Tonight New Balance took over Fleet Feet in Old Town for the launch of their new Fresh Foam 980s. They had shoes on hand for runners to try out during the fun run.

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Group shot before the fun run (source: Fleet Feet Chicago)

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I ran with Erica and Katie for 3-ish miles. It was chilly but the shoes felt good!

After returning to Fleet Feet, they offered up some…thing in a beaker (alcoholic perhaps?), as well as beer, Gatorade, water … and a mashed potato bar. (My stomach wasn’t up for any of it, unfortunately.)

You could tweet your questions to New Balance using #FreshFoam. I was curious what they do with the shoes used for fun runs (answer: they are eventually donated). Other things I learned via the Twitter Q&A: These are neutral shoes, it took about two years from concept to market to develop, they’ll launch a trail version later this year, and if you previously ran in New Balance¬†Minimus, these shoes should work well for you.

There was also a foam pit. I was up for the foam pit.

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Foam pit pics courtesy of Fleet Feet Chicago and Katie

So far, I’m a fan of the Fresh Foam 980s. They are a pretty plush ride, but also feel supportive. I plan on breaking them in this spring while I train for the Shamrock Shuffle (promise I’ll do speedwork!) and the Soldier Field 10. Oh … and Ragnar. Unless we literally want to be the Wurst Ragnar Team Ever.