Retail Buyers Guide: Snowboard Boots FW17/18
CATEGORY: SNOWBOARD BOOTS
INTERVIEWEE: MATT PATTI (GLOBAL CATEGORY MANAGER – VANS SNOW)
What are the three most important products of your 17/18 line? Why?
The elevated focuses in the Vans Snow collection for 2017/18 are the Infuse – Pat Moore, the Implant – Danimals, and the women’s Ferra – Aimee Fuller. All three boots feature Vans’ industry-first Hybrid or Hybrid Plus Boa closure system technologies and are collaborations with Vans Snow team riders.
What’s new in lacing – sticking with trad, working with Boa, or doing your own thing? Where is the demand?
The highlights of Vans closure systems are the Hybrid and Hybrid Plus Boa technologies. The Hybrid Boa found on the Implant and Ferra combines traditional laces with a side reel Boa closure that is focused on the critical instep area of the boot. At the same time – the Custom Slide Guide simultaneously customizes the fit, comfort and heel hold. The Hybrid Plus found on the Infuse revolutionizes closure accuracy and flex variability for elevated flex control. The simultaneous functionalities unlock the doors to a new world of customization. Both Hybrid and Hybrid Plus are Vans industry-firsts and a technology that’s expansion has been driving by both team riders and retailers.
Splitboarding is performing well in a tough market. What’s the best splitboard boot in your line?
After a year of backcountry testing with team rider Blake Paul, Vans is introducing the Verse boot for 2017/18 season. It isn’t a splitboard specific boot – but its application in the backcountry is as well versed as it is on any other kind of terrain. The Verse represents Vans’ long-standing commitment to the Boa lacing system and offers the best-in-class zonal closure system. With two different lacing zones, added Boa-related features like the Custom Slide Guide and the new Ultimate Waffle outsole, and an all new zip up shroud to seal the lower portion of the boot from the backcountry elements. The Verse is one of the most well prepared and versatile backcountry and all mountain boots on the market.
What colourways, prints, patterns, influences and textures will we see in your range aesthetic?
We are very fortunate to have incredible teams at Vans that work across our footwear and apparel programs, who are in tune with what’s happening in all global markets. The cross category synergies and inspirations are limitless and that’s something that makes Vans unique in the boot market. There is a lot of time and attention paid to the details and every boot and colourway have purpose.
Which part of your range are you investing in the most? Freestyle, freeride, do-it-all, beginner…? Why?
Consumers will find investments in all parts of the 2017/18 Vans snowboard boot line with the Verse boot being the leading silhouette and bringing in the Brystal to round out our collection. The Brystal is a lightweight and soft-flexing boot that delivers comprehensive all-terrain performance for riders looking for out of the box function and reliable comfort. The Brystal Youth is available in sizes 4, 5 and 6. Also new this year is the Mantra Youth boot available in sizes 1, 2 and 3. This widens Vans youth offerings from size 6 all the way down to 1.
For Vans – CUSTOMIZE YOUR COMFORT is the mantra and the best example of this can be found on the Infuse boot with Pat Moore. The Infuse features the Hybrid Plus Boa Closure System with Custom Slide Guide which transforms a traditional closure system into a tool for flex variability. The Flex Control System consists of two removable high rebound Hytrel tongue stiffeners that allow riders to custom-tune their boot flex. Pair those with the Custom Liner, new Ultimate Waffle Outsole, V3 Footbed and Waterproof Breathable Valves and you’ve got the most customizable boot ever offered from Vans.
Anything new in cushioning/impact absorption?
The Vans Snowaffle series of outsoles are designed to optimize feel and control, minimize the impact absorbed during hard landings, and reduce potential foot fatigue. The new Ultimate Waffle outsole features UltraCush Lite midsole construction for lightweight performance and a co-molded asymmetrical EES arch cradle for additional support and response.
What trends in other footwear sectors have made an impression on your 17/18 line?
Vans is introducing the Remedy Snow Boot for 2017/18 season to bridge the gap between our snowboard boots and the All-Weather MTE collection. The Remedy is the perfect for cold snowy mornings or après evenings when the sun is setting over the mountains. Providing the classic Vans vulcanized aesthetics, reverse waffle lug pattern soles, waterproof features and a removable liner, the Remedy brings back that OF 90’s boot with Vans DNA and style all derived from Vans’ vulcanized military boots of the past. The Remedy Snow Boot is available in two color ways (Black/White & Green/Sable) and is available in men’s sizes 5 – 12 / 13.