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Payless ShoeSource Democratizes Health and Wellness With Launch of Champion Fitness Toning Footwear for Women
Date:3/8/2010

TOPEKA, Kan., March 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Payless ShoeSource, the retailer well-known for democratizing the latest fashion and design in footwear and accessories for all to enjoy by delivering accessibility to the latest shoe ideas, today announced the launch of Champion Fitness, a line of toning shoes -- the latest innovation in athletic footwear where the shoes feature unique technology that creates a slight instability while walking and encourages toning of the leg and buttock muscles.

(Logo:  http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20060627/CGTU040LOGO-b)

The Champion Fitness line of women's shoes are available now, ranging in price from $25 to $40, at hundreds of Payless stores and Payless.com, and by summer will be available in nearly all Payless stores in the U.S.  The line currently includes three styles in a range of color options including two shoes -- the Champion Stride and Pace -- and a sandal, the Champion Spring.  

"Our Champion Fitness shoes feature the latest technology at an affordable price to democratize this new idea in the athletic shoe arena, giving greater access so more people can enjoy the benefits of these innovative shoes," said LuAnn Via, CEO of Payless.  "Champion Fitness shoes help make fitness walks and other walking activities more beneficial to the health and wellness of the overall body.  We are thrilled to celebrate this new idea in footwear and to deliver leading technology at a great price to our shoppers."

Walking in toning shoes like Champion Fitness shoes can be likened to walking in soft sand, which presents an unstable footing that causes the walker to engage muscles -- primarily leg and buttocks muscles -- that are not typically heavily used when walking on a flat firm surface.  

The bottom and midsole technologies are a key component of instability shoes and each of the three initial Champion Fitness styles work in a unique way to create the instability.

The Champion Stride features the Cradle Toning bottom, a patent-pending technology with two curved pods that create slight instability -- both laterally and back-to-front --  while walking to encourage muscle toning benefits. This shoe also includes special Air Traverse(R) cushioning that transfers air between the heel and forefoot on impact for added comfort and support while walking.

The Champion Pace shoe has a specially designed outsole that creates instability back-to-front and is made of rubber to maximize durability and traction.  The shoe also has a Dual Density EVA midsole with exceptional cushioning and shock absorption benefits and features a tight-hold midfoot overlay design for maximum stability and to enhance a good fit.  

The Champion Spring sandal features a Dual Density EVA contoured footbed, which helps create the slight instability and provides comfort benefits by cradling the natural contours of the foot.  

Payless said it expects to expand the Champion  Fitness line with future styles for women and men by the end of the year.   For more information see also www.payless.com/ChampionFitness/

The Champion brand is licensed to Payless from HBI Branded Apparel Enterprises LLC.

About Payless & Collective Brands, Inc.

Payless ShoeSource, Inc., a unit of Collective Brands, Inc., is the largest specialty family footwear retailer in the Western Hemisphere and is dedicated to democratizing fashion and design in footwear and accessories and inspiring fun, fashion possibilities for the family at a great value. As of the end of third quarter 2009, the company operated nearly 4,500 stores. In addition, customers can buy shoes over the Internet through Payless.com® at www.payless.com.

Collective Brands, Inc. (NYSE: PSS) is a leader in bringing compelling lifestyle, fashion and performance brands for footwear and related accessories to consumers worldwide. The company operates three strategic units covering a powerful brand portfolio, as well as multiple price points and selling channels including retail, wholesale, ecommerce and licensing. Collective Brands, Inc. includes Payless ShoeSource, focused on democratizing fashion and design in footwear and accessories through its nearly 4,500-store retail chain, with its brands Airwalk®, Dexter®, Champion®, Zoe & Zac(TM), the first-ever affordable green footwear brand, and designer collections Lela Rose for Payless, Unforgettable Moments by Lela Rose, alice + olivia for Payless, Christian Siriano for Payless and STLP x Airwalk, among others; Collective Brands Performance + Lifestyle Group, focused on lifestyle and performance branded footwear and high-quality children's footwear sold primarily through wholesaling, with its brands including Stride Rite®, Keds®, Sperry Top-Sider®, Robeez®, and Saucony®, among others; and Collective Licensing International, the brand development, management and global licensing unit, with such youth lifestyle brands as Airwalk®, Vision Street Wear®, Sims®, Lamar® and LTD®. Information about, and links for shopping on, each of the Collective Brand's units can be found at www.collectivebrands.com.

Hanesbrands Inc.

Hanesbrands Inc. (NYSE: HBI) is a leading marketer of everyday apparel essentials under some of the world's strongest apparel brands, including Hanes, Champion, Playtex, Bali, JMS/Just My Size, barely there and Wonderbra. The company sells T-shirts, bras, panties, men's underwear, children's underwear, socks, hosiery, casualwear and activewear produced in the company's low-cost global supply chain. Hanesbrands has approximately 45,000 employees in more than 25 countries. More information about the company may be found on the Hanesbrands Internet Web site at www.hanesbrands.com.

About Champion

Since 1919 Champion athleticwear has offered a full line of innovative athletic apparel for men and women including sport bras, activewear, team uniforms, sweats and accessories. Champion athleticwear can be purchased at most sporting goods and department stores. The Champion brand is part of Hanesbrands Inc.  For additional information about the Champion brand, visit www.Championusa.com.

SOURCE Payless ShoeSource, Inc.

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SOURCE Payless ShoeSource, Inc.
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