10.21.16

Breaking Down The Freeze: Find out why New Balance’s LAX cleat is such a big deal

The New Balance Freeze cleat is a game-changer. Built specifically for lacrosse, it provides sport-specific traction, fit, and style. So with another round of colors dropping, we sat down with Shaun Kellogg, the Product Manager for New Balance Lacrosse, and John Gregory, the Director of Marketing for Warrior & New Balance Lacrosse, to discover more about the cleat making waves across the LAX world.

New Balance Freeze Inline Colors

Jake Zipperer (JZ): The Freeze is built specifically for lacrosse. What features does it have that make it perfect for the sport?

Shaun Kellogg (SK): “We found that everyone else in the marketplace was just taking existing products and rebranding them for the sport of lacrosse. Nobody was really looking into what makes a lacrosse athlete different. So, really, that’s where we started.

We worked with Major League Lacrosse, accessed their game footage and studied their in-game moments. When we found a time when a LAX player was doing a move unique to their sport, we would take that into account and figure out how to put that into a product that would help them perform better. That really lead us to the main element of the Freeze and that’s the QuixRail plate.

"We added spikes on the outer rail of the cleat to mimic the exact angles that LAX players actually cut during games."
Shaun Kellogg
New Balance Lacrosse Product Manager

So what we wanted to do was to really bring it out, enabling the athlete to cut harder.

On the upper, we made it custom woven to keep the foot centered on the plate. It’s one thing if you make the plate stop, but if your foot slides out or rolls over the plate, you’re not giving yourself any advantages.”

New Balance Freeze

JZ: It also looks really interesting. What went into the design?

SK: “Yeah, we wanted to make a cool-looking cleat, but we also wanted to tell the story of the data that went into it. The plate is like nothing you’ve ever seen before—those lugs protrude over the side—it’s definitely an eye-opener. And having the full, bootie tongue construction is a really unique look in addition to providing a great fit. But really, for us, we’ve been making shoes and cleats for so long, that we just listen to the consumer.”

John Gregory (JG): “And also, stylistically, you look at the relationship that New Balance has with Warrior … Warrior and Brine are the two biggest, most authentic brands in LAX. So they really know the consumer better than anyone else. There’s a lot of overlap between the Warrior and New Balance teams and that had a little bit to do with some of the designs you see in the cleat.”

JZ: Can you walk us through the creation process of the Freeze?

SK: “We’ve been developing this cleat for the last two years, and, over that time, we’ve been through four or five different rounds of prototypes. We’ve had a great response and were able to work with not only Major League Lacrosse’s top players but also colleges like Denver, Drexel, and Princeton. They’ve been testing unbranded pairs of the Freeze and giving us first-hand feedback. Through that process we’ve been able to learn a ton.”

New Balance Freeze

JZ: Will the Freeze have any crossover into football?

SK: “You could definitely wear this cleat for any sport. We built this based around what the LAX athlete does and his or her moves, but who’s to say that this cleat won’t actually make a football player better or cut harder on field? It might bring a new element to their game.”

JG: “Yeah I think that, for the first time, there will be football players wearing lacrosse cleats. That will be cool because that’s never happened before. It’s usually the opposite. It’s a good statement for lacrosse. Like Shaun said, ‘it’s a LAX cleat first, but there’s no reason it can’t help a football player.’”

JZ: What are the next steps for New Balance Lacrosse?

SK: “We’ve been busy over the last year-and-a-half with other products that are coming down the pipeline. We are very excited with the momentum we have been getting with the Freeze and our goal is to continue to build that energy around the New Balance LAX family and bring out new products in the coming year.”

JG: “Obviously we can’t say too much but a lot of the inspiration you’ve seen behind the Freeze is something that will hold true with all New Balance LAX products. We’re working hard, there’s a lot more to come, and this is just the beginning.”

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