Velocity Systems

Posts Tagged ‘New Balance’

Warrior West – New Balance

Friday, April 26th, 2013


New Balance developed an FR bra and boy short to fill the capability gap in the Army’s Fire Resistant Environmental Ensemble. They were designed for New Balance by a former Moving Comfort employee with a great deal of experience creating performance undergarments for females.


New Balance models in a similar fabric are already issued to deploying females in the Air Force, the bras and boy short are currently stocked at AAFES MCSS in 120 stores for private purchase.

Warrior West – New Balance Abyss USA

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012

The 601MBK Abyss USA is a Berry compliant version of the popular 6″ water boot manufactured in Skowhegan, Maine.


It features a 2-part insole system so that it can be worn with dry suits or to accommodate thick socks. It features a Vibram outsole with integrated drain holes. The combination of synthetic and mesh make the upper very abrasion resistant yet breathable. In fact, it is designed to release all water in less than 3 minutes with testing indicating it can accomplish this feat in as little as 45 seconds.

The Abyss USA is already in use with US military units.

Open Range Service Group Military Mountain and Cold Weather Workshop

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012

In late January, Open Range Service Group coordinated the Military Mountain and Cold Weather Workshop, a two day round table workshop designed to bring together Military and DoD personnel with industry leaders in the area of military equipment for cold weather and mountainous operations. Held in Essex, Vermont the location is well known to those in military mountaineering circles. The forum of discussions provided insight on operational requirements based of lessons learned, current technology and future developments to support mission requirements and future needs. Topics covered ranged from advanced fiber technology and materials used for insulation in cold weather protection garments, individual mountain equipment to include stoves, sleep systems and lighting. A third day was dedicated to actual ice climbing training that utilized products discussed in the workshop briefings.

Denali Climb for the Fallen, 2nd Ranger BTN, Open Range Service Group from Marc Womack on Vimeo.

The conference kicked off with a presentation on the Denali Climb for the Fallen by members of the 2nd Ranger Bn and led by Open Range Service Group. This video is a synopsis of the ascent. The group summited Denali on Memorial Day of 2011. This key presentation really set off the tone of the entire event and while the climb was completed under training conditions, the environmental challenges faced by the crew were the same as in combat. This led to excellent observations on kit, nutrition, health and techniques. In later presentations, I was able to make direct correlations back to the initial address which was very helpful considering I had never undertaken a climbing expedition.

I attend a lot of seminars and trade shows and I have to say that this event was well worth my time. The subject matter was poignant and the speakers and attendees were a great mix. There was heavy attendance by military and industry personnel involved in mountain and cold weather ops. I was really impressed with the backgrounds of military and civilians alike and everyone added to the discussion but from different perspectives. While ultimately, everything is based on civilian climbing, different units adopt different techniques and gear at different speeds.

If you have the opportunity to attend one of ORSG’s events in the future, make sure you do it. I can’t think of many conferences where you can talk about new techniques and technologies and then try them out. If it’s even half as good as this one, you won’t be disappointed.

I want to give out a special thanks to my hosts Open Range Service Group and in particular, sponsor Primaloft.

Also, be sure to ask ORSG about their excellent performance t-shirts from New Balance commemorating the Denali Climb for the Fallen. Proceeds from sales of the shirts go to the Pointe du Hoc Foundation.

Run Walk to Home Base 9K Run

Sunday, March 11th, 2012

On May 20th the Run Walk to Home Base 9K Run will raise funds to provide clinical care for veterans with combat stress or traumatic brain injury as well as support services and counseling for wounded vet’s families. Presented by New Balance, the Red Sox Foundation, and Massachusetts General Hospital participants can run or walk with the finish line at Fenway Park’s home base.

One of our industry friends is participating. For those of you who’d like to support this cause visit

Army Seriously Looking at Wool

Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

While this isn’t exactly breaking news, the fact that the Army is publicly acknowledging their efforts regarding wool is. Wool was long a mainstay of Soldier clothing. Take for example this Soldier circa 1941. He is essentially wearing the same clothing that his forebears wore in the trenches of World War I. This same gear served us well through World War II, Korea and on. Wool pieces remained in the cold weather bag up into the 90s. And then, beginning in the 60s with selected items up through early 90s, the services began to turn away from wool in favor of synthetics such as polypropylene and acrylic. As operations in Afghanistan and Iraq ramped up, the flame threat associated with Improvised Explosive Devices caused a shift to a new generation of FR performance fabrics.

In recent years there has been a move to investigate the possibility of reintroducing nature’s performance fabric into the Soldier’s kit bag. Wool’s advantages, particularly of the Merino variety, are myriad.

-Warm even when wet
-Comfortable in a wide range of temperatures as well as against the skin
-Inherently FR (No Melt, No Drip)
-Grown Naturally

Now, according to an Army press release, Natick Soldier Research, Development, and Engineering Center has contracted for several efforts with the American Sheep Industry Association and its subsidiary, Sheep Venture Company, to develop, test and evaluate wool fabrics for combat clothing. The ASI is no slouch, with over 45 state sheep associations, all told it represents more than 82,000 sheep producers.

“We can enhance wool’s inherent properties by engineering high-performance fiber blends and fabric structures. It all begins with the wool fiber fineness, where some breeds of sheep and what they are fed directly affect the wool fiber diameter and flexibility,” said Carole Winterhalter, textile technologist for NSRDEC.

“In the military world, Natick is recognized as working on cutting-edge technologies in support of all Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines. Work done at Natick is thorough and credible,” said Mitchell Driggers, program manager for Sheep Venture Company, or SVC, and government contracting consultant of the American Sheep Industry, known as ASI.

“Natick provides the expertise of textile technologists to engineer optimized individual clothing for the field,” Winterhalter said.

In 2009 NSRDEC selected three organizations for Phase I Small Business Innovation Research contracts specifically calling for shrink-resistant treatments for wool and our friends at Propel LLC were involved in these efforts. SVC received the Phase II contract and created different wool shrink-resist techniques through chemical and enzyme-based technologies. Subsequently, the sheep and wool industry spent its own funds to install a manufacturing line with energy-efficient equipment to run the shrink treatments.

This line accommodates multiple shrink treatment methods. SVC’s washable wool line exceeded its production by more than 40 percent in the first year, and the company expects to double its production this year.

“The work done with Natick Labs is important because ASI is able to better understand the needs of all of the military services,” said Rita Samuelson, wool marketing director for ASI. “Together, we can develop products that are functional and valuable to our servicemen and women.”

There has been an impression that there isn’t enough domestic wool to go around, but the facts belie the myth. The US wool industry exports approximately 65 percent of American-grown raw and semi-processed wool to overseas markets, and 10-15 percent is used by the domestic textile industry. The rest is consumed by the US military.

The next step is engineering better performing wool blends. For example, spinning long-staple (four-inch) wool into worsted yarns with Nomex and Kevlar fibers from DuPont was done through NSRDEC and SVC for flame resistance and durability purposes.

“We believe we’ll be able to make a fabric that is much stronger with the long-staple worsted yarns,” Winterhalter said. “We’ve already demonstrated a 20 percent increase in yarn strength over the previous short-staple yarns.”

On the other hand, New Balance is out in front of this concept as well with their FR wool blend featuring FR Rayon.

“Through these different parameters, we can engineer high-tech protective clothing made from environmentally friendly natural means,” Winterhalter said. “We hope these fabrics will be used across the board for FR applications, just as the nylon/cotton blend has been the all-purpose combat uniform fabric.”

To further refine the technology, SVC was awarded a three-year contract to develop FR fabrics for the future.

“Wool does not melt or drip and has significant fire-resistant qualities, both of which can help protect Soldiers from IEDs,” Samuelson said.

The advantages of wool for the Soldier are obvious. It is truly nature’s performance fabric and when combined with other technologies, performance is further enhanced. For the Army and by extension the taxpayer, wool offers a cost advantage. Expect to see more and more companies enter the domestic wool game as they eye military business.

Insanity Ensues!

Thursday, January 5th, 2012

New Balance is offering the OTB Boots Bootistan in Tan for, get this…$59.99. That is $120.00 off normal retail.

The waterproof Bootistan mountain boot is lined with Sympatex and features a dual density Ortholite footbed covered with Dri-lex. Get yours before they are gone.

40% Off New Balance

Saturday, October 22nd, 2011

Tactical Distributors is offering a smokin’ deal on New Balance Health and Wellness shoes. Get 40% with promo code 40NEW.

OTB Boots Updates Website

Friday, August 12th, 2011

OTB Boots has completely revamped their website. In addition to the new look, you will also see several new styles such as the TAB we mentioned last week as well as the Rappel that we debuted on SSD last Modern Day Marine.