“Consumers are asking for versatile, performance-ready options that work for their everyday lives, or as we say, from trail to tavern,” explained Kelly Ballou, brand director at Merrell.
Increased participation in outdoor activities has led to a surge in popularity for active footwear that blends “tech and style.”
Hoka One One has introduced shoes in recent seasons that adapt the brand’s “oversized, max-cushion midsoles” to everyday use, explained Gretchen Weimer, VP of product for Hoka.
“Consumer behavior has shifted, and more athletes are looking for a comfortable shoe that blends athletic performance and everyday lifestyle, or one shoe they can use for everything,” said Hoka’s Weimer.
“In terms of color, I’ve noticed an unapologetic approach to this trend,” said Chaco’s Hill, adding that vibrant hues infuse chunky silhouettes with an air of casual cool.
Chaco has worked to incorporate comfort features into its design process, and showcases a shoe’s heftier silhouette instead of hiding it.