Product focus: AllOut Blaze
A while ago, we spoke to Mark Pavsek, the Business Director from the Performance Outdoor Footwear department, about the design challenges of the Grassbow light-weight hiking shoe. We managed to get a little bit more time with him to discuss the AllOut Blaze line.
The AllOut Blaze line is a hiking shoe available in men and women's designs and sizes - a brand new line that is already proving a popular seller in Merrell stores and online. But who's it aimed at? According to Pavsek, the shoes offer stability, speed, agility and protections. It's for those who find "traditional hiking products too heavy and stiff to be 'fun' and fast across different terrains," he explains. "Our customers are hungry for authentic, adrenaline inducing and memorable experiences. They don't want to be limited by terrain, they want to be boundless, and with the AllOut Blaze range we aim to address that."
How is this achieved? According to Pavsek, it's all down to the new midsole technology called Unifly. "The flexible underfoot wrap is shaped around the arch to create continuous, flexible contact for increased mobility and efficiency." This is combined with the advancements in impact protection: an ultra-resilient, soft-foam impact absorption system which helps disperse impact and provides a more stable takeoff. "This balance of feel and protection should help you go further, faster and longer," Pavsek explains.
All Merrell shoes Pavsek has overseen the development of have had customer feedback at the heart of their design, so he is pleased that the shoe is selling back and getting good reviews across the board: "We imagined the fun and freedom in backcountry skiing and mountain bike freeriding and applied it to a shoe for stability, speed, agility and protection on all types of terrain. It's great to hear that this aim is being met by our customers!"