

Primary author of this page: Craig Payne
About: University lecturer, runner, cynic, researcher, blogger, skeptic, woo basher, clinician, forum admin, rabble-rouser, dad. Follow Craig on Twitter, Google+ and Facebook
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