In a move that’s moving the needle across the outdoor industry, Canadian top-end apparel manufacturer Arc’teryx Equipment announced it is launching its first footwear line, available through Arc’teryx dealers beginning in February 2015.
In an already competitive but profitable sector for manufacturers, the Alpha and Bora lightweight hikers will feature unique two-piece construction, using separate, tongueless inner liners with seamless hydrophobic outer shells. In the Alpha2 FL and Bora2 Mid models, the liners are removable and interchangeable for improved washing and drying and to extend the use and climate adaptability of the shoes.
Arc’teryx spent four years developing the shoes — the materials and technology were developed in-house and some of the construction methods are so new the company had to make custom production machinery to manufacture the shoes.
The overall Arc’teryx “Technical Performance Footwear” collection features eight styles for men and women, separated into low-cut approach shoes (Alpha FL) and mid-cut Hiking and light trekking boots (Bora Mid). All of them share the “Arc’teryx Adaptive Fit” — separately manufactured inner and outer shoes that work together for fit-adaptability, breathability and weather protection, reminiscent of alpine ski boot liner/shell technology.
“From the very beginning, our goal was to bring a fresh perspective to footwear that enhances the overall mountain experience. We have a rich history of thinking beyond current materials and construction and everything about these shoes revels the Arc’teryx genetic code of understanding what a products needs to be at its most essential level,” Federico Sbrissa, Arc’teryx Footwear Product Line Manager, said in a statement. “By incorporating techniques like lamination, we developed shoes that offer unprecedented durability, comfort and precision performance in the most breathable mountain footwear construction on the market.”
The company prides itself on thermoforming and lamination innovation and Arc’teryx has applied its 20 years of practice to the new outdoor footwear collection: The outer shell of the shoes is made from a seamless one piece upper laminated from four layers of hydrophobic materials. A large breathable woven PU coated nylon yarn insert area allows for air exchange while increasing durability.
Those four layers build the upper shoe:
• a non-woven DWR-treated microfiber for smooth internal surface
• a textile woven with PU coated Nylon yarn for air flow and abrasion resistance
• .2 mm TPU film build integral upper support
• .35 mm high abrasion TPU film reinforcement on more exposed areas
This laminated one piece upper covers the EVA free-moving mid sole, reaching down to the Vibram rubber sole to improve its protection and durability. Each product line features an activity-specific Arc’teryx Vibram sole. An Ortholite insole rounds up the outer shoe construction.