New Year, New Boots
Brands aim to Deliver on What Consumers Want from their Boots.
New Year, New Boots
Brands aim to Deliver on What Consumers Want from their Boots.
Tell them what you want. Consumers are raising their voices about what is fit for their feet. Whether for work or outdoor activities, the boots in our closet circa 2019 just aren’t cutting it any longer.
Styles have changed, as has technology. Durability in workwear no longer equates to bulk. “In the past, there was an expectation that workwear could just look okay as long as it functioned well. They were often heavy leather and very bulbous looking. However, now this doesn’t have to be the case,” according to Twisted X CEO, Prasad Reddy, whose brand has crafted an offering weighing 20% less than the traditional work boot.
Toe types too, are evolving. Reddy notes a change over the last few years from wide-squared toe and snipped toe to newer, sleeker round toe and u-toe styles. Some brands are seeing an uptick in women purchasing work boots. “Particularly, as more women are in the market for safety work boots, the needs for attractive yet durable and long-lasting boots is becoming increasingly important” notes Brent Jennings, VP of marketing for Warson Brands. (Frye Supply, a new line of occupational footwear from Frye Boots, is among the brands designed and distributed by Warson.)
Emily Soloby, founder of Juno Jones, a stylish work boot line for women, adds, “gone are the days of women having to be one ‘of the boys’ to fit in. Beauty and strength can go hand in hand.”
What trends, technologies or features do consumers want currently when it comes to buying boots? On the following pages, brands offer insight on what’s trending in work and outdoor boot offerings, and showcase new styles to watch for in the year ahead.
This men’s outdoor boot takes on a monochromatic black hue that can go from work to trail to dinner. Padded faux fur lining provides warmth. The OrthoLite O-Therm insole technology creates a thermal barrier that elevates footwear temperature regulation, all-day comfort and cold weather protection. The outsole is equipped with Vibram Arctic Grip traction and Wet-Ice technology. Also featured in brown and grey colorways. Available Fall ’23. MSRP $189.95.
Merrell/SOLARCORE-enhanced MTL Thermo Rogue 4
Designed for today’s winter runners and hikers, this sporty option features a Vibram Arctic Grip outsole and XS Trek Evo, as well as strategically-placed traction lugs to provide a secure grip on uneven terrain. SOLARCORE, a NASA-inspired proprietary insulation technology, offers unparalleled warmth under compression. Just two millimeters of SOLARCORE incorporated into the Rogue’s toe box and insole provides the wearer with lasting warmth in a lightweight package. Available Fall ’23. MSRP $260.
For a durable boot that feels like a sneaker, the men’s Whitetail Mid delivers. It’s fit for whatever the weather serves up, offering a waterproof/breathable membrane, 200g Thinsulate insulation and a GlacialGrip outsole. Sustainability is at the forefront with a Bloom Rebound footbed and EVA midsole with 20% Bloom. Available Fall ’23. MSRP $170.
Kamik offers stylish boots for cold days. A -40C/-40F temperature rating is a first for the collection. An extra thick Cushy Step insole provides all-day comfort for women, while the shell is made with algae-blended thermoplastic rubber and Bloom Stride. Available Fall ‘23. MSRP $169.99.
This men’s style offers a light, modern vibe with a mix of oiled nubuck leathers made in ECCO’s tanneries using water-saving DriTan technology. It is fully PFC-free and has a waterproof membrane to keep feet dry. A padded collar provides ankle support. Available Fall ‘23. MSRP $200.
This sturdy and stylish boot from Rieker has a leather upper, with a Lamb’s Wool & Rieker “TEX” membrane water-resistant lining. An inside zipper and speed laces make this boot easy to put on. It also has a removable soft insole and a flexible, long-wearing outsole. Available Fall ’23. MSRP $190.
Irish Setter /Elk Tracker XD
This hiking boot features UltraDry waterproofing and has a full leather camo upper with leather gusset overlay. Welted construction enhances durability while a wraparound rubber rand offers abrasion resistance. Primaloft Insulation provides warmth in cold environments. Available Fall ’23. MSRP $249.99.
Kodiak/McKinney Wedge 6” Moccasin Boot
The men’s McKinney Wedge is designed for comfort and engineered for flexibility. A Comfortzone Lite footbed utilizing Ortholite Hybrid compound provides cushioning, moisture management and performance. Available Fall ’23. MSRP $174.99 for soft toe and $184.99 for composite toe.
The All-Terrain Thermal is a universal winter boot, featuring a Thinsulate and leather lining. A Vibram outsole offers enhanced grip. A removable contoured sheepskin EVA footbed with XRD extreme impact protection technology secures maximum warmth and comfort. Available now. MSRP $244.95.
Skechers/Arch Fit Discover – Elevation Gain
This women’s waterproof lace-up trail design has a suede, mesh and synthetic upper with a removable Arch Fit insole in a Podiatrist-designed shape. An anti-slip Goodyear rubber outsole delivers enhanced traction, stability and durability. Available now. MSRP $115.
A stylish performer, the Santana Canada Marlowe in grey/navy features a premium Crazyhorse Leather upper and a warm 50% wool blend lining, along with a faux fur collar and suede trim. The boot also has an injected TPU/PU outsole and is lightweight/flexible and non-slip. Made in Italy, the Marlowe has a side zip, thermal insoles, and is ready for super-cold adventures. The boot is rated to -30C/-22F. MSRP $279.
The waterproof, full-grain leather women’s Torrent low boot is made to withstand the elements and look good while doing so. Enjoy extra warmth and comfort with the fleece-lined 100G DuraWarm insulation. Available Fall ’23. MSRP $115.
Oboz x Skida/Whakatā Puffy
This shoe is offered in two original Skida prints which feature native flowers from Montana and Vermont. The Whakatā Puffy has a quilted, water-resistant, textile mesh upper with a 100% recycled engineered knit collar. 100g of Freeze Guard insulation keeps feet warm. Available Fall ’23. MSRP $115.
This vintage sneaker style is now available as a safety shoe with a composite fiberglass toe cap. It has a heat-resistant, slip-resistant outsole. Arch support enables the foot to be positioned naturally in the shoe and stimulates the muscles when walking. Available Spring ’23.
Frye Supply/Safety-Crafted Harness Workboot
Frye brings its heritage styles to the safety market this year with the Frye Supply brand label, featuring genuine leathers, durable welts, and toe, weather, and electrical protection. The insole offers Poron XRD extreme heel shock absorption and arch support. Available March ’23. MSRP $158.
Ariat/Big Rig Chelsea
Men’s Big Rig styles provide a generous fit, a roomier opening, wider shafts (for pull-on styles) and are built to address the needs of all consumers. Designed with DRYShield waterproof breathable construction, this boot can tackle harsh outdoor work environments. Available Fall ’23. MSRP $189.95).
HOSS Boot Company/Ticker
The HOSS Ticker/Tickaboo series of boots is lightweight with athletic inspiration. This men’s style is designed for the light industrial worker that does a lot of walking and also needs high slip resistance. It is an ASTM F2413-18 composite safety toe with a roomier feel. Available now. MSRP $140.
Juno Jones/Serpentine Safety Boot
Juno Jones makes safety work boots for women’s feet. The Serpentine goes from the office to the job site, has a steel toe, is Electrical Hazard (EH) certified; has a puncture resistant midsole; and water-resistant construction. Available now. MSRP $269.
Thorogood/Square Toe Wellington Series
This waterproof series is made in USA with domestic and globally sourced components. Goodyear welt construction makes these boots resoleable for extended wear and comfort. Available now. MSRP $260-275.
Twisted X/11” UltraLite X Work Boot
Thanks to a unique EVA compound, the UltraLite X outsoles offer lightweight comfort and support. A Nano Composite Safety Toe is made by weaving together carbon nanotubes for a lightweight safety toe option. Available Spring ’23. MSRP $199.95.
Brands weigh in on what consumers want.
“There seem to be two top trends that consumers are most looking for. One of those is classic styling and materials. They want beautiful leathers and soft materials without a lot of ornamentation. The other trend is a little bit more high fashion. They want to see a lot of detail go into the boot, including things like embroidery and having various color combinations to choose from.”
Prasad Reddy, CEO, Twisted X
“Women on the job want to be seen, acknowledged, and treated fairly. This means having access to safety footwear that fits their bodies and meets their needs. As the worker shortage continues, women are stepping up to fill those positions in all kinds of industries, and Juno Jones will be there with them every step of the way.”
Emily Soloby, founder, Juno Jones
“Most important to today’s worker beyond protection is comfort. Comfort goes beyond a good fit and insole; comfort needs to be top-of-mind for each material choice, design, and engineering of our boots.”
Karen McSorley, brand manager, Kodiak
“With industrial footwear, the job often defines the need. We find that people are wanting lightweight and comfort.”
Don Colbert, president, HOSS Boot Company
“We currently see a demand for highly functional, versatile, and durable boots. When it comes to technologies and key features, we see our consumers trending toward styles that feature innovative technology to enhance the performance and comfort of the shoe or boot. For outdoor boots, one of the top trends we’re seeing is demand for moisture-wicking and waterproof materials.”
Lauren King, director of brand marketing, Wolverine
“Comfort, quality of materials and functionality are key. We only use the finest ingredients, starting with the most durable, strongest, and premium leathers coming out of our own tanneries. For key ingredients that we cannot produce ourselves in-house, we only partner with best-in-class companies like Gore-Tex for waterproofing, Primaloft for insulation, and Michelin for durable outsole rubber.”
Felix Zahn, director of merchandising, ECCO
“Consumers are continuing to prioritize sustainability in the products that they purchase, which has been part of Kamik’s DNA for more than a century. We are also keeping up with aesthetic trends by providing urban styles and trustworthy footwear that can take an individual through their everyday life. Kamik provides the perfect versatile boot for every consumer, designed with top features: waterproof materials, optimal grip, trustworthy insulation and of course, comfort designed for the everyday outdoors.”
Gillian Meek, CEO, Kamik
“Firstly, I think most consumers want their boots to be well designed, built to last, and comfortable for all-day wear. I also believe that a customer wants the versatility of a product that can serve multiple purposes as well as outfits. Something that is durable and rugged yet has a clean silhouette that can withstands the everchanging fashion trends.”
Michael Martin, national marketing manager, Blundstone
“Customers have always wanted durable boots that will last. What’s changed is that now they also want those boots to fit and feel like a sneaker. At Forsake, we’re designing for this customer by building boots that are lightweight and require little to no break-in without sacrificing durability.”
Sam Barstow, founder, Forsake
“Our loyal Ariat consumers rely heavily on our boots to help them perform in a variety of demanding environments so, while we do keep on top of trends, we focus mainly on solving for a consumer need and draw on their feedback for inspiration. Big Rig is a recent example where we received numerous calls, emails and letters from our loyal customers asking for boots that offer a wider range in foot and calf sizes.”
Jake Rivas, VP of footwear design, Ariat
“Our consumers continue to advocate for lightweight yet durable boots on the jobsite. At the same time, they also are interested in classic and heritage styles that reflect their lifestyles and hobbies and demand top-quality leathers and hardware on their boots.”
Brent Jennings, VP of marketing, Warson Brands