November / December 2018
Cover Story

Dress for Success

In a world gone casual, is there growth to be found in the classic men’s dress shoe? Bostonian is betting yes — and it’s not alone. The 119-year-old brand (it was founded as the Commonwealth Shoe Co. in Whitman, MA, in 1899) relaunched this year to be a fashion-forward option for young men looking to elevate their personal style, according to Gary Champion, president of Bostonian parent company Clarks Americas. Read full story.

Women’s Comfort

Super Hero Soles

Brands Predict their Best Sellers in the Women’s Comfort Category for Fall 2019

We preview standout Fall 2019 women’s comfort styles to watch for during the winter trade show season. Read full story.


Retro Renegades

Can fashion-forward styling and endorsers from the ’90s breathe new life into basketball?

Once upon a time IN the not too-distant past, every athletic brand had a performance basketball shoe and marquee NBA player to endorse it and help sell it to young players. Dominque Wilkins hawked Brooks; Hakeem Olajuwon promoted Etonic; Clyde “The Glide” Drexler pitched Avia; and Shaquille O’Neal began his still-going-strong endorsement career wearing a signature shoe from Reebok. But recent seasons have proved troubling for the silhouette. Read full story.


Striding Into the Next Century

Vida Kids is looking to the future as it celebrates the 100th anniversary of Stride Rite

It’s a select club, the brands that get to celebrate a centenary . But as far as Stride Rite is concerned, blowing out the candles on a century is just another reason to keep moving forward. The brand, founded in 1919 as Green Shoe Manufacturing Co. in Boston, MA, has seen a number of changes over the years: its name (the Stride Rite moniker was purchased, for $1000, in 1933), its headquarters, its styles and even its ownership. Bought in 2012 by Wolverine World Wide, Stride Rite entered a new phase in 2017, when the license rights were snapped up by New York-based Vida Shoes International. Read full story.

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Godl Medal Service Awards

Footwear Retailers Honored For Customer Service Excellence

Service. It’s what it all comes down to. When Footwear Insight launched the Gold Medal Service Awards in 2015, we wanted to identify – and reward – the independent stores that elevate service to an art form. And the good news is we found them, and they are thriving. To create the list, we went wide. More than 120 shops were nominated by themselves or their vendor partners. (For this award, independently owned shoe stores and regional chains in the U.S. with a significant shoe business were eligible.) After evaluation, 124 were mystery shopped by Franklin Retail Solutions, a leading retail consultant firm. Shopped stores were rated on a list of criteria. Read full story.


Knit it Up

Brands Weigh in On What Knit Uppers Have to Offer in Outdoor Styles

What are the benefits of a knit upper?
Sam Barstow, Forsake.
“The main benefit of a knit upper is that the material is very flexible and stretches to fit your foot for a sock like feel with no break in period. Knit uppers are also lightweight and breathable.”

Giuseppe Ciavarro, The Eastman Group. “Air ventilation, comfort fit (molding to the feet), easy care, machine washable, lightweight for performance, packable, sleek aesthetic, multipurpose.” Read full story.


Feeling Good

Something for Everyone Ready to Rejuvenate

Relief. Recovery. Comfort. Whichever of those three key words you feel best describes a  “chill out” footwear of choice, the recovery market has it covered.Brands in the recovery game say that the target market for recovery footwear is moving beyond athletes and designs are following suit. Not only is recovery footwear getting more technical in its comfort offerings, but crossover styles – think “knit uppers” and on-trend sandal silhouettes – are also gaining ground. So who exactly are the key consumer groups purchasing recovery footwear?
Read full story.


Parental Guidance Recommended

The chunky, clunky ’90s classic proves everything old is new again for Spring ‘19

All Hail the Dad Shoe. (Or Mom shoe, depending on your preference.)  The once-reviled norm-core staple electrified the couture world when Balenciaga’s high-fashion $895 Triple S sneaker marched down the runway last September, and takes from brands like Adidas, Fila and Nike have been a surprise streetwear hit this fall. But the chunky, ’90s-inspired silhouettes are only gathering momentum heading into spring. Read full story.