Dansko is known for two things: comfort and the stapled clog. However, the company also wants to be known for innovation.
Since launching more than 20 years ago with an assortment of simple clogs, Dansko has become synonymous with supportive and comfortable footwear for lifestyle and work. The brand launched with the Stapled Collection, a line of clogs that are stapled by hand to attach the upper with the outsole. And, while the clog is one of the world’s oldest footwear styles, Dansko believes in its evolution.
Last month the company launched Dansko XP 2.0, a lightweight version of its signature stapled clog exclusively at The Walking Company. The shoe delivers the all-day comfort Dansko loyalists have grown to love with an even lighter construction.
Instead of a PU midsole, Dansko updated the construction with a lightweight EVA midsole that reduces the shoe’s weight by 20 to 25 percent.
To maintain quality and provide a lighter alternative, Sal Agati, Dansko executive vice president of design and global sourcing, said the company had to invent a new manufacturing process. To begin with, staples and soft material don’t mesh.
“If you staple into a soft material and you walk, the staples will just pop out,” he noted. So, the brand developed a way to secure staples in soft EVA by combining hand-work and high-pressure molding.
The lightweight shoe also features a removable, contoured PU footbed with Dansko Natural Arch technology—a comfort feature that couldn’t be sacrificed for weight.
“A lot of the time with footbeds, you wear them [and] over time with weight and heat you lose a little arch support. Ours retains the rigidity in the arch area that maintains the support,” Agati said. “The person who wears clogs really understands the value of clogs after 10- to 12-hour days.”
No surprise here, the concept for Dansko XP 2.0 was inspired by athleisure, which is proving to have lasting effects on lifestyle and work footwear. “Everything is highly influenced today in the footwear market by what’s happening in the athletic market,” Agati said. “We took our lead from what’s happening in athletic footwear.”
Beginning Spring ’18, Dansko XP 2.0 will become available to other retail channels. Agati said an exciting aspect of the new construction is the potential to be applied to other silhouettes, including booties and flats. However, customers will have to wait a little longer to learn more about possible expansions. “We want to get through the launch to see where it takes us,” he said.