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OrthoLite Milestone: Vendors Weigh In

Bert Spiller
Director of product development & engineering, Timberland Pro

“[We] began using OrthoLite in a custom-designed footbed. It was one of the key comfort and support components enabling us to offer one of the first 30-day comfort guarantees in the safety market in 2003. We’re now launching a line of after-market footbeds and have selected OrthoLite as a branded component partner. As more consumers realize the benefits of OrthoLite in their casual and [performance] footwear, it’s been a logical extension to use it in Timberland Pro’s Renova collection for health-care professionals.”
 
Aaron Azevedo
SVP footwear, DC Shoes Inc.

“We conducted multiple blind [consumer] tests where we compared OrthoLite material in flat, die-cut and molded forms directly against other leading suppliers. Testers preferred the initial feel of OrthoLite. We also conducted active-wear tests with skaters. Again, [they] preferred OrthoLite for initial feel, comfort and protection from impact. Of course, when comparing an OrthoLite die-cut sockliner to a die-cut EVA sockliner, there is a price increase for OrthoLite material. Even so, the benefits outweigh the costs.”

Bill Combs
President, Bogs Footwear

“We’ve been using OrthoLite for four years in our waterproof boots and shoes. It offered the best choice for moisture management, odor control and breathability. We’ve recently used their material for our industrial sockliner. They’re the leader in insole technology. Moisture management is key to keeping our customers’ feet warm. We pair their material with our other wicking product, Max Wick, to keep [wearers] feet warm and dry. The product works.”

Yahn Lebo
Wolverine product line manager, Wolverine World Wide Inc.

“Wolverine started using OrthoLite in fall ’10 in outdoor footwear. Today, it’s used in a wide variety of our product lines, including work, outdoor sport, rugged outdoor and heritage collections. We partnered with the company to design custom insoles that work with Wolverine ICS [technology] that feature a gel disc in the heel of the shoe that the wearer can rotate to adjust their level of support. OrthoLite helps us enhance the benefits we offer consumers by providing comfort and cushioning.”

Mary Dean Taylor
GM of international footwear, Puma International

“We started discussions with OrthoLite in 2009. The key driver in our partnership is the Eco OrthoLite footbed. With Puma’s commitment to sustainability, we looked to OrthoLite as one of our core partners in creating earth-friendly products. The Eco OrthoLite footbed is a core component of our green program, It offers good compression set, anti-microbial properties and resiliency. The bottom line is the great fit and comfort.”

Greg Fellmer
Director of footwear sourcing & production, Sole Technology Inc.

“We’ve been using OrthoLite foams in our skateboarding and snowboarding footwear since fall ’09. At the time, we were looking at ways to make better footwear in the most cost-effective manner. OrthoLite’s stock materials [are] as good as it gets. There’s no need for proprietary formulations. However, we’ve built footbed molds for a few products. For Etnies, Emerica and Thirtytwo Snowboard Footwear, OrthoLite has added value to the product. When you put on a shoe with an OrthoLite footbed, you feel the difference immediately. [And] the comfort lasts the life of the shoe.”
 
Heather Pieraldi
Director of development & performance footwear, Under Armour Inc.

“We have partnered with OrthoLite since 2009, starting in running, training and baseball [due to its] quality, service and durability of foam products. In the Charge RC [running shoes] and Natural Baseball Trainer, we developed a 3D-molded tongue using OrthoLite foams. This was an innovative idea derived from our Under Armour DNA — taking a breathable and molded foam into the upper. [OrthoLite’s] quality and service is top notch.”

James Klein
President, Eastland Shoe Corp.

“We began using OrthoLite in all our shoes starting with fall ’12. When we decided we wanted to add more cushioned comfort to all [product], we chose OrthoLite because we wanted durable, breathable, comfortable footbeds that wouldn’t lose their compression set after repeated wearings. Having run extensive fit-and-wear tests prior to making this decision, we’re confident our customers will notice the increased comfort.”

Jim Walsh
Director of design & development, Drydock Footwear Group

“Drydock began incorporating OrthoLite with our fall ’12 collections. This marked the relaunch of the Dunham and Aravon brands, and OrthoLite footbeds were incorporated into all new products. With the introduction of Cobb Hill, we included it in select styles. OrthoLite provides great customer service both in the U.S. and in [our overseas] factories. We’ve worked on sockliner packages with various foams that perform different functions. Their [team is] open to new concepts and gets involved [with us] early to work through the design and exploration process.”

Jim Monahan
VP of footwear, Asics America Corp.

“We’ve been using OrthoLite products for well over a decade. [It’s] clearly the best inner-sole product in the industry. We’ve worked very closely [with OrthoLite] from the beginning and have developed product specifically for our brand. The partnership evolves from a very strong collaborative standpoint. [The products] provide the best degree of comfort and performance available. OrthoLite distinguishes itself by the ease of doing business with them, and the people and technology are unsurpassed.”

Brandon Barker
Brand manager, Justin Original Workboots

“The decision to partner with OrthoLite was made based on the fact that consumers are more educated on the technical aspects of performance footwear components. By using their inserts, we’ve created a comfort package that’s not only extremely comfortable but healthy for the foot due to the extraordinary breathability of the foam. The foam technology is superior to EVA and closed-cell polyurethane, as well as similar products in the market.”

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