Naming a shoe is not as straightforward as you would think. Not only is there the challenge of finding a word that fits the entire feeling of a shoe you have lovingly and painstakingly designed, but there is also the Google search test to make sure the perfect name isn’t already taken. We wouldn’t equate it with the pressure of naming of a child per se, but some days it feels close.
The updated version of what is traditionally our best selling shoe presented a special naming opportunity. We wanted to ensure that the design changes were highlighted by giving it a fresh name to match, but we also wanted to acknowledge the history of SOM Footwear and those who supported us from the beginning.
The idea for SOM Footwear was born in the small rural community of Norwood, Colorado. Once home to the founders of SOM, this town was where our first prototypes were made. It was over miles and miles of country roads and mountainous terrain around Norwood that Olie tested the very first SOMs. Two and a half years of dreaming, innovating, and working hard led to the factory opening in nearby Montrose. However, Norwood was still at the heart of SOM Footwear.
SOMs made their first public debut at the Norwood Farmers Market in July of 2014. The founders arrived with boxes of first generation SOMs and invited all interested to give them a test drive. The feedback received that day was varied: some loved the comfort, a few didn’t like them at all, and some were bluntly honest about the looks. As SOM’s first public outing, all reactions were invaluable. Even more meaningful though was the encouragement the founders received. That day, 12 pairs of the first SOMs were sold and the founders felt the energy of having their own community behind them—an outpouring of support that was incredibly uplifting at a critical time. Though the SOM community has grown beyond Norwood, the heart of SOM is still somewhere up on that plateau where its first supporters, customers and SOM-os are.
Like using an old family name to welcome the newest member, naming one of our new models “Norwood” just felt right. A nod to where we came from, the Norwood is an improved version of what is our best all around seller. Traditional, grounded, versatile and hardy, it is a solid representation of the town that bred the initial idea. We believe the Norwood honors the community that embraced SOMs first and continues to this day to offer support as SOM Footwear moves forward.
Revamping the Norwood in 2020
The story unfolds as SOM Footwear continues on its journey. New models come and old models go, but the Norwood model is always part of the voyage. It just got a face-lift after 3 years in production, which has given it a classier look, makes it more office-oriented than ever, yet still provides the robust performance that you expect from your SOMs on all of your daily adventures. We chose an upper material that is also made in the USA (Maine) which adds an outstanding look while still being a “vegan” shoe.