The internet is a crazy place...
For the past few years, the vast online community and information source, Reddit, has provided us with a wealth of thoughtful discussion, information and news regarding the footwear industry and beyond.
Recently, we decided to approach a number of familiar Reddit communities (subreddits) for user feedback on our concept/direction. We gave some insightful members the opportunity to join our footwear testing program, an integral part of our user-centric approach and commitment to the continuous evolution of our products. We were shocked by the positive response and sheer number of people who got involved. Here's a look at how it went.
r/sneakers - A community for sneakerheads and performance footwear fans. 145K users. 66 comments with feedback, user insight, and support and successfully reached the front page of the subreddit. Check it out here.
r/goodyearwelt - A community for high-quality leather footwear connoisseurs. 40K users. 60 comments, from some of the most knowledgeable, informed footwear consumers across the world. See the discussion here.
Below are some of the comments that really stood out for us.
“I would love to have a sneaker that I wouldn’t have to change shoes between going outside in the winter weather and walking 4-6 miles a day. Unfortunately, nobody is really designing products for that segment.
I’ve also had issues where my wife wants to do something spontaneously. I’ve never let my footwear make me tell her no, but I’ve trashed some decent shoes because they aren’t necessarily appropriate for what she wants to do. No spontaneous hiking, winter walks, or things that my shoes could potentially get wet doing.”
— U/LUXYPOO FROM R/SNEAKERS
“Comfort and design are really the biggest worries I have, with durability being a secondary concern. I’ve owned [premium] shoes from Buttero and Beckett Simonon.
What those shoes aren’t satisfying is that they aren’t that great for walking. They do the job perfectly, and they technically mold to my feet, but I don’t get the same feeling of walking on a soft surface from them as I do with even lower end Adidas Boosts.
A shoe like what you guys are claiming to try to make, should, ideally, be within a nice price range. I adore the design of the Buttero Carreras, with the Vibram sole looking durable and the shoe looking nice in general, but the pricing on them at $300 is too extravagant for me, as well as most college students.
I think the biggest drawback for the shoes I own are that they are separated into too formal and casual styles. I own a pair of rough out boots that are really formal looking, as well as various Beckett Simonon sneakers that while casual, aren’t unique enough due to how minimalist they are. These low top sneakers also aren’t that excellent in wet weather. having to not wear my shoes on rainy days in fear that they will get dirty is also a small concern for me.
So you guys are claiming to be aiming for a lot of things. Functionality, aesthetics, comfort.
Please go for it! I would love to see what you guys can make.”
— U/PSYCHOWORLD FROM R/GOODYEARWELT
“I live in Arizona and my biggest problem is keeping my shoes clean and free of goat heads/ stickers. The light breathable knit uppers that I've been buying are a pain to keep clean and I go through a pair of shoes every two months just from casual wear/ going to work. I want a comfy foam type shoe that doesn’t get jabbed with splinters all the time. I’m always tweezing them out of every boost I own. Maybe a rubber sole that's over the padding instead of exposed foam. A huge thing in my group of friends is waterproofing our kicks for easy cleaning, but it’s scary to risk discoloring shoes you’ve paid good money for.”
— U/IMAFLIRTDOTCOM FROM R/SNEAKERS
“So what I’m getting from this description is that you want to create classic shoes with influences from athletic shoes so that you get that style and quality... with the comfort and performance of athletic shoes.
That's a pretty cool idea, but generally athletic shoes use foam and other synthetic materials that may not last as long as leather... So how are you gonna incorporate the athletic shoe influences while still maintaining quality and longevity?”
We look forward to growing our community and sharing more. If you want to be involved in product testing or want to learn more, subscribe to our community and get involved! Thanks again to the users and mods at Reddit for their support. Speak soon!