Exclusive: Why Brooks Isn’t Doing Retro Sneakers Anymore

Shoe Gallery Brooks Heritage 84 Fins
Shoe Gallery x Brooks Heritage "84 Fins" Regent.
Courtesy of Brooks Heritage

Brooks had a strong second run with its heritage styles, but the brand’s retro collection is approaching the finish line.

The running-based label announced in an email to Footwear News today that its backing away from its Brooks Heritage business, which boasted remastered sneakers from the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. The line was launched in 2014 to commemorate the athletic outfit’s 100 years in business.

“The Brooks Heritage Collection gave us the opportunity to authentically pay tribute to that history and take it to new heights, allowing us to explore design, express our brand and deliver beautifully crafted footwear for the consumer seeking something new,” Shane Downey, global director of Brooks Heritage, said in a statement. “After exploring premium interpretations of Brooks’ most iconic sneakers, we put the Heritage Collection back into the vault having given a nod to Brooks’ past while looking to its future.”

In three years, Brooks Heritage delivered nine models that sneakerheads couldn’t get enough of including the Beast, the Chariot and the Vanguard. Further bolstering the retro line’s reputation among lifestyle-focused fans were collabs with premier boutique retailers such as Bait, 24 Kilates and Concepts.

Heritage comes to an end for Brooks on June 1. The remaining stock will be sold at select retail stores and via brooksheritagecollection.com.

Bait Brooks Heritage Regent Inferno Bait x Brooks Heritage Regent “Inferno.” Courtesy of Brooks Heritage

Although its retro revival is coming to a close, Brooks has one more drop of past favorites coming. Arriving on May 1 is the Gelateria Collection, a line the brand said is inspired by “the incomparable feeling of a scoop of gelato in the middle of a summer afternoon.” The shoes are executed with suede uppers for a luxurious feel, a cone mesh patterning and sprinkles on the laces.

Brooks CEO Jim Weber spoke exclusively with FN about the brand’s direction moving forward, and he made one thing clear: the brand wants to dominate the run category.

“In run, we saw an opportunity to lead in terms of product and the essence of what running is all about for people,” Weber told FN. “It makes every day better, it’s an investment in yourself and it transcends the sport for millions of people who continue with it into old age. … We’re 100 percent focused on run.”

Brooks Revel athleisure For fall ’17, Brooks will deliver a new athleisure style: the Revel. Courtesy of Brooks.