Activewear giant lululemon has announced that they plan to enter the shoe market. According to Footwear News the company, “Plans to enter the footwear category with a shoe range designed in-house, following the success of its collaboration with sneaker label APL (Athletic Propulsion Labs), which launched in August 2017.”
lululemon is reportedly having one of their best years yet, with some retail locations up 14 per cent year-over-year, and the company believes the addition of footwear will only help their sales. The company began selling APL footwear in 2017 and will draw from that experience when introducing their own line of shoes.
What was different about the APL collaboration is that the brand occupies a grey area, as the shoe uses a load n’ launch technology which could make them ineligible for competition according to the IAAF. The shoes are engineered with six compression springs which load on the downstep and propel the runner forward on the toe-off.
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Going forward it will be interesting to see if lululemon makes a more conventional shoe or starts with something a little more innovative. With the quest to create a carbon-plated shoe well underway in the shoe industry, lululemon could easily forgo more traditional cushioning foams in favour of a carbon-plated racing shoe or another non-traditional design closer to APL’s model.
There’s no word yet on when the shoes will actually launch, but we’ll be sure give them a try as soon as they do.