We woke up Wednesday morning at ATDG headquarters and saw an interesting post on Instagram from Discmania’s Jussi Meresmaa. In the back of the photo we noticed a new Discmania branded shoe in the banner and on the wall. We reached out to Meresmaa and learned of the new Discmania TRX-1 shoe.
In this exclusive interview, Meresmaa explains the idea behind the shoe and all the details you wish to know.
What made you want to get into the shoe business? How do you think these Discmania shoes will stand up against many of the popular choices for disc golfers today?
“Discmania wants to be on the pulse of Disc Golf business. The reason we wanted to enter the shoe business is that we have developed a really successful disc golf course concept called DiscGolfPark. In our courses, we use turf tee pads. We wanted to create a shoe for those pads. Our shoe has many interesting design ideas for a great disc golf shoe.”
It appears to be more of a trail type shoe, correct? Does it have a name?
“Yes, The model name is ‘Discmania TRX-1′. You can call it ‘Teerex-1′. It has pretty rugged sole.”
Let’s get the obvious details out of the way… when can we expect them to be available? Colors? Sizes? Price?
“I regret to tell you that this shoe will be mainly offered in Europe. Especially in US, almost all tee pads are cement and TRX-1 will not perform on those. Our shoe is developed for turf tee pads. We might release a small run of these on our Discmania USA store, but there are no plans for wider distribution on these. For US markets, we want to enter with different type of a shoe.”
“In Europe, this shoe will premiere in April 2015. We are currently going through the presales and after the first day it looks promising. All major sporting goods stores will carry these next spring. Retail price will be 79€ [about $104]. We will offer one color (black/grey) and sizes 40-45 [US sizes 7-12]”
Is this a solo venture or a partnership with a company for soles? Using Keen or Vibram, for example.
“This is a solo venture and we have been developing this for eight months now. I can honestly say that we have created a good product.”
Discmania is now the third disc golf company behind Dynamic Discs and Salient Discs to put out a shoe. From a “growing the sport” view do you think these are all positive steps in the right direction?
“Yes, its important that there is specific gear in our sport. Footwear is a really tough business and you will face all the major brands there. Our perspective is to create a Discmania branded shoe that has a proven functionality – not just a shoe with our label. We have designed a special toe guard to prevent wear, uniform inside side that fits to your foot like a sock. Our shoe is really light weight compared to the craftsmanship and durability. It’s also waterproof.”
For Team Discmania, will they be required to wear the shoe or can the shoe of their choice in tournaments?
“No plans to add that into our agreements. This is a pilot project for us and we’ll see how it goes. As said, these shoes are not ideal on cement pads.”
You have always had a long list of dreams and desires for disc golf. This has ranged from course design, product design, media partnerships, etc… the list goes on. I’m sure a shoe was on that list and you can cross that one of. What is it like to have all these large ideas and finally see another one come to life?
“This shoe project has been really interesting. We started a year ago and went to the largest shoe trade show in Germany to meet possible manufacturers. After two grueling long days we went through 15-20 factories and narrowed our discussions to two most potential. It took eight months and four different versions to finally pull this off.”
“Making a shoe has never been on my top list. But it felt obvious to do. There are big plans and visions in the horizon.”
Where will people be able to buy the shoe?
“Release in Europe in April. We will contact our dealers during the winter. US release under consideration. I’m afraid our customers will disappoint to this if used on wrong surfaces.”
A big thank you to Meresmaa for the details. We’ll continue our conversations with Meresmaa as the Discmania TRX-1 is released in April 2015.