Norton convinces Maasai warriors to run in sneakers

The Fight Club star will be joined by the Kenyan tribesmen when he pounds the streets of the Big Apple on Sunday (01Nov09) to raise money for an African conservation charity.

The Maasai warriors have vowed to compete in their traditional robes and beads and had previously insisted on sticking to their open-toed sandals, made from rubber tyres, for the race.

Norton says, “They’re very comfortable in those (clothes). That’s what they walk and run in at home. That’s just sort of their normal day-to-day wear, and they’re really comfortable in it.”

But Norton has finally convinced his new pals to run in comfortable footwear and take advantage of sports giant Puma, which is sponsoring the team.

The actor took them to a shoe fitting earlier this week (ends30Oct09) and he’s hoping the warriors will take the sneakers back to Kenya with them and continue using the footwear.

He says, “The only thing they’re still debating a little bit is whether to switch from their sandals to running shoes…

“The guys are getting outfitted for Puma running shoes. They usually run in those (sandals) but I think they might convert… They like their sandals and that’s what they run in at home, but they had never run on pavement before, and so they’re debating maybe wearing Pumas.”

Norton’s team will be joined by pals Alanis Morissette and illusionist David Blaine when they line up for the start of the race on Sunday.