If you haven’t heard yet, we just launched our Right to Run initiative, our social impact partnerships program that aims to make running and outdoor sports more accessible. One group that’s paving the way across the outdoor industry is Colour the Trails.
Founded by hiking pro Judy Kasiama, it’s a collective of BIPoC (Black, Indigenous and people of color) and LGBTQ2S+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, queer and more) adventure seekers that advocates for inclusive representation in outdoor spaces. Read: Real-life heroes. They work with local businesses and brand partners to create the change they want to see in the world.
In other words, they’re making strides for those who are underrepresented in outdoor sports, and day by day, they’re inspiring many young people to break barriers and explore.
Recently, we had the pleasure of interviewing Judy for OFF Magazine Issue 02, and she explained the importance of community to achieve this.
“People who are willing to put in time and energy—who really love the sport—benefit most from their memberships. Their investments in the organization create more opportunities for the community.” – Judy Kasiama, OFF Issue 02
Meet Colour the Trails
Based in Canada, Colour the Trails provides opportunities for Black, Indigenous and people of color in outdoor sports. They strive for greater representation and more inclusivity.
The power of nature
Why is it so important to create more outdoor opportunities for underserved communities? It all goes back to nature. It made us and renews us. Some doctors even refer to it as Vitamin N because of all the health benefits it provides. In fact, Yale University published an article explaining that outdoor activities can lower stress, blood pressure and even anxiety. Another study, from the National Library of Medicine, showed that there may be a connection between time spent outdoors and stronger immune responses (take that, Covid-19).
The problem is: Outdoor activities lack diversity. How many people of color have you seen on the trails? Hint: It’s not many. Whether it’s representation, opportunities, or even design, there’s a lot we have to work on.
Performance meets design
Finding the perfect balance between performance and design is quite the challenge, but we sought to do that with the all-new Cloudtrax. Engineered by nature, it’s the versatile solution for a new generation of explorers who love urban adventures and outdoor escapades. It's got just the right look to turn heads in the city, but Missiongrip™ traction makes it perfect for the great outdoors.
If we want to inspire a whole new generation of people to go out and explore, we have to give them a shoe that covers all their needs. Don’t you agree? The shoe’s running-inspired CloudTec® elements create soft cushioning for long adventures, while a one-pull speed lacing system looks great and provides a quick step in.
“Visually, it’s not your typical hiking shoe. It removes that barrier. It’s something you can wear in the city and take on trails. That transition is really great. Our community wants to get involved in the outdoors and look cute, so it’s the best mix. ” - Judy Kasiama
To test the shoe out, we asked Judy to give it a go. Luckily, she said yes and tapped three other friends to take it on a test run across different sports. While hiking, paragliding, canoeing and climbing, they shared their passion for the outdoors with us, explaining why Colour the Trails is so important to their community and sports.
First up was Judy. With her love for the trails, it was a no-brainer that she had to take the Cloudtrax on a hike. She told us about her connection to the outdoors, and why it’s so important for her to get the greater BIPOC community involved.
“Nature ignites my spirit. It inspires me. It’s a great reminder of how insignificant we are in the greater scheme of things, and I want to create more opportunities for folks to feel the passion, peace and calmness. My goal’s to share it with others, so they can be part of it too.”
Next, was Catalina, a paragliding expert who can’t turn down a good challenge. She’s very comfortable in her sport, which takes soft landing and explosive takeoffs to a whole other level.
"Paragliding has become one of the most valuable activities of my life. Being in the sky makes me feel so tiny and big at the same time. It allows me to overcome my fears with joy. When Colour the Trails joined me, what really stood out was their empathy. It’s nice to surround myself with people that enjoy nature as much as I do."
Sailing champ Issa followed with a canoeing adventure. He channeled his love for water sports and took Judy birdwatching by the waterside. While on his adventure, he spoke about the joy that Colour the Trails brings him and how important it is to partner with companies that place community first.
"It’s great to see brands that start with community and put product second because we often see it the other way around. That doesn’t work. This adventure with Colour the Trails, brought some much-needed light and happiness to my world.
Finally, there was Jojo. He took the Cloudtrax for a climb and spoke about the support that Colour the Trails provides and how inspiring it is to empower a new generation of explorers to get out and take charge.
“When you're with someone who has a shared understanding of your experience, there’s an unwritten support. Seeing communities like Colour the Trails grow fills me with joy. It helps introduce individuals to new places, encourages them to grow, and empowers them to go out on their own.”
There’s no doubt that our friends at Colour the Trails really enjoy the outdoors, and we’re so happy that we got to be part of it all. Want to join in the fun? Check out the new Cloudtrax for yourself. Just remember: Adventure never waits, and nor do the great outdoors.
Step into the Cloudtrax
Whether you’re into hikes or urban adventures, the all-new Cloudtrax is right for you. Lightweight, cushioned and agile, this is the outdoor shoe you won’t want to take off.