Gear Review

Forsake Waterproof Outdoor Sneakers Review

It’s a huge market, but Sam Barstow and Jake Anderson hope to step in to the action sports footwear world with their waterproof-breathable shoe company, Forsake. Targeted at skiers and snowboarders, the hybrid hiking boot-skate shoes are reminiscent of Nike Dunks crossed with something you might find on the rack at EMS or REI. In the end, it’s a pretty stylish offering that hits a niche footwear trend in the snowsports industry.

Launching on Kickstarter.com, the two friends are looking to fulfill 3,000 orders at $75 a pop by May 14, 2012. So far, they’ve raised over $55,000 with a total goal of $225,000. If they don’t make that goal in time, all the money will go back to the individual investors. But if that happens, the two friends who met at Union College in New York still plan to push forward, and will likely look for an “angel investor,” Barstow said.

“We’re pushing for retail stores for spring 2013,” Barstow said.

To produce their samples, Forsake is using the same factory in China where all of Timberland’s boots are made. It’s expensive, as the factory requires minimum orders for materials. But Barstow and Anderson want to start a company from the ground up.

“We’re big skiers and action sports enthusiasts,” Barstow said. “We want to keep control of our brand.”

With a waterproof breathable membrane that’s fully sealed to ankle-height, the two came up with the idea while ski-bumming in Alta, Utah, and Big Sky, Montana. They noticed that young skiers and snowboarders don’t wear winter boots to the mountain, but instead wear skate shoes, even if they get soaked. Forsake offers shoes that are styled to appeal to this demographic while improving upon the design.

What’s with the name?

“Jake and I see ourselves as the first customers,” Barstow said. “So it’s for Sam and Jake.” Forsake.

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