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Converse takes on the elements with the All Star Chuck ’70 Polartec.

September 11, 2014

We’ve all been there. You’re out for a stroll in your Chucks when all of a sudden the heavens open with a downpour and your once-fresh kicks (not to mention your feet) are now sopping wet. Well, no more, says Converse. The Massachusetts-based brand has just released the Converse All Star Chuck ’70 Polartec, a weather resistant sneaker that integrates Polartec weatherization technology.

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Timberland joins the CrowdRise.

Timberland has taken its volunteerism roots to another level by teaming with CrowdRise, the fundraising social network founded by actor and philanthropist Ed Norton, to launch a new version of its long-running Serv-a-Palooza Challenge. The Stratham, NH, company, which surpassed one million hours of community service in April, wants to get started on its next million–and motivate the public to get out and help, too. By partnering with CrowdRise, the brand can broaden its charitable reach.

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Stride Rite partners with The Little Gym to support Soles4Souls.

September 10, 2014

For more than 90 years, parents have protected kids’ feet with Stride Rite, and now the Lexington, MA-based brand wants to help families across the United States find homes for their gently worn and previously loved footwear. The company, which has partnered with The Little Gym, is anticipating a massive donation of shoes to benefit the Soles4Souls “Big Hearts, Little Shoes” donation campaign. The initiative kicked off this month and continues through the end of September at Stride Rite stores, online at striderite.com and at Little Gym locations nationwide. 

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Mia Shoes thinks pink.

Mia Shoes is taking steps to help fight breast cancer with two new initiatives. Starting this month and running through Oct. 31, the Miami-based brand’s philanthropic arm, Mia Cares, will donate 10 percent of proceeds from sales of its Amanda style to breast cancer research at the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. In addition, 400 pairs of a custom designed Amanda shoe bearing the iconic pink ribbon will be donated to QVC.

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New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera signs on with Skechers.

September 9, 2014

Skechers has signed retired New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera to star in its Relaxed Fit footwear line’s Spring ’15 campaign. Rivera will appear in ads spanning TV, print, outdoor and online as well as point-of-sale materials. “After 19 seasons on the mound, I’m the one that needs relief these days and comfortable Relaxed Fit shoes get the job done,” says the 13-time All-Star.

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Offprice is on point.

Billed as an order-writing show, Offprice returned to the Sands Expo & Convention Center in Las Vegas on Aug. 16-19 and continued to impress, according to CEO Stephen Krogulski. Retailer attendance totaled 10,600, with 900 traveling from overseas to scour the 131,000-square-foot show floor for apparel and shoes priced 20 to 70 percent below wholesale. “Over the past 40 shows, Offprice has become more than a show. It’s a community,” says Krogulski. The next edition of Offprice hits Vegas on Feb. 15-18, 2015. 

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Aku wins Outdoor Life’s “Editor’s Choice” award.

September 8, 2014

Italian brand Aku has received the “Editor’s Choice” award from Outdoor Life for its Superalp GTX. Featuring the company’s proprietary IMS-3 sole (which provides varying polyurethane densitites for maximum comfort and cushioning, even on rough terrain) as well as a Vibram outsole and GoreTex liner, the boot weights less than two pounds yet provides optimum support for stability and protection on and off the trail. 

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Vans laces up for Legacy’s “Truth” smoking prevention campaign.

September 4, 2014

Since national public health foundation Legacy introduced its first antismoking campaign, Truth, back in 2000, the number of teens picking up the habit has dropped from 23 percent to 9 percent. That’s less than the number of VHS tapes sold in 2013. But, as the latest Truth spot says, the fight isn’t over. That’s why Vans has teamed up with the smoking prevention campaign to launch a limited edition collection of footwear and apparel comprising a Vans shoe, tee and socks, all adorned with a “smoke monster” design.

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Hoka One One wins Runner’s World “Best Debut” award.

September 2, 2014

Sometimes bigger really is better. Hoka One One, a division of Deckers Outdoor, has just received the nod for “Best Debut” from Runner’s World in the magazine’s October 2014 issue for its Rapa Nui 2 trail shoe. “This is the second award our shoes have received from Runner’s World in just a few short months,” says President Jim Van Dine. “These awards are a clear indication of the momentum behind our brand and further validation of the distinct technology that we use across our product line.”

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Dr. Martens celebrates the Spirit of ’69.

August 27, 2014

Last week iconic British boot brand Dr. Martens marked the launch of its Fall ’14 collection with a three-floor takeover of The Delancey in New York City’s Lower East Side. Aptly titled the Spirit of ’69, the collection harks back to the original tribe that wore and believed in the culture of the brand and brings together such collaborators as Trojan Records, Alpha Jackets, Brutus Shirts and Edwin Jeans. We spoke to Sara LaHaie, U.S. brand marketing and PR manager for Dr. Martens, about the collection and the brand’s ongoing #StandforSomething campaign. 

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