Columbia has presented its latest effort to gain ground in the field of technical footwear and apparel. Its new technology is called Omni-Heat, which it calls advanced temperature management.

Columbia’s innovation is split into three parts: Omni-Heat Thermal Reflective helps to regulate the body temperature by reflecting and retaining the warmth of the body while dissipating moisture and excess heat. Heat retention is promised to be increased by 20 percent on average. A metallic dot lining provides heat retention and a high level of breathability, while its metallic nature reduces static build-up.

Omni-Heat Thermal Insulated is made from 50 percent eco-friendly recycled content, and promises the highest heat retention per gram of insulation in the industry. Omni-Heat Thermal Electric is an electrically powered thermal technology – as of now for footwear only – that supplies the foot with additional warmth at the push of a button.

Omni-Heat, which was presented to Columbia’s sales force in San Francisco and to the trade press in New York, an effort by the brand to get back into the field of innovation. Mick McCormick, the company’s senior executive vice president for sales and marketing, frankly admitted that Columbia took a break of a decade or so from genuine product innovation, and promises to be better than ever in this sector to win back a position of market leader in research and development in the years to come.

To back up sales of its latest innovations, the company is planning to launch a global marketing roll-out called “10-10-10” for the autumn of 2010, considering that “Omni-Heat” will hit the shops on Oct. 10, 2010. McCormick said that the new range of products will enjoy a distribution policy that is more selective than is usually the case for Columbia’s merchandise.

“Omni-Heat” will be offered only to specialty sports and outdoor stores, but not to department stores and other more general channels. General apparel retail may also be an option, as the first reactions from this kind of retailers in the U.S. have been very encouraging.