Starting Outside The Box
A few major players dominate the performance sportswear industry. Without exception, they all develop and market their products based on category segmentation: running, climbing, basketball – the list goes on. Category-specific apparel and footwear aren’t a negative, but we felt in our experience working for these major brands that a massive space was being neglected: a multi-purpose shoe that would better suit the everyday active person. This idea goes against the mass player’s model of developing category-specific products, which maximizes profit. While specialization can be necessary for certain activities, it also impedes brands from creating footwear that everyday people really need.
On day one, we knew we had to start from scratch, and throw categorical constraints out the window if we were to bring LANE EIGHT to life authentically. We’re putting our efforts into what we believe is the next generation of activewear, by building a shoe designed and developed to look good while handling a variety of movement and activity. A sneaker that can carry the wearer through their day before, during, and after their workouts, balancing both form & function. Not only do our shoes perform but they pair seamlessly with both active-wear and everyday style.
Over the past few years, we’ve seen an explosion in digitally native, direct-to-consumer brands. While the performance footwear market has remained quiet on that front, with only a few small players. We’ve also seen casual footwear brands blow up (seemingly) overnight. We couldn’t understand why no one had introduced an aesthetically aware, direct-to-consumer performance footwear brand. Choosing to sell direct means that we can deliver a top-quality product at an affordable price point and can compete with performance veterans. We avoid the excess overhead that comes from attending trade shows or searching for buyers. Instead, we focus on the essentials: building a shoe that lives up to our expectations and skips the absurd markup.
As we began building the brand, we knew we wanted to communicate with our customers in a very authentic way. It had to feel friendly, down-to-earth, and in tune with how people exercise, train, stay active and move through their lives. The status quo of the sport and performance industry is incredibly aspirational – but it doesn’t feel relatable for the average person who might not identify as an ‘athlete’. LANE EIGHT speaks to the everyday active person and responds to their day-to-day lifestyle. We also want to promote a more holistic approach to active living. We reject the idea that what matters is being the first to cross the finish line. LANE EIGHT is not about how many times you hit the gym every week or how many points you score – our version of wellness encompasses self-care, eating well, exploring the world, and making time for friends and family. This is what drives LANE EIGHT and what inspired our muse: The Everyday Athlete.