Portland is known for pumping out running shoes. But snowmobile-ing shoes? Not so much.
Portland Product Werks may change that with its launch of the Polaris Brand shoe line last month.
After inking a licensing agreement with Polaris Industries Inc., the Minnesota-based snowmobile and off-road vehicle manufacturer, in May, Portland Product Werks has now released two high-performance Polaris boots for Fall 2018. The boots are designed for wholesale sales later this year, and Polaris is already selling them direct-to-consumer through its website.
Entering the power sports footwear market, one that’s underserved by most outdoor shoe companies, represents a significant opportunity for the growing Portland footwear and apparel licensing company, according to Portland Product Werks CEO Sean Beers. Part of that is thanks to the powerful Polaris brand, which has been likened to the Harley Davidson of off-road vehicles. Polaris had $5.4 million in 2017 sales.
“We know the power sports industry is large, dynamic and has an avid consumer base that is underserved,” Beers said. “We have had really positive reception early on and look forward to the growth this will create.”
Beers said the boots Portland Product Werks designed are more performance-oriented than Polaris’ previous offerings, with temperature-gauging and waterproofing technology, and outsoles designed specifically to have traction in snow and sand.
Portland Product Werks put together a sales plan and digital marketing strategy for the Polaris brand, and has more product offerings in the pipeline. Portland Product Werks and Polaris are working on a collection of power sport-inspired sneakers for Spring 2019.
Beers founded Portland Product Werks after buying and reviving heritage outdoor boot brand Korkers in 2010. Polaris was Portland Product Werks’ second licensing agreement, after it signed a deal with Woolrich in 2013. Since then, Portland Product Werks has also acquired Portland startup women’s workwear brand Moxie and Moss.