Comfort Buzz: Clarks, Flexx and Blondo

Clarks is debuting a new walking line, while designer Emilio Kaiser is bringing Flexx to the U.S.

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Photo By John Aquino

New Wave
Clarks, based in Newton Upper Falls, Mass., is introducing a collection of casual walking shoes called Wave for spring ’10. Designed to reduce fatigue, the shoes feature a lightweight, curved sole made of molded EVA with rubber at the strike points, allowing the foot to smoothly roll each time it touches the ground. According to Clarks, the rolling motion reduces the impact of each step while using the wearers’ natural momentum to help propel them forward. The line, which retails from $100 for women’s to $120 for men’s, will launch in Clarks stores in September and then roll out to better independents and chains in October.

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Flexx Time
Designer Emilio Kaiser, who has worked for such brands as Kenneth Cole and Aerosoles, has brought his comfort expertise to the market once again with the Flexx line. Kaiser introduced the collection in Europe in 2005 and is now bringing it to the U.S. for spring ’10 with the help of industry veterans Michael Long and Patrick Taylor. The series of women’s shoes features cushioned footbeds, soft leather uppers and flexible, lightweight unit bottoms. Styles range from casual to tailored and are priced between $69 and $99. The collection is slated to arrive in stores in September and is targeted to independents and department stores.

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So Be It
Blondo, based in Quebec City, is bringing its Be Comfortable collection, currently available exclusively in Europe, to the North American market for spring. The men’s and women’s line is built around a patented technology that combines expandable and breathable features. The shoes feature waterproof suede outsoles with direct-inject TPU pods that allow the outsole to gently expand with the foot. And removable, perforated latex footbeds lined with a layer of perforated leather improve breathability. Be Comfortable, which will retail from $115 for women’s to $125 for men’s, will deliver in February.

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