Tuesday, August 25, 2009
WENGER: GENUINE SWISS SHOES, WATCHES, GEAR S/S 2010
NOMAD LED COMPASS WATCH
EURO STYLE AT USA PRICES
OUTDOOR RETAILER MARKET, SLC-UTAH
Words, Judith Ecochard
Images Courtesy of Wenger and J. Ecochard
Wenger, the historic collection of ”Genuine Swiss Army Knives™” and watches did a major “relaunching” of the brand over the past year that’s been well received.
And blends well with the company’s MO “innovation, expert craftsmanship and precision.”
We certainly liked what we saw…and spent most of our time drooling over the versatile shoes and cross trainers.
This is a European chic thing going on with the performance abilities of Wenger’s kickers. Our top pick are the Prada-esque “MONCH.”
These lightweight, suede upper cross trainers in fashion forward colors (pink, powder blue, saffron, beige, cool grey, black) are loaded with the technical details outdoor athletes demand…like welded, seamless linings (no chafing), individually padded cells on the molded insoles that cushion the foot, and allow air to circulate, anti-bacterial liners and insoles etc...for $80, M/W.
PLUS: The Monch are so stylish, we can see urbanites wearing theses way off the dirt trails… and way on the concrete ones. And Wenger is committed “to the premise of comfort…you only get one pair of feet.”
And there is great attention paid to the little things like anodized aluminum eyelets…or the neat pull up speed laces of the amphibious approach and trail INTERLAKEN- with 4 way stretch, full length midsoles, and smart “trapunto” construction that forces the water out. And as with all Wenger peds, the contoured footbed breathes. (M/W MSRP $90).
The MATTERHORN (M/W $120) continues to be a best seller, with breath easy mesh, suede/leather trim, and gripping rubber treads.
After the sky high heels that rule for Fall 2009, women may be wanting to come down to earth a tad…and Wenger has some selections that fill that comfy need/niche with easy to wear Mary Jane styles, and slip-ons.
The leather upper JANE BOND (in black, red, warm or dark brown) is a “simple” supportive style that works for a wide range of activities. (MSRP $69).
The KEESY is a “yoga shoe” or “a daily driver” that’s made from mixed materials that give visual interest. Interesting for us was the sonic welding of the cross stitches…that give Wenger’s its seamless construction (something we’ve seen in clothes too).
If we wear flats we like a substantial, three season kicker so we admired the full grain leather upper TYROLEAN LADY LACE and
COMPASS TALL BOOT (both hit retailers October 1st). The former has design flourishes like red stitching ($125) while the latter comes in dark brown or brown leather with shearling ($149). And both have gripping lug soles.
Guys get there own new leather lace-ups/shearling boot in the ALPEN TRAPPER ($149)-also set for October shipments.
For casual wear, the LOAFERHORN is a slip on in full grain leather that we can see our guy wearing when needing a shoe that’s as easy to wear as sneakers.
WENGER SWISS WATCHES™
Specialized Swiss movements and a seamless LED digital day, date, time and compass display model are highlights of the new Wenger NOMAD LED COMPASS watch ($375). This handsome timepiece in a 316L surgical steel case with a black strap is engineered as to eliminate the “ghost markings” that can plague other LED watches. Extras include water resistant to 100 meters, and traditional analog time displays as well.
We think the trend is towards the outdoor functional watches and women wearing men’s timepieces. The NOMAD is terrific addition to Wenger’s already stellar offerings like the sexy COMMANDO PATAGONIAN EXPEDITION RACE watch ($425)…an adventure jaunt Wenger sponsored.
We saw a prototype collection of luggage at OR…amazingly lightweight and durable. Here’s a picture…but the haulers’ fate is TBD.