Retail Buyers Guide: Snowboard Boots FW17/18
CATEGORY: SNOWBOARD BOOTS
INTERVIEWEE: PHILIPP KAMMERER (EUROPEAN SALES AND MARKETING MANAGER)
KEY PRODUCT FOCUS: What are the three most important products of your 17/18 line? Why?
New to the line for the 2017/18 season, our Libertine SRT provides all-mountain flex that is loaded with comfort, fit and flex technology. In this model, we’ve taken our Libertine flex pattern and upgraded it with Boa Heel Lock closure, our proprietary PowerStay Strap at the top of the cuff and a Rome X Vibram outsole. The result is controlled fit from the easy-to-adjust Boa heel and ankle zone, adjustable power from the PowerStay Strap, and unmatched traction for hiking sidecountry in the Alps from the Vibram outsole.
The other key boot in our line is the Guide boot. This boot combines proven features like full-grain leather and traditional lacing with innovations like our GripLight outsole with Vibram’s Icetrek.2 and D30 for shock absorption. Designed with a medium flex profile, the Guide is a high-end boot that is perfect for piste, off-piste and backcountry riding.
The third boot in our line that is important is the newly overhauled Memphis boot for women riders. Built with a new shell construction that is designed to optimize fit and flex for women riders and their unique anatomy, the Memphis has been upgraded with our Pro F.I.T. liner for better fit in the new season.
What’s new in lacing – sticking with trad, working with Boa, or doing your own thing? Where is the demand?
As snowboarders and as people who understand that there are different types of riders in the world, we focus on making boots with both traditional lacing and Boa lacing. While we have this dual focus, we’re also constantly looking for ways to evolve and improve traditional lacing. In the new Guide boot we are using waxed laces this year for the added friction and hold that increases your ability to micro-adjust different areas of the boot. And in the Libertine SRT, we’ve added fit and power control to a traditionally laced boot by adding our Boa HeelLock harness system to the inside and by adding our PowerStay Strap to the top of the cuff.
What colorways, prints, patterns, influences and textures will we see in your range aesthetic?
Our aesthetic direction for the coming year is on natural tones and unique black tones, that we then highlight with pop colours. Rich browns and rich blacks drive the style of Rome boots.
Which part of your range are you investing in the most? Freestyle, freeride, do-it-all, beginner…? Why?
In addition to experience boot-specific people driving the collection at Rome, Rome benefits from the fact that both of Rome’s founders have been in boot design for 20 or more years. With this experience, Rome is committed to the idea that boots don’t narrowly fit into “freestyle” and “freeride” categories the way that boards do. Some riders like soft boots for surfing powder and some riders like soft boots for tweaking tricks. At the same time, some riders like stiffer boots for riding park jumps and some riders like stiffer boots for ripping turns on and off piste. While we do have some features designed for hiking, most of our design focus is on comfort, fit and flex technologies that we use in both softer and stiffer boots.
Materials: using any new branded tech? Vibram, Sympatex, maple syrup?
We’re working with Vibram to create a snowboard-specific outsole. In a joint effort, we designed a low-profile Vibram sole that optimizes their traction power in certain areas, while making sure it has the profile and low weight that snowboarders need. We also use full-grain leather for durability and D30 in for extra cushioning.
Anything new in cushioning/impact absorption?
In addition to injection-moulded, super light EVAs for the right combination of feel and shock absorption, we add the highest level of shock absorption to our high-end models with D30.
What trends in other footwear sectors have made an impression on your 17/18 line?
In a lot of footwear these days, low-profile constructions that limit the number of seams and layers is the dominant trend, especially in action-oriented footwear. You see this technology direction in our boots as well—we’re direct-injecting different materials in targeted areas of our boots to increase durability and control flex, without stitching on an additional, heavy piece of material.