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ISSUE 1302 JANUARY 14, 2013

The Weekly Digital Magazine for the Sporting Goods Industry


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Group Publisher Editor In Chief James Hartford james@sportsonesource.com 704.987.3450

Senior Business Editor Thomas J. Ryan tryan@sportsonesource.com 917.375.4699

ISSUE 1302 JANUARY 14, 2013

The Weekly Digital Magazine for the Sporting Goods Industry

Contributing Editors Aaron H. Bible, Fernando J. Delgado, Charlie Lunan, Matt Powell Creative Director Teresa Hartford teresa@sportsonesource.com 704.987.3450 (x105) Graphic Designer Camila Amortegui camila@sportsonesource.com 704.987.3450 (x103) Advertising Sales Account Manager / Northeast Buz Keenan buz@sportsonesource.com 201.887.5112 Advertising Sales Account Managers / Midwest Barry Kingwill & Jim Kingwill bkingwill@sportsonesource.com jkingwill@sportsonesource.com 847.537.9196 Advertising Sales Account Manager / Southeast Katie O'Donohue katieo@sportsonesource.com 828.244.3043 Circulation & Subscriptions subs@sportsonesource.com

SportsOneSource Publications Print Magazine: SGB, SGB Performance Digital Magazines: SGB Weekly, TEAM Business Digital Newsletters: The B.O.S.S. Report Sports Executive Weekly News Updates: SGB, Footwear Business, Outdoor Business, Sportsman’s Business, TEAM Business

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NEWS 6 ASICS AMERICA names Allison&Partners agency of record SNEAKER VILLA acquired by Goode Partners 8 THE FINISH LINE seeing slowdown in running footwear 10 MOVERS & SHAKERS WOLVERINE WORLDWIDE reorganizes following merger with PLG

SGBW I PROFILE

12 TOPO ATHLETIC Tony Post launches athletic footwear company FEATURE

14

MINIMALISM TAKES A STEP BACK offering more cushioned and structured options in a lightweight package

2151 Hawkins Street • Suite 200 • Charlotte • NC • 28203 t. 704-987-3450 • f. 704-987-3455 www.SportsOneSource.com Copyright 2013 SportsOneSource, LLC. All rights reserved. The opinions expressed by writers and contributors to SGB WEEKLY are not necessarily those of the editors or publishers. SGB WEEKLY is not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts, photographs or artwork. Articles appearing in SGB WEEKLY may not be reproduced in whole or in part without the express permission of the publisher. SGB WEEKLY is published weekly by SportsOneSource, LLC, 2151 Hawkins Street, Suite 200, Charlotte, NC 28203; 704.987.3450. Send address changes to SGB WEEKLY , 2151 Hawkins Street, Suite 200, Charlotte, NC 28203; 704.987.3450

JANUARY 14, 2013 | SGBWeekly.com

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NEWS

SNEAKER VILLA ACQUIRED BY GOODE PARTNERS ASICS AMERICA NAMES AGENCY OF RECORD Asics America has selected Allison+Partners as its public relations partner to promote the company’s product launches, events and sponsorships, cause marketing initiatives and its legacy-inspired Onitsuka Tiger collection of shoes and apparel. The agency will implement a national campaign incorporating athletic, business and consumer-focused media relations, awards and road tests, in addition to celebrity and influencer relations tied to numerous sponsorship opportunities including the New York City and Los Angeles Marathons. “Our objective is to take Asics to a new level in 2013 by increasing and broadening our brand preference among consumers, while simultaneously expanding outside of the mainstay of Asics media coverage to include focusing on training and tennis,” said Shannon Scott, Director of Marketing Communications for Asics America. “Allison+Partners has a proven track record of consumer engagement and relentless creativity. They were an effective partner for us during multiple programs this year including the London 2012 Olympics, and continue to stand out as the best fit for our culture and marketing objectives.” The account will be handled by team members based in both the New York and Los Angeles offices.

MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS

Goode Partners, LLC has acquired an ownership interest in Sneaker Villa, the Philadelphia-based urban footwear chain. Since its first store opened in 1989, the company has grown to over 50 units in several key Northeast and Midwest markets, more than doubling its store base since the beginning of 2012. Villa expects to continue its rapid growth over the next several years with additional store openings in both new and existing markets. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Sneaker Villa will continue to be led by CEO and shareholder Jason Lutz, son of founders Chris and Ruth Lutz. Goode Partners, LLC is a New York-based private equity firm that focuses on investment opportunities in the retail, restaurant, apparel, direct marketing and branded consumer products sectors. Its portfolio includes AllSaints, Intermix, Skullcandy, Strike, Lacrosse Unlimited, Luxury Optical Holdings, Chuy's and Rosa Mexicano. The main purpose for the sale was to recapitalize the company and give our existing investors liquidity,” said Lutz in an interview with SGB. Lutz added, “We are pleased to have the support of the Goode team and the relationship network they bring. Their track record of successfully investing in and working with high-growth retailers, as well as their fit with our team, were deciding factors in our choice to partner with Goode for the next chapter in our growth.”

Broder Bros., the nation's largest distributor of imprintable apparel, has acquired Denver-based Imprints Wholesale.

Sierra Trading Post, which has acted as a primary clearance outlet for outdoor sporting goods, has been acquired by The TJX Cos., Inc. The purchase price was approximately $200 million.

Backwoods, which operates eight specialty outdoor stores in four Southcentral states, acquired Neptune

K2 Sports, part of Jarden Corp., has closed the acquisition of Backcountry Access (BCA), a Boulder, CO maker of backcountry snow-safety equipment and education.

Nielsen Holdings N.V., which owns the Outdoor Retailer and Interbike trade shows, has acquired The Sports Licensing & Tailgate Show and the Tailgating Industry Association.

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THE FINISH LINE SEEING SLOWDOWN IN RUNNING FOOTWEAR The Finish Line, Inc. surprisingly reported a small loss of $107,000, or less than 1 cent a share, in its third quarter ended December 1. Revenues came in below plan partly due to a poor consumer response to the introduction of a revamped e-commerce site but the retailer said the bigger reason for the shortfall was a shift in demand from running footwear in favor of basketball. On a conference call with analysts, company Chairman and CEO Glenn Lyon noted that management had indicated in September when reporting second quarter results that running footwear sales had slowed in the weeks following back-to-school along with other retailers. “At the time, we felt there was a blip,” added Lyon. “However, as we got deeper into the quarter, it became obvious that, for us, it was more than a blip. It was a shift within athletic footwear characterized by the growing strength of basketball and a slow-down in running.” He also admitted that Finish Line was slow to react to the shift since running “had been so strong, and therefore, we and our vendors didn't fully believe the early signs of the shift.” On the brighter side, running sales at the Running Specialty Group (RSG), its 25-unit run specialty chain that operates the Running Company banner, remain brisk. Sales were $7.6 million during the quarter, driven by a 19.9 percent comp increase. RSG’s net loss after minority interest was in line with expectations at $325,000 and impacted consolidated EPS by $0.005. On a consolidated basis, the fiscal third quarter loss was $107,000. EPS for the quarter was breakeven as compared to 11 cents in the third quarter of fiscal 2012. During the quarter, RSG opened one new store and relocated another. 8 SGBWeekly.com | JANUARY 14, 2013

The chain acquired five Run-On stores based in Dallas, TX. Last week, RSG also announced that it purchased the Road Runner Running Store of Richmond, VA on December 31. The break-even earnings were short of Wall Street's consensus estimate of 10 cents a share. In the year-ago quarter, Finish Line earned $5.5 million, or 11 cents a share. Consolidated sales increased 5.2 percent to $296.6 million. For the Finish Line chain, same-store sales rose 3.6 percent, short of expectations of a mid-single-digit increase. On the category side, footwear comps were up 3.1 percent. Kids were up double digits and men’s ahead low-singles while Women's was down mid-singles. Softgoods comp increased 6.1 percent. On the call, Lyon said the shift from running to basketball began in mid-September and they see these trends continuing into next year. Basketball, its second largest category, saw a comp gain in the midteens in the quarter. But it wasn’t enough to offset a mid-single-digit drop in running footwear, its largest category. During the quarter, Finish Line implemented aggressive markdowns to transition its assortments to reflect the growing strength of basketball. That resulted in a 110 basis point decline in its product margin. Gross margin was 30.3 percent of sales compared to 32.4 percent in the prior-year period. Lyon called the trend shift “the nature of this business” and noted that Finish Line had navigated through transitional periods in athletic footwear before. “Does this mean running is over?” he asked rhetorically. “Certainly not. But for now basketball will be playing a larger role in driving comps based on current trends and upcoming product launches.”


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leader in innovation for 130 years, has designed and built the best quality products since its inception in 1883 and continues to lead the market today. Fall 2013 is no different with the launch of the new Cameron and Rockford jackets.

with DuraLock ™ Defend technology for water and oil resistance. The jackets also feature Wolverine’s bi-swing back and fully articulated elbows for greater range of motion, and multiple interior and exterior pockets designed to meet the needs of every job. Combine all these elements and we’ve created the absolute best jackets for the price.”

There are many duck canvas jackets on the market priced foraround $100 that are very basic in nature, with minimal features and no technology. Wolverine believes that if you pay $100 you deserve $100 worth of jacket, which is exactly what these jackets deliver.

Wolverine has always backed its newest footwear technologies with a 30 day comfort guarantee. And Wolverine is backing the Cameron and Rockford jackets with the same confidence, a rare find in the apparel industry.

“There are a lot of jackets on the market but the Cameron and Rockford jackets are truly different,” said Lisa Stoepker, Wolverine Product Manager. “We utilized 3M ™ Thinsulate ™ Insulation for warmth and 12 oz. heavy duty cotton duck canvas

“For $100 retail combined with all the features and functionality, we know consumers will feel these jackets are worth every penny,” said Todd Yates, President of Wolverine Brand. “We’re so confident, that if your customers are not

completely satisfied with this jacket, we’ll take it back directly from them, no questions asked. We think that’s an offer you can’t refuse.” If you haven’t seen Wolverine’s Fall 2013 footwear and apparel line, contact us at 616.863.4774 or stop by our booth at one of the following shows: SHOT Show (booth # 10540), Outdoor Retailer (booth # 32155) or MAGIC.

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Elasticized back combined with fully gusseted arm sockets create Wolverine’s entirely functional bi-swing back for optimum comfort and wear

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Fully gusseted arm sockets for maximum flexibility without bulkiness

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Articulated elbow pleats offer greater range of motion

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150 grams of 3M™ Thinsulate™ Insulation provides warmth in the harshest elements

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12 oz. heavy duty cotton duck canvas with Wolverine DuraLock™ Defend technology for water and oil resistance

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Triple needle stitching adds durability

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Multiple interior and exterior pockets designed to securely store everything for the job

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Front kangaroo pockets lined with taffeta for wind resistance

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Concealed ribbed storm cuffs keep warm air in and cold air out

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Three-piece lined hood with draw cord provides extra warmth and protection

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3M™ Thinsulate™ Insulation with trusted warmth from the brand you know. The original warmth-without-bulk insulation, 3M™ Thinsulate™ Insulation enhances your ability to enjoy the outdoors, providing: • Breathable, lightweight warmth and durability • Up to nearly twice the warmth of other synthetics and one-and-a-half times the warmth of 550 fill down when equal thicknesses are measured • Highly breathable, “keep dry comfort” under damp, sweaty or rainy conditions • The freedom of movement to enjoy your time outdoors with less restriction • Dependable thermal performance through repeated washings 3M and Thinsulate are trademarks of 3M

JANUARY 14, 2013 | SGBWeekly.com

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NEWS NEWS

Broder Bros. Co., the nation's largest distributor of imprintable apparel, announced that Dan Pantano has joined the company as its president, a newly created position. Most recently, Pantano was president of Fisher Scientific.

MOVERS & SHAKERS

Wolverine Worldwide has promoted Todd Yates to president of Wolverine and Hytest brands. Oboz Footwear has expanded its in-house team at its Bozeman, MO headquarters with the hiring of Jen Radick as marketing coordinator and Pam Malyurek as controller. Sears Holdings Corporation said Louis J. D'Ambrosio will step down as CEO to attend to family health matters at the end of the company's fiscal year on February 2, 2013. Edward S. Lampert will then assume the role of CEO of Sears Holdings, in addition to his role as chairman. Hurley signed Hawaiian surf prodigy John John Florence to a five-year agreement. The North Face announced ultra-runner Timothy Olson, 29, of Ashland, OR has joined its global athlete team. Mountain Hardwear, a wholly owned subsidiary of Columbia Sportswear Co., appointed Chris Harges as director of global marketing for the Mountain Hardwear and Montrail brands. Flylow, manufacturers of backcountry freeride ski apparel, has hired Micah Hinton as national sales manager and Joe Denne as Western Great Lakes sales rep. Yakima Products, Inc. promoted Sandi Lennehan to its executive team as chief financial officer. Lennehan has been with Yakima since 2002 in a variety of financial roles. Honeywell Safety Products appointed William Weiss to director of retail footwear sales. Weiss will oversee Honeywell’s footwear brands including The Original Muck Boot Company, Xtratuf, Ranger, Servus by Honeywell and NEOS. Liberty Safe and Security Products, Inc. promoted Kim Waddoups to CEO, effective immediately. He succeeds Jeff Talley, who has stepped down from his role with the company to take a sabbatical as planned.

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Blake W. Krueger, Wolverine Worldwide chairman and CEO, announces acquisition of Performance + Lifestyle Group. Click to play video.

WOLVERINE WORLDWIDE REORGANIZES FOLLOWING PLG MERGER Wolverine Worldwide announced several key organizational moves to drive its future growth and global brand building following its October 2012 acquisition of the Performance & Lifestyle Group (PLG). The company will migrate from four to three Operating Groups with Ted Gedra, Mark Neal, and Jim Zwiers leading the new Operating Groups. Gregg Ribatt, former president and CEO of the Performance & Lifestyle Group, will be leaving the company to pursue other opportunities outside the industry following a transition period. Ribatt has led PLG for the last five years. The new Wolverine Worldwide Operating Groups are: Performance Group - comprised of Merrell, Saucony, Chaco, Patagonia Footwear, and Cushe brands - will be led by Jim Zwiers. Zwiers led the former Outdoor Group since 2009. He has held a variety of senior roles in retail, legal, administration, international, business strategy and development, and global brand leadership during his 15-year career with Wolverine Worldwide. Heritage Group – comprised of Wolverine, Caterpillar Footwear, Bates, Sebago, Harley-Davidson Footwear, and HyTest brands – will be led by Ted Gedra. Gedra has been a group president since 2007 and has held several senior management positions during his 27-year career with Wolverine Worldwide. Lifestyle Group – comprised of Sperry Top-Sider, Stride Rite Children's Group, Hush Puppies, Keds, and Soft Style brands – will be led by Mark Neal. Neal previously served as group president for Hush Puppies, Soft Style, and Cushe and is adding three PLG brands (Sperry Top-Sider, Stride Rite Children's Group, and Keds) to his responsibilities. He has held senior management roles of increasing responsibility during his 18-year tenure with the company. "These organizational changes represent a significant step forward for our company following the acquisition of PLG," said Blake W. Krueger, Wolverine Worldwide chairman and CEO. "We have one of the most dynamic brand portfolios in the world today, a proven business model focused on driving top and bottom line growth, and one of the deepest and best management teams in the industry."


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SGBW I PROFILE

FORMER VIBRAM USA CEO LAUNCHES FOOTWEAR STARTUP By Thomas J. Ryan

Tony Post, former Vibram USA Founder & CEO who brought the FiveFingers phenomenon to the world, announced on December 12 that his new footwear startup again aimed at the lightweight footwear space. As part of the announcement, the Newton, MA-based ToPo Athletic said it secured $5 million in Series A funding from Norwest Venture Partners (NVP), a multi-stage investment firm based in Silicon Valley. The athletic footwear line will be unveiled at January’s Outdoor 12 SGBWeekly.com | JANUARY 14, 2013

Retailer Show in Salt Lake City and quickly reach retail by May 2013. Like Vibram’s FiveFingers, the line will focus on the lightweight footwear opportunity. The products are designed to “innately amplify, not modify, the body's natural biomechanics” to help athletes optimize their training to tackle more aggressive goals. Full details around features and construction are being reserved for the Outdoor Retailer unveiling. Design and utility patents have been filed for all of its products.


“We’re focused on the athletic footwear around leveraging the natural biomechanics market,” Post told SGB Weekly. “The product in your body to maximize your workout veris incredibly lightweight. Initially to start sus changing or correcting the way you run we’re focused on the running and fitness or train. Said Post, "We approach product markets such as functional fitness training design with humble innovation - we're not like CrossFit. We think the concept has arrogant enough to think that our products more breadth to it but we decided to keep will change an athlete's performance. Only the focus on running and strength training his or her drive to succeed can do that. Our because those are two things that almost role is to help them get there." every athlete has to do. It’s a very tight line, By August, a prototype had been develtight story.” oped and he began seeking out financial Acknowledging the challenges of selling and other partners to bring the idea to life. the glove-like FiveFingers to a broader au- Although a few other suitors were involved dience, Post also promised ToPo would be in the Series A funding, Post had been “commercially very viable” by delivering not only on the functional benefits but offer aesthetic appeal. Said Post, “Design is an important value to many people. You can go on about all the attributes, but people often wind up choosing a shoe based on its looks.” During his tenure, Vibram USA grew from $3 million in annual revenue to $170 million, he said. Much of it came following the launch of FiveFingers in 2006 that became the extreme beacon for the lightweight running movement. Post, who prior to Vibram spent 15 years at Rockport, holding a variety Tony Post, Founder & CEO ToPo Athletic of positions including VP of marketing, resigned as CEO of Vibram USA in the spring speaking to Jon Kossow, general partner after feeling the urge to try something new. at Norwest Venture Partners, off and on for “I had a great run at Vibram,” said Post. “I the last three to four years and ultimately felt loved the people, the company - everything comfortable working with their team. about it. But I had been there 11 years and “I’ve been in the shoe business for almost I felt it was the right time to try to do some- 30 years and have extensive experience in thing new and I knew I wanted to try to start creating and developing footwear products my own company.” a lot of which were innovative and interesting At the beginning of July, Post spent a and hopefully added more value to people’s month on Cape Cod, taking long bike rides lives,” said Post. “That’s what I wanted to do and runs as he began exploring “what I want- here and Norwest immediately saw that and ed to do and the type of company I wanted to felt it was a good fit.” create and the types of products I wanted to "ToPo Athletic addresses a key opportunity make and ultimately what were the parts of in the athletic gear industry and is primed for the market that interested me. That’s when I success with Tony Post at the helm," said decided to go ahead and launch a company Kossow in a statement. "It's been impressive that would be focused on the athletic foot- watching Tony blaze every brand trail he treks, wear space.” from Rockport to Vibram; so when he came to He also had been revisiting an idea he had us with his concept, our entire firm jumped at

the chance to support ToPo Athletic." The company incorporated in August, and now has a full-time staff of nearly 10 employees including Georgia Shaw, the former marketing manager at Vibram USA who is now ToPo’s marketing director. Although FiveFingers’ sales have slowed in the last year and the market is seeing somewhat of a shift to more supportive yet lightweight models, Post remains bullish on the opportunity around minimal footwear. “I always look for it from the consumer perspective,” said Post. “And the athlete or even a regular consumer needs a few different types of products in their closet. I think that it’s not about having one shoe they can do everything in. If I make the metaphorical comparison, you need a few different arrows in the quiver. And so there’s always a place for minimalist footwear. I still wear and enjoy my Vibram FiveFingers product but I think you need more than just one product.” He also said consumers don’t think of products as much in terms of categories but in their overall functionality and appeal. “When we created Vibram Fivefingers, we were creating a product that was unique and interesting and served a purpose in that consumer’s life. I think a lot of us in the industry tend to put labels on things so we can group them together,” said Post. “But if you can create interesting products that add value to the experience where a consumer can see it, feel it and recognize it, than those products will sell regardless of whatever category or name you put on them.” For Post, ToPo also marks his first foray as a CEO of a startup without a parent company, another exciting part of the venture. “There’s a lot of risk to this,” noted Post. “You risk relationships with people, you risk your reputation, you put your financial resources at risk - but at the same time it’s emotionally rewarding. People probably focus on the financial part but it’s really about the emotional reward. I think for all of us who are close to this business, you have a chance to work with people who share your passion and you’re all shaping your own destiny.” ■ JANUARY 14, 2013 | SGBWeekly.com

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MINIMALISM TAKES A STEP BACK By Thomas J. Ryan


B

oth the road and trail market appear to be shifting for Fall/Winter 2013 away from targeting purely minimal looks to offering more cushioning and structured options in a lightweight package. Heelto-toe drops may fall in the zero to 8mm range, but stack heights (outsole to footbed) are coming closer to the 15 to 25mm range. Nonetheless, lightweight still rules the day with motioncontrol shoes not making a comeback. Many of the learnings of minimalism, including lean construction, flexibility and theories around natural motion and natural transition through the midfoot, continue to work their way into next years’ models. Scott Tucker, director of run at Pearl Izumi, which is rolling out its Project EMotion this spring, said the overall trend focus remains in lightweight, less-constructed and loweroffset shoes. Tucker believes barefoot is “dying away” as well as “super, low-to-the-ground, no-midsole” options. He also said minimal shoes did not address lateral biomechanics and newer options are receiving more emphasis there. “What we have been calling minimalism is evolving into something else which does not have a name but which brands like Pearl Izumi are addressing,” said Tucker. “It’s taking the elements that became popular in minimalism, evolving them, and making sense of it.” On the trail run side, Brian Hall, director of product development at Vasque likewise believes that the industry may have gone “really far towards lightweight, very minimally-built product” and suspects future designs will take a step back. “There is a need for most people to have a certain level of cushioning and protection inside a shoe, especially if you are going to be running primarily on a trail,” said Hall. “We see a trend moving back toward the middle. Taking all the lessons we learned from minimalism and lower heel drop and applying it in a way that makes lighter, better allaround footwear for trail running and those things you’ll start to see evolve into light hiking as well.” The innovative engine across the industry is not slowing down. The conversations over the barefoot/minimalist movement have led experimentation well beyond the traditional rules of making running footwear and that continues. Jim Van Dine, president of Ahnu and Tsubo at Deckers Outdoor, which acquired a minority stake in Hoka One One earlier this year, believes that although FiveFingers’ sales

have slowed down, the franchise’s success has created opportunities for other upstart vendors. “It seemed for more than 20 years until just the past few years the top seven running brands had it locked up,” said Van Dine. “FiveFingers opened the window to where people began to say, “Wow! This is totally different and it’s causing a lot of excitement and creating a lot of sales. Maybe we should be open to other innovations.” And while there is “probably more brands now than are viable to survive” at this point given the level of competition and limited shelf space, Van Dine believes run specialty retailers recognize the payback from bringing innovative product to the marketplace. On the color front, Lauren Beaudoin, footwear category manager, Salomon USA, said colors continue to be bright and bold in trail running, with colors indicating “higher speed” and people racing even flaunting those colors across social media websites. But some see the bright neon/fluorescent colors relaxing somewhat with more muted colors coming in the back half of 2013. “You’ve got color pop, but it’s not all over color,” said Rick Higgins, VP, global product development/merchandising for Skechers Performance Division. “It’s little hits of color, but it’s not all over.” Jeff Dill, Keen's footwear business director of the Trailhead collection, agreed that colors have become “more progressive” over the last five years to the point where they appear to be toning down a bit this year. “When you’re coming from a base where everything is brown leather and everything in the industry in the backcountry is brown or black leather, it’s exciting to see,” said Dill. “And from a fashion standpoint, a lot of the outdoor product that gets bought is worn as a badge to show off at work more than in the woods as an actual product. The colors and the callouts have been very important to the consumer. We definitely have a much brighter, more athletic and more fun palate going on.” Keen will be building on the spring launch of CNX, the largest cross-categorical launch in its history. Fall will extend the technology to waterproof versions - including the Alpha WP CNX multisport shoe, MSRP $120. The big difference is that the Keen.CNX line comes with a proprietary PU midsole with 4mm heel-to-toe offset. The simplified upper construction eliminates layers of materials for a better fit and a lower profile that brings you closer to the ground while not sacrificing support or comfort. Merrell updates the original and popular Trail and Pace Glove for fall 2013 and also introduces the Ascend Glove, a new barefoot trail running shoe built for more rugged terrain. All models are designed on a zero drop platform. JANUARY 14, 2013 | SGBWeekly.com

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MERRELL

MONTRAIL

MEN'S TRAIL GLOVE 2.0

WOMEN'S PACE GLOVE 2.0

FLUIDFLEX

With a 4mm offset, the FluidFlex, MSRP $90, from Montrail features an articulated midsole and toothy microlug outsole for a close-to-ground feel that flexes with the natural movement of your foot, and protects it at the same time. The FluidFeel all-terrain training shoe, MSRP $110, combines Montrail’s trail running heritage with its proprietary FluidFoam midsole, also with a 4mm offset. THE NORTH FACE

ASCEND GLOVE GORE-TEX ULTRA GUIDE GTX

Shaun Bohnsack, men’s product line manager at Merrell, remarked that the Ascend Glove came after Merrell heard consumers were modifying its Trail Gloves with plastic inserts and cushioned footbeds to add protection in the mountains. “The Ascend Glove takes what outside athlete’s loved in the Trail Glove and addresses the need for more underfoot,” said Bohnsack. Ascend Glove Gore-Tex, MSRP $160, brings the new exclusive Merrell CONNECTfit technology, developed in collaboration with Gore-Tex, to trail running. CONNECTfit was developed with a minimalist approach to be waterproof and breathable, form fitting and stretchy, giving shoes a glove-like fit. The upper sports Merrell’s new Motion Mesh (an engineered weave mesh) tuned to provide support and breathability with a seamless interior. A new Vibram outsole engineered for rugged trail running and trail protect plates for extra protection underfoot in the heel and forefoot finish off the package. The Trail Glove 2.0 for men, MSRP $100, and Pace Glove 2.0 for women, MSRP $100, feature a breathable and flexible mesh upper that is DWR treated to repel water and resist staining. Also features new M-Select Fresh on the footbed and insole for odor control, as well as Merrell’s proprietary Omni-Fit lacing system. 16 SGBWeekly.com | JANUARY 14, 2013

SINGLE-TRACK HAYASA II

The North Face’s Ultra Guide GTX, MSRP $130, features a dual-injection molded EVA Cradle Guide midsole to guide the foot through toe-off for a biomechanically efficient stride on road or trail. A favorite of The North Face athlete Hal Koerner, the shoe also features a lightweight UltrATAC rugged outsole for rocky terrain and Gore-Tex waterproof membrane for moisture management during wet months (also available without). Single-Track Hayasa II, MSRP $110, features the debut of FlashDry within The North Face footwear line. The quick-drying particle technology adds better moisture management to this ultra light running shoe, featuring Cradle technology for proper foot positioning. TEVA

SPEED

TRAIL eVENT

Part of Teva’s TevaSphere collection, the outsole on the Speed, MSRP $120, uses a spherical heel with two support pods to provide lightweight minimalism without sacrificing stability. Spider365 rubber sole holds its grip in all types of environments and also features a synthetic and mesh upper and mush infused insole for comfort. The Trail eVent, MSRP $140, from Teva adds an eVent waterproof membrane. Salomon is launching the Fellraiser, MSRP $110, inspired by its ultra light mountain runner, the S-LAB Fellcross. The Fellraiser is a low; lightweight and fast-drying trail shoe for training in muddy and wet conditions and features a low profile, non-marking Contagrip outsole, lightweight muscle, injected EVA midsole, and Ortholite liner.


SALOMON

FELLRAISER

At Vasque, The Pendulum, MSRP $110, keeps a trail runner’s foot close to the ground and optimally positioned for a natural forefoot strike. At the same time, an EVA midsole and TPU plate protects the runner from the occasional heel strike or wayward stone. A 6mm drop keeps the heel close to the ground and, at 10 ounces; the Pendulum is lighter than any shoe in the Vasque trail running collection. VASQUE THE PENDULUM

Ecco is rolling out the EVO Racer, MSRP $130 (textile); $150 (Yak Leather), streamlined to a featherweight 220 grams, featuring second generation soles and uppers, for an ultra-flexible, athletic fit. The floating shank construction and lower profile guides the foot to strike closer to the midfoot, mimicking the body’s natural running form. The aim is to give a smooth stride and more powerful push-off, to help run further, stronger and more efficiently. A new last provides a tight fit for responsiveness. Leather uppers are unlined and offer a glove-like fit. INOV-8

ECCO EVO RACER

ROCLITE 312 GTX

At Inov-8, the updated Roclite 312 GTX and female-specific Roclite 275 GTX, MSRP $160 for both, are still one of the lightest off road running shoes on the market, delivering a deep cleated, sticky rubber outsole that performs on any terrain while also providing high-grade climate control and a waterproof membrane to handle any conditions. The TT Trainer 2.0 mileage neutral workhorse from Zoot, MSRP $120, features Z-Bound, a superlight proprietary midsole that rebounds energy to reduce stress and fatigue. UltraFit, a unique compression 18 SGBWeekly.com | JANUARY 14, 2013

ROCLITE 275 GTX

design with Teksheen, boosts performance and reduces weight. Barefit seamless technologies combine internal feel with long-distance comfort. Zoot is also introducing the Ultra Kane 3.0 Trainer, MSRP $150, featuring Z-Bound for maximum cushion, a 4 density midsole for essential stability, and asymmetrical lacing to work with the anatomy of the foot.


REEBOK

ZOOT

MEN'S ONE CUSHION TT TRAINER 2.0

WOMEN'S ONE CUSHION

ULTRA KANE 3.0 TRAINER

At Adidas, a significant upgrade for fall will be the Supernova Sequence 6, MSRP $120, that features a new seamless SprintWeb upper for maximum comfort with a better heel-to-toe feel and a new gender-specific stability piece that significantly reduces weight. The dual torsion system design aids a smooth transition from mid-foot stance to forefoot “push-off.” A Continental rubber outsole provides 21 percent more traction in dry conditions and 23 percent more traction in wet conditions. The model continues to pack 360 degrees of reflectivity. At The Running Event in Austin, TX in December 2012, Adidas unveiled a new, promised transformative technology that was not ready for prime time. The brand had buyers and media sign waivers not to discuss the innovations before its upcoming February global launch. Pete Stolpe, marketing specialist, running, Adidas America, said the experimentation from new and older vendors is creating a plethora of options for runners.

Sister-company Reebok is coming out with the Reebok One Series Reebok One Cushion, MSRP $110; and Reebok One Guide, MSRP $115, designed to replicate how “the way the gait cycle progresses,” across the heel, midfoot and forefoot, according to Thomas Wood, senior product manager, men’s sport footwear at Reebok. The collection is uniquely designed from the back to the front in three distinct zones to ensure the athlete will land softer, transition smoother, and push forward faster. The Contact Zone at the heal area features a soft cushioning foam (C43) compound that provides shock attenuation at impact. A lightweight compound (T48) in the Midstance Zone in the middle part of the shoe provides a smooth transition. And finally, the Propulsive Zone in front plays up an ultra-responsive (R52) high rebound foam compound to propel the runner through toe off. ASICS

ADIDAS SUPERNOVA SEQUENCE 6 GEL-CUMULUS 15 GEL-NIMBUS 15

“Never in the history of the industry has there been more companies with more footwear so the individual runner can truly have a choice and a voice of what they want to put on their foot,” said Stolpe. “If you’re a high-arched runner, if you’re a forefoot runner, whatever your running gait is, whatever your distance preference is, there’s never been a time in the industry‘s history where you have more companies where each runner can choose what they want on their foot,” said Stolpe. “The bottom line benefit is runners win because they have more choice than ever before and they have more of a voice. That’s fantastic for the health of the sport and makes it more inclusive as it’s ever been because there’s something for everybody.” 20 SGBWeekly.com | JANUARY 14, 2013

Asics continues its push into trail. Built for ice, snow and mud, the GEL-Fujisetsu, MSRP $130, is lightweight yet protective, with a lowprofile Solyte midsole, full ground contact, and aggressive outsole with metal spikes to rip through the winter. The second edition of the GEL-Scram 2, MSRP $75, comes complete with a trail-specific outsole for extra traction and deep flex grooves for flexibility. Rearfoot GEL cushioning and a closed-mesh upper make the GEL-Scram 2 ideal for low-mileage trail runners. On the road running side, the GEL-Nimbus 15, MSRP $145, returns with an improved fit while its plush, cushioned ride and stable platform should continue to please runners ranging from the under pronator to the moderate over pronator. The GEL-Cumulus 15, MSRP $115, gains a technical update that improves both upper fit and cushioned ride. Its stable platform is suitable for under to mild over pronators.


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SAUCONY

KINVARA TR2

XODUS 4.0 GTX

RIDE 6

Based on its popular stability road shoe, Brooks on the trail run side will be bringing out the Adrenaline ASR 9, MSRP $120, featuring a water-resistant upper, hydrophobic foam support and aggressive grip traction. The Adrenaline ASR GTX, MSRP $135, features a breathable, waterproof Gore-Tex membrane, but still maintains the tailored fit of the Adrenaline. On the road run side, the Ghost 6, MSRP $110, features a modernized upper and a new foam package in the tongue for greater breathability. The transition was made even smoother by removing the midfoot shank and creating full ground contact from heel to toe. The underfoot has a horseshoe Caterpillar Crash Pad that wraps the heel from medial to lateral sides and articulates the laydown. Also receiving an update was the Glycerin 11, MSRP $150, with a lighter, morefuturistic upper that uses innovative 3D Fit Print overlays to create structure and reduce weight. But the focus remains on making the bottom “even more plush than it’s ever been” regardless of weight, said Brooks Footwear Product Line Manager Carson Caprara. Caprara noted that both Brooks’ traditional and Pure models are seeing strong gains. He believes the brands “float” versus “feel” messaging connects with runners, and creating sales opportunities across the run space. “It’s just a matter of not having one point of view but offering choices for runners and I think that’s resonating,” said Caprara. “We’re not telling runners you have to run minimal or run core. Run them both. We’re going to build both for your type of foot and you can make the choice on what you prefer.”

BROOKS KINVARA 4

On the trail side, the Kinvara TR2, MSRP $100, from Saucony features a carbon fiber rock plate in the midsole that delivers improved flexibility and durability while keeping feet protected from sharp objects. Heel cushioning technology has been upgraded from ProGrid to PowerGrid. The Xodus 4.0 GTX, MSRP $130, is built to run around, over and through tough terrain. It features Vibram XS-Trek outsole compound coupled with an aggressive outsole design to deliver optimal performance and durability. A midfoot support band is integrated into the lacing system for an improved overall fit and feel, especially on slippery and uneven surfaces. The upper also offers Gore-Tex protection. On the road run side, the Ride 6, MSRP $110, also finds the ProGrid replaced with the PowerGrid in the midsole for an even smoother transition with less weight. The sockliner was upgraded to ComfortLite. The Kinvara 4, MSRP $100, has been upgraded to PowerGrid while a redesigned upper continues to utilize FlexFilm for a lightweight, seamless feel. 22 SGBWeekly.com | JANUARY 14, 2013

GHOST 6

GLYCERIN 11

At New Balance, a Gore-Tex version of the Trail 910, MSRP $110, is coming out. Borrowing the best of both the 1210 and the 890, the Trail 910 leverages the trail specific fit of the new UL-1 last and the fast attitude from a REVLite midsole for a lightweight, high cushioning trail shoe suitable for all types of terrain.

NEW BALANCE 1260v3

TRAIL 910

v870v3


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ALTRA

TORIN

3-SUM

THE ONE

24 SGBWeekly.com | JANUARY 14, 2013

On the road run side, Stabilicore has been removed from the 1260v3, MSRP $145, mostly for cosmetic reasons, but still retains the required support a runner needs. A duel density post has been added. An asymmetrical heel counter has also been put in to reduce over pronation. On the v870v3 mild-stability shoe, MSRP $110, the Abzorb crashpad has been extended to the midfoot to ensure shock absorption for a variety of foot strikers and also features a no sew upper. Altra will be showcasing the Torin, MSRP $115, its maximum cushioning shoe aimed to sit alongside the Glycerin and Asics’ Nimbus, yet still at a zero-drop profile. Offering 50 percent more midsole cushioning than Altra’s classic Instinct model, the midsole is a cushy 18mm with 3mm of Altra’s proprietary responsive, rebound-y and lightweight AltraBound on 15mm of EVA, for a total stack height of 28mm. A sleek design, with minimal seams, brings the weight to just 8.6 ounces, making it one of the lightest “maximum cushioning” shoes available. It also features Altra’s signature combination of Zero Drop and foot-shaped forefoot. “This is probably the truest expression of who we are as a company,” said Golden Harper, a co-founder of Altra. “What we have always represented is blending the benefits of minimal or barefoot with the structure, support, cushioning and comfort of traditional shoes. This shoe is probably the purest expression of what Altra is. It’s very cushioned but allows for less impact, better running technique and less injury risk.” Altra will also be rolling out the 3-Sum, MSRP $130, its first ever triathlon specific shoe with a seamless sock free liner, drain holes throughout the sole and quick transition pull tabs. It represents its lightest running shoe at just 6.7 ounces. At even more of a budget price, The One, MSRP $100, is a neutral running shoe with performance cushioning at 7.3 ounces.


Harper believes the brand has grabbed traction in run specialty because the brand is dedicated to the channel and also run by former storeowners and active marathon runners. He believes word-of-mouth as well as the uniqueness of its foot-shape and toe-box construction has also grabbed consumers. “Anybody with any type of injury with forefoot pain, bunions and other stuff, when they put it on, they know it’s going to work,” said Harper. “Anybody putting our shoes on immediately feels how it can provide a different running experience.”

KARHU FLOW TRAIL FULCRUM

FLOW LIGHT FULCRUM

HOKA ONE ONE KAILUA TARMAC

FLOW TRAINER FULCRUM

Hoka One One is introducing both road and trail versions of its women’s Kailua Tarmac, MSRP $130. The shoe features an injected EVA midsole and a 5mm heel-to-toe drop ratio. This lower volume, and narrower last translates to a better fit and increased rebound to enable a quicker transfer of energy off of the front of the shoe. The trail version features 2mm lugs versus 1mm on the road version. Karhu is expanding its popular Flow collection with three new shoe collections showcasing Karhu’s Fulcrum Technology that features lighter weight, more flexible materials and a lower heel drop to improve running economy. “The new Flow collection uses direct underfoot placement of our Fulcrum Technology to ensure the best body position and movement through the gait cycle regardless of whether the runner is a heel, midfoot or forefoot striker,” said Huub Valkenburg, Karhu’s president and CEO. “The result is a quicker transition and an effortless sense of flying over the ground.” The Flow Trail Fulcrum, MSRP $120, features a counter-directional T-lug design equally adaptable to both uphill and downhill running. The lower profile maximizes the feel of the terrain without compromising the Fulcrum Technology’s ability to increase propulsion. A durable waterproof mudguard provides protection. Specifically engineered for the competitive runner, the Flow Light Fulcrum, MSRP $110, features an advanced wearable EVA foam in the midsole and outsole for the line’s most responsive ride. A seamless upper ensures a snug fit. The Flow Trainer Fulcrum, MSRP $115, is durable enough to be used as an everyday trainer yet light enough to double as a racing flat. The model’s softer EVA combined with a directly placed fulcrum delivers increased forward propulsion, diminishes braking and promotes a naturally comfortable ride.

From K-Swiss, the Blade Light Run II, MSRP $95, features speed activated Blade Light cushioning technology engineered to enhance more natural mid-foot ground interaction. The lightweight and breathable upper on the neutral running shoe features the comfortable and supportive seam free technology. K-SWISS BLADE LIGHT RUN II

Skechers is introducing GOrun2, MSRP $80 which promotes a midfoot strike, like the original version. The GOimpulse sensors on the 4mm drop road shoe are made of Resalyte™- Skechers’ proprietary lightweight cushioning material. It also features a removable insole for a custom fit. Skechers is also unveiling a trail version of the GObionic model with a 4mm heel-to-toe drop with a removable insole that makes it a zero drop shoe. The GOrun Speed, MSRP $110, represents Meb Keflezighi’s first racing flat available to the public since the star marathoner first joined Skechers as an endorser in 2011. The 4mm drop racing shoe features a narrow last and less cushioning to foster speed.

JANUARY 14, 2013 | SGBWeekly.com

25


SKECHERS

GORUN 2

GORUN SPEED

For fall/winter 2013, Skora is further pushing their unique aesthetic, “challenging what a running shoe can look like,”said David Sypniewski, founder and CEO. Featuring 360-degree reflectivity for high visibility night running, the Phase-X zero-drop road shoe, MSRP $120 is constructed with a new multilayer mesh upper composed of a soft inner mesh with a custom printed reflective pattern and a lightweight breathable open-weave top mesh providing a highly reflective effect in combination with durability, comfort and breathability previously not achievable in traditional mesh. Skora’s Camo Form, MSRP $185, limited-edition, zero-drop running shoe features a Pittards CIG (Custom Image Generation) camouflage pattern Armor-Tan Goatskin leather. Originally developed and used for the Military, the pattern is dyed into the grain of the leather, not printed on top, providing a unique aesthetic with extreme durability of the pattern while preserving the performance benefits of the goatskin leather and WR100X Armor-Tan tanning process. SKORA

PHASE-X

CAMO FORM

At Spira, the Stinger XLT, MSRP $130, is a high performance training shoe with the lightweight responsive qualities of a racing flat. The two independent forefoot and one heel WaveSpring are low profile, lightweight springs which maximizes cushioning and provides superior shock protection on impact, and assists in reducing fatigue and stress on the body and joints. The Stinger 2 Racing Flat, MSRP $100, is supported by a molded external shank in the mid-foot to aid in torsional stability. ■ SPIRA

STINGER XLT STINGER 2 RACING FLAT

26 SGBWeekly.com | JANUARY 14, 2013


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