Step in comfort is the key to getting a customer to buy your shoe, but all-day comfort is the key to getting your customer to come back and buy more pairs. One of the unifying factors of fast-growing brands is their ability to meet customer’s needs for all-day comfort, and this post provides an outline on how to increase the all-day comfort of your shoes.
If you’ve seen Heeluxe’s Fundamentals of Footwear, you know that there are 4 keys to comfortable shoes (regardless of product category!): Fit, Contour, Movement, Cushion. These keys are an accurate guideline to create shoes with all-day comfort. There’s one catch—you must have great performance in all 4 keys if you want to make your product comfortable. A shoe with great support (contour), flexibility (movement), and cushioning will never have good all-day comfort if the fit is mediocre—at least, that’s what Heeluxe’s database says.
Here’s a few tips on how you can optimize all-day comfort:
Fit: Looser fit around the ball of the foot, especially on the lateral forefoot. Materials with stretch will help ensure a dynamic fit as the foot changes shape slightly throughout the day. Secure fit around the instep (you must “fit the navic”) and heel region will reduce foot muscle fatigue.
Contour: We must support the curves of the foot if all-day comfort is the goal. Arch support is good, heel cupping is even better! No shoe with a flat insole has ever performed well in an all-day research test at Heeluxe. If you’re in the fashion space: this is a major opportunity for improvement!
Movement: Shoes need to move with our body—and most shoes do not have enough flexibility to be comfortable all day. The shoe must allow our foot to flex 25 degrees (on-body, not in your hands!) to be comfortable for most activities we will do in a day.
Cushion: You probably think your shoe or insole has great cushioning already. It passed a compression set test, right? WRONG. We’ve seen amazing foams fail with all-day comfort. Why? The foam needs to be built for a specific activity! A foam that provides great all-day cushion in a high heel won’t do much in a work boot. Working with quality foam providers can help you pick the best foams for your customer.