The Importance of Wellness
With Wellbeing Top of Mind, We Explore How Standout Brands Highlight Health and Happiness in their Footwear.
(Pictured above) All Strive footwear has the same biomechanical footbed technology (which is contoured to the natural curvature of the foot for improved pressure distribution), so any style can become part of one’s wellness routine. Whether walking or worn as ‘recovery’ footwear, the Capri is the brand’s bestseller due to its deep heel cup and full foot coverage in colorful, supple leathers. MSRP $109.95.
Hälsa means “health” in Swedish and the Spring ’22 Desiree delivers with highlights including an adjustable strap and fabric gore design that make for easier living. Featured Equilibrium+ technology is an ergonomically orthotic insole with metal layers to help prevent bacteria, arch instability and promote proper alignment. MSRP $104.95.
The Sky is an everyday laced sneaker packed with features and feel-good components. The upper, lining, webbing details and laces are all made from recycled textiles. It features Dansko Natural Arch Technology and a Propel pad in the forepart that supports acceleration through the walking step. The outsole is made from over 50% “I’m Green” carbon negative bio-based EVA. Available in January 2022. MSRP $120.
This motion control shoe features patented Xelero technology that makes running and walking easier by creating a healthy, supportive environment for the feet. The x2 Technology Dynamic Metatarsal Roll Bar is designed to reduce fore-foot movement and pressure for added torsional support under the foot. A seamless upper provides a glove like fit. Available in February 2022. MSRP $209.99.
Brands Weigh In On the Growing Importance of Wellness…
“We are creating a category called ‘healthy fashion comfort.’ We build the footbed first because it’s the core. If you don’t have a good foundation you don’t have a good house built around it. A shoe that is too squishy won’t offer enough support. If you’re going to buy comfort fashion footwear, it may as well be healthy.”
– Phil Coward, Sales Representative, Hälsa
“Comfort is a key component of wellness, and comfort has always been a key focal point across all footwear categories at Dansko. We aim to provide an incredible underfoot experience without sacrificing on style. We have streamlined our interior support system across all categories to provide the best arch support possible. We are also incorporating eco-friendly and recycled lining materials into all new collections that we introduce into the market for all around wellness.”
– Kelsey Jayne, Footwear Design Director, Dansko
“People are spending more time outdoors and as a shoe brand, we wanted to highlight the importance of wellness as it relates to the footwear people are using for outdoor activities. Xelero has been proven to help people with Plantar Fasciitis, Metatarsalgia, Hallux Rigidus, ankle pain and knee pain, however they are also designed for the everyday person.Wearing the right footwear can prevent future injuries, so people who wear our shoes are actively practicing a healthy habit that contributes to their wellness.”
– Dan Werremeyer, CEO, Instride Shoes (Xelero)
“So many people spend long hours standing and walking on hard, flat surfaces. These people’s lives are tough on their feet and their bodies. Our Dynamic Motion Technology has stability in the heel with an enhanced toe spring that naturally moves you forward, making it easier to move throughout the day. This helps to reserve energy for the things you love to do while keeping you one step ahead of the things you have to do.”
– Matt Dieckhaus, VP of sales and marketing, Latitudes Inc. (mōshn by KLOGS)
“Wellness is an integral part of living a well-rounded healthy lifestyle and Friendly Shoes is committed to providing a literal foundation for everyday active living in our communities. Our footwear is easier to put on and allows the wearer independence. Our footbeds are cushioned and supportive to help curb fatigue and provide immediate comfort, and the shoes are stylish to allow the wearer a sense of pride. We believe feeling and looking great shouldn’t be mutually exclusive.”
– Tamara Sowa, Director of Sales & Operations, Friendly Shoes
“We started Taos 16 years ago with the belief that great shoes make our feet and ourselves happy and healthy. Our shoes are our foundation, and without great shoes, our overall wellness suffers. Consumers are also starting to come around to the fact that ‘comfort’ isn’t just a soft, cushy foam footbed. Cushion without support fatigues and breaks down over time.”
– Glen Barad, President, Taos
“Anodyne footwear is designed to provide a virtually custom fit due to all of the sizes that we carry our styles in (36 per style/color). Our shoes also have extra depth inside of them to allow for a thicker, more comfortable insert and additional roominess for those who need it. Wellness in general is all about being comfortable and accommodating each and everyone’s individual desires (and in this case, feet). That’s exactly what our shoes do for our customers.”
– Bobby Kanter, CEO, Anodyne
“Propét has been making shoes for health and wellness since our beginning, so it is part of our core product. We try to take the features that help improve health and wellness and carry them into more trend-right and fashion styles. The first thing that makes a wellness shoe is proper fit. Propét offers five or six widths in many of our styles, along with half sizes on all our products. Our men’s lines go up to size 18 and women’s up to size 13.”
– Jennifer Sokso, Director of Marketing, Propét
“The wellness movement has progressed from a trend to a sustainable way of life and many companies are now trying to re-create themselves as a wellness brand. Because Strive is designed to help improve posture and reduce harmful stresses in the feet and body, wearing our footwear becomes a natural extension of one’s healthy lifestyle. With a history of 40 years in the orthotics business, we’ve created a proprietary footbed that can treat common conditions like Plantar Fasciitis, fallen arches, knee pain, back pain and ball of foot pain.”
– Nancy Evans, Global Sales Manager, Strive
“Finn Comfort has been producing footwear that helps to cultivate health, mobility, and well-being since the very beginning. This means bringing together medical expertise, traditional craftsmanship, technology, and healthy components. Authentically healthy footwear must be produced in a way that promotes wellness for both the individual and the environment, ncluding the right designs, the healthiest components, and the cleanest production methods. For us the growing appreciation for wellness in the marketplace is a tremendous opportunity. We have already been here, so it means getting our message out — Wellness of the individual, Wellness of the environment.”
– Justin Orrell-Jones, president, CEO, Finn Comfort USA, Inc.
mōshn by KLOGS Rise
This slip-on style for Spring ’22 features a machine washable SmartKnit upper. A PURGrip tread keeps the wearer confident. A shoe that promotes wellness, like this one, has room in the toe box, easy foot entry and soft materials that allow the foot to swell throughout the day. MSRP $160.
Friendly Shoes Excursion
With patented rear Easy Shoe Access technology, the Excursion facilitates a quick on/off experience, accommodating toe box, memory foam cushioning, and a slip-resistant outsole to avoid slips and trips. MSRP $110.
Taos Z Soul
All Taos sneakers include Curves & Pods premium removable footbeds, which provide arch and metatarsal support. The outside YKK zipper for easy accessibility, with added laces for adjustability and a near-custom fit throughout the day. The two-tone collar is padded for increased comfort in every step. Available in a new colorway for Spring ’22. MSRP $100.
A wellness feature in this shoe is the Intréped footbed, which is an “I” shaped insole structure designed to guide the foot with medial and lateral support, plus it has a deep heel cup to help maintain proper alignment and control pronation. The Sylvi is a stretchable leatherette material that provides a little “give” in the upper. MSRP $99.95.
Anodyne No. 27 Casual Sneaker
This classic-looking shoe has a supportive sole and leather upper that strikes a balance of casual and polished, fitting for an active lifestyle. Anodyne shoes are designed to fit fuller to compensate for potential swelling, bunions, hammertoes, and/or other diabetic foot complications. MSRP $149.
Finn Comfort Caino
With its premium comfort footbeds that are anatomically contour molded and ergonomically designed, the Caino is a good choice for comfort and alignment. The shoe is from the Finnstretch collection. Shown here in black nubuck/stretch, this is an in-stock style, available in UK sizes 4.5-9. MSRP $355.