Wednesday, February 11, 2009



Words, Images Judith Ecochard and courtesy of Wenger Footwear

Boy… were we excited about that first episode of Fox’s action packed series “24.” There was our hero against the evil ones, Jack Bauer scoping out who wasn’t the FBI agent in an early scene that all took place between the hours of 8Am and 9AM. And Mr. Jack knew “he’s not one of ours” to quote FBI Agent Renee Walker- by the dude’s canvas colored boots. So cool…we knew that too.


Wenger Footwear’s ultimate boot from its Approach line, the Eiger -is the kicker of choice for the elite FBI Swat team--- in black of course.

We don’t know how authentic Hollywood is…but we do know that this lace up boot, as with all Wenger footwear ---has the hardcore Temposit outsole that “contains high traction material that shifts it pliability for climate changes,” ie hardens in cold weather-softens in the heat. The Eiger also has a Hydrofoil 3D bootie membrane that spurns water, and an AIS technology that displaces the feeling of rocks to the outside edges of the shoe-for comfort.

The Rincon, also part of the Approach Collection, has seven layers of “Proactive Safety Technology Insulation” for the ultimate in warmth and waterproofing according to our guide, the super nice Read Worth, a Wenger VP.

Another popular choice with retailers is the Alpina Boot with full grain leather uppers.

In the Performance Athletic Group- the raison d’etre is functional low cut running shoes that work on multiple surfaces. For example, the Wildhaus ($79) is great for long hikes too with a highly breathable suspension mesh upper that’s “fully ventilated,” …a scratch rubber randing articulating the toe and heel…and a PST reflective trim.

The Interlaken model is ticked out with sonic welding that allows guys (and gals…there’s a lady’s version) to wear them without socks. And a one pull speed lacing and trapunto stitching keeps the shape comfy snug.

Lastly, we took in the CROSSOVER Grouping for men and women … a lifestyle collection par excellence that fuses pleasing aesthetics with technical details.

Top picks from this bunch include the Alpen Trapper for guys - a “sharp looking” full grain leather lace up boot with natural shearling lining for warmth. The Lady Trapper has a neat oblique toe and bold metal eyelet details.

The most urbane ped, IMHO is the Chelsea Boot We can see our military buds wearing these with comfort--- as well as our hipster cousins who never venture above Manhattan's 14th Street. The dashing foot covering boasts a full grain upper, a boiled wool trim, and a medial-gore stretch for ease of entry.

Women get their own walkers in a feminine fashion that hark back to the classic Mary Janes …with Wenger'sAlpen Jane .

We also got the 411 on some women’s Spring 2009 styles that are ready to hit retail shelves imminently. Titled the Alps and Chocolate Collections these shoes are excellent transitional peds as we think they're season savvy for year round wear.

The Valais- part of the former group (priced $55-$175), will carry wearers from rock to road with its technology including the Temposite outsole, old world lacing for the ideal fit, and mesh uppers for ventilation. And it looks hipster ready too in the cool looking black shade with red trim.

The Chocolate Collection ($55-$85) a practical assortment of shoes- are stylishly conservative in looks to hard core Carrie Bradshaw fashionistas---- but have the enormous advantage of being one of the few pairs of shoes women could ever possibly own and WEAR----AND that they don’t want to rip off their feet at the end of the day.

The Pollux an easy to the eye, slip-on is a super soft flat that has a slight wedge heel that absorbs and a cushioning foam insole.