JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2019
Cover Story

The Century Club

What does it take to stay in business for a full century? It’s not an easy question.

Reaching the 100-year mark surely takes vision, commitment and hard work. Unquestionably it also takes skill, instincts and flexibility. Even more so, it demands all those qualities not just once, but generation after generation. Read full story.

THE BOOT BOOK

Boot Camp

These Fall ’19 boots are lighter, faster, stronger and better than ever.

Whether they are built to climb mountains, work on the job site or perform in grueling conditions, our Fall ’19 boots are formidable footwear — lighter, faster, stronger and better than ever. Read full story.

HOSIERY

Essential Performers

From Hike to Run and Beyond: Top Trends in the Sock Market

Socks, whether they’re built for downhill ski runs, tough trail hikes or just a scenic walk, are continuing to refine themselves through technology and style. Regardless of activity, customers are demanding socks that are comfortable, form-fitting, durable and versatile. Here’s a look at what’s new for 2019. Read full story.

RUNNING

Ready, Set, Go!

Specialty Running Retailers Sound off on Key Issues for 2019.

What do you see as the biggest challenges impacting the running retail business in 2019? “The biggest challenge in 2019 will be the growing competition that we see with our own vendors from their websites. Read full story.

RETAIL

Work Horses

4 Retail Chains Who Know How to Make it Work.

On a Thursday afternoon in early December, the aisles of a Tractor Supply Co. store are bustling. Inside the space, a metal-like structure with concrete floors, country Christmas classics are blaring over the sound system as customers walk through an eclectic mix of merchandise. Read full story.

Crowdsource

Many (Happy?) Returns

We asked, and brick-and-mortar answered: How they’re turning takebacks into triumphs.

Black Friday? Done and gone. Next up? No one’s favorite retail event: Return Season. The weeks after Christmas can be a true headache for stores, as a flood of hard-won holiday purchases come right back through the doors and require refunds, restocks, calls to vendors and writeoffs. Read full story.

Trends

Work It Out

Brands Say the Opportunity in Women’s Work Boot Category Is Real — And the Time Is Now.

More than 70 years after women flocked to the trades during World War II, they’ve established themselves as an essential part of the growing modern work force. But the world of work boots and shoes has been slow to catch up. Read full story.

BRAND SPOTLIGHT

Quintessential Quoddy

The century-old Maine shoemakers are thriving in today’s market. Here’s how.

Quoddy has been hand-stitching shoes in Lewiston, ME, since 1909, but its heritage shoes are hotter than ever. Read full story.

interview

5 Questions with Nolee Anderson

Nolee Anderson discovered a passion when she found the trades, and now the trim carpenter and Team Wolverine member wants to make sure future generations of girls can find their way, too. Read full story.

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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.

BASKETBALL

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.

Q&A

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.