Comfort is what we do best. And now we’re doing it even better. Enter: Treadlite by UGG™. This incredibly lightweight outsole offers increased cushioning, traction, durability, and flexibility. The result? Our most comfortable footwear yet. Now that’s saying something.
To shed some light on our newest innovation we sat down with Director of Men’s Footwear, Patrick Armitage, and SVP of Innovation & Product Development, Stuart Jenkins. Read on to discover the thinking behind this revolutionary new outsole.
When you slip into Treadlite shoes, the first thing you notice is how light they are. How were you able to create a lighter shoe without sacrificing quality?
Patrick: Even as far back as 5 years ago, there was the perception that if a casual shoe was lightweight, it meant it was cheap. That market perception has changed. This innovation is a game changer.
Stuart: Traditionally, adding cushion and durability, it meant adding weight. Treadlite flips this tradition entirely. Most rubber is really heavy. Treadlite is the first technology that provides wonderful cushioning. Why would you add rubber to the bottom of your shoes? It weights you down, reduces flexibility and maneuverability.
Treadlite features a one-of-a-kind cushioning compound. Is it foam? Rubber? A mix of both?
Stuart: It’s a foam. But “foam” isn’t very technical or sexy, so I’d say it’s a proprietary technology to UGG®. The ingredients in that foam are a part of a secret recipe that even we don’t know and don’t want to know. Our vendors call it the secret formula. It has foam and other ingredients, including an elastic rubber.
We’ve heard the term “packing out” in reference to outsole degradation. What does that term imply?
Stuart: When you first wear your shoes, they have 100% cushioning. In the running shoe industry, the shoe “packs out” after about 300 miles, meaning that the foam has taken so much abuse that it doesn’t provide as much cushioning.
Treadlite doesn’t “pack out,” which means it can sustain a bouncier ride and has the ability to cushion longer than other foams traditionally used.
How do we convey that this technology really does feel different?
Patrick: Nobody can define cushion and nobody can define comfort, but when you try Treadlite on, you’ll know.
Is Treadlite the lightest footwear UGG has ever produced?
Patrick: Absolutely. The Fathom Collection with Treadlite is the lightest footwear we’ve produced to date. Stuart: We had to put leather on the shoe to keep it from flying away.
What inspires you and how do you inspire your team?
Stuart: If our team isn’t creative, we’ve got the wrong people. Our job is to facilitate their ideas. All ideas are encouraged. Inspiration is found everywhere.