Tecnica is on the comeback trail stateside.
Roughly three years after leaving the U.S. outdoor shoe market, the brand is set to ship its first new footwear products to retailers on Feb. 15 for the spring ’18 season.
Sam Cook, president of Tecnica USA, said the label made the decision to pull back because while it was satisfied with the quality of its ski boots, the outdoor footwear collection was underwhelming.
So in 2014, the company opted to temporarily move away from the category.
“We said, ‘Let’s focus on our alpine ski boot program and build a strong foundation. And when we felt we had outdoor product that was able to represent the brand position of fit, innovation and performance, we’d bring that category back to the U.S. market,” Cook told FN.
Tecnica’s initial spring ’18 collection consists of the Forge series of two performance hikers: the Forge S (executed with a leather upper and retailing for $270) and the Forge (made with nubuck leather and priced at $250).
Beyond offering a high-quality product, Tecnica hopes to attract consumers with its special boot customization program, available at select retailers.
In 20 minutes, a hiker can leave a store with Tecnica footwear that has been fit specifically for his or her feet using the brand’s custom adaptive shape process. To accomplish this, the insole and upper of the boots are heated up and molded to the wearer’s foot with air pressure.
“A product that requires customization and personalization is on-trend; it’s what the consumer expects,” Cook explained. However, not every retailer is equipped to deliver the customization process. Hence, Tecnica is targeting top-tier outdoor specialty accounts to sell its boots.
Roughly 40 retailers will be stocking the brand for its relaunch, including Great Outdoor Provision Co. in North Carolina and Virginia, Paragon Sports in New York and Sunlight Sports in Cody, Wyo.
Cook predicted that by spring ’19, over 100 retailers will be carrying Tecnica’s outdoor footwear, which will expand with more boot styles, including a low-cut look and light hikers.