Footwear Insight

July / August 2018

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collection targets a demographic we weren't cater- ing to previously. It is designed for those who need protective footwear on the job, but don't want to wear a work boot. The work boot of the future com- bines style, performance and function and features innovative protective technology and durability to withstand a wide range of work environments." Hi-Tec's XT Forge Elite Mid WP360, $130 The Footprint: Inspired by the outdoor industry, the XT Forge Elite has a premium leather upper, a waterproof booty, an I-Shield water and stain repellent, an INSITE sports-performance remov- able insole, an ultra-impact, high-rebound midsole and a slip- and oil-resistant outsole that offers electrical hazard protection. Martin Meade, VP–sales, Work and Tactical: "The work boot of the future will continuously adopt technologies invented in sports industries because the end use is performance." Kodiak Safety's Axton 8-inch, $129 The Footprint: The Axton, a metal-free men's industrial heavy-duty work boot, has a premium waterproof leather upper with sealed seams and a waterproof membrane construction. Other features include an abrasion-resistant protective toe guard, a heel underlay, a slip- and oil-resistant rubber outsole, a removable, comfort trainer-cored ethylene-vinyl acetate insole, Thinsulate insu- lation and a shock-absorbing polyurethane midsole. It is available in brown and black. Reebok's Sublite Cushion Work RB4143, $138 The Footprint: The brand's lightest series of work footwear is equipped with a thin-profile CushGuard concealed metatarsal guard, a Sublite foam insole, deep flex grooves in the midsole for natural movement of the foot and a greater range of motion, rubber pads at the heel and toe, an alloy toe cap that meets or exceeds ASTM stan- dards and electrical hazard protection. Jimmy Maritz, VP–marketing at Warson Brands: "The future of work footwear is in innovative designs and materials that improve styling, comfort and performance. The Reebok RB4143 features the new CushGuard metatarsal guard, which improves top-of-foot comfort while meeting or exceeding ASTM standards for met guard protection. The Sublite outsole is sleek and slim but provides ample cushioning, especially when paired with the MemoryTech Massage footbed." Rocky's LX with WorkKnit Technology, $119.99 The Footprint: Lightweight and flexible, the LX has a rubber outsole that is oil- and slip-resistant and offers an integrated ASTM-certified alloy toe for lightweight electrical hazard protection. It finds its comfort zone via its EnergyBed footbed, its high-performance and abrasion-resistant mesh upper and its flex-grooves that work with the movement of the foot. Hannah Sammons, Work & Western Marketing Manager: "Customers are looking for running shoe comfort and running shoe weight in their work foot- wear and combining these features with essential protective features like slip resistance and a safety toe in innovative ways will produce the work boot of the future." Timberland PRO's Ridgework 6-Inch Composite Safety Toe Waterproof, $150 The Footprint: This hiker-inspired work boot is full of features, including Ever-Guard waterproof leather, a composite safety toe powered by CarbonShield technology and the Stable Stride technology stability platform. Anti-Fatigue technology provides shock absorption and energy return and a breathable, moisture-wicking lining controls odor and keeps feet comfortable. The rubber outsole is heat-, oil-, slip- and abrasion-resistant. Gary Porter, Product Manager: "Industrial athletes expect to find the same purposeful design and materials they find in athletic footwear built into their safety footwear. At Timberland PRO, we're always pushing for lighter, faster and stronger safety products. Products like Ridgework, which are inspired by athletic footwear but built to be durable and protective, are the direction of many of our future product ideas." Wolverine's I-90 DuraShocks Wedge, $155 to $180 The Footprint: Named after America's longest highway, the full-grain-leather I-90 Wedge is styled like a hiker but built like a marathon man. Light and breathable, it's designed for tough, hot- summer jobs. DuraShocks comfort technology provides the energy return of an athletic shoe, a thermoplastic polyurethane outsole brings dura- bility and the CarbonMAX safety toe is roomy. Yahn Lebo, Product Line Director: "Creating footwear that can be worn as lifestyle with the functional benefits of a work boot will continue to be important and relevant with current trends. The future of work boots will be all about speed to market. Consumers will not settle for their parents' work boots or look to see the same patterns at retail as they've seen in the past. Like other footwear segments, the work boot consumer will demand products that are trend-right and versatile for changing ideals and needs. Meeting the consumer with products that have relevant styling and func- tional technology will be critical for Wolverine to remain competitive. Three-D printing and nano- technologies will help allow that speed to market to continue to accelerate. As we learn and develop how to maximize the capabilities of 3-D printing and technologies, we will infuse them into different parts of the boot to enhance features that provide better durability, comfort and safety." WORK BOOT BOOK Bogs' Bedrock Comp Toe (72302CT-249), $170 Danner's Stronghold, $190 Georgia Boot's ReFLX, $100 Cat Footwear's Engage Alloy, $140 Rocky's LX with WorkKnit Technology, $119.99 Timberland PRO's Ridgework 6-Inch Composite Safety Toe Waterproof, $150 Wolverine's I-90 DuraShocks Wedge, $155 to $180 52 • Footwear Insight ~ July/August 2018

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