Textile Insight

May / June 2018

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culture. But the style honors its performance roots, too. Lightweight construction and supportive foam cushioning under the foot give the style the kind of ride a Jordan wearer expects, and the entire shoe was designed to as easy to take on and off as possible: Stretch materials in the uppers, a heel loop and a hole in the tongue make getting in and out of the shoe a snap. Which, per Hatfield, is the key attribute: In a Nike press release, the designer said, "The simplicity of getting in and out of the shoe was as much a design focus as the aesthetic." Adidas Arkyn The brand describes the $140 women's-only Arkyn style as combing elements of "streetwear, sportswear and high fashion into a single, fluid design," and at first glance, the style reads as a fashion-house take on the idea of running with color-blocked details and dramatically oversized midsole with toe and heel spring. A stretchy, sock-like fit and pull-on construction are par for the course, but Adidas goes purely technical underfoot, using a visible block of its pinnacle Boost cushioning. The foamed TPU material is known for its incredible rebound, and launched in the brand's running category before being widely adopted across the performance division. In lifestyle, it brings its distinctive pebbled Styrofoam look to the midsole, but adds a bouncy, responsive ride that appeals to athletes as well as comfort-seekers. Oofos OOmg Luxe For Oofos, the key to success has been going in the opposite direction of the athletic world's tech. The brand's proprietary Oofoam foam is designed to dampen shocks: It's up to 37 percent more absorbent, it says, than traditional athletic foams, which are designed to help the wearer's foot rebound into the next strike. The resulting plush, cushy material launched as a recovery technology, with flip-flops, slides and clogs were made for athletes to wear post-exertion. But accord- ing to Steve Gallo, brand president, the demand for styles with more versatility has propelled the firm to create new categories of shoe. A women's slip-on style, the OOmg launched this year in a $120 low and $130 high version, with a cold-weather boot to follow for Fall '18. Also for Fall, the brand will bring the casual, slip-on sneaker style of the OOmg into a men's version in both low and high cuts. "Not everyone can get away with sandals and flip-flops for work, and they were asking for a closed-toe shoe," Gallo said. "We want to make our product styl- ish, so you can be recovering while you're in your athleisure look." Dr.Scholl's Lab You could make the case that Dr. Scholl's has been doing athleisure before anyone. Founded in the 1960s by an entrepreneur obsessed with foot comfort, the brand launched its iconic wooden Exercise Sandal in the late '60s, and has been building on that ever since, said Katie Moore, the brand's design director. "This is our bread and butter, it's what our foundation is built on," she said. "We think about versatility, comfort and fashion, and combining all three." As the brand expanded into non-sandal styles, that ethos has held, Moore said. Today, double-gore slip-ons, sneakers and booties are top sellers. But they've packed their styles with features, too: This spring, the brand introduced the Be Free midsole, which uses a dual density PU foam to create zoned support for the heel, ball and arch of the foot. According to Moore, the Be Free tech will gradually replace the memory foam the brand had been using: While the memory foam is comfortable on first wear, it doesn't hold up, and it doesn't give the benefits she said the customer is looking for. Dr. Scholl's will take the experiment even farther for spring with The Lab, an incubator the brand expects to help them guide the product line where Americans are looking. With two styles each for men and women, the new Lab styles will combine new EVA technology and combine it with translucent outsoling for a fashion-forward product that brings the comfort and ease of use the customer expects. O d n al e d s d e on m is , it he hy es d- re A Oofos OOlala thong Oofos OOmg slip-on OluKai Miki Li, shown in a new Spring 2019 colorway, Dr. Scholl's Abbott Adidas Arkyn Dr. Scholl's Madison May/June 2018 ~ Textile Insight • 17 textileinsight.com

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