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Why is the shoe industry making shoes that are not foot-shaped?

The quick answer is that the shoe industry, which is very busy making billions of conventional shoes, has stopped listening to the consumers' feet and needs. The shoe industry has become too big to reverse its industrial production machine worldwide quickly. Changing a production line requires investment and time; the status quo is much easier and more profitable.

We must keep up hope because we are seeing more and more of what are claimed to be zero-drop or barefoot-style shoes on the market. We have noticed more competition around us in our ten years of serving feet. When the idea of starting our brand sparked, only the Vibram 5Fingers brand was available.

What is a foot-shaped shoe?

What is a foot-shaped shoe?

Consumers must pay attention to the structure of the shoes they buy. A foot-shaped shoe is wide enough for the toes to splay. The sole is flexible and zero-dropped from toe-box to heel. You want as few interferences as possible with your feet. A good foot-shaped shoe makes you feel barefoot. In a foot-shaped shoe, you can feel the ground and are as close to it as possible, ensuring stability.

The shoe industry world will change when more doctors educate their patients about better footwear. In today's era, individuals are often seeking more information, and the process of change speeds up when more questions are being asked. The key is for people to start trusting what their feet are signaling to them: pain or comfort. We see it over and over again at the factory outlet store. When someone tries on a pair of foot-shaped shoes, our barefoot-style shoes, for the first time, the reaction is usually immediate. You hear that person saying: Wow, those shoes are comfortable.

When someone's feet feel joy.Wow, those shoes are comfortable.

When doctors start to believe in feet, for real, and the shoe industry starts listening to their consumers' problems and needs, we will see changes. Today, shoe brands market big on new technology such as air-cushioned, gel-filled, air-sole, 3D foot scanners, and more to add "innovations" to your footwear, forgetting that your feet may not need any of these.

Move Freely Now

It doesn't seem to matter; we continue adding elements – cushioning, heels, arch support, tapered toe-box – despite what doctors may see firsthand how their patients’ performance is reduced when the natural foot function is compromised. People won't learn what is happening until they have real troubles. Pointed shoes take a while to shape your feet, and problems may start in your twenties, but then you tough it out. And feet are taken for granted and are not necessarily viewed as being that important.

Are foot-shaped shoes made with common sense?

After more than ten years of working in the footwear industry, we still try to answer why conventional shoes don’t have a foot shape. The natural function of feet requires simplicity to allow them to function as they are designed to. In our society today, we need to wear shoes. But shouldn't the shoes be just the necessary envelope, like a pair of good pants, so that feet can perform as usual, without restrictions and constraints?

We believe in feet at SOM Footwear because we learned that less is better. We were born without shoes—and feet function perfectly on their own. 

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