Hi-Tec Strides Into Walking

October 2014: Emma Roberts at the
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Outdoor brand Hi-Tec is making a move to reach a wider audience this spring with its debut Walk Lite collection.

 “We’re all about everyone, and what does everyone do? They walk,” noted David Battler, CEO of Hi-Tec Canada.

The collection will launch with two men’s styles — the Witton and the Wallen — and plans are under way to add a women’s selection for fall ’15. The walking shoes will be sold at key independents, e-tailers Zappos and Amazon and other top retailers. 

Battler noted that the idea for the new collection started with Hi-Tec founder Frank van Wezel’s involvement with the four-day walk in Nijmegen, Holland.

“We’re an outdoor brand that is accessible to everyone,” he added. “We don’t want to be top of the mountain or only offer mountaineering boots.”

To support the new spring line, the brand is rolling out a unique global marketing program, the Walkumentary Campaign, that aims to inspire consumers to increase the steps they take and get fit naturally.

Initially, it will follow the walking stories of two individuals: Steadicam operator Jon Beattie, who trekked seven miles a day during the filming of Pharrell Williams’ “24 Hours of Happy” music video; and Japanese artist Yassan, who walked all over his country for nearly six months to build a GPS marriage proposal.

“The Walkumentaries will be online and shared through social media, with a digital push,” Battler said. “Plus, we have assets for print and media to complement the videos and campaign.”