Comfort Buzz: Rockport, P.W. Minor & More

Another World
Canton, Mass.-based Rockport will celebrate its 40th anniversary in 2011 with an update to its iconic World Tour walking shoe for men and women. First introduced in 1995, the style has become a signature of the brand, with more than 3.3 million pairs produced. It has now been renamed Truwalk World Tour and been updated with improved technology and fresh styling, and with athletic-inspired performance features. The brand is incorporating its new Truwalk architecture that aids the foot’s strike, roll and flex movements. Adiprene by Adidas technology enables a soft heel strike, followed by a transition to a smooth roll over the arch, then a forefoot flex for a more energized push-off. Retailing for $130, the series includes three men’s and two women’s styles and will bow globally in January.

Well Focused
Comfort and wellness brand P.W. Minor of Batavia, N.Y., is introducing sandal offerings for spring ’11, with two women’s collections: a wedge and comfort series. Both incorporate the company’s new 3DF anatomical fit story, featuring removable footbeds designed with a transverse metatarsal arch in the forefoot for support, raised cushioning in the heel and elongated medial arch for added comfort. All styles are set on lightweight, single-density polyurethane bottoms and incorporate elastic touches on the uppers for a customized fit. The brand’s Classic Athletic Collection (above) for men and women will also debut next spring. Echoing the spirit of classic vulcanized looks, the line is made exclusively of canvas. Features include a deep heel cup, a molded EVA midsole, an injection-molded rear-foot stability shank, compression-molded rubber outsoles and a full-length OrthoLite footbed. For enhanced fit, both collections are available in a variety of sizes and widths. Set to deliver in February, the sandals retail for $120 to $130. The Classic Athletic Collection, retailing at $99, is coded for Medicare reimbursement.

Coming to America
Spring Footwear is expanding its brand repertoire for spring with the U.S. introduction of Italy-based Patrizia, a value-priced collection of fashion looks. Retailing from $50 to $60, the line includes sandals, ballet flats and clogs with lightweight bottoms, cushioned footbeds and elastic touches for a personalized fit. Novelty details focus on metallics, faux gems and hardware in a range of neutrals, metallics and brights. The collection is set to deliver in December.

First Timer
Footwear distribution firm Peter Finnie & Associates of Wilton, Conn., is taking design into its own hands for the first time this spring with a collection of fashion-comfort looks launching under the Sheridan Mia name. The series of modern designs feature novelty bottoms that are bold yet lightweight, made of EVA and polyurethane. The comfort continues with touches of Lycra on the uppers for a customized fit, and memory foam footbeds. Included in the mix are low wedge sandals and high versions with an architectural influence. Produced in China and Italy, the line retails from $125 to $225. Delivery is slated for February to boutiques and independents.

Nature’s Way
Bos & Co., based in Burlington, Ontario, is taking a natural approach to spring dressing with the stateside launch of its BioNatura collection. Selling in Canada for the past four years, the Italian-made women’s sandals combine earth-friendly, vegetable-tanned nappa and nubuck uppers with cork bottoms. Inside, the leather-lined footbeds are contoured for added comfort. The collection taps into spring trends, including flowers and exotic prints, and is available in a range of colors. Retailing from $80 to $90, the line will hit stores in February.

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