Despite what many are calling a warm winter, sales of accessories from SealSkinz USA continue to outpace company projections. Shawn Pritchett, U.S. sales and operations director, is optimistic that this positive trend will continue thanks to upgrades, new technologies, and broadened offerings in its Autumn/Winter 2016 line.
SealSkinz is a British endurance accessories manufacturer known for waterproof and breathable socks, gloves, and hats, and introduced an expanded and updated outdoor Fall 2016 line at last week’s Outdoor Retailer Winter Market tradeshow in Salt Lake City. Notably, the company’s new offerings include a full complement of run-specific accessories.
Increased aesthetic appeal, new colors, and wearable technology options have driven the brand forward in recent seasons. “Last summer we hired Amy Huggins, an apparel industry veteran, as our new head of products. Under her guidance, the brand has moved forward in a major way,” said Pritchett. “Our Autumn/Winter line delivers the SealSkinz brand promise of waterproof, windproof, and breathable protection from the elements, but it also looks, feels and performs better.”
Huggins, with 15 years’ experience in apparel design at Nike, Reebok, Lacoste and Converse, implemented new technologies in yarns and construction and increased SealSkinz’ aesthetic appeal with new detailing, textures and colors. She also revamped product packaging to reduce waste, highlight features, and improve shelf appeal. The entire line of SealSkinz socks continues to evolve with new styles and colors in expanded product offerings.
StretchDry – SealSkinz’ proprietary technology that combines a hydrophilic membrane with body-hugging elasticity – remains central to the product. A new polypropylene yarn called Polycolon on the exterior layer has made the socks softer and more comfortable while also improving performance. The new yarn is “as durable as nylon, but feels softer and dries 25 percent faster.”
Said Pritchett, “The Walking Mid Length sock exemplifies the upgrades we’ve made. With updated materials, we’ve enhanced comfort, and with new colorways, we’ve increased the appeal to dealers.” The Walking Mid Length Sock, $50, is SealSkinz’ lightest waterproof sock, ideal for situations that demand minimal insulation and maximum breathability, constructed with StretchDry technology, a Y-gore heel, and hand-linked toe closures for a secure and comfortable fit.
In gloves, SealSkinz’ product team improved cuff construction and fit to make the closures more secure, softer, and more comfortable against the skin. The Extreme Cold Weather Heated Glove, $200, is SealSkinz’ first entry into the category of heated apparel. Designed to provide warmth in extreme conditions, the glove is waterproof, breathable and windproof, with Primaloft insulation and anti-snag outer fabric. Inside, a heating element can be set to three different levels with up to five hours of continuous run time. A proprietary rechargeable battery unit sits discreetly inside a pocket on each cuff.
The Halo Running Glove, $58, a sibling to the ISPO award-winning Halo Overshoe, similarly incorporates a powerful LED light to increase the wearer’s visibility and safety on roads and trails. The glove has close-fitting, single-layer construction for full range of motion and details such as silicone grip palm and touchscreen-friendly fingertips.
The Halo Running Glove is part of the new run collection from SealSkinz, which includes purpose-designed accessories that provide just enough protection to keep users dry and warm, yet prevent overheating. Three new socks and the Halo gloves combine with five carryover items for a complement of accessories that handle the unique demands of running.
SealSkinz’ Fall/Winter 2016 line opened for preorders in December and will ship to dealers in September 2016. Its motto is, “get out and stay out, whatever the weather.” Products are sold in 40 countries and its patented technologies enjoy high demand in outdoor, cycling, hunting & fishing, marine, and military markets.
SealSkinz USA, headquartered in Broomfield, CO, was established as a wholly owned subsidiary in 2013. Prior to this, SealSkinz products were available in the U.S. under a private licensing agreement. Now with full control of its sales and marketing efforts, SealSkinz USA is rapidly expanding its U.S. retailer network of premium outdoor specialty stores and independent bicycle dealers and is a vendor partner of Quality Bicycle Products.
— Photos courtesy SealSkinz