It may be summertime in the States, but in Chile, Agentina and Australia, now’s an ideal time for a ski vacation. For those contemplating a cold weather getaway, entrepreneur Julie Adams has come up with a must-have travel accessory.
Several years ago, Adams, an attorney, took time off to focus on her young son — and head to Italy for a long-overdue winter vacation, where she found herself wishing she had a comfortable pair of packable boots she could slip into while taking a break over a beer during a day on the slopes.
“It was my ‘aha’ moment,” said Adams, who began work on her idea as soon as got home.
She came up with Pakems, a lightweight packable boot for men, women and kids. Initially, the development was self-financed, but then a friend, intrigued by the concept, offered additional funds. Adams is now seeking $300,000 to $1 million through crowd-funding site CircleUp.com.
The collection, designed by industry insiders with experience at Nike and Keen, is comprised of three styles — the Classic low-cut for $60, the Extreme mid-cut at $70 and the Cortina, a high-top lined with faux fur, for $80.
Kids’ sizes retail for $45 for the Extreme and $60 for the Cortina. The water-resistant boots are made of ripstop nylon, with toggle closings. For comfort and safety, they have EVA midsoles and rubber outsoles with plenty of traction. Each pair comes in a matching carry bag with a removable waist belt.
A pair of low-cut adult boots weigh less than a pound, complete with bag, while the high-tops come in at just over a pound. According to Adams, the collection’s standout style is the Bodie, an Extreme Marble version that comes with a set of fabric markers so consumers can customize the look.
Just launched in 2013, Pakem’s sales were up 70 percent in 2014, with Adams expecting similar growth in 2015. In just two years on the market, the boots have been picked up by Sports Authority.
The line is also available at Backcountry.com and Moosejaw.com, among other specialty outlets. “The après-ski style has evolved into a shoe people wear every day,” said Adams. “It’s also a commuter shoe and a travel shoe.”