If you ski or snowboard you know how many times a lifty has saved your ass whether it’s from freezing to a small sheet of ice or falling off a rickety chair lift. These unsung heroes are responsible for getting you and your planks to the top of hill so you can safely enjoy sliding your day away.
It makes perfect sense that the almighty lifty would inspire a footwear range to keep your feet warm on and off the slopes. Paying homage to the best of mountain town living, not only does the Lifty Collection provide an effortless transition from the hill to the bar; it’s also a natural progression for Teva as we enter the winter sports market and become an authentic 365-day brand.
We caught up with Lucas Martinez from our creative team to dish out the scoop on what exactly went in to the development of this revolutionary collection and erm, if there was a specific toothless lifty who inspired the collection.
So Lucas, what’s the Lifty Collection all about?
The Lifty Collection is all about celebrating mountain town heroes. The people that choose to follow their hearts and their passions into the mountains, rather than compromising and ending up with a job they don’t love. It takes some serious guts to do that. It doesn’t matter if they’re working the lifts, ski patrolling or teaching snowboarding lessons; they’re all there because they love the mountain lifestyle. The big moment for us was when we realized that this “Lifty” mentality – that of chasing your passion wherever it takes you – is the same mentality that founded Teva, just in a different location or different time of the year. I mean, what’s really the difference between a raft guide and a lifty besides the location and the weather? I know some people might have their biases one way or the other, but at the core, they’re really the same people. So this collection is about saluting them.
The story behind The Lifty Collection is pretty entertaining. Please tell us there was a specific lift operator that inspired the collection!
I don’t know if it was a specific operator, but more just our collective experience with Lifties in general that inspired it. Teva HQ is full of skiers and snowboarders, and we’ve all had run-ins with Lifties over the years that have played into our mountain-town lives. Those experiences definitely added color to the collection.
Describe in your own words the technology behind the boots and how it applies to snow.
Well the first thing we asked ourselves when we dove into this project was “why does the world need another winter boot?” The answer we came up with initially was, “it doesn’t.” That was really the general feeling in the office, largely because there were a lot of things that we had just come to accept about winter boots. We had all learned to forgive their weight and their clunkiness because they kept us warm. But then we started thinking, if we could have a boot that is lightweight, packable, AND warm and grippy, we would love it. So we built that boot.
What kind of field testing went into The Lifty Collection?
We have pretty extensive field-testing program for all of our shoes to make sure they fit right and live up to our expectations for them, so the Lifty boots all went through that. But on top of that, some of our staff from colder areas took pairs with them when they went home for the holidays last year. We had some pairs that went snowmobiling in Montana, some that cruised around the mountains in Tahoe, and some that went back to the cities in New York and Boston. So far everyone seems to love them.
Have you ever fallen off a chairlift or have any funny stories about you or the design team on the snow?
Never fallen off, but last season I went up to Mammoth with one of our designers, Lavion. It was our first trip of the season, and it was an awesome weekend. There had just been a big storm, and our first morning there we had bluebird skies, so we were stoked. First run of the day I get off the lift, go around the corner and down this little ungroomed hill that was a little deeper and heavier than I thought, but it wasn’t a big deal. I got back out onto the trail and turned to ask Lavion where he wanted to go, and I just see his legs in the air back in the ungroomed area. He maybe made it about 12 feet off the lift before he ate shit. Now he’s actually a pretty good skier, but apparently that little section caught him a little more off guard than it caught me. Lost his poles, goggles, everything. Complete yard sale. I’ve never seen anything like it that close to a lift. I see him get up and start digging around in the snow everywhere around himself. This went on for like, 45 minutes. Turns out, he lost one of his brand new poles in the snow, and it was just completely absorbed by the mountain. No way anyone was finding that thing till spring. So we had to go down to the shop and buy him some new poles…we ended up burning like half the day because of those damn things. That’s why I snowboard. He bought me some beers later to make up for it though, so we were all good.
Headlining the Lifty Collection is the Chair 5 for men and the Jordanelle for women. Both feature a one piece, injection molded EVA outer construction with White Spider rubber outsole and a lightweight, rip-stop waterproof lace upper. Complete with a removable 250-gram Thinsulate™ LiteLoft™ liner (that can also be worn indoors as a bootie), the Chair 5 and Jordanelle don’t sacrifice warmth yet weigh in at about half the weight of other boots. The Chair 5 and Jordanelle also compress down to the size of any normal shoe, making them a cinch to pack.
In addition to these two flagship models, there are eight more designs in the collection: four for men and four for women. From the men’s Bormio and Loge Peak to the women’s Lenawee and Little Cloud, every boot features 3M Thinsulate™ LiteLoft™ insulation, making the collection ideal for any on-snow and aprés-ski activity.