Takeaways from the OR Show

Last week’s Outdoor Retailer show in Denver brought together buyers and brands with the latest and greatest footwear styles for fall ’20. And while there was something for every category and every consumer, here are the trends we’re watching.

1) Getting a Grip

Stability ruled on the show floor, with enhanced-grip outsoles showcased on performance styles for trail, hike and beyond. Styles included Adidas’ $250 Terrex Free Hiker Cold Ready boot for men and women, which featured Continental Winter Grip rubber, and on the skate front, Etnies showed multiple styles made in partnership with Michelin. The next iteration of outsole brand Vibram’s Artic Grip rubber — Arctic Grip AT — adds stability on multiple surfaces, was featured on Salewa’s $279 Mountain Trainer Winter GTX. Vibram, notably, showcased several new grip-centric technologies, including the Vibram Traction Lug, its new mold design that increases side lug surface area by as much as 50 percent, and the brand says offers 25 percent more traction.

2) Sustainability Stays Strong

The drive for less-impactful styles continues, with brands from across the outdoor world bringing new products to market with green features. According to Timberland VP and GM of Americas Tracy Smith,  67 percent of styles in the fall ’20 line counted at least one major sustainable element, with that number expected to climb higher in subsequent seasons. Fellow VF Corp brand The North Face showed off the $200 Archive Glacier Point lifestyle boot, with ISA lower-impact leathers and recycled nylon laces.

3) Cozy Rules

Warm and snuggly looks for everyday were winners, with casual styles lined with shearling (faux or real) adding warmth and style to casual shoes, like the $69.99 Bearpaw Skye lace-up and the $150 Nana Hele men’s style from OluKai, made with waterproof leather and a hidden shearling lining.

4) Cold-Weather Cool

Adding warmth and waterproofness to stylish product makes for cold-weather product that doesn’t scream snowboot. At Portland, OR-based Danner, that includes an expansion of the Weatherized Collection, which includes made-in-America Portland Select styles with Vibram Arctic Grip and Primaloft insulation.