By Jennifer Ernst Beaudry / Photos by Frank James. 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.
By Bob McGee / Photos: Frank James. 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.
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By Jennifer Ernst Beaudry. 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.
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.
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.
By Cara Griffin. 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?
For Oofos, which has been a leader in the recovery footwear category since the brand launched in 2012, the core consumers are “runners, fitness enthusiasts, active individuals and athletes,” says Duncan Finigan, marketing head. Read full story.
By Jennifer Ernst Beaudry. 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.