Leading up to Outdoor Retailer Winter Market, SNEWS is previewing new trends and products you’ll see at the trade show in Salt Lake City, Jan. 22-26. Today, we take a look at some of the latest in winter footwear. All these stories also can be found in the print or digital flipbook edition of our Planning Guide.
It’s a tale of two treks when it comes to winter footwear — the trek on the trail and the trek to the office.
Both outings can present adverse winter conditions along the way, so consumers are looking to get versatile value whether its tall pair of boots for work and play or a pair of winter running shoes for trail and road.
“We’re trying to make things more everyday utilitarian to wear for sports or to work,” said Lowa’s Peter Sachs. All the while, consumers want footwear to keep their feet warm and toasty.
“Consumers are looking for versatility in their purchases,” said Keen’s Johanna Koeberle. “This means products that perform across activities and that provide fresh looks appropriate for multiple environments.”
On the Winter Market show floor, products for hiking and running for next season will be lighter in weight, but still armored for winter, and made from blended materials such as leather and fabric. Advancements are being made with outsoles that don’t harden in the cold or soften in the heat, and new technology to keep toes warm.
“The idea is you want a product that’s ready for anything,” said Yahn Lebo, category manager for Wolverine Brand Rugged Outdoor.
In the lifestyle category, fur is out while classic, sleek looks in earth tones and black are taking over. The new products are easy to dress up or down. Despite their fashionable looks, the lifestyle products feature all the warmth and technical aspects of their rugged counterparts. Pick the right fashion and style and lifestyle boots tend to be a good sell whether it snows or not.
>> For classic lifestyle products, Hi-Tec introduces its Talia High (MSRP $120, photo above), a high boot with a waterproof suede upper and Vibram sole, and its Talia Shell (MSRP $90), a shorter version with a nylon upper. Keen’s Arabella Bern is an equestrian-styled product with waterproof full-grain leather upper (MSRP $185, photo below). Birki’s introduces its Suede Sailor shoe (MSRP N/A) for men and women, a three-fourth’s slip-on with a suede upper and its proprietary Dynamic Footbed made of viscoelastic foam that stabilizes the foot.
>> The latest trail runners strive to fit the foot more perfectly, such as The North Face’s Single-Track Hayasa II (MSRP $110, photo below) for both men and women. The products feature an abrasion-resistant, tight-weave mesh and perforated EVA Northotic footbeds with the company’s Cradle Guide technology. The North Face extends its FlashDry laminate story into these products for increased breathability and water resistance. Merrell introduces its lightweight Ascent Glove for both men and women for the more minimalist trail runners.
>> In terms of keeping toes warm, companies are employing new reflective technology such as Wolverine with its PeakPlus waterproof, breathable membrane that reflects the foot’s body heat. It’s in all offerings, but one of note is the men’s and women’s Serge (MSRP $100) insulated with 200 grams of Thermal insulation and with a waterproof suede upper. Vasque offers up its men’s Arrowhead (MSRP $160, photo below) with PU coated leather for increased durability, 200 grams of Thinsulate, fuzzy fleece and reflective lining. The women’s counterpart is the Skadia (MSRP $150). Both products also feature the company’s ColdHold compound outsole, which remains flexible no matter how low temperatures drop.
>> Trail running continues to blow up and the winter offerings coming are warmer and a bit more waterproof. Inov-8 introduces its Oroc 280 (MSRP $140, photo below) and Oroc 340 (MSRP $150), updated with its new Ice Tech material, a glass fiber compound mixed into the outsole rubber for better grip. Adidas Outdoor introduces the Swift R’s in both a Gore-Tex version (MSRP $180) and a non Gore-Tex Version (MSRP $160).
>> Lowa’s Laax (MSRP N/A) for men is the height of a regular hiking boot, featuring a leather and fabric upper with PU injected construction, and insulation via Gore-Tex’s Paralana poly blend. The boot is made to move from hiking to snowshoeing and everything in between. Salomon introduces its winter-ready Synapse CS WP W+ (MSRP $140, photo below), an all-in-one product with the Quick Lace system and Contra Grip outsole that doesn’t harden in extreme cold or soften in the heat.
>> For out on the trail, Ecco debuts its Biom Hike boots (MSRP $260) for men and women (MSRP $240), a performance hiking boot for backpacking and rugged terrain built on Ecco’s anatomical last. They’re made of strong yak leather. Oboz introduces the men’s Rimrock Mid BDry (MSRP $155) and women’s Nova Mid BDry (MSRP $150), both featuring abrasion-resistant mesh fabric, Nubuck leather overlays and a Granite Peak outsole and midsole package.
These are just a few of the new products to debut at the show. Be sure to check out many more new product trends in the O.R. Daily, published live at the show, and available digital format each following day of print on SNEWS.