Jon Zalinski, Owner, TreadZ Shoes, Glenwood Springs, Colo.
“OluKai sales are trending strong, as are Birkenstock’s — those two brands are super-popular right now, and we’re selling everything we have from them. A strategy going forward might be to have more preseasons. We’ve changed our strategy on having a product sell out. [Instead], we’re stocking the product in a new color and keeping it looking fresh.”
Ed Mcalistister, Owner, River Sports Outfitters, Knoxville, Tenn.
“We’re in Chaco heaven down here, so Chacos are still doing really well. We’re selling more and more lightweight shoes to people who want to go hiking in the Smoky Mountains. What we do is, we carry more than two or three colors and styles [of shoes] that are popular — that way, people can see the full line. Astral footwear is doing really well, too. I think they’ve got a good future in front of them.”
Jay Kozel, Manager, Back Country, Des Moines, Iowa
“We continue to have good luck with footwear. On the sandal end, we’ve seen a lot of success with Chaco. The brands doing the best for us are those that have really good arch support and comfort. It seems like the industry has gone to the seasonal approach, but we’ve gone in the opposite direction — there’s a portion [of business] that we treat more like hard goods and less like apparel.”
Sam Halbrecht, DMM, Paragon Sports, New York
“We recently created a new footwear experience on our main floor, with one room for outdoor footwear and another for athletic footwear. Our outdoor-footwear department has the strongest presentation in New York for hiking, trail running and sandals. Some of the best styles are the Salomon X Ultra Mid 2 GTX, Merrell Moab 2 Mid GTX, Lowa Zephyr GTX Mid PF, The North Face Endurus Hike Mid GTX and Danner Mountain 600.”
Andrew Dunbar, Owner, Neptune Mountaineering, Boulder, Colo.
“Climbing shoes are doing well. La Sportiva is the one with the greatest following in the category. Climbing is most popular in the summertime, but [on a year-round basis] climbing gyms are increasing in popularity. With footwear, there is a broad appeal for [all types of] outdoor-related items, and outdoor companies are expanding their o erings. We’ve seen that with larger companies like Nike and Adidas.”