In the last half-century, several shoe brands have become revered icons. From celebrated designer brands to powerhouse brands such as Adidas and Nike, shoe brands the world over are as prolific and notable as the shoe styles that appear each year. While some shoe brands are fleeting, the Hush Puppies brand hit the ground running in 1958, and it is still around fifty years later. It has the distinction of being the world’s first casual shoe.
You'll see Flyknit on the feet of olympic marathoners this year. This limited-edition collection shows the real-world application of Nike's newfangled technology. The limited-edition HTM is intended for the rest of us: plain old sneaker geeks.
Iconic brands can either remain iconic — or become obsolete. For a brand like Keds, creator of the original sneaker in 1916, the challenge is significant, given today's ultra-competitive athletic footwear environment. The Keds strategy to maintain relevance centers around college kids. From mid-March through early May, Keds will go on a road trip to nine college campuses in nine cities, pitching its brand in an integrated marketing campaign called "How Do You Do?"
Nike's Mark Parker brings together extreme talents, whether they're basketball stars, tattooists, or designers obsessed with shoes.
Observers are wondering why Canton, Mass.-based Reebok, after successfully readjusting its focus to target the women's market, and making great gains with both its ZigTech training shoe and its Easy Tone sneakers, would get back into the basketball-shoe endorsement business when that sector of the sneaker world is losing market share.
In an attempt to solidify its standing with influential sneaker bloggers, New Balance Lifestyle has launched a campaign around a limited release—just 480—of the company's 574 Clips running shoe. The campaign, the first from Mother since winning the New Balance Lifestyle account last August (BBDO, New York, handles the brand's other work), includes a Polaroid in each of the 480 shoes with a 5-digit code on the back that buyers can use to "claim" their shoe online. The individual attention is meant to underscore the unusual, all-American lineage of the shoes: Each are composed of leftover material clippings in New Balance's Lawrence, Mass., factory, (hence "Clips.")
Some sneaker makers are giving national advertising campaigns the boot. To get more traction, they are increasingly turning to a tactic known as hyper-local marketing.
Crocs were born of the economic boom. The colorful foam clogs appeared in 2002, just as the country was recovering from a recession. Brash and bright, they were a cheap investment (about $30) that felt good and promised to last forever. Then the boom times went bust, and Crocs went to the back of the closet.
Zappos.com of course is the legendary online retailer. It's probably most famous for selling shoes and its rabid commitment to customer service. It has since gone on to sell many items, such as clothing, accessories, and bags.
When it comes to buying shoes online, one company thinks it's possible that women have entirely too many choices, sold under too many different brands. So when Consolidated Shoe Co. launches its new e-commerce microsite, it will virtually ignore the whole concept of brand, with no mention of the company on the site.