New Balance, Disney Launch runDisney Shoes

Disney running, runDisney, New Balance, runDisney shoes

The New Balance women’s runDisney shoe, inspired by Minnie Mouse. (Photo: runDisney)

UPDATE 1/2/13: Check out the 2014 New Balance runDisney shoes including Cinderella, Goofy, Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse models

Co-branding shoes might be the hottest emerging trend in running apparel. In the past year alone, Nike launched USA Track & Field co-branded Air Pegasus+ 29 as the official shoe of the U.S. Olympic Trials, and K-Swiss released Stand Up to Cancer co-branded Kwicky Blade-Light shoes as part of their charitable alliance. Now New Balance and Disney are getting in on the act.

New Balance runDisney Shoes

New Balance and runDisney, Disney’s sports branch that organizes running races at Disney parks in Florida and California, released today limited edition runDisney 860v3 running shoes that evoke Disney’s most iconic characters—Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse. Minnie’s classic red and white polka dot dress inspired the design for the women’s shoe and Mickey’s black tuxedo look inspired the men’s shoe.

I had a chance to chat with New Balance’s marketing manager, Josh Rowe, before the Walt Disney World Marathon Heath & Fitness Expo this morning and see the new Disney shoes in person. To appeal to the most runners possible, Rowe said New Balance chose its popular 860v3 model, which is a mild stability shoe designed specifically for runners looking for a mixture of support and lightweight cushioning. Indeed, the shoe is surprisingly light in hand.

“We wanted to take the broadest shoe in our line so it can work for more people functionally,” Rowe said.

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The New Balance runDisney men’s shoe inspired by Mickey Mouse. (Photo: runDisney)

If the initial runDisney shoes are a success, Rowe said New Balance will roll out more Disney branded running shoes, which might include rerunning the current Mickey and Minnie inspired 860v3 sneaker, producing runDisney shoes from other models in the New Balance line, or introducing trainers modeled after other Disney characters.

“One of the things we hope to figure out is a way to make them race specific,” Rowe said of the seven running weekends in runDisney’s series, which includes events themed around Disney princesses, villains, food festivals and more. “One option we are looking at is custom sock liners. So if it’s the Tinker Bell Half Marathon, incorporating something Tink related.”

New Balance produced 1,000 runDisney shoes for the initial run, and will produce more if it proves popular. They are available in women’s sizes 5-12 and men’s sizes 7-13 in standard widths.

“We’ll evaluate after this weekend whether we’ll make more,” Rowe said about initial sales at the Walt Disney World Marathon Health & Fitness Expo from January 10-12.

It’s all part of a long-term, multi-year partnership between Walt Disney Parks & Resorts and New Balance to produce exclusive co-branded footwear and running initiatives. New Balance is now the official athletic shoe of the Walt Disney World Resort, Disneyland Resort and ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, including runDisney races and amateur baseball events at the Sports Complex.

Disney running, runDisney, Minnie Mouse, runDisney shoes

The shoes have a picture of Minnie Mouse in back. (Photo: runDisney)

The Sports Complex track & field facility, which annually hosts the Walt Disney World Cross Country Classic, runDisney Kid’s Races, and AAU Track and Field National Championship, is being rechristened with the New Balance name.

Eventually, New Balance and Disney will also collaborate to create running trail maps at Walt Disney World and fitness programs for Disney resort guests.

“Our relationship with New Balance complements our company’s efforts to provide healthy options for families during their Disney vacation,” said George Aguel, senior vice president, Disney Corporate Alliances in a press release.

For now, Disney running fans can snap up the limited edition 860v3 runDisney shoes for $125 a pair exclusively at runDisney race expos including the Walt Disney World Marathon Health & Fitness Expo now through January 12, 2013 and the Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend Expo January 18-19, 2013 at Disneyland in California. In the future, the shoes will also be available at other runDisney race expos, joint New Balance and Disney events, and pop-up shops around the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.

As a member of the running media, runDisney has provided me with complimentary race entry, hotel, park tickets, airfare and some meals (like the Pasta in the Park Party) for the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend. But as always, all opinions are purely my own. I really do believe in being honest about my experiences and Disney is no exception. For more information read my Disclosure Policy.

Karla Bruning


Karla Bruning is a race announcer at the TCS New York City Marathon + other major events, TV host for the New York City Triathlon + contributor to Shape, Redbook, Runner's World + other publications. She used to report for Newsweek but spent her free time squeezing in workouts. Now it's her job. She's run 8 marathons, 30 halves, 10 triathlons + open water swims. When she's not running, talking about running or writing about running, she's snuggling her baby, spoiling her dog + compulsively traveling.


01 2013

4 Comments Add Yours ↓

The upper is the most recent comment

  1. 1

    How fun is that! Love the pics of the shoes and I’m secretly hoping they’ll make it to the Princess Half. I may become a New Balance convert! :)

    • Karla Bruning

      Considering they sold-out of the WDW Marathon batch at noon yesterday and overnighted the shoes earmarked for Tinker Bell Half next week to the Marathon, I’m guessing they’ll put in a rush order on more shoes. Will they have them by Princess? I have no idea how long it takes to make shoes! But they’ll def produce more.

      • Rich #

        Hello Karla!!

        My wife’s birthday is November 22nd and she ran the Run Disney half-marathon on November 9th. Because of the lines at the New Balance shop, we were unable to purchase a pair of Run Disney Marathon New Balance Minnie Mouse Running Shoes Women’s in a size 9.

        Any idea where I can find her a pair for her birthday?

        Thank you


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