A few weeks ago, I came home from a frustrating day at work to a pretty awesome surprise on my doorstep.
New Balance recently teamed up with Kate Spade Saturday to launch a new line of fun sneakers. I had no idea that this was happening or that New Balance would be sending me a pair to try out, but you bet these beauties brightened up my lame day in a heartbeat. I also really appreciated the handwritten note that accompanied them. It makes it a lot more personal when companies send something handwritten to go along with whatever they are sending!
Along with the sneaks, I also received an invitation to take a Barry’s Bootcamp class for free sometime in February. Since I had seen on Instagram that some of my blog friends also received surprise deliveries, I emailed Steph, Caroline, Sarah, and Sherri to see if they were interested in all going together. Unfortunately Steph couldn’t make it with us, but I was excited to have a fitness date with the others. We sported our new kicks, which are all totally adorable. That’s my foot in the Wx811 grey multi with the red and yellow. Awk sock.
Anyways, if you haven’t seen out the NBxKSS collection, check it out. I love how funky all the different colors are, and the shoes are super comfortable. I’ve worn mine now for a few different workouts, but I’ve actually worn them even more for errands and casual wear. I feel like I can never find a pair of sneakers that look okay with jeans, but you can actually wear these with jeans without feeling like you are hulk stomping the ground as you walk. I’ve also gotten lots of compliments on them every time I’ve worn them! If you want a pair, I suggest trying to get them now because they are limited edition. However, if you can’t find them, New Balance offers both the 811 (the ones I have) and the 711 style outside of the KSS line.
Here’s some more information on both:
- 811: For spring 2015, New Balance introduces a new fitness trainer for women in which science meets style: the 811. Inspired by Kinesiology taping techniques and the aesthetic it creates, the 811 provides bonded lightweight, strategically-positioned support for athletes. The versatile shoe can take women from studio and circuit training to cardio workouts without sacrificing style. The full CUSH+ midsole provides lightweight cushioning, and Fantom Tape technology enhances the mesh upper to deliver dynamic support to move with the foot.
- 711: The WX711 features Cush+ technology, providing one of the softest midsole foams offered by New Balance designed to comfortably take you through your whole workout, whether in the gym or the studio. But its extra softness doesn’t mean sacrificing durability. Cush+ is responsive, offering extra bounce to help keep you moving. Forefoot flex grooves enhance flexibility, enabling you to move freely, while a minimal upper construction provides a contoured fit.
The sneaks were comfortable throughout the class I took at Barry’s, but for workout purposes I do think they are more conducive to training and group exercise classes than they are for running. My feet felt fine during the running intervals in class, but I don’t think I’d run for longer distance or time in them.
As for the class itself, I’d only taken a Barry’s Bootcamp class once before. For those of you unfamiliar with Barry’s, the class is broken into two groups. Half the class does treadmill work while the other half of class does strength work on the floor with weights, a step, and a mat. We started with 12 minutes of Tabata style work on the floor, then did 12 minutes of sprints and hills on the treadmills, and then repeated in that order again. Since the class we attended focused on chest, back, and abs, we did a ton of pushups. Seriously, so many pushups. We also did a lot of rows, burpees, chest presses, shrugs, and more. This part of class I was fine with. It certainly challenged me, and I definitely had to take breaks before time was up, but this kind of stuff is my jam. Loved.
The treadmills? I wasn’t feeling the love so much! I knew to expect crazy inclines and sprint work, so that helped going into it. My legs felt much stronger and capable during this part of class than they did two years ago, which I attribute to my fitness level being completely different now, but I was still completely wiped by the end! A 12-15 incline is no joke. I also found myself completely out of my comfort zone when the instructor had us running backwards and side shuffling on the treadmills. I was so nervous to let go of the sidebars for fear of falling. The old me may not have even tried to lift my hands, but since strength training has increased my confidence in so many ways, I went for it. Granted I didn’t move them very far away from the handles, but I did lift them! I was grateful to have the other girls near me during this part so we could giggle with each other as we felt like we were tripping over ourselves on those side shuffles.
A huge thank you to New Balance and Barry’s for both the shoes and overall class experience. Our instructor Chad was awesome, hilarious, and played tons of Beyonce. I also enjoyed getting a little uncomfortable, and it was a nice reminder that no matter what your fitness level is like, there is always a way to try something new and push yourself a little bit harder. And of course I loved catching up with my friends! These ladies are so fun, and I love when we get to see each other in person instead of only reading about each other’s lives in blog land. Steph, we missed you!
Readers, let’s chat! Have you heard about the New Balance and Kate Spade Saturday collaboration? What do you think of the sneaks? Have you taken a class at Barry’s Bootcamp before? How have you pushed yourself out of your comfort zone lately? Any tips for running backwards or sideways on a treadmill?