A completely redesigned & redeveloped KT26 hits Australian stores from this week. In addition to this, KT26 women's, youth, infant & baby shoes hit stores from August 2012.
The new KT26 design keeps the late 70s heritage DNA but with a revised modern construction + improved materials for a new take on the original 'kinetic' & 'cantilever' technology. The midsole is now moulded phylon to allow a 3D concave under the heel which then reverses shape leading to the forefoot (gives more flex to the bio-kinetic sole lugs + creates natural forward rolling dynamics). Overall the new shoe is a far more superior construction & harder wearing but at a RRP$30!
Consultation with the original designer (Jerry Stubberfield) & Dunlop Footwear ex-director (70's, 80s & 90s) was made to ensure the new KT26 stayed as true to the original late 70's design as possible.
This KT26 shoe was originally developed in Eugene, Oregon for the OSAGA shoe company in direct competition against Blue Ribbon Sports (NIKE). The OSAGA company started up 3 months after Blue Ribbon Sports.
Apparently OSAGA & NIKE used to fly helicopters over each others offices in an attempt to annoy each other + took turns at sponsoring the Hayward track & field clock. OSAGA got into financial difficulty & closed it’s doors by the start of the 80s.
Dunlop Australia discovered the KT26 at the NYC shoe fare in the 70s. One of the Dunlop development guys was friends of the son-in-law of the OSAGA company which lead to an initial agreement to sell the Dunlop OSAGA KT26. Dunlop purchased the rights to KT26 (royalty agreement with Stubberfield) & made minor revisions to the upper pattern & sole design.
The KT26 has been on continuous sale in Australia since 1978 & sold more than 6 million pairs. In addition to this, Dunlop exports over 100,000 pairs per year of KT26 to PNG. KT26 is with out doubt an Aussie & South Pacific running shoe icon.
Photos of the new KT26 range can be found on FLICKR: http://www.flickr.com/photos/kt26
There is also a FACEBOOK group called: Dunlop KT26 Appreciation Society
Dunlop & KT26 websites:
http://www.dunlopfootwear.com.au & http://www.kt26.com