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Steps Forward (and Backward) at Lexington-Based Stride Rite

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Jellies, Reebok Pumps, sneaker heels—the shoes of our past bring back fond memories (well, maybe not those sneaker heels), and Stride Rite has reinvented one of the biggest 80s performers for the contemporary market. The Lexington-based children's footwear company is bringing back Zips, because what five-year old really wants to learn shoelace tying? WWD chats with senior design director Marc Loverin about the decision to reach into the company archives and what differentiates trends within the kids' market and the adult one—the main distinction of which is:

Being a children-only brand is actually liberating in the sense that we can take a trend and own it in a way adult brands can't. They are always worried about becoming too "kid."

Well, in the case of next spring's Cybotz collection for boys, we think older folks might get on board. Basically, Stride Rite developed "Bionic Energy," patent-pending technology based on robots, with an outsole that enhances four phases of the gait cycle, "propelling kids as they move." The closest we ever got to robo-tech in our childhood was a combination of Transformers, Talkboy Pen, and C-3PO. Kids these days...
· 5 Questions for Stride Rite's Marc Loverin [WWD]
· 13 Stores to Buy Clothes, Books, and Kids' Toys [Racked Boston]
· Stride Rite [Official Site]