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.
Want to learn more about Heeluxe’s Fundamentals of Footwear lecture and the keys to comfort? Do you have more questions about the 4 keys to comfort? We’d love to hear it–please email [email protected].