In an industry where comfort and ease have become holy words and a tracksuit worn with sneakers is an uber cool dress code among teens, traditional shoe manufacturers are constantly searching for new formulas to make their offerings more attractive to this target group, who will be grown-ups sooner rather than later. Dr. Martens is chasing this collective more decidedly since earlier this month, when the shoe brand introduced its latest innovation DM's Lite, a new Phylon midsole that is 260 grams lighter than its welted sibling. This lightweight version has been integrated into a range of three iconic brand shoe models this fall: the Newton 8-Eye boot, the Cavendish 3-Eye shoe and the Edison Tassel loafer. A SoftWair memory foam insole promises permanent breathability and more comfort than the conventional shoe collection.
Being aware of the extreme popularity of athletic apparel and sneakers among fashion-conscious individuals, the brand is delivering its very own take on extra comfort to keep up with time –and competition. “We are not chasing sneaker trends or trying to compete with sneaker brands,” explains Darren McKoy, brand category manager for men’s fashion and collaborations. “The strategy is utilizing DM's Lite as an opportunity to talk to consumers that probably never bought the brand in the past.” Dr. Martens simply decided to fuse more technological, modern comfort constructions into iconic brand products to bring a slightly different flavor. Stepping into a new product category such as sneakers isn’t on the agenda. “What we wanted to do is just take a more contemporary attitude and point of view to acknowledge what’s going on in the marketplace. The challenge is to maintain the brand relevant,” he assures.
DM's Lite is already available in Dr.Martens stores, online and at selected retailers globally such as Journeys (USA), Atmos (Japan), Citadium (France) and Boots and Shoes (Germany). Retail prices start at 140€ and go up to 160€.