Workboot Buzz: Lila, Goodyear, Justin & More

Woman Power
This fall, Nashville, Tenn.-based Genesco Inc. will launch Lila, a collection of trend-driven, slip-resistant footwear for women. Inspired by the Sanskrit term for beauty, the line features a patented outsole technology borrowed from sister occupational brand SureGrip. Styles include clogs in solid colors and whimsical prints, booties with faux-fur linings and Mary Janes — all featuring comfortable, dual-density foam footbeds. According to Meredith Stewart, VP of marketing, the company is committed to social causes. After each purchase, consumers can log on to the brand’s website and choose from a range of projects that will receive a $5 donation from Lila. Retailing for $110, the shoes are slated for July delivery. Distribution is focused on uniform stores and independent retailers.

Burning Rubber
SCL Footwear Group in New York has acquired a multiyear license from the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. for the production, sales and distribution of footwear under the Goodyear label for the U.S. and Canada. (To date, a collection has been available in Europe, Asia and Latin America through IMG Licensing.) The North American offering will debut this fall with men’s steel- and soft-toe leather boots that incorporate a proprietary comfort system, in addition to insulating and waterproof features. Retailing from $110 to $160, the line is targeted to safety and agricultural chains, as well as independent retailers. Delivery is scheduled for August.

Fashion Focus

Women’s occupational shoemaker Akesso, of Salem, Mass., will expand for fall ’14 with a fashion-driven collection under the VersaLite label. After targeting the health care industry with its core line of slip-resistant looks built on an athletic shoe platform, the brand aims to reach a wider audience of women with more-fashionable lightweight silhouettes. According to CEO Bruce Todtfeld, VersaLite retains the core collection’s slip-resistant outsoles and easy-to-clean waterproof leather uppers. The three-pattern series consists of a slip-on, sporty laceup and ballet shoe, each for $95. The line is available in a range of sizes and widths, and is set to deliver in July.

Tech Sheet
Justin Original Workboots is getting techie for fall ’14 with the launch of the Work-Tek Sabre collection. It marks the first work product utilizing the Fort Worth, Texas-based brand’s Kinetic Management technology, which provides support when the foot is in movement and then stability and comfort when standing still. Retailing for $140, the single launch style is available with a composite safety toe and is set to deliver in September. Additional looks will follow in spring ’15.

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