(UPDATED JUNE 23, 2010). Accessories are approximately 19 percent of the sales in most specialty running stores. This is right after footwear and apparel. In the footwear food chain, ASICS and Brooks are still over 47 percent of the performance running footwear biz. Saucony, Mizuno and Nike are fighting for number three, four, five, with New Balance in next, followed by adidas. The battle for third place is epic right now. I do not even try to understand the trail business, where some of the best shoes, in my mind, for running, are made. Those brands, from Salomon, to The North Face, to Columbia, are putting some pretty spectacular product on the shelves.
On the apparel side, Nike apparel does quite well, with several contenders for second and third: Under Armour, Sugoi, Mizuno. Hind & Insport left a huge black hole, and apparel, is, well, a perpetual mind field. There is a huge opportunity for someone to get performance running apparel right, besides the folks at One Bowerman Drive.
Insoles, third party, in particular, were given a nod, but that is about it. Spenco paved the way, then, forgot about the consumer for a decade. Superfeet, Implus, ALINE, and others moved in, and made huge progress, just about the time, Spenco rediscovered the business. OrthoLite has been used in many brands, but, up until now, did not sell to consumers. OrthoLite is coming in with a good mid price point product.
I am trying one of the OrthoLite products now, and like it. It is a mid point price product, and will compete against Spenco, Dr. Scholls and such. It is an indication, once again, of how the business continues to change and evolve.
Remember that, three years ago, Vibram was just another midsole/ outersole technology company, now they are championing a whole movement!
ORTHOLITE INSOLES NOW AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE
Insoles found in 100 million shoes a year are now available for consumer purchase. $1 of every pair purchased is donated to the Level Field Fund to help fund talented athletes with financial need
Amherst, MA (June 16, 2010) - OrthoLite, the world's leading supplier of open cell foam insoles in the performance and comfort category, today announced the retail launch of its Fusion style insoles on OrthoLite.com in partnership with Amazon. OrthoLite has become the founding partner of the Level Field Fund and for every pair of OrthoLite insoles sold, $1 will be donated directly to the Level Field Fund (LFF), a grant-giving program that strives to bridge the gap in funding to uniquely talented athletes.
OrthoLite insoles are found in more than 100 million pairs of shoes each year including Nike, Asics, New Balance, Merrell and many more, offering enhanced comfort and a solution to many common in-shoe problems with innovative technology. OrthoLite provides superior, long-lasting comfort and support to meet the needs of today's active, on-the-go lifestyles, for all activities and all types of footwear. The insoles also feature performance properties, including breathability, moisture control and anti-microbial benefits.
"By combining our efforts with the Level Field Fund we can ensure that talented athletes across the country reach their performance potential," said Pamela Gelsomini, president of OrthoLite. "We are excited that our partnership will benefit so many promising individuals."
"For many young athletes, talent, drive and determination are simply not enough; financial support at key stages of development is critical. OrthoLite's commitment to the Level Field Fund is a major step forward in our efforts to provide grants to talented athletes with financial need," said Ross Powers, president of the Ross Powers Foundation and founder of Level Field Fund. "Our goal is to ensure the opportunity to achieve excellence in a sport is not limited by one's financial situation."
OrthoLite Fusion insoles are available at ortholite.com for $19.99 per pair. OrthoLite will take $5 off the first 1,000 pairs of insoles sold from June 16 to July 16. Consumers can insert INSOLES5 into the promotion code area on Amazon's checkout page. For more information, visit OrthoLite on Facebook or Twitter.
About OrthoLite: OrthoLite, headquartered in Amherst, MA, is the world's leading supplier of open cell foam insoles found in more than 100 million shoes each year including, Asics, New Balance, Merrell, Nike, Vans, Puma and Timberland. OrthoLite combines polyurethane and recycled rubber to provide superior cushioning, comfort, breathability and durability. OrthoLite was originally founded in 1997 and is a product of O2 Partners LLC. For more information, visit ortholite.com.
About Level Field Fund: The Level Field Fund is a grant-giving program that strives to bridge gaps in funding to uniquely talented athletes whose opportunity to pursue excellence in sport would otherwise be limited by their financial situation. The Level Field Fund was established in 2009 and is a program of the Ross Powers Foundation. For more information, please visit levelfieldfund.org.
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