Japanese firm tests shoes in Madang

Momase, Normal

The National, Thursday, May 26th 2011

A MAJOR shoe company from Japan has chosen Madang to trial run its latest training shoe known as ‘Minimus’.
The concept of the shoe under the New Balance brand, is, according to Ryuji Takahashi, ”supposed to make the person feel like he or she is running barefoot”.
“The barefoot concept is for safety, speed and to save energy. There has been several sporting codes which have increased injury. We hope to minimise injuries by introducing these polyester/nylon-made shoes, quick to dry when washed, comfortable and durable in all weather and conditions,” he said.
The very attractive looking shoes, which look like swimming or diving shoes, are very light when carried or held, are flexible for easy fit and have a very high grip.
When asked why they chose Madang, Joel Keimelo, the Tourism Promotion Authority link to Japan, said that the province was beautiful, peaceful and safe.
“We had the shoe company launch the shoe in Japan in April with the three-day promotion in PNG being the first and we have even invited along seven Japanese consumers to come along and try the shoe themselves,” he said.
To show their seriousness about marketing and promoting the shoe, five reputable Japanese magazine representatives; two camera crew from Japanese television stations were at hand to capture the “running moments” of the 19-member team.
On Tuesday, they gave K100 cash and donated school materials, shirts and assorted gifts to the Haimal Community School with the highlight of the day being the group visit to the conservatory area made by the villagers for bird watching.
The group walked there and back, even climbing coconut trees on the way back, which was a first for some.
The previous day, they were at Utu Nehe village where they ran 8km with their shoes.
Meanwhile, the New Balance shoes are going for US$100 on the current market with many chains of shops in various countries already making sales.