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While we certainly enjoy checking out the trends on the runways, those with a shoe fetish will be happy to know that the athleisure look is here to stay.

Says Gordon Gassert, Product Developer at Olympic International and Jordan & Co: “The rise of athleisure has been part of an entire movement – from spinning studios to a distinct focus on eating well, fast food companies introducing healthier menus, to an increase in mountain bikers around the country. Although a healthier lifestyle has many advantages, there is also some vanity involved. Most people want to look their best when working out, whether it’s at the gym or during a hike on Table Mountain.”

Athleisure is undoubtedly popular, and has become a buzzword tossed around with increasing frequency. Gassert continues: “The brands that have performed the best in this category are the ones that sell lifestyles. It makes sense, given the movement is not about trends. Athleisure is about permanence and endurance – your body is one of the few constants in your life and athleisure presents a version of ourselves we aspire to be – our best selves.”According to Gassert, Olympic International has it covered this season, whether you’re an actual athlete or someone who just loves athleisurely vibes. “Our range offers everything you need, from hiking shoes to soccer boots, cross-trainers to court shoes.  With 58 styles to choose from, save the hot cocoa and fireside nap for after your next adventure! Built to tackle the worst that winter can throw at you. Favourites in the range include the Trail Hi, Transition, Jessie, Off Side, Blast, Flash, Racing Road and MTB Tread.”

The Trail Hi hiking boot leads the way. Gassert explains: “Camo trim is very evident on the international hiking boots and so is the increase in the use of light-weight breathable meshes in various colours and patterns. The increased use of mesh indicates an attempt to make the shoes more affordable to the customer. Both full rubber soles and phylon/rubber combination soles are still very prominent and there is an increase in lower, sleeker hiking sole designs and combined with fashionable uppers and colours, these shoes are being used as both fashion and outdoor products. The emphasis on this type of footwear being multi-functional is very evident.”

Gassert adds that Olympic’s cross-trainers are on trend with its bright colours and nylon meshes with pre-printed colourful designs. “Heat embossed panels are the order of the day, as are the light-weight phylon/rubber outsoles in bright colours and speckle print. Trail running shoes are the new hockey shoes for astro-turf use, so multi-functional footwear scores high marks.”

Olympic’s athleisure range is also colourful with breathable meshes in various patterns. “Our range has light-weight phylon soles in bright colours, with the choice of both lace-up and slip-on uppers. The range is comfortable and can be worn to gym, shopping and casual functions. It always looks stylish and fashionable. And they’re affordable,” says Gassert.

He concludes: “Athleisure is definitely here to stay. South Africans love the great outdoors and are generally quite active. This trend suits us like a glove.”

The range is available at leading retailers countrywide.

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