I’ve been fortunate to work with a number of fashion footwear brands over the years and, as one would expect, the focus of these businesses, their product and marketing, has been the company’s fashion and trend credentials.
Recently I’ve been working with footwear businesses that have comfort at their core and I’ve been amazed by the market, opportunity, consumer spend threshold and customer loyalty.
Some of this can be attributed to the growth and power of the grey pound - after all, it’s unsurprising that the older consumer is seeking comfortable footwear; however, a surprisingly large cohort of younger consumers want comfort too.
Mention comfort footwear and your mind conjures up moulded PU, shiny uppers and a colour palette of black, cream and brown.
Thankfully, this is the comfort look of the past. Athletic-inspired product and comfort-led sandals have helped redefine the market and now many of the brands behind these products are developing and selling full ranges of footwear.
Marrying comfort with style is something sports fashion businesses have done for years. As this concept goes mainstream, the added value this brings the consumer helps brands and retailers add to their bottom line.
- Dan Gyves is director of footwear distributor Vendere Distribution