Super Hero Soles
Brands Predict their Best Sellers in the Women’s Comfort Category for Fall 2019
Hero Product: Perry Boot
Features: The Perry is fully waterproof and features a leather stacked heel with a graduated effect. The boot also has a removable leather-covered footbed, along with Dansko Arch technology for added support. Dansko VP–marketing Tiss Dahan describes it as “a boot ideal for wearing to work, but can translate to a dressy casual setting as well.”
Target Consumer: “Our customer spans across a variety of ages and our product speaks to any woman who has reached that pivotal moment where she prioritizes comfort and won’t compromise style,” Dahan notes.
Hero Product: Helm Shootie
Features: The Helm has versatility as a bootie or shoe and is created with a mix of materials. As one of the only strobel construction booties on the market, it offers flexibility and strength. The shoe also has a removable cork and latex footbed.
Target Consumer: “This has been one of the most requested booties by influencers. It can be worn with a dress or jeans and seems to wow both the comfort and the fashion crowds,” says Ayelet Levy, president of Naot USA. The shoe also has an ageless quality, appealing both to 20-something fashionistas and middle-age women who want to be on trend without sacrificing comfort.
Hero Product: Booties and Sport Styles. Pictured: Maya.
Features: New details and materializations for the season include Western touches and fresh patterned chop outs. “We analyze things like the weight of our shoes, the softness in compounds and linings, adding flex grooves inside the outsoles, and using EVA for our strobel boards,” comments Dr. Scholl’s design director, Katie Moore. This season the brand has also implemented a new heel comfort system in its flats incorporating a soft, quilted counter pocket with a natural fiber soft collar to reduce slip and improve fit.
Target Consumer: “We design our shoes with the Millennial family in mind — spanning women’s, men’s and kids’ product,” notes Moore. Their choices in experiences, music or brands lend to authenticity and being together.
Hero Product: Liberty Black Nubuck
Features: Ribbed rubber soles for maximum cushion, flexibility and traction. The shoe also has a removable footbed for added arch support.
Target Consumer: Waldlaufer’s customer demands both comfort and style. “Loafers or oxfords with thick, lightweight shock-absorbent soles tend to work well for the professional who is on her feet all day, as a teacher, hospital administrator or business person,” says Bridget Kobor Curtis, national sales manager for Waldlaufer.
Hero Product: Lady Lace-Up
Features: This Mephisto Originals style is hand made in the brand’s European factories and has been going strong since 1975. Built with the brand’s exclusive “Soft-Air” technology, the shoes offer comfort and breathability.
Target Consumer: Without trying to be high fashion, the brand is “targeting a younger customer through social media,” says Mephisto USA CEO James Rowley. “We have produced a lot of content that will resonate more with this younger audience.” As technology allows for the workforce to be more remote, many younger consumers are not working in traditional office environments and as such can dress less formally and more comfortably, he explains.
Hero Product: Nicolette Bootie
Features: A wide range of heel heights are a huge attraction for the brand. The Nicolette offers high-heel construction on an elegant pointy-toe last. This style features LifeStride SoftSystem technology, which map-tests for pressure points. It also features high-rebound foam, a shock absorbing heel patch, perforated sock for breathability, strong shank for stability and a flexible thermoplastic rubber outsole for more natural and easy movement.
Target Consumer: She’s a busy working woman with kids. She follows and is aware of trends. She’s a smart shopper. “Every woman wants to be comfortable in her shoes, especially dress shoes she wears at work,” comments Chris LoParco, director, product development and design.
Hero Product: Total Motion Scallop Pump, Total Motion Oaklee Ruffle Bootie
Features: The Total Motion Scallop pump is a three-inch, wear-to-work, rounded heel with a strong pointy toe and a hint of feminine scallop detailing. The Total Motion Oaklee Ruffle Bootie gives a slight nod to the 1970s with a block heel and round-shaped toe. These styles are for someone who “does not go-easy on her shoes and expects that they will withstand lots of wear regardless of occasion,” explains Stefanie Brunnthaler, senior director of product, women’s collections.
Target Consumer: “From the bus stop to the boardroom and drinks with co-workers, our Rockport power woman is busy engaging with family, friends and work. Total Motion is the collection that will withstand this busy lifestyle, allowing for all-day comfort, and is versatile enough to take her anywhere,” she says.
Hero Product: Lara Loafer
Features: The Lara includes the brand’s own proprietary last that “has a proven track record of incredible comfort and understated style for over 25 years,” according to Tyler Remmert, product manager for SAS shoes. Ornamental features and genuine, rich leather highlight add style.
Target Consumer: The demographic is working women 35-50. “They primarily use Instagram to get the latest trends, following influencers in their local area that they trust to give the best advice on upcoming and established brands,” the exec notes. While this consumer might have worn more fashion-only shoes in the past, because she found out that those hurt her feet she’s now looking for just the right blend of fashion and comfort.
Hero Product: Traq by Alegria Qarma
Features: This lace-up walking shoe is the first comfort smart shoe with a built-in Q chip for tracking steps. It also syncs with the Traq by Alegria app, which allows users to monitor daily walking activity, set goals and create groups with friends and family.
Target Consumer: “We styled the shoes using the classic silhouette of a walking shoe, but with our own flair that fits with everyone’s wardrobe,” notes Alegria CEO Luke Chen. “Wellness has become an enormous life style trend and we see TRAQ as a branch of that lifestyle by using technology which can encourage customers to walk more in a fun, and even competitive, way through the TRAQ app,” he adds
Hero Product: Kyoto Ankle Bootie
Features: A weathered or “rusty” metallic leather with a soft feel was chosen as the upper, complemented by studded trim. Twin zippers on either side of the ankle offer convenience and style. The shoe is built on a wide unit to allow for ample space in the forefoot, but appears sleek due to an almond toe shape.
Target Consumer: “We believe that a style like this one transcends age, and would be appealing to any woman who wants to look and feel her best,” according to Craig and Anne Truscott, co-founders of Revere.