Canadian Athletic Brand Crosses Border

Canadian footwear label Str/ke Mvmnt is a new player to the athletic category and is now looking to launch in the U.S.

The Vancouver, British Columbia-based label was founded by former snowboarding pro and brand distributor Marc Morriset, who said he wanted to create a stylish sneaker for cross-training and midfoot/forefoot running.

“I was getting involved in CrossFit and I went into the local sports shops looking for a low-rise training shoe, but the options there weren’t palatable to me, and that’s the idea behind the aesthetic [of Str/ke Mvmnt],” he said. “We wanted something that performs, but that you could get away with [wearing to] get a cappuccino.”

Morriset added that the collection has a lot of potential in the marketplace.

“Where the other brands have been coming into action sports from athletics, we’re coming into athletics from action sports,” he said, “and our design language is going to be based around more streetwear references and silhouettes.”

Initially launched in September with the Impact style (a lightweight, minimally constructed unisex cross-training shoe), Str/ke Mvmnt will expand in July with the Chill Pill, a deconstructed light runner with a more casual bent. For spring ’14, the brand will debut two more sneakers for running and gym use. All looks are built on the brand’s Stable Platform outsole, a low-profile 4-millimeter outsole with a wide forefoot and an EVA and rubber combination.

Now sold through the brand’s website, the $85-to-$110 shoes also are available at retailers including The Board Room and Distance Runwear in Vancouver; Plush in Edmonton, Alberta; and The Gallery in Calgary, Alberta. And now, according to sales manager Sean Kato, expansion into the U.S. is a top priority.

Kato said the label has signed reps in the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic and California, and expects to land new accounts in the next two months, with a goal of being fully operational here by mid-July. The brand is targeting sporting-goods and running stores that focus on midfoot strike technique, action-sports stores and some better men’s shops.

“We’re finding because of the aesthetic, we’re not pigeonholed to [just] athletic accounts,” Morriset said.

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