Outdoor Retailer Winter Show Picks - Footwear

The winter Outdoor Retailer Show was bigger than ever and there was plenty to see. One thing in abundance at the show were footwear options. Some of my favorite picks of new footwear coming out are incluced in this article. Look for my favorite shoes, socks and one product for recovery. It was difficult to choose from so many styles and varieties, but here I go.


Saucony ProGrid Razor 2.0

Women's Razor 2.0With a built-in softshell and an internal eVent waterproof lining, the ProGrid Razor 2.0 is the perfect winter trail running shoe. This all weather trail shoe is perfect when you need to battle it out on and off the road in the most extreme weather. If you are also looking for a lighter boot to add to a racing snowshoe this is almost as good as it gets. The Razor 2.0 also comes in both men's and women's styles.

Upper: Interval eVent Waterproof lining, Built-in softshell gaiter, Pro-lock, Anti-lacebite pads, Inlaid shoe horn, YKK Zipper

Midsole: Heel ProGrid, SSL EVA, SRC Impact Zone, SRC XTRA forefoot cushioning

Outsole: External Bedrock Outsole, Exclusive Vibram Compound

Colors: Men: Black/White, Red/Black/Grey, Women: Black/Purple, Green/Silver

Suggested Retail Price: $135.00

Columbia Heather Canyon Electric

columbias heather canyon bootThe Heather Canyon has taken the best of Columbia's Omni-Heat Thermal reflective lining and insulation and combined it with Omni-Heat Thermal Electric heat.  Not only is it a preformance boot, but it is stylish enough to be used for a night out on the town. With three heat settings, your feet should never be cold again.

Key Features:

  • Omni-Heat Electric, Thermal Reflective and Insulated
  • Rich waterproof leather and suede upper
  • Waterproof/Breathable membrane
  • 200g Omni-Heat insulation
  • Removable, anatomically contoured EVA footbed with nylex cover
  • Molded nylon shank provides torsional rigidity and support
  • Techlite molded shell provides lightweight cushioning and protection
  • Non-marking Omni-Grip rubber outsole for optimal traction in winter conditions

Hi-Tec Capri 200

Hi-Tec BootThe Capri 200 is designed with Hi-Tec's lightweight hiking heritage in mind. With a simple design ethos and innovative product philosophy, The Capri 200  features the ion-mask waterproof-breathable technology and Thinsulate insulation to keep feet warm and dry; plus carbon rubber outsoles to tackle the toughest icy, winter conditions.

From outdoor work to winter hiking, snowshoeing and everyday wear, the Capri 200 is designed for top-of-mountain experiences ─ rugged enough for the real outdoor experience at an affordable price.

Key Features:

  • Waterproof suede upper
  • Durable shell construction
  • 200g Thinsulate insulated construction
  • Comfort-Tec sockliner
  • MDT carbon rubber outsole

SIZES: 7 – 12, 13
COLOR: Dark Chocolate
MSRP: $100

Vasque TakuVasque Taku GTX

The Taku GTX boot is a new addition to the athletically inspired Breeze line, the most successful hiking collection in Vasque history. It features classic heritage styling in a responsive lightweight design with oiled natural leather and classic coloration. Built upon an Arc Tempo last, with a women’s-specific last in women’s sizing, dual density EVA footbed, molded EVA, molded rubber toe bumper and new Vibram® outsole.

MSRP: $165.

Adidas Terrex Solo

adias terrex solo shoeAdidas has been around a long time in the fitness category but is finally making a come back into the Outdoor category here in the US. The Terrex Solo was the winner of the 2010 OutDoor Show’s Industry awards in Friedrichshafen, Germany. The Terrex Solo is an all-around outdoor performance shoe for any action or approach activity. With different zones in the sole for both hiking and climbing, it features a high-abrasion mesh upper, a Protection Plate midsole and adiPRENE.
Upper: high abrasion mesh upper for extra durability
Midsole: Protection Plate for impact protection and forefoot stabilization
Midsole: adiPRENE insert for comfort and shock absorption.
Outsole: approach specific outsole design with climbing zone.

MSRP: $110

Freewaters Cruzcontrol

I know it is a little different to be showing a flip flop from the winter show but this is one is worth it. Freewaters product designers have taken their jobs seriously while designing these products. The freewaters cruzcontrolCruzcontrol is one example of many from their line.

Midsole: Heelium Chasis features fully engineered shaping with solid arch support heel cup and toe lift.  At the super light weight of only 3.9 oz, you will forget that they are on - like driving in "CruzControl".

Outsole: 4 way flex groove moves with your foots natural rotation and flex.

Footbed: Drop in EVA foam custom molds to your foot.

Strap: water friendly performance leather with ecoSmart neoprene lining made from recycled PET bottles.  Super soft webbing toe strap.

-MRSP: $38
-available March 1 at www.freewaters.com and select retailers.

sanuk lumberjack chillSanuk Lumber Jack Chill

This last shoe is from Sanuk, the maker of the "shoes" that are not shoes but sandals. They have upgraded some of their styles to be a little more winter friendly and a pair to look forward to are the Lumber Jack Chill. Handmade Lumberjack plaid upper featuring a super comfy Chill liner to keep your feet warm. If you have been looking for a Sanuk that could handle the winter cold here is one of many that they are coming out with in the fall of 2011.

MSRP: $65.


There are tons of sock companies out there. I have chosen these few companies because they seem to keep getting it right.

Darn Tough Vermont

SocksSeamless toe closure isn't new for Darn Tough but they have expanded the line of socks that are offered in the seamless toe closure. This type of closure offers comfort, performance and durability advantages over conventional toe closure methods. Seamless socks don’t chafe the foot the way traditional socks can.  These advantages are most evident in lightweight socks.

True-Seamless Padded Cushion socks. The new padded ski and ride socks feature an anatomically placed shin cushion for enhanced comfort and decreased leg and foot fatigue. These new socks will feature new designs and colors inspired by Poppy Gall, ISIS co-founder and proprietor of the Poppy Gall Design Studio. Like all Darn Tough Vermont socks, these will be made at their VT mill and carry an unconditional lifetime guarantee.

Available July 1, 2011.

Suggested retail price is $15-16 for kids’ models and $22-23 for men’s and women’s styles.

Darn Tough Vermont True-Seamless run and bike socks are available in no-show and ¼ length ultra-light styles in two materials: Merino wool and CoolMax. Suggested retail price is $14-$22

THOR•LO 84N Runner

THORLOS SOCKSThorlos introduced a new running product called 84N Runner at the show. It is designed for the serious runner, especially the runner in pain, providing maximum pad protection with minimal weight on or off road.

“It was inspired by consumer feedback we received following our recent introduction of the Experia brand,” commented James Jesserer, Vice President of Sales. “As a direct result of Experia’s introduction, we started hearing from a group of runners who liked its ultra light weight feel, but needed the kind of ball, heel, and toe protection found in our Classic Thorlos running products. In essence, they were needing a hybrid approach from us: the maximum protection we could provide but with minimum overall weight.”

The foundation of Thorlos 84N Runner is the Brand’s maximum cushion engineered padding technology. It provides runners with the utmost ball, heel, and toe protection to prevent common foot issues, like blisters and black toe that plague serious runners.  These pads are held in place by a totally new, light-weight, contoured ventilated frame made of exclusive THOR•LON and LYCRA freshFX fabric for superior moisture management and a foot hugging, no-slip fit.

Available: Spring 2011

MSRP: $13.99 per pair.

Injinji Midweight Performance Toesocks

injinji sockThe Midweight performance toesocks are new for 2011. They are constructed of CoolMax fibers to provide moisture management with Lycra and Nylon offers light compression and durability. These socks have received the prestigious American Podiatric Medical Association Seal of Acceptance. The Seal of Acceptance recognizes products that are found to be beneficial to foot health and raises awareness among podiatrists and the consumer about products of exceptional quality that are manufactured with the consumer's comfort and safety in mind.

Key Features:

  • Padded Sole for Increased Shock Absorption
  • 60% CoolMax freshFX, 35% Nylon, 5% Lycra
  • Sizes: S, M, L, XL

MSRP: $16

Lorpen Tri Layer Light Hikerlorpen socks

Designed for day hiking and trail walking this is a sock that has excellent moisture management. This sock combines three layers that work together to provide comfort and performance. Layer 1 is a synthetic layer that is hydrophobic which wicks moisture away from the foot. Layer 2 is a natural layer that is hydrophilic which attracts moisture from layer 1 and spread it into a larger area and to help speed the evaporation process. Layer 3 is Nylon for resistance and greater durability.

Key Features:

  • Cushion: Heel and toe - Light cushion
  • Height: Crew
  • Contents: 36% Tencel, 35%Coolmax, 18% Nylon, 10% Lycra, 1% Modal

MSRP: $16.95

FITS Medium Hiker Crew

The Medium Hiker boasts a medium cushion of Merino Wool throughout that supports your entire foot, ankle, and lower calf in total comfort. In this sock, you will easily forget about the task at hand while you comfortably master any fits socksoutdoor endeavor.

  • Crew Length – just below calf
    • Overall even FIT
    • Sculpted Shape
    • Deep Heel Pocket –Shaped like your heel to lock the sock in place.
    • Engineered Toe Pocket – Allows room where you need it without bunching
    • Highest quality materials ensure amazing feel, stretch, and recovery.
  • Mid-weight design with cushioning surrounding your entire foot , ankle, and lower calf
  • Double-welted top so the sock always stays up and doesn’t bind or slip.
  • Color-coded seam on toe and indicator inside welt so you won’t forget your size or style.
  • White “FITS” in toe to distinguish from Light Hiker.
  • Contents:
    • Wool . . . . . . . . . .70%
    • Nylon . . . . . . . . . 22%
    • Polyester . . . . . . . 6%
    • Lycra Spandex . . 2%

recovery rub

Recovery Rub

The last thing I am going to mention is something that is nice to put on your aching feet after a long, hard day.

All Terrain Recovery Rub

Muscle Pain Relief – Recovery Rub - Joint Pain Relief
All Terrain Recovery Rub is designed to give you muscle and joint pain relief with an approach using natural ingredients. Recovery Rub relieves pain from sore muscles and joints, including arthritis. Quickly provides cool, deep penetrating relief.