When you think of the fashion staples of the ‘90s, there’s no doubt that various footwear styles may spring to mind – from jelly sandals to platform flip-flops and sky-high loafers, one silhouette that we can’t forget, is the chunky shoe.
The recent demand for so-called ‘ugly shoes’ and ‘dad sandals’ is another indication that old-school designs are coming back into fashion. One brand that’s especially synonymous with that decade is Rockport; once the shoe of choice for everyone from sensible dads walking in the great outdoors, to edgy teenagers with pudding-bowl haircuts.
While Rockport shoes have been out of the public eye in subsequent years, the recent renewal of interest in all things nineties has also led to revived interest in the brand (and richly deserved, too). So, what is it about Rockport footwear that’s recaptured people’s imaginations and how has the brand evolved over the years? Keep reading as we take a closer look.
New-born Nostalgia: The history of Rockport
The story of Rockport shoes stretches back all the way to 1930, when Samuel Katz founded the Hubbard Shoe Company. His son, Saul, took control of the firm in 1945, but spiralling costs meant that it went bust 25 years later.
Saul later managed to salvage a subsidiary of the company called Highland Import, which imported shoes from Brazil. One of these was a leather moccasin which derived its inspiration from a shoe designed in the Massachusetts town of Rockport and, as the name suggests, the rest was history!
In 1971, Saul and his son, Bruce, formed the Rockport Company and just two years later, the firm launched the ‘Country Walker’, hailed as the first-ever comfort shoe with its innovative combination of traditional design and the lightness of a running shoe. The brand also played a pioneering role in developing the walking shoe, designed to help promote walking as a healthy outdoor pursuit.
Admittedly, none of this really explains how Rockport boots in the ‘90s suddenly became so popular among British schoolkids, but it does go to show that these are shoes with a serious pedigree behind them!
Are Rockport shoes comfortable?
After the brand invented the ‘Country Walker’ back in 1973, Rockport has continued to dedicate itself to combining exceptional comfort with the distinctive style of dress shoes.
Today, Rockport incorporates the latest advances in footwear design into its own creations, taking the comfort for which it has always been renowned to an entirely different level. As you’d expect, the original Rockport boots and shoes have evolved a great deal over the near half-century the brand has been in existence.
Their shoes feature a wide range of innovative and clever features to make them as comfortable as possible. These include climate control to help keep them cool on your feet, robust waterproofing, soft materials for a snug fit and memory foam cushioning – we bet you’ll never want to take them off!
They’re also designed to require minimal breaking in but as with any footwear brand, you’ll need to ensure you choose a size and fit which is genuinely suited to your feet.
Are these old-school beauties good for your feet?
The level of technical innovation that goes into the development of Rockport shoes, the high quality of the materials used and the exceptional attention to detail involved, all mean that these shoes can be very good for your feet.
They provide outstanding stability, support and flexibility as well as consistent comfort, making them a must-have for any shoe rack. With reliable heel support, firm arch support and generous cushioning, they can also be particularly good for people suffering with painful foot complaints such as plantar fasciitis.
Were you a fan of Rockport shoes in your schooldays? Join the discussion on Facebook and tell us your stories! Browse our range of cheap Rockport shoes online or pay us a visit in store to find a pair of smart and sophisticated Rockports to suit your personal style to a tee.