The Resolve to Evolve: Once again, our winner’s circle includes a range of design categories and retail formats that introduced breakthrough technologies, trend-setting styles and powerful brand stories as well as engaging stores worth experiencing in person.
The Natural: John Schuler, CEO of Schuler Shoes, a chain of nine sit-and-fit emporiums in Minnesota, has created an enviable empire built the old-fashioned way—through grit, honesty and excellence.
The Shoe Traveler’s Life: How cool would it be to travel back to Langen-Bergheim, Germany, in 1774 when Johann Adam Birkenstock, the man identified in the local church archives as “subject and cobbler,” rolled out style No. 1?
Man with a Plan: Bob Mullaney, CEO of RG Barry Brands, makers of Dearfoams, Baggallini and Foot Petals, on turning the company from a customer-centric model into a consumer one.
Running Strong: Edward Kanner, CEO of Kanner Corporation—distributors of Gabor, Think!, Haflinger and Ganter—on how the family-owned distributorship of more than 50 years always goes the distance.
Local Color: A focus on experience and community shines bright in the brick-and-mortar battle with ecommerce.
The Big Short: Shoes stand tall amid the cuffed and cropped pants trend sweeping the Big Apple.
Be Thankful: Steve Libonati, president of Ralph Libonati Co., distributors of Blundstone, reflects how his father led him on a fruitful career path.
Blues Man: The deep, rich hue strikes a colorful chord in sleeker sneakers this fall.
Game Changer: Roger Rawlins, CEO of DSW, on how the company is radically changing in order to thrive long term. By Greg Dutter
Full Bloom: Marty Rose, agent and distributor for ACL Footwear Company, makers of All Black, on a career spanning continents, industries, tigers and working alongside Calvin Klein.
Tech Talk: Larry Schwartz, CEO of Aetrex Worldwide, on the company’s unique high-tech approach to building healthy comfort footwear.
Weather or Not: Bootmakers are upping utilitarian features and the style quotient for Fall ’19, proving form and function need not be mutually exclusive.
Cold Chic: New Yorkers blend bundling up with booting up to battle the elements in style.
Hiker Chic: Stylish embellishments and sexy silhouettes lead hikers out of the woods and onto the runway.
Brown Around Town: From dark chocolate to light buff, shades of the trusty fall hue present a pleasing palette in men’s boots.
Will Act III be a Charm?: I believe Act III is in the process of unfolding in our industry. And I hope the rough and tumble journey we’ve all been on is resolving itself into a healthy, vibrant, more stable landscape.
Go Deep: We live in an Insta world these days. Life gets summed up in tweets, posts, pics, (fleeting) Snapchat stories ...
Let it Rain: Rob Moehring, chairman of Washington Shoe Company, makers of Chooka, Western Chief and Staheekum, reflects on the 127-year-old, fourth-generation family business—and why he’s always happy when it rains.
The Power of One: One company, one mindset, one vision: Steve Lax, chairman of Naot, is on a mission of worldwide unity.