NNormal Kboix Looks To Make Interchangeable Midsoles the New Norm

Outdoor brand NNormal launches the Kboix, a trail shoe with three interchangeable midsoles and replaceable key components.

By on November 23, 2023 | Comments

Outdoor brand NNormal, founded in 2022 by Kilian Jornet and Camper, has had sustainability and forward-thinking at the helm of its designs.

The Kboix trail shoe — the prototype for which was unveiled on November 23, 2023, and which will be available on the mass market by mid-2024 — is no exception.

NNormal Kboix - in action

The NNormal Kboix in action. All photos: NNormal

The NNormal Kboix Unveil

The NNormal Kboix, pronounced “kah-bohsh” and named after the Catalan words “boig” which means crazy and “boix” which is a specific kind of tree, comes equipped with three interchangeable midsoles, to adapt to different terrain and conditions, as well as different body types and individual preferences. Furthermore, each of the shoe’s key components — upper, midsole and outsole — can be individually replaced when they have worn out, alleviating the need to replace the whole shoe.

According to the NNormal website, the three midsoles will have different compositions and include:

  • Kb1 Soft — Made with EVA supercritical foam
  • Kb2 Reactive — Made with TPU supercritical foam
  • Kb3 Bounce — Made with PEBA supercritical foam

The NNormal website also indicates that the Kboix will stick with the Matryx Jacquard upper containing Kevlar fibers and the Vibram Megagrip Litebase outsole with 3.5-millimeter lugs, features also found on the brand’s Kjerag model.

A price point has not yet been announced.

The Philosophy Behind the NNormal Kboix

Rather than a one-size-fits-all, the Kboix aims to be one of the most customizable and adaptable trail running shoes on the market, and is designed for the consumer for whom product longevity is a priority.

The brand claims: “This launch is a step forward in NNormal’s commitment of designing durable and versatile products that adapt to everyone’s evolution and offer the tools for the shoe to have an extended life cycle. The goal is, without a doubt, to change the game and challenge the industry status quo, as well as consumer behavior.”

The hope is that other brands will follow suit, making longer-life shoes with interchangeable midsoles the new nnormal.

At least one other company has already been working in this space. The brand Speedland launched a more limited version of this type of approach in 2021, offering a shoe with a single, removable midsole and an extra, optional carbon plate you can additionally purchase. To iRunFar’s knowledge, though Speedland says parts of its shoes can be replaced to increase shoes’ lifespans, the brand doesn’t yet offer a mechanism for replacement or replacement products, save for replacement carbon fiber plates.

NNormal Kboix - interchangeable midsoles

The new NNormal Kboix will come equipped with three interchangeable midsoles.

Join the Kboix Experience

Furthermore, the brand has invited you, the consumer, to be part of the final stages of development for this new shoe, in an initiative called the Kboix Experience. From November 23, 2023, applications are being accepted to recruit 150 runners to test out the prototype and provide feedback. NNormal said: “The selected users will live the journey hand in hand with the brand and collaborate in the shoe development process. That’s why their feedback will play a crucial role in fine-tuning and perfecting the Kboix.”

Launching the shoe on the NNormal YouTube channel, Jornet said of its inception: “We started thinking, we need to rethink the shoe, to start thinking about a shoe from scratch, from zero. We want a shoe that could eventually last forever, and a shoe that can adapt to every person, every situation, every terrain, at every moment.”

He went on, “We started developing what we think has the biggest impact on adaptability — the midsoles — developing three different midsoles: a soft one, a reactive one, and a bouncy one. And you can change in seconds, depending on the terrain or the feeling you want to have.”

Applications to be part of the Kboix Experience will be open for three weeks through the brand’s website, and the selected runners will be announced in December 2023.

Kilian Jornet running in the Nnormal Kboix

Kilian Jornet testing out the prototype NNormal Kboix.

Sarah Brady

Sarah Brady is Managing Editor at iRunFar. She’s been working in an editorial capacity for ten years and has been a trail runner for almost as long. Aside from iRunFar, she’s worked as an editor for various educational publishers and written race previews for Apex Running, UK, and RAW Ultra, Ireland. Based in Belfast, Ireland, Sarah is an avid mountain runner and ultrarunner and competes at distances from under 10k to over 100k. When not running, she enjoys reading, socializing, and hanging out with her dog, Angie, and cat, Judy.