Looking to tap into a footwear market that prizes versatility above all else, the Red Wing Shoe Company has introduced a new line of work footwear designed to serves wearers at “work, home and anything in between.”
According to Red Wing, footwear in the new Zero-G Lite collection will be the lightest work shoe collection it has produced to date, with each piece weighing between 11.7 and 14.2 ounces, thanks to its Ultra-Lite Sole technology.
After more than 110 years designing and producing work boots and other work-related footwear, Red Wing said the collection’s design and light weight should redefine standards for safety shoes “without sacrificing safety, durability and superior performance.”
“Our customers expect their workwear to have the same style and comfort as any shoe they would wear off the job site,” Kristin Hamilton, senior product merchandising manager at Red Wing Shoe Company, said in a statement. “Red Wing designed the Zero-G Lite collection to perform like a work shoe while offering modern style and all-day comfort.”
Zero-G Lite is designed to be used for “light duty” work, appropriate for typical warehouse, distribution and service roles, and features what Red Wing calls a “modern casual” design, appropriate for a world in which athletic-inspired footwear reigns supreme.
The collection’s three styles include a full-grain leather chukka, oxfords and a slip-on silhouette, each featuring an Ultra-Lite Sole with slip resistance against oil, gas and chemicals, according to the brand.
Zero-G Lite collection shoes are made with a sustainably produced algae biomass EVA footbed that features “high rebound cushioning at key strike-points” to keep wearers fresh while working on their feet. Some styles will include a low-profile aluminum toe offering protection from heavy objects—with some options including electrical hazard and static dissipative protection, Red Wing added.
However, the key selling point—the collection’s low weight—comes from the Ultra-Lite Sole, which Red Wing said consists of XL Extralight Industrial Compound, produced by Italian plastic producer Finproject S.p.A laboratories. Red Wing will have exclusive access to the material, described by the lab as a “highly versatile” compound, for one year.
“Used on a large scale in the manufacture of items for footwear, for the fashion industry, also in the automotive, fitness, spa and wellness, interior design sectors, and many others besides, XL Extralight stands out for its lightness, color and comfort,” the laboratory said of the compound. “This material’s closed-cell composition means that it is resistant to water, UV radiation and other external agents. XL Extralight is available with special flame-resistant and antibacterial formulations and can also be engineered to meet the specific requirements of particular markets or safety and sustainability regulations.”
The Zero-G collection is sold on the brand’s website and through retail partners, along with the “Red Wing for Business” platform.