Wednesday, September 29, 2010



Words, Tradeshow Images-Judith Ecochard

Outdoor Retailer, SLC Utah

When we enter the Wenger (“Maker of the Genuine Swiss Army Knife”) exhibit space that’s always front and center at the Salt Palace Convention Center…we feel like we enter guyville... as our focus is on the men’s kickers---a good looking line-up of shoes divided into sub groups.

New for us are the nautically natty Marine collection…a result of Wenger’s partnership with "The Alinghi”---a Swiss sailing team. The Windward ($50) a casual canvas upper lace-up, 

Clipper ($80) and Catamaran ($85) slip-ons---all with grippy rubber outsoles, 

and the Alinghi-a handsome leather mesh upper with 3M Scotchguard and a Vibram outsole. ($125).

Bumped up thongs in leather ($50-$60)—one style--- Poif Pilf ---(flip flops spelled backwards) part of the Basecamp line.

As is the desert boot style Midway with a crepe sole ($100).

Value wise, Wenger offers a lot for those wanting more of a technical shoe—with style.

AT the high end, the Bomber ($400) is a highly technical shoe for the extreme conditions…with Primaloft Insulation and Nubuck leather, Outdry Extreme Waterproofing, Rubber randing, and Vibram soles.

 The San Rocco, and a carry over, Diavolo ($360) are made of primo Anfibio Leather from Italy, with waterproofing, and tough Vibram outsoles…and with the Purchase ($140) made with breathable mesh and suede---are all good for challenging day hikes as well as overnights off the beaten trail.

The Xpedition ($110) with Nubuck/Ripstop Nylon is a hybrid kicker--- part of the Trail group with OutDry Extreme Waterproofing and outsoles that grab.

The Ablion comes in a high and low ($90, $85) versions of suede and breathable mesh with waterproofing that can go from trail to street with ease…given the trend for more technical shoes for everyday

We thought of trail runners with the Cirque ($75) and Appalachian ($60)…have the looks of the best lifestyle sneakers but a lot more durable.


A refreshed watch that captures the military look par excellence---- is this slick black matte AeroGraph Cockpit---an aviation themed time keeper in a PVD case, with a NATO green dial and silicon strap = rugged good looks. ($300)

Also new is the highly functional, cutting edge, tech-wise Nomad Compass Watch--- ($375) that features a specialized Swiss movement and a seamless LED digital day, date, time and compass display module.

And although we don’t cover knives per se, we liked the eco story of the EvoWood premium knives…made from recycled Swiss walnut wood handles and Wenger’s signature premium blades and tools. Each one is unique.

Deliveries for Spring 2011 Merchandise start January/February 2011…


Tremor--with Outdry Extreme Waterproofing, Hypergrip/EVA Outsoles, Full Grain Leather or Suede Uppers ($110)