One for the Weekend
When Packing Light for a Weekend Trip, These Multifunctional Shoes Work for Sightseeing, Happy Hour and Perhaps Even a Light Hike or Run. By Suzanne Blecher
New Balance Fresh Foam Cruz v2 sneaker; Thule Subterra Carry-On 55cm/22” bag.
Today’s shopper appreciates products that are versatile, especially when it comes to footwear. So, in return, footwear brands are delivering shoes that go from business to brunch and beyond, with technology and style to boot. Throw in a few gadgets and some transitional apparel, and you’ve got yourself an easy to-go bag. Here are some of the multifunctional standouts for Fall 18.
Ecco Biom Venture, 5.11 XPRT 3.0 Waterproof 6” Boot.
A Light Hike, Followed by Happy Hour
Ecco Americas product manager for Golf & Sport, Thomas Dixon, calls the Ecco Exostrike “a great combination of functional credibility and modern utility.” It is a boot made for the trails (a rugged rubber outsole gives great traction) and the city (with an urban sneaker design and Dyneema bonded leather). The Biom Venture has similar multifunctional attributes, with an added integrated pedal pad for a quick switch to cycling. “Consumers are demanding products across the board that allow them to simply their lives,” chimes in Joe Johnson, Salomon’s outdoor marketing manager in the Americas. Salomon’s Outline is based on a running shoe with an added High Traction Contagrip outsole and protective toe cap. Versatile construction and sleek lines make it a “go-to shoe for every type of mountain adventure,” even the apres-adventure, says Johnson.
Chaco brand manager Josh Weichhand attributes multifunctional growth to “consumers simplifying their wardrobes,” adding that “being able to get by with fewer pieces that can be worn day-to-night and occasion-to-occasion makes a huge difference in your packing list.” The Sierra Waterproof is a trail-crossover boot that works for light hikes, days on foot and nights out. The Dixon High is the “perfect balance of urban sensibility with outdoor capability,” adds Weichhand. Keen focuses on fit in its women’s Terradora Hiking boot with a narrower last and strategically cushioned heel to take pressure off the Achilles.
Terradora is part of Keen’s TrailFit franchise, which bridges the gap between the gym, mountains, backcountry and city. The Targhee, for both men and women, is crafted for unpredictable terrain and features a breathable, waterproof membrane and mud shield to protect against all of nature’s elements.
5.11 Tacticals’ Mission Ready Chukka and Oxford styles are both built on trail running chassis, with added street style thanks to a full-grain leather upper. The XPRT 3.0 Waterproof 6” boot has a Kevlar heel, eVent waterproof lining and Ortholite Imperial footbed for high energy return and decreased fatigue — perfect for the public safety professionals the brand caters to. With a new focus on the outdoor and fitness markets, the XPRT boot “can be a great casual story and also a fast-tactical look,” says footwear category manager Brendan Rynne. Today’s shopper appreciates products that are versatile, especially when it comes to footwear. So, in return, footwear brands are delivering shoes that go from business to brunch and beyond, with technology and style to boot. Throw in a few gadgets and some transitional apparel, and you’ve got yourself an easy to-go bag. Here are some of the multifunctional standouts for Fall 18
Birkenstock Bakki, Jambu Blakely, Smartwool Socks, Mephisto Rainbow.
Winery Tour, or a Likewise Casual Adventure
Perfect with a pair of jeans or capris, and perhaps even topped off with a blazer, the Vionic Codie is designed for consumers who are on their feet all day, thanks to the EVA bottom and the brand’s footbed technology. Its colors – built around neutrality – make it easy to match with many pieces and its style – a gore strap across the vamp – makes it simple to slide on and off. It also performs on uneven terrain. “The comfort derived from this style makes walking on cobblestone streets a breeze, as well as walking up hills or around town,” says Marisa Byrne, director of product and materials for Vionic.
Birkenstock’s Bakki features a shearling fur collar that can be worn up or down for versatility. “Its durable outsole is great for walking and touring around in cold weather, notes Birkenstock VP–merchandising Jacqueline Van Dine. “Pair it with your favorite denim during the day or dress it up with a skirt and tights for the evening.”
“Jambu shoes are designed to take you from one adventure to the next seamlessly without having to change,” according to Yetzalee Mazza, marketing director for Jambu & Co. The Blakely Slip On and Granada Mary Jane feature All Terra Traction, meaning each has a partially recycled compressed leather outsole for superior traction and durability.
Mephisto’s Emie and Margaux, which just happen to come in a wine-friendly burgundy hue, put quality, comfort and fit first. “No matter what style we are making, it is designed to be worn all day and night,” notes James Rowley, CEO of Mephisto USA. Hybrid shoes, built on high-end sneaker constructions, are what keep shoppers loyal to the Mephisto brand, he says. For men, Mephisto’s Rainbow in brown grain and rust nubuck offer a speed lacing system, perfect for travel.
Dr. Scholl’s Amalie, New Balance Fresh Foam Cruz v2.
Sightseeing Jaunt Around the City Before Brunch
If you’re packing light, your shoes must be lightweight, versatile and neutral. The Amalie, one of the first styles from design-meets-tech venture “The Lab by Dr. Scholl’s,” marries performance and street style in a sporty silhouette with an anatomical insole. Luxe suede, marble-printed accents, a feminine ruffled tongue and on-trend translucent outsoles lend some chicness. “Consumers are less and less interested in one-and-done shoes that they can only wear with one or two things in their wardrobe,” notes Katie Moore, design director, Dr. Scholl’s.
The Fila Mindbreaker 2.0 combines contemporary and heritage looks. The Fila team tapped into the archives to update the iconic Mindblower silhouette (a chunky running shoe with an oversized, warped logo) “for the trendsetters of tomorrow.”
The New Balance team is looking at what a variety of athletes are doing in terms of movement, in hopes of delivering more multifunctional products in the future. “Fresh Foam Cruz can do about anything — take it for a job or go for a light hike, and look and feel good doing it,” says Kevin FitzPatrick, strategic business manager for New Balance. The Fresh Foam Cruz v2 has a bootie construction with a midfoot saddle that’s quick to slip on, yet offers support for someone on their feet all day.