Rockport’s DresSports Withstand 26.2-Mile Test

Rockport professes its dress and dress-casual shoes are made to stand up to the daily marathon, and to prove the point, the Canton, MA-based company sent a team of eight runners—led by Dr. Andy Baldwin of “The Bachelor” fame, a naval officer and Ironman competitor—to power through the ING New York City Marathon wearing its new men’s DresSports 2s. Buoyed by lightweight Adidas performance technology, all eight men crossed the finish line with times ranging from 3:16:56 to 4:33:26.

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Rockport professes its dress and dress-casual shoes are made to stand up to the daily marathon, and to prove the point, the Canton, MA-based company sent a team of eight runners—led by Dr. Andy Baldwin of “The Bachelor” fame, a naval officer and Ironman competitor—to power through the ING New York City Marathon wearing its new men’s DresSports 2s. Buoyed by lightweight Adidas performance technology, all eight men crossed the finish line with times ranging from 3:16:56 to 4:33:26.
At a pre-race press event, Rockport CEO and president Michael Rupp noted the DresSports collection—a signature of the brand’s heritage—were pared down “to create one of the most comfortable, lightest weight dress shoes available on the market.” The day before the marathon, Rockport launched a limited edition DresSports style, with just 500 numbered pairs distributed in select worldwide markets. The exclusive wing-tips have a combination of sport-inspired fabric and waterproof leathers; a heel logo featuring former Rockport exec Tony Post, who ran the 1990 NYC Marathon in DresSports; and a footbed with an illustration of the marathon’s end route into Manhattan’s Central Park. President Barack Obama will receive the first pair, vice president Joe Biden the second, and the third went to a “very humbled” Baldwin, who has been active in initiatives to fight childhood obesity. In line with Baldwin’s mission, twenty dollars from each pair sold will be donated to ING’s Run for Something Better program to support school-based fitness programs.
David Pompel, head of Rockport’s men’s business unit, cited Rupp’s dedication to research and development of new products and technologies as a factor in the company’s steadiness in spite of the global recession. “Many brands have drawn back, but not Rockport,” he said, noting equally important has been communication of the company’s message that everyday style can be made comfortable. “People who’ve known Rockport for years are now saying, ‘It’s [the brand’s] time.’”

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