How Do Workboot Brands Cater to Millennials?

Roger Huard
VP, product development; Wolverine

“Since they’ve grown up in athletic shoes, we’re pairing athletic inspiration with innovative technology. For spring ’15, we’re introducing the Growler, a midcut hiker with a Vibram sole featuring a pivot point in the front, [similar to] basketball shoes [but suitable] for warehouse environments.”

Bert Spiller
Director, product creation; Timberland PRO

“We conduct extensive research, visiting job sites so we can speak to consumers and observe them in their work environment. [Since young consumers] emphasize the importance of comfort and durability, we’ve incorporated our Anti-Fatigue technology, rubber-toe protectors and Ever-Guard leather heel guards.”

Soyala Breen
Senior director, work and outdoor; Ariat

“They want boots they can wear beyond the work site — comfortable, masculine and practical. [Workers] in the oil and gas industry, [a key Ariat market], prefer Western-inspired looks with wide square toes and shafts with bright color accents. For marketing, we use young models to capture this consumer, styling them in a way that’s aspirational yet attainable.”

Mark Reilly
Brand director; Keen Utility

“Younger consumers are more plugged in to trends, looking for footwear that can transition from the weekend to the work week. For spring ’15, we’ve introduced more boots inspired by outdoor, hiking and athletic designs. These light industrial shoes exceed ASTM and Mark II anti-slip standards while looking effortlessly cool.”

Wayne Wilson
VP, work division; Dan Post Boot Co.

“John Deere has introduced designs that appeal to [young] consumers used to wearing athletic and casual footwear, who want their work [shoes] to look like everyday casuals. We’ve added detailing such as color pops and [enhanced] comfort and cooling features.”

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