Enda Sportwear was founded with a mission to bring Kenyan athletic excellence to runners everywhere and fuel economic development in Kenya. Our vision is to have millions of runners around the world wear shoes 100% Made in Kenya.
We started by developing the world’s greatest running shoes incorporating the country’s running history, culture and skills – the Enda Iten. In mid-2016 we went to Kickstarter and successfully raised the funds we needed to make our first batch of shoes.
We’re started by assembling the shoes in Kenya, and as we’ve made more shoes we’ve been focused on gradually moving more of our production to Kenya as skill and capacity increases. We’re proud that our shoes qualify for Made in Kenya labeling, but we’re not going to stop until our products are 100% Made in Kenya.
Navalayo “Nava” Osembo and Weldon Kennedy met over a mutual interest in dramatically increasing the amount Kenya benefits from its well earned reputation in running.
Nava comes from a village near Eldoret, Kenya, a major center for Kenyan running which is dubbed “The City of Champions”. A graduate of the London School of Economics, Navalayo is trained as both an accountant and a lawyer.
Weldon is a social-change campaigner & avid runner. He ran email campaigns for Bono’s ONE.org and launched the European offices of Change.org where he ran a team of 45 serving 31 million users as Managing Director of Europe.
Kenya’s North Rift Valley has produced generations of the world’s greatest distance runners. Runners from around the world flock to these dirt roads to train with the great Kenyan masters. They come to breathe the thin air, eat the simple meals, and train together so that they might reach their full potential.
We want to bring this experience of community and exceptional training to runners around the world.
The first step, is to find a friend. Running Kenyan means running together. The first and most important thing you can do to improve your training is to find a friend to run with regularly. Lift each other up. Challenge each other. And go farther and faster together.
Second, making sure you’re varying your training. To reach new personal bests, you’ll need to run a mix of easy runs, speed work, and long runs. We’ve built our shoes specifically to match different types of workouts, so you have exactly the right shoe on your foot to make the most of each run.
Run like a Kenyan
Your toes spread out, or splay, to help you absorb impact and help you balance. So we wanted to give a bit more room up front, but not leave you with extra room to slide around in the shoe. Gear Patrol’s review seems to indicate we got it just right:
“the toe box is roomy, but it’s not loose and splashy, which is how some shoes with too much room up front can feel.”
We also brought the toe box down so it’s vertically not too deep. When you flex your toes, the Iten will move with your foot.
At a mere 7.9 oz (224 grams) for a men’s US size 9 (UK 8), the Iten will never be a drag when you pick up the pace.
Take off your shoes and run even just a bit, and you’ll find yourself landing on your mid-foot or forefoot. Having a big cushioned heel on your shoe can throw off this natural gait. So the Iten has only 4mm more cushioning in the heel than the forefoot (4mm drop), to help you land naturally.
Your foot is a powerful set of muscles and tendons. When training, you want a shoe that gives your foot a full range of motion so your arch, ankle, and toes can build the strength and endurance you need. The Iten does just that.
MIDSOLE CUPS HEEL
Whenever you take a turn or run across an uneven surface (like the crown of a road), your foot wants to move laterally. Since the Iten’s midsole cups the foot, it keeps you locked into the shoe even on the sharpest of turns.
Content courtesy of Enda Sportswear & Nairobi Fashion Hub