The Fast Lane

Lane Eight’s sib­ling founders have set out to cre­ate a sneaker for to­day’s per­for­mance-meets-life­style de­mands.

Footwear News - - CONTENTS - By Nia Groce

Two broth­ers are bridg­ing fash­ion and per­for­mance with the Lane Eight brand.

James and Josh Shor­rock are no strangers to the shoe busi­ness. The broth­ers gained ex­po­sure to the in­dus­try years be­fore launch­ing Lane Eight, their Hong Kong­based per­for­mance sneaker brand, but their early in­tro­duc­tion to the trade left some­thing to be de­sired.

“Our fa­ther worked in footwear all of his life on the sourc­ing side, so that helped ig­nite my pas­sion,” said James. “But grow­ing up, we could only wear the brand our dad worked for — Adi­das.” Added Josh, “I was 16 the first time I went into a Nike store.”

The two British na­tion­als (who have lived glob­ally) later im­mersed them­selves in the field by tak­ing on ca­reer­boost­ing gigs. An in­tern­ship in Viet­nam led Josh to a three-year stint work­ing for Adi­das in the coun­try, while James cut his teeth as a footwear edi­tor at Hy­pe­beast. The duo even­tu­ally came to­gether to form Lane Eight, which de­buted in Au­gust.

“The idea was to com­bine el­e­ments from dif­fer­ent cat­e­gories into one shoe,” said James. Thus was born their first style, the Trainer

AD 1, which is equal parts life­style and per­for­mance. The sil­hou­ette fea­tures a breath­able knit up­per, spe­cially de­signed side­walls for sta­bil­ity and cushy sock­lin­ers for com­fort.

The dual-gen­der model is sold pri­mar­ily on Lane Eight’s e-com­merce site (re­tail­ing for $160) and is also stocked at se­lect re­tail­ers, in­clud­ing Le Board and Pre­view in New York.

“The de­sign has quickly made Lane Eight a fa­vorite, but what has shocked peo­ple is its func­tion­al­ity,” said Pre­view founder Ge­off Har­ris. “Most peo­ple who see a knit up­per think about the Adi­das Ul­tra­boost or Nike Re­act, but un­like those mod­els, you can move lat­er­ally in [the Trainer AD 1], al­low­ing you to use it for both HIIT-based train­ing and run­ning.”

Le Board cre­ative di­rec­tor Sofia Karvela said of work­ing with the brand, “Lane Eight makes you feel part of the team.”

Nev­er­the­less, the founders have faced their share of chal­lenges. “We were stretched a lit­tle thin at first as a busi­ness based in Hong Kong, sell­ing a ma­jor­ity in the U.S.,” said Josh. “It was just the two of us, and cus­tomer re­quests were com­ing in the mid­dle of the night.”

As they work to im­prove lo­gis­tics and seek ware­houses closer to key mar­kets, the team has its sights set on U.S. ex­pan­sion in 2019. Up­com­ing ini­tia­tives in­clude events and ad­di­tional bou­tique place­ments. “We be­lieve we can speak to a lot of dif­fer­ent au­di­ences — peo­ple from all walks of life,” said James.

Lane Eight’s Trainer AD 1 in Dusty Tan

From left: Josh and James Shor­rock

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