What overall trends are you seeing in the boot market?
Comfort and fit are definitely still key for the boot market and customer. Boots need to feel good on the shop floor and then go out and perform well on the mountain. That’s why we offer an industry-exclusive system called ‘Total Comfort Construction’, which eliminates the break-in period so our boots feel just as good from shop floor to season opener, and every day thereafter.
How has your approach to lacing systems evolved in the past few years?
Our Speed Zone system is still the best snowboard boot lacing system on the market, and we’re sticking with it. Traditional laces are a part of our heritage and will always have a place in the line, so they are included on select boot models. New for 2013, we are introducing a completely new system called Speed Dial – an intuitive evolution for riders who prefer to twist their laces tight. Quick-turn micro-adjustability dials in a precise fit around your foot. Crank it clockwise to tighten or counter-clockwise to loosen. Exit is as easy as a quick pull of the loop on top of the dial. With no locking or unlocking to worry about, our system is always engaged and ready to go.
What new construction techniques, technologies, or fabrics do you anticipate breaking out next year?
In terms of liner construction, 2013 is all about our new Phantom Construction. This new type of construction moves away from the current norm and fuses both the liner and shell into one. This creates a lightweight, easy to slip on and off boot. Phantom Construction can be found on the new 2013 Chloe and Jet models.
When it comes to new materials, for 2013 we’re expanding our own specially engineered S4 material further by introducing S4 Bombshell into the line on the SLX boot. S4 stands for: ‘Start Strong, Stay Strong’. We incorporate S4 Bombshell into the entire upper construction of the boot for ultimate rebound, response, and durability. That way, our boots ‘Start Strong’ and ‘Stay Strong’.
What trends do you anticipate in the realm of graphics and colors?
Overall, our line is trending towards progressive neutral colors, as well as classic footwear colors such as navy, cognac and unique textures of grays. Unique materials such as waxed canvas, distressed leathers and rideable denim are also present throughout the line.
Have you seen any new trends in market segmentation?
In terms of market segmentation, we have a specific line of boots in the Restricted line that we only sell at select specialty shops. For 2013, there are five boot models in the Restricted line-up, including three men’s boots and two women’s models.