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Perfect Combo

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Today’s hybrid lifestyles have consumers looking for performance in their comfort shoes and comfort in their performance shoes. Need a shoe that works for everything from the trail to the office? No problem. Brands are combining comfort elements with outdoor style and innovation to meet consumer needs. For individuals who desire a shoe for constant wear, we’ve tracked down some all-encompassing styles that accommodate.

Which style are you offering this season that can transfer from the trail to the workplace?

“The Kona is made with water resistant leather, so it is great for the outdoors. It also has an easy, sleek look that translates into the workplace. The laces, along with a side zip, have a great fit element with an ease to get on and off. The Kona can be worn with either hiking pants or a skirt for the office.”
– Ayelet Lax Levy, VP of North America, Naot 

“The Howser Harvest features a soft fleece lining that transfers into a comfy, versatile, inside-outside hybrid shoe. A removable polyurethane insole maintains its cushioning for feel-good comfort. A high-traction rubber outsole is made for outside wear.”
– Erik Burbank, VP, KEEN Effect

“Comfort is our prized possession and truly what we do best. The Twisted X Men’s 4” Waterproof Hiker Boot, in particular, was designed to handle everything from a rugged mountain trail to a 14-hour day in the workshop. The result is a versatile hiking boot that can take you anywhere.”
– Lee Lemon, VP of Sales, Twisted X

“The Rowan is a Chelsea boot with a rugged lug outsole that is waterproof. It has our Alegria DNA: memory foam, cork and a soft polyurethane blend footbed that molds to the foot and offers superior arch support. It is a versatile style that can be worn on park trails or can easily pass as office casual.”
– Megan Gold, design director, Alegria

“As part of the men’s Modern Utility collection, the Comox is inspired by ‘work safety,’ yet is equally equipped for everyday play. The boot balances style and purpose, while allowing the wearer to be comfortable.”
– Karen McSorley, senior brand manager, Kodiak

“The Merger meets the need of consumers with hybrid lifestyles, where the lines have been blurred between work and personal time, between fashion and outdoor function. The combination of proven technical features, light weight and youthful, urban styling makes the Merger the ideal crossover style.”
– Peter Sachs, general manager, LOWA Boots

“The Racquel is packed with features and benefits that are built for walking and everyday wear, making it perfect for transitioning from light trail to work. It is incredibly lightweight and supportive.”
– Kelsey Jayne, footwear design director, Dansko 

“The Xerocole Desert Hiking boot transitions from the most demanding desert hikes to the casual office space. These full-grain leather, neutral toned boots are vegetable-tanned. The insole (handmade in Portugal from cork crumb) is topped with natural latex foam for all-day comfort.”
– Jax Mariash, VP of marketing, Erem

“ECCO continues to design our Outdoor collection with hybridization and multi-purpose in mind. Our customers are showing an increasing demand for styles that are both functional and athletic for outdoor pursuits, with a clean, urban aesthetic that easily blends into urban cityscapes as well.”
– Erik Walcott, head of specialty sales – global, ECCO

“For Spring ’23, the new Ousel is a true crossover that merges strong on-trail capabilities with casual elements for a seamless transition from the trail to the workplace.”
– Rich Hohne, director of brand + consumer experience, Oboz

“These kicks can be rocked either inside or outside. Collapsible heels made of soft, responsibly sourced leather make for an easy slip on and off.”
Seth Pulford, director of marketing, Sanuk

Some key trends we are seeing in the marketplace include sustainability, wellness and inclusion. Which bucket does the style included in this article fall into?

Sustainability

“The Howser Harvest (for men and women) is crafted from upcycled leather car seats, helping to divert waste from landfills.”
Erik Burbank, VP, KEEN Effect

“The Comox has 50% recycled plastic lining and 100% recycled plastic laces. Sustainable insulation is built by PrimaLoft P.U.R.E., while a Comfortzone footbed carries an eco-component. Sustainable practices reflect Kodiak’s Built For What Matters Initiative, which is a commitment to a greener future through continuous improvements and progress.”
– Karen McSorley, senior brand manager, Kodiak 

“In 2019 ECCO created DriTan, which is a proprietary process that reduces the use of water and chemicals in leather tanning, helping us work toward a goal for net zero water discharge by 2030. While the BIOM 2.1 series features premium textiles and ECCO nubuck uppers, consumers can find DriTan leather across a variety of ECCO styles.”
– Erik Walcott, head of specialty sales – global, ECCO

“Named for Ousel Falls, a popular area hiking destination due to its relatively easy access and beautiful cascades, the Ousel features a full grain leather upper sourced from a Gold rated Leather Working Group tannery. Recycled webbing and Repreve laces are featured.”
– Rich Hohne, director of brand + consumer experience, Oboz

“Erem is a 100% Biocircular company with all materials having a proven path back to nature. You will not find plastics or glues in our products. We are committed to planting one million cactus pear cacti to combat climate change. This plant is a super plant of the desert with its low water needs, high carbon sequestration properties, and fruit production.”
– Jax Mariash, VP of marketing, Erem

“Sanuk is a proud partner of Leather Working Group. Our sockliner in the Cozy Vibe Low contains 85% biobased content. A Sugar Mat outsole is made with 55% Sugarcane EVA.”
– Seth Pulford, director of marketing, Sanuk

Wellness

“The Men’s 4” Waterproof Hiker Boot was designed with comfort and safety in mind. Not only are they slip-resistant, but the boots are also cushioned and absorb shock to protect the wearer in a variety of terrains.”
– Lee Lemon, VP of Sales, Twisted X

“Kona features a removable footbed that allows people with foot issues to build up the footbed, or replace with an orthotic. Naot shoes are also highly recommended by many podiatrists for arthritis and plantar fasciitis.”
- Ayelet Lax Levy, VP of North America, Naot

“This collection features soft double-face recycled webbings in a range of colors and patterns. Walking has become a key component of wellness. These styles are perfect for long walks where you need comfort and performance.”
– Kelsey Jayne, footwear design director, Dansko 

Inclusivity

“Conrad is offered in both X-wide and XX-wide, so it is size inclusive.”
– Jennifer Sokso, director of marketing, Propet

“Our medium width is actually a C width which accommodates the majority of our customer base. We offer wide footbeds so that the same shoe can become a D width with a simple footbed swap instead of a whole other shoe.”
– Megan Gold, design director, Alegria

“The Merger GTX Lo is on-trend in terms of optics, styling and crossover function for the new ‘outdoorish’ consumer who is looking for a shoe that can handle their hybrid everyday-outdoor lifestyle. The MONOWRAP frame is an athletic, bold silhouette, yet comes in muted colors that make it simple to pair with both streetwear and outdoorwear.”
- Peter Sachs, general manager, LOWA Boots

Lowa/Merger GTX Lo

The Merger’s polyurethane MONOWRAP frame is fused directly to the single piece ripstop nylon upper, providing lateral stability in an ultra-lightweight construction. It’s lined with waterproof/breathable Gore-Tex and features an aggressive lugged outsole for traction. MSRP $230. 


Dansko/Racquel 

With the performance of a walking sneaker, a key detail of this style is the energy return EVA Footbed with Dansko Natural Arch Technology. It also features a propel forepart designed to support the walking motion while still providing a cushioned ride. Outsole rubber pads provide traction. MSRP $115.


Sanuk/Cozy Vibe Low SM Rad Yarn 

Slide into comfort with a fluffy wool blend that keeps your feet cozy in cold weather and moisture wicked-dry for when they get toasty.  The woven textile shoe contains a wool and Tencel blend shearling collar (and lining) with recycled polyester backing. MSRP $90. 


NAOT/KONA

Like all of Naot’s offerings, the Kona has a soft cork footbed with latex and memory foam for lasting comfort. This stylish boot also has a durable sole that is abrasive to prevent slipping. Plus, the Kona is made using environmentally

friendly methods. MSRP $229.95.


Twisted X/Men’s 4” Hiker Boot 

These waterproof hiker boots feature a breathable waterproof lining and a leatherTWX upper with 80% recycled scrap leather from factories. Blend85 footbeds use 85% EVA foam waste from factory production and 100% recycled PET ecoTweed fabric for the top cover. MSRP $149.95. 


Kodiak/Comox

Comox is engineered with an outsole featuring Vibram TC4+ compound for slip and heat resistance in the workplace. Full-grain waterproof leather protects against outdoor elements. MSRP $170. 


Erem/Xerocole Desert Hiking Boot

Materials employed include full-grain leather, Tencel Lyocell fibers, 70% recycled rubber, brass and cork. The leather in the upper is a robust yet flexible material that provides puncture and abrasion protection on all critical wear-points. A shock-absorbing insole cradles the foot. MSRP $189.99.


Propet/Conrad

Conrad has a waterproof bootie, plus Scotchguard. It also features a double depth/removable footbed to accommodate custom orthotics. MSRP $134.95.


ECCO/Biom 2.1 X Country

This sporty option is fit for cross-country adventures. Biom technology encourages the foot to move naturally and efficiently and has an anatomical fit. A low profile allows the wearer to feel connected to the ground. A Phorene midsole delivers energy return and bounce. MSRP $150. 


Oboz/Ousel

The Ousel, the next iteration of the popular women’s Sapphire, is an approachable day hiker designed for mellow backpacking or walks through the park. The shoe features lightweight single density cushioning and Oboz A3 TPU two-piece chassis paired with an OPlate for torsional stability and protection against stone bruising. An updated women-specific last provides a snug heel fit. MSRP for Low style: $120 (B-Dry $135).


Keen/Howser Harvest

Howser Harvest features a slip-on design for easy on and off, from indoors to out. Offered in an Original Fit, there is generous space across the forefront for toes to spread. A non-marking rubber outsole leaves no trace on your floors. Eco-Anti-Odor technology offers natural odor control. MSRP $125. 


Alegria/Rowan

The designer of the Rowan wanted it to be kinder to the animals and the wallet, so she used durable, waterproof vegan leather. The lug outsole is rugged, yet lightweight. Sustainability is built into the brand’s business model through the use of removable and replaceable footbed technology, extends the life of the shoe. MSRP $149.95.

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May 31, 2022

 Newsletter

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