Few sports have taken the world by storm in the past couple years like the beer mile. The event where runners have to chug twelve ounces of a sanctioned beer before every quarter-mile lap of a mile race has gone from frat boy lark to serious competition with mind-blowingly fast times – the current world record is Corey Bellemore’s 4 minutes 34.35 seconds – and coverage on places like Sports Illustrated and ESPN. Now, the sport has its own official shoe.
Back in November 2015, then 22-year-old beer mile world-record holder Lewis Kent signed what was believed to be the first-ever major shoe sponsorship for the sport when he inked a deal with Brooks. Though the young Canadian runner has since seen fellow Canadian Bellemore best his time, Kent’s signature shoe continued to be in the works and was finally released this week, making it the very first official beer mile shoe.
Called the Beer Mile Hyperion, the footwear is slightly more practical than it sounds. According to TMZ Sports, these kicks were “formulated for premium wet-dry traction and skid resistance,” hopefully preventing serious beer milers from having any accidents when running through spilled beer or, as sometimes happens in the beer mile, vomit. Brooks more eloquently described the shoes as “perfect for the beer transition zone where spilled beverages can create hazards.” Unfortunately, however, the shoe does nothing to protect your liver.
Kent is slated to debut the shoe at the FloTrack Beer Mile World Championships this weekend, so we’ll have an immediate chance to see if a dedicated beer mile shoe will give him an edge. Let’s just say, I’m skeptical. But meanwhile, the former record-holder has more than just running to worry about. Earlier this month, Kent’s archrival Bellemore landed his own shoe deal with sportswear juggernaut Adidas – a move that could be seen as once again one-upping the former champ.
Sadly, Brooks will reportedly not be selling Kent’s shoe commercially, but Brooks Footwear Product Line Manager Jena Winger didn't rule out a publicly available version, saying "We’ve heard great feedback on the shoe design so far from running and beer enthusiasts alike, so we’ll continue to listen to what they have to say and will leave the door open to the possibility of making a version of the ‘Beer Mile’ Hyperion for all runners in the future.” If they don't, it really seems like a wasted opportunity – no pun intended. On the bright side, we're spared having to watch some Joe Schmo in beer mile running shoes down a six-pack while planted firmly on his couch.