We have both had pro shops at private clubs for over 20 years and are responsible for finding good shoes for our members to wear. In 2014 the task was becoming next to impossible to find a shoe in the US that we believed in or wanted to wear ourselves. We were ordering product from Europe to fill the needs but even that pipeline dried up. So after Nathan ended up with a stress fracture in his foot when using a new light weight product to the US market, we discussed the need for a quality players shoe that is designed for performance not just appearance. And so our journey began...
With over 60 years of combined experience as professional squash players we knew what we wanted and didn't want in a new shoe. Knowing what you want and finding it though proved to be much harder and longer task than we expected. We received countless samples from overseas manufacturers claiming this to be their prototype of a good court shoe. None of them were close to what we were looking for with all of the samples being able to be bent in half with minimal effort or breaking down in one way or another. We sent back pairs of older shoes we had used in the past and started the process of dissecting the parts we wanted in our design.
It took four years of prototypes, designing and playtesting for us to get to our first shoe, the BIA FORCE. BIA is the Greek goddess of force, power and attitude which all felt relevant to the sporting world, and so the BIA FORCE was born. We sent it out into the squash world that we were familiar with to get feedback and see what needed to be improved as we strived for excellence. We knew if a shoe could meet the challenges on a squash court it would be ready for other sporting worlds. A trip to China and a year later and we went into production on the second version, the BIA FORCE X. With changed several aspects of the shoe along with softer cushioning, we now had a the shoe we were looking for. We are incredibly proud of the new improved BIA FORCE X that surpasses any major brand we have ever worn.
Our new shipment of shoes arrived in our warehouse the week before the National shut down in March 2020. Not ideal, but a side effect of the pandemic was the growth of Pickleball. With a low profile and a design for lateral movements, the BIA FORCE X is becoming a favorite for Pickleball players around the country. We are continuously taking feedback from Pickleball players as we design our next shoe, 'The Bulldog'. This move towards Pickleball has lead to a change in our company name due to a number of factors including a partnership with Pickleball Rocks: pickleballrocks.com
We are now BDOG Sport with Python, one of our French Bulldogs, our new mascot!
What started out as a pipe dream discussed over a glass of wine, is now finally a reality, and we are looking forward to sharing this journey with you.
Mike Puertas and Nathan Dugan