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Rockport Company Profile presented by Apparel Search

Rockport was founded in New England in 1971, forever changing the shoemaking business by incorporating the comfort of sport technology into stylish men’s and women’s footwear.

It all started in 1971 with a van and a simple plan.  A father and son took footwear into their own hands, creating the first ever casual shoe infused with sports technology, utilizing a Vibram outsole.  Since their early days, Rockport has always believed that there should not be a separation between stylish shoes and comfortable shoes. This philosophy is manifested in the attention to detail given to both the design and level of comfort each shoe delivers. From the revolutionary launch of the lightweight dress shoe, DresSports, in 1983, to joining forces in 2006 with the adidas Group, and beyond, Rockport has continued to push the boundaries of classic footwear for men and women.

Today, the Rockport Company maintains its position as an industry innovator, using only the best materials in their shoes.  Designed to accommodate an active, professional lifestyle, Rockport strives to create footwear styles that allow a smooth transition from a day at the office to a night on the town. From comfortable dress shoes to heels, boots, boat shoes and everything in between, Rockport keeps consumers around the world looking and feeling great all day long.

Rockport is credited with inventing the walking shoe and popularizing walking as a form of exercise and a healthy alternative to running.

In 1986, Rockport was preparing to go public when the family decided instead to sell the company to British athletic footwear giant Reebok.  Bruce Katz remained as president for one year before turning over the management to a new Reebok CEO. Saul Katz stayed on as part of the management team until retiring in his 70s.   Later Reebok was sold to German athletic shoe pioneer Adidas.

On January 23, 2015 Adidas announced, that an agreement has been concluded to sell Rockport to Boston-based athletic shoe maker New Balance and Berkshire Partners for $280 million.  The Rockport brand will be assigned to the company's Drydock Footwear division, overseen by a former top Rockport executive.  New Balance's Drydock division also includes the non-athletic brands Aravon, Dunham, and Cobb Hill.

If you know additional information about the history of Rockport, please let us know.  It would be our pleasure to update this page further.

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