Compass: Charting the Evolution of Outdoor Gear

END History

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END (Environmentally Neutral Design) is launched in Portland Oregon by Andrew Estey and Ben Finkela

Andrew Estey, was a former global design director for sport culture at Nike Inc.


win $250,000 USD in seed money from an ‘Angel’ investment competition

Raise over $1 million USD to continue the new brand


END releases it range through four online stores, REI, Zappos, Rock Creek and Backcountry

END’s Fall line uses 35% to 59% fewer complex parts/material than Outside Magazine


delay retail launch of brand due to quality-control problem in the production assembly line

Problem is said to relate to companies goal to make the shoes glue-free

Also END planned on 30% recycled foam midsole  but had to settle on 10% recycled content due to durability issues

However END’s outsoles are up to 25% recycled content, compared to Nike's 3%.

Also lightweight minimalist design has halved number or workers needed to construct the shoe down to about 75 people


profiled in Runner’s World November 2008 “Green Issue” as an industry leader



END begins selling through specialty retail stores, selling to 100 stores in the United States, Canada and Japan


END Stumptown 12 oz Shoe rated Best Trail Shoe Debut by Runner’s World magazine

Ben Finkela leaves END as a day-to-day partner (remains a shareholder) and moves on as Publisher of Wend magazine


LaCrosse Footwear (112 year old, $128 Million revenue boot manufacturer, of Danner, etc) announces intent to buy END

sale said to have been solicited by END, who were having financial difficulties, and said to worth about $500,000 USD


wins won “Best Road Running Shoe Debut” from Runner’s World magazine,

END Footwear sold to LaCrosse


Citing problems with the US economy, LaCrosse said it will discontinue recently-acquired END Footwear as a standalone brand.

LaCrosse says it will incorporate END’s lightweight designs into its LaCrosse and Danner branded product for fall 2010.



END co-founder, Andrew Estey, launches Lume, footwear, socks, etc conceived as a lifestyle brand targeting active baby boomers

Footwear seems to have taken backseat as Lume becomes a social network medium for outdoor enthusiasts.