InsideOutdoor Magazine

Inside Outdoor | SUMMER 2018 74 As the popular- ity of mesh, elastic, knitted athletic footwear grows, W.L. Gore & As- sociates releases its Gore-Tex 3D fit footwear technol- ogy, a new waterproof, breathable technology that contours to the shape of the foot like a sock, said the company. Gore-Tex 3D fit footwear also simplifies the assembly process for manufac- turers because Gore assembles the three-dimensional waterproof elastic footwear insert. This significantly simplifies the integration into foot- wear, says Gore, especially in shoes that feature elastic, knitted uppers. Shoes featuring the new technol- ogy currently are being manufactured and marketed by Gore brand partners adidas Terrex, Salomon with its custom made ME:sh shoe and Under Armour with its second generation HOVR Phan- tom shoe. Select brands will debut the technology in their shoes beginning in early 2019 both in-store and online. California materials innova- tion company Bolt Threads has developed a leather-like material without the treating and tanning processes or the use of livestock altogether. Bolt Threads, known more for is spider silk replica Mi- crosilk, teamed with biomaterials company Ecovative to optimize its mycelium fabrication technol- ogy into Mylo, a commercially viable leather alternative. For the unfamiliar, mycelium is a mass of threadlike filaments that form on most fungi. In this case specifically, the underground root structure of mushrooms is used. By controlling the myce- lium’s growing environment and process, Bolt Thread is able to manipulate durability, strength and suppleness in order to make Mylo look and feel like hand-craft- ed animal leather. Connected Clothing to Hit $1B by 2020 According to analysts at Juniper Research the wearables market has begun to shift away from wrist-based devices such as smartwatches and fitness trackers, with other device cat- egories forecast to grow much faster. Among those, connected clothing is expected to grow at the fastest pace during the next two years, at a com- pound annual rate of 102 percent. The wearable market is currently dominated by smartwatches and activ- ity trackers, with 137 million devices expected to be shipped in 2018. How- ever, growth will slow, shipping around 190 million by 2020 as the lifecycle of devices lengthens as fewer new features and a software focus delay repeat purchases, says Juniper. The research firm, meanwhile, expects connected clothing to accelerate in the coming years, thanks to developments in conductive fabric, alongside smart sportswear from companies such as Sensoria, Lumo and Under Armour. This sector will ship more than 7 mil- lion by 2020, before reaching nearly 30 million in 2022. In addition, the research firm ar- gued that as device types broaden and purchase cycles lengthen, com- panies will need to focus on software and data services to maintain their revenues. The largest market for these subscription services will be healthcare, with services payable to vendors such as AliveCor and Quell, exceeding $2.5 billion by 2022. Other segments will struggle to monetize data services, with con- sumer fitness and smartwatch service revenues generating a combined $125 million in 2022. “A key chal- lenge for wearables is to provide a concrete benefit or unique data,” said research author James Moar. “All our top growth segments either provide in-depth data from specialized form factors or benefits that do not involve data at all.” An Alternative to Leather Gore Launches 3D Fit for Footwear Ingredients