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Men’s Resort Brand Orlebar Brown Launches Two New Shoes You Can Swim In

Orlebar Brown has expanded its footwear offering this season with the launch of two new styles that can be worn while swimming.

According to the British menswear brand, the two new models, dubbed the Hydro .B1 trainer and the Hydro .B2 deck shoe, are “the most technical shoes” it has ever made.

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Trevor Hardy, chief marketing officer at Orlebar Brown, told FN in an interview that this launch was many years in the making. “Just over two years ago we started development on two new shoes – a swimmable, water-ready trainer and a water-ready deck shoe,” Hardy noted. “Our research explored both design, fabrication and technology with a particular focus on sustainability and making them in Europe.”

The new Hydro .B1 trainer features an upper made in one piece of a breathable polyester that’s designed to fit snug like a sock. The Hydro .B2 deck shoe is also made with a breathable polyester upper that’s secured to the sole via side stitching.

Orlebar Brown, shoes, swim shoes, Hydro
Details of Orlebar Brown’s new Hydro .B1 trainers. Courtesy of Orlebar Brown

But the star of the show of these two new models are the soles, which use technology originally designed for medical and hospital environments. Made from a lightweight and flexible EVA rubber, the soles feature perforations that allow water to drain out and prevent debris such as sand or small pebbles from getting in.

As for the insole, these are made from a quick-drying polyurethane that can be easily removed to dry out the shoe and have been engineered for rapid draining in front and back. Between the sole and the insole is a Strobel sock stitched into the upper. This sock features five layers of material used for marine garments that are interwoven, creating a mesh trap to prevent debris from getting into the shoe and allow water to drain in and out.

Orlebar Brown, shoes, swim shoes, Hydro
Orlebar Brown’s new Hydro .B1 trainers. Courtesy of Orlebar Brown

This isn’t Orlebar Brown first shoe designed for swimming. According to Hardy, the company launched its first shoe for this purpose seven years ago, shortly after launching flip-flops and an espadrille model. “We’ve always been on the lookout for footwear that can be both functional for all vacation activities and elegant at the same time,” he said

But ultimately, Hardy noted that these new styles are all about versatility. “Our first product – the Bulldog tailored swim short – is one that you can wear from beach to bar, elegant and versatile,” the CMO added. “When thinking about these new shoes, we wanted to bring the same versatility. Something that looks and performs as good on the beach, in the ocean, at the pool, as it does in the restaurant at lunch or a special night out. Something that adapts to the full spectrum of vacation moments.”

Orlebar Brown, shoes, swim shoes, Hydro
Orlebar Brown’s new Hydro .B2 deck shoes. Courtesy of Orlebar Brown

To celebrate the new launch, Hardy noted that the brand will be unveiling special content to promote the shoes, shot with friend of the brand Jeremy Jauncey in Dubai at the ultra-luxury resort Atlantis The Royal.

First launched in 2007 with its inaugural Bulldog swim trunk, Orlebar Brown is now a global brand with more than 40 direct stores and can be found in over 250 locations around the world. In September 2018, the company was acquired by Chanel from shareholders including UK investment firm Piper, and the company’s founder Adam Brown. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

The new Orlebar Brown Hydro .B1 and Hydro .B2 shoe models are now available in stores globally and online.

Orlebar Brown, shoes, swim shoes, Hydro
Orlebar Brown’s new Hydro .B2 deck shoes. Courtesy of Orlebar Brown

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