- Joining other brands in the running shoe race, REI Co-op has debuted its first running shoe since the 1970s with the Swiftland Multi-terrain, the retailer announced Thursday.
- Priced at $130, the shoe is comprised of bio-based and recycled materials for its laces, midsole, outsole, lining and other elements.
- The shoe is part of REI’s Swiftland MT product line, which features shorts, joggers, tops, vests, socks, pants and hydration vests, per the press release.
REI said its new shoe is part of the retailer’s efforts to add more products to its running assortment, a move it made following the COVID-19 pandemic-induced spike in running and fitness product demand.
“More than half of our customers who are hikers or campers are also runners, so we developed the premium Swiftland collection, and are expanding the run assortment we carry to give runners more options at the co-op,” Fan Zhou, REI general manager for run and footwear, said in a statement. “The running community continues to grow every year, and it’s been great to see REI Co-op support that growth with its own business expansion, product innovation and partnerships.”
In addition to REI, more brands have created shoes with sustainable materials. In 2021, Adidas teamed up with Allbirds to make the low-carbon Futurecraft Footprint shoe. Last year running brand On unveiled the Cloudprime shoe, the first shoe using carbon emissions as a raw material in its foam. The shoe’s prototype, which is about 70% carbon-based and has CleanCloud EVA foam in the midsole, is expected to be released within the next few years.
In March 2022, Lululemon made its debut in the footwear space by launching four women’s styles, including its Blissfeel running shoe.
Brands are jumping into the casual footwear market as the demand for casual shoes shifts. A recent report from The NPD Group predicted that footwear sales revenue will rise by 1% annually through 2025. The report also projects that athletic shoes, sneakers and other casual footwear will be more desired by consumers over dress footwear and slippers.