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How a former Nike designer created the Sperry Sport Performance shoes – footwear news

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While many Sperry consumers appreciate its shoes for fashion appeal, the brand’s roots are in performance. Early next year, Sperry will once again draw on its watersports heritage to deliver its most adventure-ready collection yet.

Launched in March 2022, Sperry Sport, a line of performance-oriented footwear designed for ambitious outdoor enthusiasts. The line was led by Sean McDowell, a 22-year-old Nike veteran who joined Sperry as senior vice president of product creation in June 2020.

McDowell told FN how the pandemic, which hit the United States just months before assuming his new role, led to the creation of Sperry Sport.

“I love the lifestyle, but I feel like the collections work well when you have one foot in performance and one foot in the lifestyle,” McDowell said. “COVID was starting to escalate and so many people were participating in outdoor activities. It was a great opportunity for us to reawaken our roots of innovation and performance and harness this trend that is happening, where people are investing more in fun and adventure, hiking, running and boating. pleasure.

After discussing the idea for Sperry Sport with Blake Krueger, president and CEO of Wolverine World Wide Inc., the design veteran quickly got to work. “I sketched out all the shoes in the collection over that first weekend and started to identify who the target consumer was, some of the different activities,” McDowell said. “We wanted to make sure that we had a broad offering with a lot of versatility in each of the silhouettes.”

Creating a range with something for everyone was possible thanks to McDowell’s design history. During his 22 year career at Nike, McDowell said he worked on several Nike Running products as well as iconic shoe styles and franchises including Kukini, Pegasus and Tailwind. However, it was his time as Nike’s creative director for Olympic shoes for the 2008 Beijing Olympics that most prepared him for Sperry Sport.

“I was able to work in all 28 sports including all of the water sports,” McDowell said. “I was very familiar with the activities. I had done a lot of research, a lot of consumer focus groups, so it was easy to rekindle those roots and talk to new consumers today and then create a product for them.

McDowell admitted that launching Sperry Sport was one of the fastest projects he’s ever worked on, although it wasn’t without challenges.

“I’m used to focus groups where you sit around a table or go on the boat and have an afternoon where you go through things, but we had to switch completely to Zoom focus groups, which I did. had never done before, “McDowell said.” People FaceTiming on their boat and walking around through their different activities. It was a very different experience. “

He continued, “But there were also advantages to that. I was able to connect with dozens of people around the world. Normally, the focus groups would be held in one place and we would invite six to 12 people. Now I could have 12-20 people on the phone from Brazil, Spain, Australia, and New Zealand, and they could all jump in and say, ‘This is a problem that I need someone to talk to. one to solve. Can you help me with this? ‘ In the future, we will still be doing in-person discussion groups, but I will absolutely do the digital groups as well, because your reach goes much deeper.

Sperry Sport Water Strider.

CREDIT: Courtesy of Sperry

Sperry Sport will launch in March 2022 and debut with seven looks. The price range is from $ 55 to $ 120 and will be sold on and at some retailers.

The cheapest look in the line is the Water Strider, a family all-purpose water shoe priced at $ 55. The lightweight slip-on was created with a size and shape that hugs the foot during all activities. It also features Adaptive Wave slats for traction and hydrophobic materials which do not absorb water.

Of the, Sperry Sport will offer the Harbor Master ($ 80), a stylish shoe equipped with leather and mesh upper combined with mesh linings to allow it to dry quickly; the molded rubber Cutwater Deck Boot ($ 90), designed to protect against water and rinse to clean; and the 7 seas ($ 90), an ideal sneaker for sailing and waterfront life, featuring the brand’s 360-degree lacing system and Razor-Cut Wave-Siping Technology for optimal fit and grip.

The line also includes shoes above a price of $ 100, like the Eagle Ray sandal ($ 110), designed to go “from surf to scramble ”and described as a rugged utility sandal that can withstand “through the rigors and demands of a day on the sea and on the shore”. It features molded EVA midsoles to cushion repeated hits from the hull and rocks, straps designed to lock in the foot and Adaptive Wave Siping for traction on both deck and slippery rocks.

And the Sea Hiker ($ 120) is a look that the brand claims is “the latest pure performance hiking shoes that work for the Olympic level as well as high school and college sailors.” To create the style, Sperry said he worked with the US National Team athletes “to create the right balance of protection, comfort and durability to achieve peak performance in open water.”

Sperry Sport Wave Rocker

Sperry Sport Wave Rocker.

CREDIT: Courtesy of Sperry

However, the hero shoe of the range is the Wave Rocker. The look, which will retail for $ 120, is aesthetically bold and tech-laden, with Adaptive Wave Siping to disperse water for optimal traction, mold EVA midsoles for cushioning, hydrophobic breathable mesh and dYnamic sock uppers with molded PU support harness for a custom fit.

“There are so many activities that take place on a motor boat. Whether it’s wakeboarding or waterskiing, you’re constantly in and out of the boat, ”McDowell said. “You can easily put these shoes on and take them off and they dry very quickly. It has a great cushioning system, and when you are on the boat and it is going up and down, it is more comfortable, so there is less wear and tear on your body during the day. And it has incredible wet traction.

He continued, “We also wanted this particular shoe to look great. If you were to go for a beer afterwards, you will look great walking into a pub. “

Beyond the Spring 22 debut, McDowell has confirmed that the Sperry Sport collections for Fall 22 and Spring 23 are in the works.

Sperry Sport Eagle Ray Sandal

Sperry Sport Eagle Ray sandal.

CREDIT: Courtesy of Sperry

Sperry Sport Cutwater Deck Boot

Sperry Sport Cutwater Deck Boot.

CREDIT: Courtesy of Sperry

Sperry Sport Sea HikerSperry Sport Sea Hiker

Sperry Sport hiker at sea.

CREDIT: Courtesy of Sperry

Sperry Sport Harbor Captain

Sperry Sport Harbor Master.

CREDIT: Courtesy of Sperry

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Penn State baseball with big shoes to fill after the starts of Justin Williams, Gavin Homer | Penn State Baseball News

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Despite finishing with more losses than wins once again, there were plenty of positives from last year’s Penn State team on the offensive end.

While the formation of the Nittany Lions mainly consisted of sub-classes, the impact of some veterans could lead to further improvement of the squad for years to come.

Two big names who have now left the Nittany Lions’ midfield are second baseman Gavin Homer and third baseman Justin Williams.

Williams was the only Penn State non-pitcher to be selected in the MLB Draft last month, going in the 17th round against the Houston Astros.

As a junior, Williams had the best season of his career at Penn State, hitting .302 with five home runs. Throughout each of his three seasons, Williams has found a way to improve his batting average and stroke percentage.

Coach Rob Cooper said Williams’ ability to strike for power played a big part in helping the other players in the roster.

“Justin is the kind of hitter that’s tough to pitch with,” Cooper told The Daily Collegian. “He’s got this threat of hitting a home run every time so knowing you have to throw at this guy and knowing he can do damage on every throw it really helps the guy hitting in front of him because they don’t ‘I don’t want to throw him.

Although he was not drafted like Williams, Homer ended his Penn State career as a base machine after transferring from Kellogg Community College ahead of the 2019 season. Homer ended the 2021 campaign with an average at stick of 0.310 and a base percentage of 0.429.

Hitting the front row, Homer always found ways to get to the base, which is one of the main traits that Cooper loved about him.

“Gavin did a great job getting to base, and having someone who can get to base consistently, it really makes your offense a lot better,” Cooper said.

Williams and Homer both spent their first seasons at Penn State in 2019 when the Nittany Lions won just four conference games.

This year, the two have played key roles as the Nittany Lions have won eighteen encounters in a grueling conference-only schedule, finishing ninth in the Big Ten. The pair’s stats for 2020 were also off to a good start heading into the end of the season.


After a pandemic year without a student section, without camping and a lack of in-person activities …

Both players consistently put up solid home plate appearances when they stepped into the batting box, and that’s something the younger players have noticed.

Upcoming junior wide receiver Matt Wood said he thinks the way both players approach these hitters is the biggest impact they have on him as a player.

“Working with these two was really cool because they have a unique perspective and approach to the plate,” Wood told the Collegian. “They’re so focused on every little detail in every game, and I think that’s something that I really took away. Don’t take every step and every moment for granted, try to be as locked in as possible every moment I’m up there because I didn’t want to lose AB.

Looking forward to the 2022 season, the Nittany Lions are set to take a big step forward with the majority of their 2021 offense going to Medlar Field in Lubrano Park.

Although he doesn’t have the services of Williams and Homer, Cooper said he believes there are plenty of players who can improve to help improve the 2021 18-23 season.

“Johnny Piacentino basically played all year with a broken thumb, so he was always a force in the roster, and so being able to have him healthy and have him a full year is huge,” said Cooper. “Jay Harry had a really good freshman year, Matt Wood was in some ways probably our most consistent hitter and continued through the summer, and there were times when Tayven Kelly showed real offensive potential.

We have younger guys who we think need to improve in camp, but have the ability to help us offensively, so that’s something we’ll see when we start in the fall.


The Penn State offense has undergone a lot of renovations this offseason adding more colors.

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Best exercise shoes for women, according to a podiatrist.

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Like so many others, I walk (and try to run) more than ever.

My morning walk is the highlight of my day and checking my step count has become second nature. But even though I have the new workout gear (an obvious lockdown purchase), I don’t own the right pair of shoes.

Side note… these characters would own the pandemic. Posting continues after the video.

As I learned recently, different types of exercise require different pairs of shoes.

So, to determine what would be best for walking, running, or weight training, I spoke to podiatrist Sarah Sweeney, of Sarah Sweeney Podiatry in Queensland, to understand what I need to know before investing in a new pair of sneakers.

When shopping for new exercise shoes, what are the first things you should consider?

As Sarah explained, there are a few things you should keep in mind before purchasing a new pair of kicks.

First of all, you need to think about the type of exercise you are doing, whether it is walking, running, or working out in a gym. Next, look at some brands approved by podiatrists.

“I would only exercise with good quality shoes, specifically designed for my type of exercise. The brands I generally stick to are New Balance, Brookes, Asics, Mizuno and potentially Hokka,” he said. she declared.

Sarah also has a list of things you should watch out for when trying on shoes:

  • A nice firm heel counter.
  • Laces.
  • You want a lot of cushioning.
  • Good tread.
  • Check that you cannot twist the shoe in the middle of the foot.
  • Check that the forefoot does not bend backward more than 45 degrees.
  • Check that the shoe folds up in the forefoot and not in the midfoot.

Why is it important to have different exercise shoes for different types of training?

“Different types of training place different demands on your feet and your lower limbs,” Sarah explained.

“For example, when you walk your feet typically go from heel to toe, your feet absorb about one to two times your body weight, and your weight is distributed more evenly than when you run.

“While running, however, we see a lot more excessive movement with your feet,” she said.

“Your muscles and tendons are working harder to stabilize you, your feet absorb about two to three times your body weight, and there are times when both feet are not on the ground. [So] there is a lot more impact.

“Some sports like netball for example, really require a specific shoe for that outward lateral support in order to avoid sprains,” Sarah added.

What characteristics differentiate training shoes from running or walking shoes?

If you’ve been walking or running in training shoes (like me, oops), maybe think again, because they aren’t designed for long distances.

“Training shoes usually have extra ankle support and they allow forward and lateral movement for this type of high agility training,” Sarah explained.

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