New Westin Program Lets Hotel Guests Borrow Running Shoes

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Westin Hotels & Resorts and New Balance are partnering in a new "healthy and fit" program that lets guests borrow running shoes and clothing. Yup, you can share stuff other people will use too.

The loaner New Balance running shoes are equipped with new disposable insoles that can be thrown out after each use. And the clothes will be washed after each use -- hotel guests can borrow a variety of running apparel including shorts, shirts and socks for men; and shorts, Capri pants, socks, shirts and sports bras for women.

An upside of the program is travelers no longer have to lug sneakers and other equipment, which means more space if you're trying to avoid airline baggage fees by only bringing carry-on.

"Guests simply need to show up ready for a great workout. We provide the rest," says Nancy London, Vice President, Westin Hotels & Resorts.

The complimentary program has been pilot tested at 10 Westin properties – including The Westin Boston Waterfront, The West Michigan Avenue in Chicago, and The Westin San Francisco Airport – and will begin rolling out to all the chain's more than 170 hotels around the world in 2011.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the hotels are stocking women's size shoes from 6 to 10 ½ and clothing from small to extra large; and men's size shoes 8 1/2/ to 13 and clothing from medium to extra, extra large.

Some travelers are already embracing the idea.

Frequent traveler Jenn Blazejewski, a 31-year-old management consultant and daily runner, tells the Journal she has no problem with the idea of loaner gear.

"Running socks aren't very intimate compared with bed sheets and towels," she says.

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