To say we have a different approach to shoes, would be an understatement.
With over 60 years of combined experience as professional squash players, we know what we like in a shoe, and we certainly know what we don’t like in a shoe. You could say, we know court shoes because our careers depended on them.
Both of us have run pro shops at private clubs for over 20 years, and try as we might, we have never found what we considered a great court shoe for our members or ourselves to wear.
For years, various shoe manufacturers showered us with shoes to try. But none of them ever stood up to the rigors and movement needed to play the sport of squash.
Then in 2014, fate took us down this fun, yet daunting path. While wearing a new lightweight shoe that was just hitting the US market, and shall remain nameless, Nathan ended up with a stress fracture in his foot.
That is when our shoe journey really began.
We discussed the pressing need for a good quality player’s court shoe that would not only look good (there are many of those out there), but also perform the way we wanted it to perform for us and the thousands of other court enthusiasts around the country. We went on an absolute mission to build the perfect shoe for squash players, pickleball players and any other athlete needing a great court shoe.
So for the next four years, we examined every individual piece of a shoe to determine what it would take to make that perfect court shoe. As it turns out, there are a lot of parts to a good shoe, and all those parts have to work together to give you a great shoe.
So what kind of things did we look for?
Well, we knew from personal experience, it was important to have a wide toe box, but we also knew that for many players a more narrow fit was important. So we found the perfect lacing system that allows for players’ wide toe box needs, yet allows a player with a narrow foot to snug the laces to create the perfect fit for them too.
We knew that many players needed a court shoe that would perform equally well on all flooring and court surfaces, so we spent countless hours testing for the perfect gum density to create the perfect court shoe sole. Now we have a sole that does not slide on those shiny wooden or concrete floors (the perfect indoor shoe), and yet holds up incredibly well on the rough outdoor pickleball court surfaces.
We also knew that stability was critical to keeping us and our playing friends on the court. One rolled foot or ankle can put us on the sidelines for days and sometimes weeks and months. So our Power Bolt gives our shoes the stability to prevent foot rolls during those quick side to side movements. Plus our Power U upper gives that extra upper support and strength for lateral movements.
Finally, we added a super durable toe plate and some extra padding in just the right places.
Never did we think it would take so long, but after years of prototyping and designing and playtesting, playtesting and more playtesting, our first shoe, the BIA Force was ready for launch. (BIA is the Greek goddess of force, power and attitude). Since we were already very familiar with the needs of our squash players, we sent it out into the squash world for feedback first. We knew if our shoe could meet the challenges on a squash court, it would be perfect for any court sport. The initial feedback was fantastic.
We followed that with playtesting in the pickleball world, and again the news from the courts was phenomenal.
A few minor changes and material upgrades led us to the BIA Force X shoe in 2020.
Now in 2022, we are proud to introduce our new line, featuring the inspiration behind the brand the BULLDOG. The third generation of our court shoe is our lightest and most comfortable shoe to date which delivers performance straight out of the box. A shoe that commands attention, the ‘BULLDOG’ will be noticed on and off the court.
We are continuously gathering feedback and look forward to bringing you shoes that will make your feet happy on and off the courts.
So from all of us at BDOG Sport, and our French Bulldog mascots Python and Paloma, thanks for joining us on this fun journey.
See you on the courts,
Mike and Nathan