Stories / August 2022

Kjerag: our max-performance trail running shoe

Made for every runner, and every terrain.

1200km. 197g in size 7,5UK. These are the numbers behind the first Kjerag prototype Kilian used. Located on the west coast of Norway, Kjerag is a 1,100-metre mountain that rewards those who reach the top with truly spectacular views. To reach that peak you can conquer challenging trail running routes, or choose moderate hiking paths.

It’s this made-for-everyone versatility that inspired us to name our first-ever shoe Kjerag [pronounced: sche-rak]. Because this shoe is truly made for every runner, at every level. Our design team worked side-by-side with world-class athletes like Kilian Jornet to create a shoe that’s made to be uncatchable, whether you’re scrambling across technical trails or training on the road—just about anything.

As Kilian puts it: “Our goal with Kjerag was to find the highest-quality materials, cutting-edge technologies, planet-friendly production processes—the best of everything. Then to bring them together a polyvalent shoe that can be used for everything from a VK to a 100-mile race.”

Be fast. Go hard. Tread light.

Kjerag comes in at just 200g (for sizes UK 8 / US 9). While similar to a flying shoe in weight, the shock absorbance and stability are hugely impressive, thanks to a midsole height of 23.5mm at the back, and 17.5mm at the front (a drop of 6mm).

The shoe’s last offers a generous front volume, for feet that need room over long distances and hot days. “You forget about them when you run,” says Kilian, who tested Kjerag relentlessly during 2022’s biggest races. “They follow the natural movement of the foot, which helps prevent muscle fatigue and blisters. The shoes adapt to you.”

Technologies that take you farther.
There’s a lot of great tech and design in Kjerag, but here are three key highlights…

Vibram® LITEBASE + MEGAGRIP

Designed in a unique partnership between Vibram and NNormal, the LITEBASE outsole drastically reduces the overall sole weight (by up to 30), through a reduction of the sole thickness by 50%, while retaining the perfect shape and 3.5mm lugs.

Snowy boulders, wet roots, muddy paths – whatever you're tackling, Megagrip Vibram is both super-sticky and extra-durable. With ground adaptation that makes your feet, muscles and joints one with nature. The grip is formed by 50 cleats, with a fast profile of 3.5mm that gives priority to speed as well as sensitivity to the terrain. All cleats have between 6 and 8 angles, and are strategically located to promote grip during propulsion, control at the lateral supports, and retention on technical descents.

Matryx® Upper

The exceptionally breathable, resistant, and durable upper is weaved from individually coated polyamide and Kevlar® yarns. Combined with a traditional lacing system, it ensures maximum support for the foot, even on rough terrain and over long distances. This fabric is also known for being extremely lightweight, and is easy to wash after a long day running through mud.

Produced in Ardèche, France, the dyeing process uses between 50-95% less water than other methods.

EExpure® Midsole

A new generation of foam, engineered specifically for trail-running shoes, and the perfect match for Kjerag’s 6mm drop. The EExpure foam midsole sits in direct contact with your feet via a very thin membrane—no inner sole means best-possible propulsion and compression, less slippage, and fewer blisters!

The lightweight, low-density composite material is characterised by its high reactivity and greater stability. The foam’s recovery capacity favours excellent durability in midsole compression. In the area with the highest pressure, there’s an ultrafine protective layer that prevents sharp stones from causing injury.

Beyond shoes. Beyond your limits.

Alongside Kjerag, we’ll be launching a range of apparel and accessories, all born from the same strong beliefs. Lightweight, breathable clothing made for intense activities at every level, and for less strenuous activities. All the clothing designs are timeless, and made to be (very) durable—because the less we all replace our gear, the better for the planet.

NNormal’s first drop of gear, including Kjerag, will be available in Europe and North America in Fall 2022—via our website, and in specialist trail running stores.

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Photography: Dom Dahler

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