Podcast: Episode 149: Speedland: David Dombrow & Kevin Fallon tell how to start a new shoe company


Wow - a new running shoe company!  That's gotta be hard - why are these two men doing it?

"We've been designing shoes for 25 years for other company's.  There was always a compromise.  We wanted to build a shoe that was the absolute best - no compromise."

"We're always told what the price has to be, and then worked backward from there - we wanted to start with the best product and go forward."

Can a new shoe company succeed?

"If you work hard, and create a product that means something, you will succeed."

"And if we took the same approach as everyone else, you're going to get the same result."

Is this a version of the now iconic Nike Zoom technology?

"Our SL:PDX is very trail-specific.  Effort has gone into new road shoe design, and to some degree track shoes, but trail running requires a very different set of features which has been largely ignored.  People have been running incredible FKTs and mountain races, while the technology has not kept up with what they're doing. Until now."


This episode is sponsored by Speedland

Speedland is a brand new shoe company, founded by two longtime designers from Puma, Nike, and Under Armour. Their debut shoe is the SL:PDX, likened more to a piece of equipment than to a shoe. It is trail footwear made from the most premium components available today.

Listen to this trail-runner-wish-list:

  • It’s the first shoe ever to feature BOA’s Li2 Fit System, dual dials with multi-directional incremental dialing for a perfect fit.
  • The midsole uses a new formulation of Pebax foam for ultimate energy return.
  • Then there’s a Carbitex carbon-fiber plate with asymmetrical flex – stiff in one direction, flexible in the other.
  • Finishing it off, the SL:PDX uses a Michelin wrap outsole with a customizable lug pattern that can be adjusted for any terrain.

When we say it’s all there, it’s all there. Plus, Speedland gives back 10% of all profits to outdoor organizations chosen by their athletes, and once the shoe reaches the end of its lifecycle, you can send it back where it will be disassembled and recycled.

Check out the Speedland SL:PDX over at runspeedland.com and follow them on Instagram at @runspeedland. Drop them a note if you have any questions.

Full CV

Dave Dombrow

  • Age: 44
  • City: Portland, Oregon
  • Family: Wife (Caryn) and 2 Kids (Stella 14, Roman 12) Dog (Sid) Cat (Holling)
  • Occupation: Co-Founder Speedland (Design/Creative Direction Background)
  • Life/Sports Highlights - - -
    • Grew up in Southern California (Ran Cross Country, Basketball, and Baseball through HS)
    • Studied Product/Transportation Design at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena
    • Worked for Nike, Puma and UA before starting Speedland with Kevin
    • Trail Running is my main sport these days!

Kevin Fallon

  • Age: 50
  • City: Portland, OR
  • Family:  Wife Leslie, son Leo (11)
  • Occupation:  Designer
  • Life/Sports Highlights - - -
    • I was athletic but not especially talented.  Played varsity football 3 years but never started.  Ran track and field.  Captain of high school ski team. 
    • Skiing is my main love, but I have moved from racing to backcountry touring.  I mountain bike in the summers now, run a little.  I’ve competed in 3 24-hour mountain bike races (team events).
    • Life highlights include being married 14 years to my better half, and having a son.
    • Years of trips culminated in a 40+ day canoe adventure that finished in Hudson Bay.  Completing a self-sustained trip like that at 17 years old left a huge and lasting impression on me, and the outdoors has always been an important part of my life.
    • I got my pilot’s license the year after that, I always had obsessions with cars and planes and boats. That’s what lead me to engineering and eventually product design after high school. My grandfather was a WW2 vet and B-17 pilot who was awarded a distinguished flying cross.
    • And while each role I have had at the 3 different brands in my history have been highlights for me in different ways, starting our own brand is the biggest highlight of the career.


  • Location:  Portland, Oregon
  • Date Founded:  2020 (Company launched to the public in June 2021)
  • Products:  Hyper Performance Trail Equipment (SL:PDX)
  • What makes Speedland special - - -
    • We took a true no compromise approach and used the best of the best at every turn to create Hyper Performance Trail Equipment (for your feet)
    • We have designed the product to be easily deconstructed at end of life for easy Recyclability 
    • We give 10 percent of our profits directly back to our Athletes for their local Trail/Outdoor Foundations
    • As the shoe can be customized in different ways every new release will directly be informed by an Athlete/Region of the World.
  • Where are they available:  DTC at this time - runspeedland.com

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