High Sierra Makes A Move Into The Shoe Business

Outdoor enthusiasts have trekked mountains and trails toting High Sierra backpacks since 1978. Starting in spring ’16, they’ll also be able to tackle the wilderness in shoes from the brand.

“We’ve designed a feature-rich, versatile lifestyle collection of footwear for all kinds of adventures,” said Roy Shuman, VP of branded sales at High Sierra Footwear.

He added, “[The shoes are] fully functional, durable and affordable, with distinctive detailing. They’re good for casual Fridays at work, [as well as] hiking and climbing in the mountains.”

High Sierra shoes spring 2016
A casual lace-up from the spring ’16 collection.
CREDIT: Courtesy of brand.

Samsonite International acquired High Sierra in July 2012 for $110 million, with the intention of expanding its roster of products.

“We saw the opportunity to grow the brand beyond its distribution in the U.S., and there was permission to play with it in other categories,” said Dawn Sicco, VP and GM of High Sierra. “There’s a huge space in the market right now for a quality value story for middle America. We launched apparel in 2015 and signed a license [with ACI International] for socks and footwear, which are perfect additions to round out the portfolio.”

The brand launched a few footwear styles domestically for fall ’15 and will release its first full collection next spring.

High Sierra shoes spring 2016
A mesh-covered water shoe.
CREDIT: Courtesy of brand.

The line, which is manufactured in China, includes approach shoes, trail runners, sandals, casual slip-ons and trekking and backpacking shoes. Three hikers for men and women
are expected to have a strong retail presence: the low-cut Mount Brewer and the mid-cut Mount Ritter and Mammoth styles.

High Sierra aims to distribute its first collection via outdoor specialty retailers, as well as major national chains such as Dick’s Sporting Goods, Sports Authority and Cabela’s, with the brand’s biggest commitment so far coming from DSW.

“[We’re targeting] middle American families looking to get outdoors, who are time-starved and money-conscious,” Sicco said. “They’re looking for exceptional quality at a great value.”

High Sierra shoes spring 2016
A mid-cut boot.
CREDIT: Courtesy of brand.

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