The Timberland Company will introduce a new line of footwear for trail running enthusiasts under the GoLite® brand. In connection with this, Timberland has acquired certain assets of GoLite LLC, including trademarks, for an undisclosed amount. GoLite footwear will be managed out of Timberland’s Stratham, New Hampshire headquarters and GoLite apparel, equipment, and accessories will continue to be led by GoLite founders Demetri and Kim Coupounas, operating as an independent company out of their headquarters in Boulder, Colorado.

The GoLite footwear line will cater specifically to sky runners and their need for ultra-light, technically advanced footwear. Gaining in popularity among mountain athletes worldwide, skyrunning is a cross-pollination of ultra-running, trail running and adventure racing at high altitudes.

Designed and developed by a specialized team within the Timberland Invention Factory, the new GoLite footwear line combines three key ingredients: the Invention Factory’s focus on innovation and problem-solving, GoLite’s lightweight design ethic and commitment to the trail running category, and The Timberland Company’s footwear development capabilities.

The GoLite footwear line will be unveiled at this summer’s Outdoor Retailer show. The market launch is slated for spring 2007, with distribution targeted at specialty outdoor and running shops.

The launch of GoLite footwear will enable the GoLite brand to serve outdoor enthusiasts from head to toe.

“GoLite and Timberland are authentic outdoor brands grounded in functional and purposeful innovation,” said Jeffrey B. Swartz, Timberland’s President and CEO. “GoLite’s core essence is ultra-lightweight apparel and gear that delivers the highest level of performance. They’ve raised the bar in the outdoor market, and we look forward to building upon this ideal in the performance trail running footwear category.”

GoLite co-founder and CEO Kim Coupounas said, “Our companies share many values, including our dedication to excellence, innovation, and being good corporate citizens. We are honored to be working with a company that is a global leader in premium quality footwear and corporate social and environmental responsibility.”

The GoLite® footwear business will be spearheaded by industry veteran Bill Dodge, who recently joined Timberland as Senior Director, GoLite Footwear. Dodge has deep experience in leadership positions for product, brand, and new business launches with Salomon and New Balance over the last 16 years. Reporting to Gary Smith, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Timberland’s portfolio of outdoor brands, Dodge will be responsible for all aspects of the launch and sustained growth and evolution of the GoLite® footwear franchise.

With this launch, the portfolio of outdoor brands being managed by Timberland now includes Timberland® Outdoor Performance, GoLite® footwear, Miôn and SmartWool®.

Editor’s Note: For a more in-depth look at this deal, see next week’s issue of The B.O.S.S. Report. For a free trial email: BOSS Circulation with “free trial” in the subject line