We only started writing about END Footwear a year ago. They didn't even have retail product at that stage. Their Environmentally Neutral Design(ed) running shoes and boots eventually debuted in August 2008. Now they've just announced the company has been purchased by another Oregon based footwear company LaCrosse (who already own the Danner brand). "There is [...] great potential to infuse the innovative work that END has done in the areas of development and design around sustainability and lightweight-breathable products into the LaCrosse and Danner brands." said Joseph P. Schneider, president and CEO of LaCrosse Footwear, Inc. in a media release.
Andrew Estey, co-founder of END believes, "that leveraging the back end operations and resources of LaCrosse will assist us in having a swifter and more significant impact on the footwear industry."
And 'swift' does seem to be the pace END is moving at. Earlier this year they expanded sales from just the US, to other locales like Japan and Canada. Plus in last month's issue of Runner's World they scored recognition as 2009's 'Best Trail Shoe Debut' for their model, Stumptown 12 oz, (which we've also reviewed.)
END CEO, Andrew Estey commented on the Runner's World acknowledgement, "We're psyched to receive such high praise from our first season of product! Our original goal was simple and continues today: design high-performance running shoes using less toxic materials, more recycled parts, and a return to craftsmanship."
Here's hoping they'll retain the opportunity to pursue those goals, with the new ownership.
(PS. Regarding our headline, END have Women's road shoe called the PDQ, for Pretty Darn Quick, that we included in our new All Occasion Green Gift Guide for Outdoor Athletes)
Photo: END Footwear (Men's WOW - walk on water)
::END Footwear, via Sports One Source
More END Footwear
• END Outdoor: Greener Footwear for the Long Run
• END Footwear Hits the Trail Running
• END Footwear Is Finally Out Of The Box
• END Footwear Now Likes it Hard and Wet