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new balance 577 A brief history of trail hiking shoes company wanting a lighter boot for hiking. A securities analyst with Sherson Lehman Hutton, Josie Esquivel, supports this in a statement she made that about Nike being the first to enter the new market; "They did their market research and found outdoor sports were becoming a very hot trend." In fact, in the 1980s the concept of trail hiking was gaining such widespread popularity with nature enthusiasts that all of the shoe companies were beginning to take notice. The 1980s also saw the incorporation of the cobra pad, by Dr. Harry Hlavac, into the Equator running shoe manufactured by Nike. In 1981 Joe Ellis, DPM, worked with Asics to develop the first midsole technology that incorporated medial posting in the midsole section of running shoes. Perhaps the most significant thing to runners in 1981, however, was the release of the 990 by New Balance. The 990 was the first running shoe to break the $100 bar, which made good quality shoes more affordable for a wider range of a growing number of people during the 1980's that were looking to get out onto the trails. This growth was clearly shown in 1989 when the National Sporting Goods Association reported that sales of hiking boots and shoes are at $252 million for the year sales had tripled since 1985. With the growth in sales of hiking boots, the Timberland company introduces their first lightweight hiking boot in 1989. The boot features their Timberland Trail Grip sole that offers hikers traction without damaging the trail. The 1991 buying guide for Backpacker Magazine listed 24 manufacturers of lightweight hiking boots and shoes with over 250 styles available. The lightweight category dominated the hiking boot market and accounted for 65% of all sales. Hiking shoes accounted for another 15% that is a whopping 80% of the market in 1991 that was ruled by the lightweight hiking boot and shoe. The goal for all of the shoe manufacturers was soon to take what had proven to be working in the running shoe and move it out into the back country where a new market was emerging. Bean were looking to the 90's as the decade for environmentally conscious family activities and the shoe industry was ready to equip those environmentally minded hikers. When giants such as KMart, Nike and Reebok stepped into the game the companies that had been there since the beginning were