Development of the group
The expanded group continued to innovate and develop products. Through the eighties and nineties, Pittards launched a range of performance leathers created especially for sports. Partnership with FootJoy led to the launch of Sta-Sof, the world’s best-selling golf glove, as well as digital grip-enhanced leathers for Franklin baseball batters’ gloves.
Extending the WR100 water resistant technology into footwear saw the development of a light but strong soccer leather that was used in the iconic Puma King boot as well as high performance walking boots for Himalayan expeditions plus ocean-going shoes and boots that were tested in the BT Global Challenge yacht race.
Pittards’ experience in the golf sector meant that a move into footwear for the game was a natural part of the evolution of water resistant performance. We partnered with FootJoy in its production of the legendary DryJoy shoe that keeps golfers feet dry and more comfortable over the duration of 18 holes.
Working with Olympic medallist Ian Stark, a line of equestrian leathers for use in the saddlery market was developed and in 1999 he won the Badminton Horse Trials using Pittards leathers in his saddle, helmet and gloves.
Such major advances were underpinned by a multi-million investment in R&D in the mid-nineties in addition to the pioneering development of the revolutionary ‘breathing foot’ designed to simulate the in-wear conditions inside a shoe or boot.