Surf Expo rips into its 38th year with a strong wave of attendance.

January 22nd, 2014

Coming off two record-breaking shows, Surf Expo again drew strong attendance from 47 states and 49 countries at the Jan. 9-11 show in Orlando, FL. Among the 2,500-plus booths, there were more than 230 first time exhibitors, an increase of 6 percent from last January’s show. “We always strive to bring together a quality mix of exhibitors and buyers–and the feedback confirms that we achieved this goal. We are pleased that we continue to be a show known for generating business,” says Show Director Roy Turner.

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British brand Northern Cobbler delivers re-imagined classics for Fall ’14.

January 16th, 2014

Fed up with the overload of neon outsoles, camo print and sneakerized brogues in men’s shoe departments, Steffan Safhill decided to put his frustration to good use and in 2012 launched Northern Cobbler. “I wanted to do top-end casual products that at the time were really missing from the  market.

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Airwalk is ballin’ for JIM’s 20th birthday.

January 15th, 2014

Airwalk’s JIM series turns 20 this year and to celebrate, the brand has brought back the Tennis–again. First introduced in 1994, a limited number of sneakers hit stores in 2010, and the style is now available on airwalk.com for $70. Inspired by traditional sports and high school gym class, the sneaker is made from neon fuzzy tennis ball felt. 

 

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Lightweight performance running footwear hits highest sales numbers in four years.

Think lightweight running shoes are just a fad? Think again. Thirty percent of total performance running footwear sales in October 2013, which was up 22 percent when compared to the year ago period, came from lightweight running. “Innovation continues to set the pace,” says Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst. “Consumers are looking for athletic shoes that will perform better than earlier models with a lighter, more comfortable weight. We have also noticed an attraction to brighter, bold colors.

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Twenty-one-year-old Lorin Paley is Wolverine’s 2014 Guardian Project Ambassador.

January 13th, 2014

Heritage boot maker Wolverine has picked 21-year-old Lorin Paley as this year’s Guardian Project Ambassador, which aims to highlight the valuable work of outdoor enthusiasts and achieve a deeper understanding of the specific product needs of those serving in these demanding positions. Paley has been an ambassador for Outdoor Nation, a non-profit dedicated to connecting youth with nature through grants supporting project ideas and outdoor events.

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Converse rocks out with Black Sabbath.

January 10th, 2014

Converse is no stranger to musician collaborations, having joined forces with everyone from Nirvana to ACDC to Metallica over the  years. Now the iconic brand has teamed up with Black Sabbath to bow a collection of five designs based on its classic Chuck Taylor All-Stars. 

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Skechers partners with Baby2Baby to donate 54,000 pairs of shoes.

January 9th, 2014

Skechers announced yesterday that it would donate more than 54,000 pairs of shoes through its Bobs program to support Baby2Baby, a charity that provides families in need with essential baby gear and clothing. Working with donating partner Fashion Delivers, the first shipment of 1,600 new pairs of Bobs arrived for Baby2Baby’s third annual holiday party at the charity’s L.A. headquarters. During the event, families and children in need decorated their new shoes with celebrity guests Gwen Stefani, Jessica Alba, Michelle Monaghan, Nicole Richie, Molly Simms, Busy Phillipps and Julie Bowen.

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First look at Sarah Jessica Parker’s new shoe line.

January 6th, 2014

Sarah Jessica Parker has revealed a sneak peek at her upcoming footwear collection, due to hit Nordstrom later this month. As featured in the February issue of Lucky, the Diana is a black patent Mary Jane single-sole stiletto with an assymetrical strap and simple gold buckle. As everyone from Racked to Huffington Post has pointed out, the pump bears a striking resemblance to a Manolo Blahnik style lusted over by the shoe-obsessed Carrie Bradshaw, SJP’s most famous role, in the Urban Shoe Myth episode of HBO’s Sex and the City.

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AAFA reports drop in shoe imports.

January 3rd, 2014

While China still supplies more than eight out of every 10 shoes sold in the U.S., domestic production is on the up. A recent report by the AAFA (American Apparel and Footwear Association) found that in 2012, the number of shoes manufactured in the United States increased by 9 percent. This rise combined with a corresponding fall in imports caused import penetration in the footwear market to fall slightly for the second year in a row, from 98.7 percent to 98.6 percent.

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