I discovered 4T2 run a few months ago and kept an eye on their growth while studying the shoes intently (as you do as a runner). 4T2 is the brainchild of Jurian Elstgeest, who wanted to utilise his experience working in the industry to create a brand looking firmly in the future. Launched during the pandemic, 4T2 started off a 'virtual' company recruiting the right passionate talent around the world.
What I like about 4T2 is their fun and honest nature in their love and hate for running. They don't hide from the fact that running can be ugly or painful – but at the same time it can offer huge reward. Something that I've found during my personal training and group runs. Sometimes the legs aren't there, or the mind is elsewhere. But the social aspect is great when running with others. I've even recommended 4T2 to other friends and retail stores alike.
The 4T2 running shoe line up comprises of weekdays, sundays and get lost. They are all gender neutral, with their first versions coming in a standard width while providing a bit more room in the forefoot and toe box. The heel counter is slightly softer and than most regular running shoes which is good for heel stroke runners. The running shoes are classed as neutral running shoes but provide stability through its wider base, ensuring they will work for many runners. They feature a smooth ride giving a natural running experience.
Although I wasn’t born as a runner, I fuelled my passion as a teenager through track & field. Decathlons, marathons and triathlons made me competitive as an amateur, deep into my 40’s. Although I never made it as a professional, I kept loving running as a passionate amateur, all my life. Having worked for more than 25 years in the performance footwear industry, it taught me that I wanted to build a new type of brand, product, business and company. This venture is for the future, and it’s not based on the past.
– Jurian Elstgeest
4T2's sizing structure is unisex, so it's worth studying the sizing chart to ensure you find your best size. The team are also very helpful in their guidance. I managed to talk directly with Jurian – how many sports brands can you talk directly to the founder? Only a handful. I have found in my pair that there is a little more room that usual in the toe box, but this is a design choice of 4T2 to help give your toes room to splay and not get crushed.
weekdays is like your workhorse shoe, allowing you to put in all the miles and hours you need during the week. weekdays is the only shoe currently offered in different colourways, coming in vintage white and black/orange.
sundays is a running shoe tuned for long or 'slow' runs. You might even be able to run a marathon in it if you're not precious about time and wanting to get a PB. I'm a fan of the longer slow run and encourage runners to do this. You can go a group run and still be able to talk comfortably and feel the softness under your feet. Some people may want to go quick, so leave them to it with their card=bon plates. But here, Sundays are reserved for a nice long run with coffee and pastries at the end of it.
3mm + 3mm = 6mm drop / stacks 18mm-24mm / dual density midsole layer / 'joie.' midsole 52 (shore c): neutral and stable / 'flow.' top layer 47 (shore c): softer for comfort / wide stable geometry / smooth rocker allowing for a more natural midfoot strike / grippy and durable carbon rubber outsole called 'road to nowhere.' / comfortable slightly more forgiving heel counter / high-rebound X40 ortholite insole with 20% recycled material / roomy forefoot / replaceable outsole to give your shoe a second life
get lost is 4T2's trail running shoe. Featuring toe protector rubber and a water resistant upper it has a 6mm drop for a more natural transition and more agility on uneven terrain. I p the shoes and ran a couple of trail runs in them. As I mentioned above, I found them a little long in the toe but quickly got used to that, and actually appreciated it while running downhill. It has a 6mm drop which gives a more natural transition while aiding in agility on uneven terrain as well as boast a Vibram Litebase / Megagrip outsole.
Specs: weight 325gr for eu42,5 = men's us9 / 3mm + 3mm = 6mm drop / stacks 21mm-27mm / dual density midsole layer / 'joie.' midsole 52 (shore c): neutral and stable / 'flow.' top layer 47 (shore c): softer for comfort / wide stable geometry / smooth rocker allowing for a more natural midfoot strike / super sticky vibram litebase / megagrip outsole / comfortable slightly more forgiving heel counter / high-rebound X40 ortholite insole with 20% recycled material / roomy forefoot / replaceable outsole to give your shoe a second life
4T2 just had their one year anniversary – so you can still get involved and be an early adopter. If like me, you have a handful, or several running shoes, then adding a pair of 4T2's could be a nice addition.
If you're unsure and want to see how they work for you, 4T2 offer a risk-free 30-day trial. Being a startup they're also keen to gauge feedback from customers to help build on improving for future versions. We see how all the big brands have several, if not multiple iterations of their running shoes.
When 4T2 started they agreed that they should take a more holistic approach to the business and creating running shoes. The team agreed that running is much more than a world record or a personal best. For many, running is part of a routine, a rhythm, or a lifestyle. They wanted to find a way that their products could need to fit into that lifestyle.
Before engaging in the design process, they started to map out a matrix of "needs" identified by runners. Based off of that matrix they identified some key initial products to start working on. Next, they experimented with various shapes and forms before defining the best combinations of components and geometry. Then looked at how it would all end up working together as a running shoe.