Leading up to Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2015, SNEWS is previewing some of the top trends and new products you’ll see at the trade show and Open Air Demo in Salt Lake City, Aug. 4-8. You can access all these articles and more in our O.R. Daily Day 0 edition.
Perhaps it’s the CrossFit effect. Or rising interest in ultrarunning. Or heck, maybe it’s even the television spectacle “American Ninja Warrior” that spurred renewed consumer zeal to attain superhuman athletic agility. Core outdoor shoppers, for example, view a 10k running race worthy of bragging only if it navigates through a grueling obstacle course or over knobby, gnarly trails.
To achieve such sprightliness, shoes are shedding weight and swapping superfluous trappings for sleek, nimble and performance-oriented features. “Advances in product technology, including footwear, allow outdoor athletes to better reach their potential,” said Mark Mathews, director of sales and summer product development at Scarpa. “The main things contributing to this idea would be weight savings, traction and friction. Today’s shoes are lighter than ever while still providing stability, protection and support.”
This idea of minimalistic functionally is illuminated in lifestyle footwear aesthetics featuring modern styles that also offer versatility and comfort. “Simplicity is everything from clean lines and simple designs in both the sandal and casual footwear market. Softer, muted colors remain popular in the women’s footwear category for styles that can go from day to night, and be worn at work or on the weekend,” said Kelly Santos, vice president of Bogs Footwear.
The new footwear launches at Summer Market employ both a deep understanding of running, hiking and walking biomechanics, as well as smart technology to achieve sophisticated, refined design across all categories.
>> Hike, run and scramble in Keen’s VersaTrail (MSRP $120), a sub 11-ounce shoe designed for consumers who do it all. A dual-density EVA midsole provides all-day comfort, and a toggle lace system helps attain a snug, performance fit.
>> A light and stable trail runner, Adidas Outdoor’s new Terrex Agravic GTX (MSRP $150) is designed to charge up mountain trails and slay talus. A waterproof Gore-Tex membrane and abrasion-resistant TPU welding offer protection from mud and grit, while rubber bike tire tread provides excellent traction.
>>Freewaters channels the minimal aesthetic with Sky Slip-On (MSRP $60), a casual, stylish shoe inspired by the surfer lifestyle in coastal cities. It features SmartSuede, a supple microfiber that looks like leather but is breathable, non-scuffing and non-staining when hit with ocean spray. This shoe contains only one seam for a sleek, clean appearance.
>>Oboz brings the men’s Scapegoat Low (MSRP $130) and the women’s Pika (MSRP $120). These sturdy yet breathable hikers drain water, dry fast and expel twigs and rocks. Both models feature Oboz’s new four-part “thru-hiker” support system that includes a compression- molded EVA midsole and nylon shank for stability.
>>Treksta’s Equinox Lace (MSRP $95) is an amphibious shoe that seamlessly transitions from water to land. A sticky and deep-lugged HyperGrip outsole grasps slippery river rocks and dirt alike, while Treksta’s proprietary NestFIT technology (that 3D-scanned and analyzed more than 20,000 individual feet to maximize ergonomics) is geared to provide excellent fit.
>> For runners who prefer a highly cushioned ride for long distance trail running, La Sportiva’s Akasha (MSRP $140) presents an answer. A burly, injection-molded midsole (80 percent EVA, 20 percent SBR — a durable synthetic rubber) provides comfort and stability, and rocker technology in the heel and forefoot enables effortless engagement and roll off.
>> While hiking trends angle toward faster, lighter and sleeker styles, Ahnu recognizes the need for a brawny hiker that can support backpackers carrying up to 60 pounds of gear. The new Women’s North Peak eVent WP (MSRP $200) offers exceptional stability for long days on the trail via ample ankle support and a full-length nylon shank.
>> The folks at Brooks used biomechanical insight to enhance how a runner’s foot naturally wants to move for high-energy return in its Neuro shoe (MSRP $130). For example, the footbed is uniquely grooved to align with each bone in the forefoot for improved proprioception and greater propulsion. Neuro also allows the forefoot and the heel to twist for explosive energy.
These are just a few of the new products to debut at Summer Market. Be sure to check out much more new and trends in the O.R. Daily, Days 1-4, published live at the show, and available digital format each day of print at www.snewsnet.com/ordaily.