Further proof of the military trend? The limited-edition Freedom Trail collection that fellow Bostonites New Balance and Concepts celebrated on Nov. 19. Featuring the first-ever 875 boot and a reimagined 1500 sneaker, the collection — designed by New Balance with Concepts shoe guru Frank Rivera — taps into New Balance’s trail heritage, including the brand’s Rollbar technology in the 875 boot. According to Luis Navarro of New Balance (above, far left, with Rivera, center), expect to see more of that influence going forward. “We’re seeing that there’s a demand in the industry for hiking boots beyond the traditional fall business,” he said. “What used to be a six-month business is extending into a nine-month business.” In fact, Navarro added, New Balance will be bringing back another hiker silhouette from the archives — the H710 — for fall ’10.
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